Well, it’s started. Over the next couple of days, the teams slated to compete in 2012’s Formula One will be unveiling their cars (and drivers) and running them around the track at Jerez, in Spain. Times made here will be compared to last year’s times, and a benchmark will be set.
A number of changes have happened this year regarding design regulation. For one, none of the cars (except for Red Bull’s) have a rear diffuser, which theoretically, would make them slower. There is also a new rule affecting the nose section, that requires the very front to be lower down in relation to the plane of reference. This rule on the front end is intended to lessen the chance of one car’s nose entering another’s cockpit in the event of a crash. Most of this year’s cars also sit a little higher off of the ground, which again, would theoretically lower the speed. Although it may seem that some of the cars are no better off than last year, none of these supposed hindrances have stopped Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus’ primary driver, from beating all of last years times at Jerez. If you want to know more, http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/technical_regulations/ is a link to the official F1 website, regarding design and construction rules.
One of Ferrari’s cars, the F2012
Some big names are also returning for the 2012 season. Felipe Massa will be one of Ferrari’s primary driver’s. Sebastian Vettel, who has won a number of Grand Prixs, as well as the 2010 and 2011 FIA Driver’s Championships, is of course, on the Red Bull team again. On McLaren, there is Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, just like last year. And then there is one of the greats. A man among the ranks of Alberto Ascari and Jack Brabham, Michael Schumacher will be the lead driver for Mercedes.
Hamilton and Button with the McLaren MP4-27
Of the 12 teams ready for F1 this year, Marussia, with their MR01, will be the only group not using the KERS, or Kinetic Energy Recovery System.