What to watch for in the last month of the pre-season preparation

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Seven Formula One teams have already decleared the date when they launch their 2020 cars while Red Bull, Haas and Williams are yet to confirm when they reveal their brand-new machines to the public.

Ferrari will be the first team to unveil its car to the public. The car launch will take place at the Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre in Reggio Emilia, the city where the Italian tricolore flag was born, and located around 30 kilometres away from Ferrari’s headquarters at Maranello.

Just a day after Ferrari’s car launch, Renault will unveil its car at Paris on February 12 followed by McLaren. The Woking-based squad will show its brand-new machine to the public on the day after at its headquarters.

The re-named Alpha Tauri team will present the 15th F1 car of its history at the energy drink company’s home, Salzburg on 14 February. On the very same day, Mercedes will also reveal its new car which the team will be eager to win their seventh-straight drivers’ and constructors’ championship double with. As has become the norm, the new car will be launched ahead of Barcelona testing at Silverstone as part of a private test on February 14.

Interestingly, Racing Point chose the wonderful location of the Mondsee in Austria for its presentation venue instead of the team’s home, Silverstone. The choice was motivated by the outfit’s main sponsor, the Austrian BWT company.

Alfa Romeo will be among the teams unveiling their cars in the last minute before the pre-season testing kicks off. The outfit will wait until February 19, the first day of pre-season testing, to publicly show off its new C39 car for the first time.

Three outfits – Red Bull, Haas and Williams – are yet to confirm the date when they unveil their 2020 cars.

Significantly reduced on-track time

Winter testing period has shrunk over the past years. While teams used to launch their new cars and commence the on-track work with the brand-new machines in January in the past, the previous seasons saw the launch dates getting much closer to the start of the actual season. On top of the tighter schedule, the number of test days has also been reduced in a bid to lower costs.

For 2020, pre-season testing has been reduced from eight days of running to six, with the two three-day tests due to take place at Spain's Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 19-21 and February 26-28. However, the reduced amount of testing should be less of a problem as the new machines are expected to be the evolutions of their 2019 cars.

Mid-season testing has been wiped out completely for this year for the first time. This was another move to reduce costs. Investing into the 2020 cars in the middle of the season would be unnecessary as very little can be carried over on to the next year’s cars given the extent of the technical changes for the forthcoming season.

2020 team car launches

DateTeamLaunch venue
11 FebruaryFerrariReggio Emilia, Italy
12 FebruaryRenaultParis, France
13 FebruaryMcLarenWoking, UK
14 FebruaryAlpha TauriSalzburg, Austria
14 FebruaryMercedes AMGSilverstone, UK
17 FebruaryRacing PointMondsee, Austria
19 FebruaryAlfa RomeoCircuit de Catalunya, Barcelona