The Formula 1 drivers and cars of the 2010 season, Bahrain, 2010

No agreement over plan for group photoshoot at first test

2020 F1 season

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A plan to photograph all 10 new Formula 1 cars together ahead of the start of testing next month was scrapped due to logistical concerns.

[smr2020test]The proposal was discussed at a meeting of the Promoters’ Working Group last week, RaceFans can reveal.

Formula 1’s commercial rights holder Liberty Media wanted to assemble all 10 cars to be photographed together at the Circuit de Catalunya before testing began on February 19th. However teams rejected the idea as they feared it would mean they were unable to begin running at the start of testing.

Engineers raised concerns that having their cars in a suitable state for photography so soon before the start of the test would delay the fitting of necessary equipment such as sensors and aerodynamic rakes. Pre-season testing has been cut from eight days to six for the 2020 F1 season, making track time even more valuable.

Only three teams – Ferrari, McLaren and Mercedes – have so far indicated they will present their new 2020 F1 cars before the first day of testing. Haas will join Alfa Romeo in uncovering their new car for the first time that morning, as RaceFans revealed last week.

Teams may also have been motivated to scupper the plan by a desire to delay rival teams and photographers from being able to examine their cars up close. However a new ban on the use of screens in garages during tests, which has come into force this year, will make it harder for them to keep their innovations under wraps.

The sport’s owners have long wished to co-ordinate the teams’ disparate pre-season launch activities. However efforts to combine their presentations into a single launch day have so far proved unsuccessful. F1 did hold a special event marking the beginning of the season in Melbourne last year, after testing.

When the 60th anniversary championship began in Bahrain 10 years ago, all 12 teams were persuaded to assemble for a group photograph at the opening race of the season (pictured). This year will be the 70th running of the world championship.

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Author information

Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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30 comments on “No agreement over plan for group photoshoot at first test”

  1. That’s a shame, the photo from 10 years ago was iconic for the sport. That said, it would be better if there was only one camera for the drivers to look at, and for them all to be looking at the camera at the same time!

    1. “Iconic” – as in “nobody has seen it, or they had but can’t even remember, but still everyone believes it is iconic”?

    2. I wish Keith would update the links to the following article too. The photo links. seem broken.

  2. It’s a nice idea but I can see why the smaller teams especially wouldn’t want their own reveals overshadowed on the first day, and that’s assuming they’re even ready.

    I expect liberty are working harder on a big reveal for 2021 with the new look cars but then I can see the big teams wanting to do their own events again so I can’t see them getting the reveals.

  3. Umm… how about at the end of the first test/overall testing, then?

    Williams seems like they’ll arrive at the tests in a timely manner, surely that’s worthy of a photo-op?

    1. Below the belt.

      I expect better from you @phylyp! =P

      1. @gongtong – low-hanging fruit, that’s all I can manage on a Monday :)

  4. There’s the special livery issue, as some do not display their final version. Also, very good opportunity to standing still spy photos, as the setup of photoshoot like that takes a lot of time.

    But I don’t see why they can’t do it at Melbourne friday morning. Although the timing is not right for publicity, it could be used in future materials, specially after the rivalry strikes bad. Remember Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet sitting on the pit wall and holding each other? That was 1985 I think. A shot like that would never have happened in 1989…

  5. Either a photo shoot on the last day of testing or on the Thursday of the first Grand Prix would make most sense to me.

  6. Oh for **** sake, how pathetic is F1 today.

  7. Make it mandatory then.

  8. Stupid idea.

    And ban on screens? Similarly stupid. What’s next see-through toilets, so everyone knows who is pooping?

    1. @dallein bit of a leap there mate.

      I’m all for anything which helps close the field.

      1. @justrhysism

        I’m all for anything which helps close the field.

        This is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport & not some equalised spec series.

        If every team can easily see/copy what others are doing to ‘close the field’ then whats the point in teams every bothering to innovate anything to find an advantage which is supposed to be what F1 is about.

        I remember when Lotus turned up with ground effects & it took other teams months to figure out what they were doing because there was none of this equalisation push to close the field & let everyone know exactly what everyone else is doing.

        We are losing the essence of the sport with all this recent push for everything to be equal with no gaps between cars & everyone having a shot because you can’t have winner & losers in modern times.

        Teams should be allowed to innovate & hide there ideas & others should have to work to figure things out rather than just be given access to everything.

        It’s no wonder the sport is in decline, it isn’t a sport anymore & from 2021 won’t even be the pinnacle anymore because its had to be dumbed down for the modern low attention span span who doesn’t understand or appreciate what the real f1 is meant to be. F1 would never have made it into the 1960’s with modern fans.

        1. @roger-ayles so you think teams seeing what other teams are doing during practice is going to turn it into a spec series?

          The cars are still developed in isolation completely independent—any ideas they see at practice will still take months to integrate.

          Y’all making a much bigger deal about this than it needs to be—and that is more of a reason for the decline of the sport. Fickle, pathetic fans who complain about every little change and look back fondly with rose-tinted glasses.

          You don’t have to watch the race. Welcome to spend your time watching old races on YouTube.

          1. This won’t be cotd, but it should be. Nailed it.

      2. @justrhysism

        I’m all for anything which helps close the field.

        Less rule changes for a start, 2020 should be a stellar yr for F1 given the progress of RB and McLaren in 2019. Also Racing Point (Pe’rez) could definitely be a fly in the ointment for the front runners.
        You can bet your house that Merc, Ferrari, RB, Renault are well into developing their 2021 cars, because they have the money and resources to do so. While the rest of the field are still working on 2020. So we will be looking at another few yrs of domination by the usual suspects.

        1. @johnrkh yeah I agree, but the current rules were rushed and not thought through. I like the direction of 2021, but not enforcing the budget cap before the introduction was a balls-up.

  9. Do you think anyone would have believed you if you said to the drivers and teams when they lined up for that photo that:

    a) Michael Schumacher would only be on the podium once during in his return to F1;
    b) Fernando Alonso would not win another world championship;
    c) Vettel, Rosberg and Hamilton would win all the world championships in that decade between them;
    d) Robert Kubica would only complete 2 F1 seasons in that decade;
    e) hot new talent Nico Hulkenberg would never score an F1 podium;
    f) that Ferrari would not win a single championship in that decade; and
    g) that none of the new teams would survive the decade.

    Realistically, the only one they would agree was plausible was (g). Funny old sport really.

    1. @geemac – very nice… that’s my CotD nominee :)

    2. @geemac My COTD-nominee for tomorrow’s round-up as well.

    3. and raikonnen only won 3 more races… and massa none. if I counted correct

      1. Correct and correct.

        Raikkonen isn’t present in that photo of course, so the fact he won any further races would probably have been a surprise to some.

  10. ”This year will be the 70th running of the world championship.”
    – The last season was the 70th championship-season actually, but yes, the 70th anniversary will take place this year.

  11. However a new ban on the use of screens in garages during tests, which has come into force this year, will make it harder for them to keep their innovations under wraps.

    I have visions of Ferrari mechanics wearing wingsuits.

  12. just do it after the testing or before the race in Australia…?

  13. Why can’t the teams just make a mock-up car? A homogenized version of the season’s racer that can pass photographic muster should work nicely.
    It would also give the teams a nice PR tool at the ready throughout the season. Just make it look “real enough”.

  14. logistical concerns = Williams wont have a car ready

  15. The cars will look different at the first race anyway. Why not take the picture there?

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