The F1 2020 season is nearly here, and car launch week is sure to build excitement – from its grand reveals to new liveries…
Our first look at the 2020 cars and drivers
Nothing quite builds excitement for a new season like an F1 launch. A new car often means a new look and new expectations, while catching a first glimpse of a team’s livery perfectly whets the appetite for the year ahead – especially if it’s a good-looking design. And there’s every reason to expect some bold looks in 2020 (more on those to follow).
Add to that the prospect – after two long months away from the media spotlight – of drivers signalling their intent for the season, and these are must-follow events for F1 fans. Teams have probably learnt by now not to be too bold with their predictions, but their levels of optimism at these launches often show just how confident they are about their on-track hopes.
The new-for-2020 challengers are also the last iteration of F1’s fastest-ever cars. Next year’s major rules overhaul will lead to simplified bodywork – so this is one last chance for teams to progress these cars, and a time for us to marvel at their intricacy before the track action begins at testing.
Grand reveals as F1 hits the theatre
Gone may be the days where cars are paraded alongside the likes of the Spice Girls and performers from the Cirque du Soleil, but there are still some grand shows to look forward to in 2020.
Ferrari are bringing their car reveal to the theatre, and one of Italy’s most historic venues at that. The Teatro Valli in Reggio Emila – where the Italian tricolore flag was born – is where Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto will present their new contender on Tuesday, with Ferrari’s always-iconic affair getting another touch of class.
In addition to that, Renault are heading home for a season launch at their Parisian base on the famous Champs-Elysees (Wednesday), while a McLaren car reveal in their glistening MTC headquarters (Thursday) is always one to watch.
Watch it live on Sky Sports F1
And don’t forget, you can watch Ferrari and McLaren’s car reveals LIVE on Sky Sports F1. They’ll be airing the launches from F1’s two most successful teams live on the channel, as well as via streams on YouTube and digital platforms.
Ferrari’s event will start at 5.30pm (UK time) on Tuesday, February 11, while McLaren’s is at 1.30pm on Thursday.
Hamilton and Bottas hit the track in new title contender
Mercedes’ event may be rather more low-key, but we will get to see Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas hit the track in the car they hope will add to their six successive titles.
The W11 will be driven for the first time on Friday – and Mercedes’ drivers will hope to fall in love with their new car on that Silverstone run. Hamilton, remember, is aiming to make history this season as he closes on Michael Schumacher’s all-time F1 records.
Will Red Bull make waves again?
We’ve seen several striking ‘one-off’ launch liveries from Red Bull over the years. There was the ‘zebra’ design from 2015, the blue and black from 2018, before the blue and red chevrons from last year.
While they haven’t gone on to race those in those colours over the season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Bulls bring us another innovative livery as they look to start 2020 with a bang ahead of Max Verstappen’s title assault.
They haven’t given anything away yet, but Wednesday’s launch shouldn’t be missed!
Vettel and Leclerc launch Ferrari’s campaign
A Ferrari launch is always much-anticipated and it will be no different this year, thanks to that grand theatre reveal.
The team went for a matte finish to their famous red last year, so it will be interesting to see what subtle changes they have made to that design. It will also be worth noting what Vettel and Leclerc have to say – after a competitive and often controversial first year as team-mates. And will they commit to a title challenge as they look to end Ferrari’s drought?
Ocon returns at Renault
Renault are only calling their Paris event a ‘season launch’, rather than a car reveal, but we will still see their 2020 livery – as well as their new French driver Esteban Ocon alongside Daniel Ricciardo.
After taking a step back in 2019, finishing fifth, this is a big year for Renault and they’ll undoubtedly be setting the bar high at their launch. In the past, they have spoken about gaining on F1’s ‘big three’, although don’t be surprised this year if their main soundbite is wrestling back midfield momentum from McLaren.
All eyes on McLaren’s papaya orange
Speaking of McLaren, we can expect another memorable reveal from their Woking base. Since going back to orange following the end of their Honda relationship, the liveries have been striking – featuring different colour combinations with black in 2018 and blue in 2019.
There could be more changes this year for a team who have several new sponsors, with McLaren chief Zak Brown promising a “special” and “very noticeable” papaya livery.
You’ll also hear from popular drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris at the event.
The launch of F1’s new alpha
Gone are the days of Toro Rosso on the grid as they become AlphaTauri for F1 2020, and there is intrigue surrounding their launch in Austria on Friday.
Although there won’t be new drivers or major changes within Red Bull’s sister team, a rebrand will likely mean a fresh look for the new season and this is an outfit who have given us some very nice designs in the past. They’ve kept their new image under warps all winter, but all will be revealed on Friday night…
F1 launches and testing
|February 11||Ferrari*||Reggio Emilia, Italy|
|February 12||Red Bull||Online|
|February 12||Renault||Paris, France|
|February 13||McLaren*||MTC, Woking|
|February 14||Mercedes||Silverstone, UK|
|February 14||Alpha Tauri||Salzburg, Austria|
|February 17||Racing Point||Mondsee, Austria|
|February 19||Alfa Romeo||Barcelona, Spain|
|*streams live on Sky Sports F1|
|February 19-21||Test One||Barcelona, Spain|
|February 26-28||Test Two||Barcelona, Spain|
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