Pre-Season F1 Winter programme for 2011/12 (launches and testing thread)


Champion Elect
Thought i'd post this up on here about launches of F1 2012 cars, plus open a thread to discuss winter testing as it kicks off soon in February.

Red Bull
Schedule: Unconfirmed at present, but it's been widely rumoured that the reigning champions will launch Adrian Newey's latest creation, the RB8, on February 5 - two days before the keenly-anticipated first test of the winter at Jerez.
In a word: Unofficial.

Schedule: The secret is out. Although not providing any definite dates, media chief Luca Colajanni has revealed: "The new Ferrari F1 car will be presented in early February, in time to take part in the first test session ahead of the season." Since then, Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has revealed to Sky Sports News that launch day will be Friday February 3rd. With the team pledging to be aggressive in their new design, Jerez can't begin quickly enough.
In a word: Excited.

Schedule: In contrast to last year, when the MP4-26 was only unveiled the day after the first winter test, the team have confirmed their plan is to launch the MP4-27 on February 1 and their new car "will test for the first time at Jerez on February 7-9". They are, though, remaining quiet on the launch location, only offering the teaser that it will be revealed "after the new year".
In a word: Announced.

Schedule: In an interesting twist to the plans of the other leading marques, the team are planning to introduce their new car - the W03 - at the second winter test, to be held at Barcelona in late February. In a second intriguing twist to the established norm, it's believed that the team will be at Jerez for the first test, either using their 2011 charger or a hybrid version.
In a word: Late.

Schedule: No clear steer as yet from the team regarding their plans, although Kimi Raikkonen has revealed he "should be able to jump into a two-year-old F1 car in January". Launch date expected in the first week of February.
In a word: Expected.

Force India
Schedule: "The first test in Jerez can't come soon enough," was the declaration of Nico Hulkenburg during his unveiling so the best guess at this stage is that the team will be in southern Spain on February 7. Wait goes on for confirmed dates to add to the diary.
In a word: Awaiting.

Schedule: In their Christmas greeting, the team dropped in the news that their "team's new high-speed sled (aka the Sauber C31-Ferrari) is due to be unwrapped in Jerez on 6th February". Nothing else is known as yet but, unless the team have a special affiinity with the Spanish city, it's reasonable to assume that the car will be on track for the first test of the winter a day later.
In a word: Festive.

Toro Rosso
Schedule: Another complete unknown although the presumption must be that, with the team changing both of their drivers, they will be working around the clock to offer their newcomers as much track time as possible before Melbourne.
In a word: Expected.

Schedule: Not yet set in stone but apparently progressing in timely fashion. Technical Director Mike Coughlan has disclosed that the team's new car, FW34, is due to be cleared in early February "and we'll be ready to go to the first test."
In a word: Timely.

Schedule: The newly-named team have been keeping a low profile in recent weeks, but chief technical officer Mike Gascoyne tweeted on December 18 the news that "our first chassis, CT-01 passes all FIA homologation tests." So far, so good then. No launch date as yet, however.
In a word: Unclear.

Schedule: Under review. Somewhat worryingly, the team have already raised the possibility that they will miss the entirety of pre-season testing due to complications arising from their relocation to Spain and the need for teams to pass the FIA's crash test before testing rather than, as in previous years, before the first race of the season.
In a word: Unsure.

Schedule: The team have been as quiet as a mouse since announcing the arrival of French youngster Charles Pic as Timo Glock's team-mate for the 2012 campaign. The good news is that no news is not necessarily bad news.
In a word: Unknown.

So any news that you may find feel free to post on this thread :).
There's no rule against testing on a track that also hosts a GP and the teams like it because you need a good aero balance to do well at the circuit, by balance I don't mean with just sheer downforce either. Why don't they test in Portimao circuit like in 2009, although it rained heavily when they were the teams were they they can't hold that against the circuit seeing as Portugal is right next to Spain, and it has no GP so some F1 there would be good for Portuguese fans.
That Mugello test is hardly mid season, it is after four races? Surely it is wiser to put it in the 5 week summer break?

I think that Abu Dhabi last year also counted as a test.
The Mugello test is after the Spanish GP, the five week brake is intended to give teams a rest. Personally I think there should be another test about 2/3s into the season, somewhere around the Hungarian GP which would allow teams that are struggling for points to close the gap at the end of the season. Is there any limits on who can drive in the mid-season tests such as age limit or previous F1 experience, and can the drivers with race seats test or is it mandatory that reserve drivers gain experience?
Is there any limits on who can drive in the mid-season tests such as age limit or previous F1 experience, and can the drivers with race seats test or is it mandatory that reserve drivers gain experience?

There is no restriction on who can drive in the Mugello test - the regular race drivers are eligible and I expect in most cases they will be the ones doing it. The regulations allow for another young driver test to be held towards the end of the 2012 season - I haven't seen a date for this yet, but assume that it will be Abu Dhabi again.
Just over 2 and a half weeks until the new f1 season gets underway :). Well the testing part of it anyways!

Bring on the sound of engines and complaints from the driver, the later we'll get fed up with come the end of 2012.

Can't wait now :).
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