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Ferrari set to launch 2017 Formula 1 car on February 24

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Ferrari is set to launch its new car ahead of the 2017 Formula 1 season on February 24, as revealed by marque president Sergio Marchionne.

Marchionne confirmed at his annual pre-Christmas media lunch that the 2017 car would get its first run at Fiorano, Ferrari’s test track in Italy, on February 24 for a filming day, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The first pre-season test is set to take place on February 27 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain, with all 11 teams set to make an appearance.

Teams will enjoy eight days of collective running in Barcelona (February 27 – March 2, March 7-10) before the start of the new season in Australia on March 26.

Ferrari finished the 2016 season third in the constructors’ championship with the SF16-H car, going without victory for the second time in three years.

“In 2016 we were made a fool of by saying that we had caught Mercedes,” Marchionne said.

“Then, after the strategic error at the first race in Australia, we went on a declining trend. The real problem was that we had not improved. Red Bull did instead.

“Now we wait for 2017. I am sure the results will come, otherwise I will answer you and you can criticize me.”

Hamilton, Red Bull teammates both go to NASA before USGP

Photo: Red Bull Content Pool
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One of the more intriguing United States Grand Prix adventures occurred on Wednesday, as both Lewis Hamilton and the pair of Red Bull Racing teammates, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, all went to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – in separate sessions – before heading onto Austin.

Hamilton posted on his Instagram story on Wednesday that he’d “quit his day job in a second” to work at NASA and become an astronaut, and the unbridled enthusiasm spoke to the three-time Formula 1 World Champion’s love of different life aspects entirely outside of racing.

“(I) had an incredible day yesterday, having a bit of a comedown today,” Hamilton said today at the FIA Press Conference. “I was just buzzed all day yesterday because it’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. It’s always something I’ve been fascinated about, space and space travel particularly.

“So to actually go there… and I had a million questions. I’m sure the guy got fed up with me. I asked a lot of questions and I got to see a lot of great things, some of the new technology they are working on and yeah, I want to go back.”

The Mercedes AMG Petronas team posted a gallery of Hamilton’s adventure on its website, linked here, and a few samples are below.

As for the Red Bull pair, the young duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen were equally awestruck by the experience.

“There really are a lot of similarities between this and F1, just the technology alone,” Ricciardo said. “I had a guest come to a race last year, when they got into the garage they were like: ‘this is like a space station’. We went to mission control here and it’s really like what we have in the Ops Room in Milton Keynes. Even the safety technology is similar. The astronauts go through the same measurements, a similar kind of HANS device etc. It’s really cool.”

Verstappen added, “There are quite a lot of comparisons, if you really want to talk about it we could go on for an hour! The control center looks pretty similar to ours. We share a lot of the same technology. It was really interesting for us to see that and I bet it would be the same if they could see ours.”

Here’s a link to Red Bull’s gallery and some teaser shots below.