Following Lewis Hamilton winning his fifth title in runaway style and slightly altered regulations to make the racing much closer than in recent years, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting season in Formula One.
After the Christmas and winter lull, February marks the return of the premier motorsport series – with the ten teams revealing and testing their new cars this month.
Here are the new cars for the 2019 season:
Alfa Romeo Racing
After racing as Sauber Alfa Romeo last season, the Italian brand has become the sole title sponsor this season. Driven by veteran Finn Kimi Raikkonen and newcomer Italian Antonio Giovanazzi for the 2019 season, the Alfa Romeo comes with almost exactly the same livery as the Sauber effort from the 2018 season, but with additional Alfa Romeo tweaks.
2018 began with Ferrari leading the pack and the only credible challenger to Mercedes, but after the Scuderia collapsed following the mid-season break, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton ran away with both titles – leaving the Italian giants floundering and without an end-of-year trophy yet again. With precocious youngster Charles Leclerc being paired with four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, 2019 is set to be an interesting year for the Prancing Horse and its tifosi. Its SF90 chassis was revealed at Maranello and now comes with a matte paint job - following in the footsteps of Red Bull.
The Rich Energy Haas F1 car has a throwback black and gold livery to match the new title sponsor – which got its own special reveal on February 7. The American team then unveiled the VF-19 on its website, providing a glimpse at the first 2019 car. With a simpler aero package in-line with the new regulations, the duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean will be starting their third season together in Melbourne in a month’s time.
After what can be considered as an incredibly disappointing season for the Woking-based team in its first year back with Renault, McLaren is hoping to gain back its reputation as a quality outfit with the MCL34. New driver pairing Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris are an exciting duo that will hopefully bring the legendary team back towards the front of the grid. Revealed on the appropriately named 'McLarentine's Day', the MCL34 comes with a new paint job and - hopefully - a more competitive package.
With five years of total dominance under their belt, Mercedes will look to claim its eleventh and twelfth titles of the hybrid era with five-time champion Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas in the driver’s seats this year. With the W10, Mercedes has overhauled the livery with much darker elements around the bottom edge and the clearest look at the new aerodynamic format to date.
After Force India went into administration last year and was bought by Canadian businessman Lawrence Stroll, Racing Point will be taking their place on the grid this season. With Stroll’s son Lance moving from Williams to take a seat on the team, the Racing Point will also be driven by Mexican Sergio Perez – who has been at the Silverstone-based team since 2014. The SF19 comes with the same 'pink panther' livery thanks to sponsors BWT, while the additional blue bits around the top make it clearly different from the 2018 Force India effort.
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull has gone with the same tried-and-tested livery on the new chassis – the RB15. With Honda now providing the engine under the cover – replacing Renault – youngsters Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly will be seeing whether the new power unit can push the Austrian team back to the front of the grid and into a season-long fight with Ferrari and Mercedes.
Ranking fourth at the end of 2018, Renault was the best of the rest behind the ‘big three’. However, the French factory team is hoping to close the gap to the better teams more so this year, as Daniel Ricciardo has joined Nico Hulkenburg in the garage for 2019. Renault took the covers off the R.S.19, revealing a car that was vastly similar to the previous car from the French team.
Following on from what was effectively a testing season with Honda, Toro Rosso will be looking to make further strides up the constructor’s table in 2019 with the STR14. With Thai rookie Alexander Albon joined by the returning Daniil Kvyat, the new car comes with pretty much the same livery as last year, and displays the simplified front-end aerodynamic changes and the wider rear wing.
Displaying a new title sponsor and a livery similar to a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation from 2002, the Williams FW42 has not been fully unveiled yet. Williams have fallen from grace in recent years, with three disappointing seasons in row. So with the returning Robert Kubica and Formula 2 champion George Russell behind the wheel, 2019 could be the beginning of the resurgence for the British team.