- The 2023 Formula 1 car launch period made up for itself this week with a series of exciting and learning experiences
- We rank some of the best team launches
The 2023 Formula 1 car launch period made up for itself this week with a series of exciting and learning experiences.
We rank some of the best team launches.
McLaren‘s debut fell short of what we’ve come to anticipate, maybe as a result of the high standards it has established in previous years.
Firstly, the good news. The fact that this is one of the uncommon in-person debuts allows us to view the automobile with our own eyes and interact with people directly, which is fantastic. The launch was professional, featuring a blend of engaging films, on-stage interviews, and the traditional “whip away the sheet” automobile reveal.
Also, there was no shortage of season preview information to compile with the arrival of the new team manager Andrea Stella, CEO of McLaren Racing Zak Brown, and both drivers. All three individuals spoke well when questioned by the media.
Alpine’s launch veered from brilliant to prolonged, but at its core, it checked most of the important boxes in previewing its season, including getting senior officials to talk and set some fun targets and, most importantly, showcasing the car sufficiently to understand what’s new.
In reality, no team this launch season has done a better job of genuinely being honest about its new design than Matt Harman did in his run-through of the modifications.
Because this is more of a partying than a car launch, Alpine will pay a bigger price for its bluster and annoyance.
The term “sleek” is arguably the best one to describe Mercedes‘ presentation (and the appearance of its cars, for that matter). That wasn’t exactly simple, but how many events with F1 cars are? Less can sometimes be more.
The Mercedes product was fantastic because it lacked bluster. Many launches had pointless or dead-end questions, while Mercedes’ were straight to the point (even Alpine’s outstanding part with Matt Harman was guilty of this with what appeared to be a staged prompt concerning the car’s assembly).
2. Aston Martin
The majority of everyone’s launch wish list was fulfilled by Aston Martin. The company unveiled a real 2023 vehicle, and Rachel Brookes served as the host of a well-produced launch program where we heard from the team boss, both drivers, and, most importantly, technical director Dan Fallows.
Most of the people who watched it at home found it to be effective. Comparing it to the somewhat choppy presentations of the previous two seasons, it was noticeably better.
The only drawback was that the car wasn’t driven until two days later, so we missed seeing it in action. Yet that would merely have been a very outstanding launch event’s icing on the cake.
There is no doubt that this launch was not typical. Given the potential pitfalls of early installation laps, it was a bold and excellent decision to pair the unveiling with a real track rollout. Ferrari went above and beyond by inviting the media and fans to participate in it and by broadcasting it to the outside world.
It meant that we had a good look at the new car, heard from the new team manager Fred Vasseur and the drivers, and all felt as though we had learned something very interesting and worthwhile.
Although it must be said that the media offering keeps improving, Ferrari’s recent media offerings have been constrained by the lack of a reliable lead technical figure, such as a technical director who speaks frequently. It was unfortunate that there wasn’t someone there who could better answer questions about the car.
Ferrari did, however, offer brief video interviews with important tech personnel, as it has in the past, and these serve as a helpful complement.
Ferrari performed a fantastic job overall if we are to rate launches on what they provide the many stakeholders – fans, media, and partners.
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