F1 car launches and driver line-up 2016: When are Mercedes, Ferrari and rest of the teams unveiling their new cars?

The 2016 Formula One season begins in Australia on 20 March

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The Independent Online

Formula 1 fans will be waiting intently for their team’s 2016 challengers as well as looking at how their drivers will perform in Barcelona next week.

More than half the grid has penned in their launch dates for either a few days before or on the morning of the first pre-season test on the Circuit de Catalunya on 22 February.

Some have remained tight lipped and this year teams have introduced a new element to the car launch by using an online event as well as the more traditional method of the pitlane.

Renault Sport F1 - February 3

Renault marked their return to the Formula 1 grid as the first team to launch their new 2016 car in Paris earlier this month.

Reappearing in the team’s traditional black and yellow colour scheme, the biggest change of the new RS16 was hardly surprising, with a new Renault V6 engine replacing the Mercedes unit used last season.

Kevin Magnussen was announced as Jolyon Palmer’s team mate following the departure of Pastor Maldonado .

Ferrari – 19 February

Ferrari will the first team to reveal their 2016 challenger online on Friday February 19 at 2pm CET and both Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen will hope to challenge Mercedes for this year’s World championship.

McLaren – 21 February

McLaren confirmed they would also be launching their MP4-31 online so all their fans can be involved to see how far McLaren has evolved from the previous season the day before testing begins on Sunday February 21.

Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso will once again take the drivers spaces on the team with GP2 Series champion Stoffel Vandoorne taking the place of their reserve driver replacing Kevin Magnussen.

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 – 22 February

Pre-testing may be busier than usual and since their return to team ownership in 2010 world Driver and Constructor champions Mercedes have held pitlane reveals and are likely to do the same with their F1 W07 Hybrid.

Once again fans will be treated to the duels between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who will be both racing for Mercedes again in the 2016 season.

Haas F1 – 22 February

Haas will become the first American team to compete on the grid since the unrelated Haas Lola team in 1986. With drivers Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez at the helm they will be looking to make an immediate impact with their track debut, along with their drivers, at the testing event on Monday.

Force India – 22 February

Force India have been tight lipped in the lead up to pre-season but is expected to launch their VJM09 in the pitlane ahead of the opening day. Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenburg are the drivers for the team, who will again run Mercedes’ power unit.

Williams Martini Racing – February 22

Williams have confirmed they are one of a growing number of teams who plan to launch their new car in a low key presentation ahead of the first test day in Catalunya.

Taking place in the pit lane on the morning of testing, there will be no glitz and glamour of years gone by as cost saving measures dictate how the team operate in today’s Formula 1 era.

Rob Smedley, the team’s head of performance engineering hinted at big changes with the front and rear sections of the car. Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas retain their places in the cockpit.

Red Bull – February 17 & 22

Although Red Bull are not alone in opting to launch their car the day before testing in Barcelona, they are breaking the trend by revealing the new livery at an event in London five days earlier.

Choosing to keep new design details under wraps until the very last moment, the team will display their new colour scheme and sponsors using last season’s car.

There are no alternations to the driving line-up of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat.

Toro Rosso – February 22

Unlike their sister team Red Bull, Toro Rosso have opted to reveal their new car before they provide a glimpse of the new livery.

The STR11 will take to the track at the first test next week but the team are planning to hold off on the unveiling of their new blue livery until an event held before the second pre-season test in March.

Max Verstappen follows up his impressive debut season with another drive alongside Carlos Sainz.

Sauber – March 1

Sauber’s decision to delay their launch until March means they are not only likely to be last on the grid to display their new car – Manor and Force India are yet to confirm launch dates  – but they will not run it at the first testing event either.

Instead they will run the new C35 at the second designated test period in Barcelona, with last season’s car being run at the first test session with the new livery.

They have retained both Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr for driving duties.

Manor – TBC

Manor teased fans by releasing a sound bite of their new engine roaring into action but it is expected the MRT05 will not be unveiled until testing begins next week.

The team have also confirmed thet Ryo Haryanto will partner Mercedes protege Pascal Wehrlein for 2016, meaning that there is no place for British driver Will Stevens on the grid.

With the season coming at full throttle for 20 March in Melbourne, the car reveals will only add to the excitement in the countdown to the start of the 2016 season.


3 February: Renault RS16, Paris

17 February: Red Bull 2016 livery, London

19 February: Ferrari, online

21 February: McLaren MP4-31, online

22 February: Red Bull RB12, Barcelona

22 February: Haas, Barcelona

22 February: Manor MRT05, Barcelona

22 February: Williams FW38, Barcelona (TBC)

22 February: Force India VJM09, Barcelona (TBC)

1 March: Sauber C35, Barcelona