F1 2015 is about to kick off in earnest.
After a two-month ‘off season’, teams are now all set up at Jerez, where on Sunday the first of three official winter tests before Melbourne will begin.
Toro Rosso opened proceedings on Saturday by revealing its new STR10, featuring a long, tongue-like front nose.
But there is just as much intrigue behind the scenes.
Not seen yet is 2014 runner-up Red Bull’s new RB11, whose designers have been scrambling in the last days and hours to get the chassis crash-tested and approved for its Jerez debut.
Internet rumours suggest Adrian Newey’s last 100 per cent creation will begin running in a camouflaged livery, to make life more difficult for rival teams to assess spy photographs.
“It is a camouflage that an Englishman developed during world war two,” Red Bull’s Dr Helmut Marko confirmed to f1-insider.com, “to deceive the German navy.”
Nevertheless, Newey sounded unsure Mercedes’ dominance can be completely reigned-in in 2015.
“I think we should be realistic about our expectations for this year,” said the Briton, who said the team should be hoping for “the odd win”.
Meanwhile, Ferrari newcomer Sebastian Vettel could be about to break with his well-known habit of changing helmet liveries throughout the season.
German correspondent Ralf Bach said the former quadruple world champion’s first Ferrari design will be all-white with a German flag and his number 5.
“I usually change my design quite a lot,” said Vettel, “but this year I want to try more or less to keep the same one.” (GMM)