#F1Chat Preview – let the launches begin!

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It’s hard to believe the 2012 season ended nine weeks ago, and that we still have seven weeks to go before the lights go green on the 2013 season in Melbourne. But fear not, this week sees the start of the 2013 car launches ahead of the start of winter testing next week. So here’s what’s coming up on this week’s #F1Chat…

We’ll begin tomorrow’s chat by talking about Lotus’ 2013 challenger, the E21, which launches at 7:15 tomorrow evening. The team will be revealing their new car live on their YouTube channel, so make sure you tune in ahead of #F1Chat to see the E21 so we can talk about it. The team already have a teaser on their channel called ‘When Kimi Raikkonen met Matt LeBlanc…’ which is worth a watch in the meantime!

We’ll also be discussing last week’s launch of the 2013 Pirelli tyres. The official statement on the new tyres is as follows:

The entire range of Formula One tyres undergoes a revolution this year. The P Zero slick tyres and wet Cinturato tyres feature new structures and softer compounds. The objective is to increase thermal degradation and ensure at least two pit stops for every grand prix, increasing overtaking opportunities and so helping to provide an even better show. All of the slick tyres have improved performance and are faster by up to 0.5 seconds per lap. The performance gap between the different compounds is also at least half a second, in order to enhance race strategy and differences in speeds during each race.”

What are your thoughts on the new tyres? What about Pirelli ensuring two pit stops in every race? Do you think this will increase overtaking? Do you think the teams will adapt quickly to the changes to get back to one-stop strategies by the European leg of the season? What about the performance gap between the compounds – do you think this change will enhance race strategy? The hard compound tyre has changed colour – it is now orange. Any thoughts on this change?

Fernando Alonso won’t be at the first test. Instead, Felipe Massa and Pedro de la Rosa will test the new Ferrari while Alonso intensifies his physical training in preparation for the gruelling temperatures of Australia, Malaysia, China and Bahrain. What are your thoughts on this – is it a big deal?

Bernie Ecclestone revealed this week that we could see 20 races on the calendar again this year with the possibility of a Portuguese Grand Prix. Do you think it will happen?

Join us tomorrow at the usual time of 4pm Eastern US, 9pm UK, using the #F1Chat hashtag to answer the questions. As always, we look forward to chatting tomorrow!

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