The 2019 F1 season is officially underway with 8 days of testing in Barcelona, Spain.
It’s time for me to have a moan about something I really enjoy.
The testing does not normally give a lot away where comparing the reliability or speed of the top teams is concerned, but does tend to show who the underdogs are.
Yet again, this year does not look to be good for the Williams Team. Already they have announced their new car is not ready and MIGHT not be done until Wednesday. Not a good outlook for the team that finished bottom last year.
Lots of teams have had special pre-season launches to reveal their car liveries, although I don’t know why. They either launch with just digital images of what they hope to produce, or launch with liveries displayed on last year’s car.
If, like Red Bull, the launch livery is only for the sake of the launch and will be almost a replica of last year’s design when the races actually start, why go to all the trouble of announcing a launch in the first place?
To save all this disarray, if the cars were launched all together, on the Sunday before Pre-season testing. The day’s itinerary could be decided using last year’s finish position, with the last place showing their new car and new livery first and so on up the board. That way, the world’s media can at least be in the right place at the right time for everything.
Do F1 bosses really think the teams need to boost advertising for F1 before the event? If you like cars, you already know what F1 is and either love it or hate it. If they wanted to attract new viewers, I’d suggest they don’t start with Melbourne each year. Last year’s race probably put more people off than it attracted to the sport.
Moan over, time for a few positive things.
Ferrari has got a new Team Principal in the form of Mattia Binotto, who, let’s hope, can communicate with the fans, as well as running the team.
McLaren have replaced just about everyone - which will make following their progress interesting. The MLC34 will be into its second season with a Renault engine, which I suspect will also be a benefit.
The best part about 2019 F1 is the new driver mix between new and experienced drivers. It could make the early races interesting as they find their feet. The chances of late season upsets with the rookie drivers showing show how good or bad they really are is exciting on so many levels.
The new Ford Focus ST will be available this summer and looks like it has found the top of its game.
Now available with a 2.3l petrol engine, using a twin scroll turbo and producing 280ps and 420 n/m torque, or a 2.0l turbo diesel engine, producing 190ps and 400 n/m torque.
Like the current ST, it will be available in 5 door and estate versions, but an optional Performance Pack is available.
The car should be a better drive this year, with an electronic limited slip differential to help traction and cornering for the first time, as well as a rev-matching short shift six-speed gearbox or a seven-speed auto.
The rev-matching software electronically blips the throttle to match engine speed with gearbox speed for smooth changes. Both gearboxes have paddle shift.
New for this year’s model are selectable driving modes with 'wet/slippery' mode for that extra grip, ‘normal’ mode for your usual drive and ‘sport' which improves throttle response, exhaust note and steering feedback.
The performance pack adds another mode, ‘track', which adjusts most of the electronic stuff like the LSD and throttle mapping to suit the driving scenario. It even controls the electronic sound enhancement, although I am not sure if I would rather have an exhaust valve and side pipe with flames for this bit.
You also get launch control with the performance pack for a sub 0-60 in less than 6 seconds.
Exterior colour options chosen to emphasise the Focus ST’s dynamic styling include exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury, alongside Frozen White, Magnetic Grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black. Bold alloy wheel options include 18-inch Dark Sparkle and Magnetite designs, with a 19-inch wheel also offered in Magnetite
The range of driver assist technologies are included and provide:-:
The ST is fitted with the Synch 3 infotainment system which is excellent.
After having owned the current model for a while, I can’t wait to have a look at this one.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.