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2017 F1 Cars: My Thoughts As They Launch

I've been running this blog since 2013, but never have I bothered to 'react' to every single car that launches in the F1 world at the start of each new season. Sure, I quickly had a look at the new McLaren last year, but that's only because they're my personal team. The reason why I've never done this before is because cars don't really change that much year-by-year. You might get a slight front wing change here, and some new paintjobs there, but there's nothing to really get the pulse raising.

2017, as you may already know, is different. Cars are going to look wider, meaner, and supposedly far sexier than their ancestors - all of which has caused a fair bit of hype within the community. I'm no different; I've been dying to see each and every new car. I will therefore be reacting to every new car this year, and updating this post regularly as new cars get the cloth lifted off them. So then, without further ado...

Sauber C36

Being the first to give the F1 community the first glimpse of the future will always give you an advantage in terms of hype, because the fans at this point are starved of new content, and will devour anything that comes their way. Thankfully, however, the new Sauber's hype train is well-deserved.

Here we can see it next to the 2016 car, and besides the regulation 2017 physical changes, look at how much better that paint job is. The gold is nice, if risky, touch, that gives it a distinctively retro feel. Perhaps rightfully so, since Sauber are clearly celebrating their 25 years in the sport. The wing looks purposeful, and while I'm not a fan of shark fins, Sauber have done a good job camouflaging it by painting it black. Overall, I'd say a solid 7/10.

Renault RS17

There wasn't much speculation in terms of which house colours Renault were going to use on its upcoming car, but the real question was whether they could pull it off in terms of looks. The 2016 car wasn't half-bad in all honesty, so can the 2017 contender keep the winning streak up?

Mmmm yes, I'd say so. The official photos are annoyingly gloomy, but it's clear to see Renault have tastefully blended in a wonderful mixture of yellow and black to create a mean looking contender, and not just a banana. I love how the aero parts are matte black - it just gives a very good balance. The Renault has a shark fin as well, but black has also been used to mask it up somewhat. It also isn't offensively huge, so I'll let it pass. But the best thing? Dat ass.

I'd say this just about clinches the beauty contest, but two cars have only officially been showed thus far (excluding Williams). It's nice to know those two cars are corkers, though.

Force India VJM10

I liked Force India's car last year. Not just for how it looked, but as an overall package. Not only did it have a stylish and different design with a suitable colour scheme, it was also really rather quick. Considering how relatively low-budget Force India is when paired with McLaren, Ferrari and the like, it's mightily impressive to finish 4th in the constructors championship. Even if Hulkenberg still hasn't achieved a podium yet.

Unfortunately, I have to say their 2017 contender has to be the weakest of the cars revealed so far. The paint scheme is broadly similar to last year, but they've added a hell of a lot more silver - that wasn't the best part of the design last year. Additionally they've managed to reintroduce not only the ugly 2012 stepped nose (see just above the front wheels), but also the 2014 penis nose. It's like they've looked at all the ugly designs over the past decade or so, and just chucked them all into a melting pot to make this car. Sure, the front wing is quite nice, but that shark fin is just objectively gross. It literally looks like a piece of sheet metal that the factory had lying around. D minus, could try harder.

Mercedes W08

I strongly believe that Mercedes not only had the fastest car last year, but also the prettiest. Sure, the paint scheme has more or less stayed the same since 2010, but the aero parts - right down to the monkey seat around the exhaust - were designed with breathtaking elegance.

And it seems that Mercedes have no plans to stop any time soon with regards to this kind of thing. Sure, the paint is the same again, but look at that front wing. It's a thing of absolute beauty. I also really appreciate Mercedes for bucking the trend and not including a bloody massive shark fin on the back of the car. To my eyes, at least, that automatically makes it the best looking of the bunch so far. The only thing that I'm not too sure about is the sheer size of the thing. Obviously the cars are wider this year, but the length of the Merc seems to be absolutely insane. It might just be some camera trickery, so I'll reserve judgement until the car is sitting alongside its contenders on the grid.

Ferrari SF70H

Why, Ferrari? Why must you keep changing the naming scheme of your cars, making them hard to chronologically follow? Over the past 15 years, we've had the F2004, the 248 F1, the F60, even the 150° Italia. Only one of those actually tell us the year the car competed, and only one tells us the number of years Ferrari have been in the sport. With the SF70H, it seems Ferrari are keen to continue confusing us.

But anyway, the car itself. Lots of people go crazy for the Ferrari red, but I've never really been a big fan of the Italian firm. However, I can appreciate the car they've produced here; the sidepods look mean, and, much like the Mercedes, the front wing is a nice sight. Ferrari have opted for a shark fin, but they have at least given it a bit of paint and style, unlike Force India. I'd rank this car equally with Renault, but below Mercedes.

McLaren MCL32

I was sad to see that McLaren were to drop the MP4 name from its cars, but at the same time I fully understood. You'll likely know that Ron Dennis has now been ousted from the company, and since Project Four (hence MP4, McLaren Project Four) was his thing, it was understandable they've fiddled the name a bit to reflect that. At least they're still keeping the model numbers cumulative.

Orange was hyped hardcore for the new McLaren, but did it deliver? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that's it's a refreshingly different-looking car to come out of the McLaren Technology Centre, but no because it's not that great, once the initial surprise wears away. The shark fin returns again, but like other teams, McLaren have incorporated a design into it, which makes it more bearable. I can see a subtle visual McLaren boomerang in the engine cover, where the orange and black meet. Speaking of the black, I think it would've been better to use another colour in its place.

 This quick mockup was done by a Reddit user. I know which one I certainly prefer.

This post will be updated as more cars are launched.
2017 F1 Cars: My Thoughts As They Launch 2017 F1 Cars: My Thoughts As They Launch Reviewed by Jack Cooper on February 22, 2017 Rating: 5

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