With the winter test of the 2016 Formula One season in Spain drawing to a close, all cars were revealed at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, although a few will see livery and spec changes in the lead-up to the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park on the 20th of March.
Each team has brought improved cars (or so they hope) to the table, and if testing is anything to go by, the 2016 season promises to be significantly more competitive than 2014 and 2015, which saw proceedings thoroughly dominated by Mercedes.
Both Scuderia Ferrari drivers, champions Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen have seen preliminary success, while 2015 strugglers McLaren-Honda have also shown promise, with former World Champion Fernando Alonso seeing quick times, as have Williams.
Ferrari had a dominant 5-year rein in Formula One, with by then two-time World Champion Michael Schumacher establishing his rein firmly in 1999, with eventual teammate Rubens Barichello helping spur the team to even greater success in that period.
In 2002, which saw 17 races throughout the season, it became evident no other team or driver – Schumacher – would win the championship, with the German finishing every race either as the winner or in second place.
Only at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit did Schumacher have a lower finish – in third, finishing every single race on the podium.
The car itself, piloted by two very strong drivers was so effective that despite three retirements and two DNS races, Barichello himself finished the other races strongly enough that he was second in the world drivers’ championships – 67 points behind teammate Schumacher.
It was aerodynamically superior to every other car on the grid that year, and back in the day of the V10 engines, sat low, and according to drivers and engineers was far easier to handle than its predecessor, the championship-winning F2001. Despite not having been the best engine on the grid – with the BMW-powered Williams more powerful than its Maranello rival, it was easier to handle and far superior on driveability.
The car saw its gearbox replaced by an improved, lightweight version of the one used in its predecessor, the F2001, with the lightweight titanium reducing speeds by upto 15% that year.
This, and a series of other changes, saw the car more aerodynamically efficient than any of its rivals, and that streamlined movement would win them the 2002 and 2003 championships.