Matt Somerfield

Matt Somerfield

Latest articles by Matt Somerfield


The Red Bull design that avoided a flexi-wing protest

Formula 1 arrived at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix braced for a showdown over the flexi-wing saga but Red Bull's rear wing design for Baku managed to avoid controversy.

What is the Mercedes magic button and what does it do?

Lewis Hamilton threw away a potential Formula 1 victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix by accidentally pressing a "magic" button on his steering wheel. We investigate what that magic brake setting actually does.

The last hurrah of Formula 1's most successful engine

On this day in 1983, a winning era for Formula 1's most successful engine came to an end when Michele Alboreto triumphed for Tyrrell around the streets of Detroit.

The troubled Ferrari that was a game-changer for F1

When it comes to stand out Formula 1 cars, it’s all too easy to think only of machinery that won a bunch of races or went all the way to world championship glory.

F1 braced for flexi-wing showdown in Baku

Formula 1 is set for a fascinating weekend of on-track action and off-track politics in Baku as the FIA ramps up its flexi-wing policing and the threat of a protest remains.

Why Red Bull's teams took opposite approach with 2021 designs

Red Bull's two Formula 1 team have approached 2021 in very different ways, as they have focused their attention at different ends of their cars.

How Honda has turned its engine into a Mercedes beater

For the first time in Formula 1's turbo hybrid era, Red Bull is leading both world championship standings after its success in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Red Bull reveals new F1 diffuser design for Monaco GP

The current focus on Red Bull’s Formula 1 car may be on its rear wing, but the team itself is pushing on with developments elsewhere on its car.

How a mistake helped create a Lotus F1 icon
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How a mistake helped create a Lotus F1 icon

The Lotus 79 is part of an elite group that Giorgio Piola considers to be milestone machines, with each of these cars incorporating designs, solutions or systems that would be widely adopted by their rivals such was their potency.

Why McLaren joined F1 2021's Z-shaped floor trend

McLaren recently became the eighth Formula 1 team to switch to a Z-shaped floor arrangement, with the entire grid searching for ways to recover the performance lost by new regulations.

The car that ended Nigel Mansell’s F1 career

On this day in 1995, Nigel Mansell's Formula 1 career came to an end at the Spanish Grand Prix when he retired from the race, unhappy with the handling of his McLaren.

What Spain’s upgrades told us about F1 2021’s development race

As always last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona was the prime target for several Formula 1 teams to roll out development upgrades, which has given us more insight into the 2021 development race.

The ‘flapping’ phenomenon behind F1’s latest flexi-wing intrigue

Formula 1 is as much an aero contest as it is a fight between drivers, so it’s no surprise that it has become the focus of the latest Red Bull versus Mercedes battleground.

Why F1’s flexi wing tricks are a never ending problem for the FIA
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Why F1’s flexi wing tricks are a never ending problem for the FIA

The FIA’s clampdown on Formula 1 teams exploiting clever ‘bendy’ wings to boost straightline speed is the latest skirmish in a war that has raged for decades.

What is behind McLaren's latest F1 upgrades

McLaren has emerged as the strongest 'best of the rest' team in Formula 1 this year, but it hasn't stopped it pushing on with upgrades.

How F1 car safety changed forever after Imola 1994 tragedies

The 1994 San Marino Grand Prix marked not only one of Formula 1’s darkest weekends, but proved to be a turning point in car safety that would change the sport forever.

The aero revamp that Red Bull has unleashed in Portugal

Red Bull has shown no signs of easing off in its Formula 1 development push, as it brought a raft of upgrades to its RB16B for the fight against Mercedes in Portugal.

How Aston Martin is fighting back from its low-rake deficit

There’s been plenty of talk from Aston Martin this season about how Formula 1’s new 2021 aero regulations have hurt its low-rake car.

The lessons F1 learned from Berger's fiery Imola crash

On this day in 1989, Formula 1 witnessed one of the most terrifying accidents of modern times as Gerhard Berger suffered a high-speed crash at Imola that resulted in his car erupting in flames thanks to the fuel tank rupturing.

How Mercedes has turned the corner on its knife-edge W12
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How Mercedes has turned the corner on its knife-edge W12

Mercedes arrived at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a bruising pre-season Formula 1 test and some warning signs about Red Bull’s potential in the Bahrain race.

Ferrari and Williams join F1's Z-shaped floor gang

Ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, the Formula 1 grid has been split right down the middle in terms of the way they approach the new floor regulations.

Revealed: Alpine's aggressive F1 aero updates for Imola

Alpine has arrived at Imola with yet more parts to test as it looks to recoup the losses that all teams were subjected to by the new aerodynamic regulations for this season.

How Mercedes is trying to claw back its lost downforce

Lewis Hamilton may have taken victory in Formula 1’s season opener, but it is clear his Mercedes team feels it is on the backfoot because of new regulations.

The McLaren that changed Formula 1 history

Today marks the anniversary of the debut of what is perhaps one of the most important cars in Formula 1 history.

Are Z-shaped floors the way to go in F1 2021?

Formula 1 teams appear divided over the best floor solution for the 2021 rules, as a new set of regulations once again results in two opposing design trends appearing.

The fascinating story behind McLaren's most iconic F1 car

The McLaren MP4/4 remains Formula 1's most successful machine, with a 93.8% win ratio that helped Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost storm to victory in 15 out of the 16 races during 1988.

Why F1's 2021 rules hurt low rake Mercedes more

Mercedes' confirmation that it believes its low rake car concept has been hit hardest by Formula 1's 2021 aero rule change has added an interesting dynamic to the title battle.

Aston Martin revamps floor amid low rake rules hit

With growing indications that the low rake cars have come off worst with Formula 1’s 2021 rule changes, it is no surprise to see those hit responding the hardest.

Why McLaren's clever diffuser trick is legal

The clever diffuser solution adopted by McLaren was a big talking point of Formula 1's pre-season testing weekend, but just how and why has it opted to chase this development?

Revealed: The secrets of Red Bull's RB16B F1 car

After weeks of secrecy the design tricks of Red Bull's new RB16B challenger are slowly being revealed during Formula 1 pre-season testing. Take a look at the latest discoveries in the Bahrain paddock.

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the third day of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

Ferrari opts for radical F1 diffuser fin solution

The mounting interest around new floor solutions in Formula 1 has ramped up in Bahrain, with photos of Ferrari revealing a radical diffuser fin solution to help drive performance gains.

Revealed: McLaren’s clever trick to get around diffuser limits

Formula 1’s new aero rules aimed to cut downforce have been a big challenge for teams this winter as they have thrown everything at trying to recover the losses.

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

What’s behind Alpine's jumbo airbox

Alpine caused a stir on the opening day of Formula 1 testing when it emerged with a rather exaggerated mega airbox and engine cover.

Mercedes trick floor revealed as Bahrain F1 testing starts

Mercedes has revealed the trick floor that it wanted to stay hidden from other teams before the start of Formula 1 testing.

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Motorsport Images.

Aston Martin tweaks floor for Bahrain F1 testing

Aston Martin F1 has rolled out its 2021 challenger with a tweaked floor on the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

What Ferrari did and didn’t tell us about its new SF21 F1 car

Ferrari was the final team to unveil its 2021 Formula 1 challenger ahead of pre-season testing and opted to conceal some of the more delicate details of its new car.

How Aston Martin has moved on from Mercedes clone controversy

One of last year’s biggest Formula 1 talking points was the similarities of Racing Point’s RP20 and the Mercedes W10. With another year under its belt, the Aston Martin rebrand and a green paint job, has anything really changed?

Why the new Aston Martin is more than just a green Mercedes
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Why the new Aston Martin is more than just a green Mercedes

This week's launch of Aston Martin’s new Formula 1 car was one of the most hyped events of the pre-season so far, as fans were intrigued by how the new-look AMR21 would be painted.

The details that make Williams' new car worth a second look

The new Williams FW43B is clearly an evolution of last year's Formula 1 car, with most of the design shown in the renders being carried over from its predecessor, but there are some details worthy of our attention.

The tweaks hidden inside Alpine's new A521 F1 car

Alpine got off to a stuttering start with its virtual launch of the A521 earlier this week, but let’s investigate if the car has what it takes to fast-forward the rebranded team up the grand prix grid.

What Mercedes did and didn't tell us about its new W12 F1 car

Mercedes has dominated the Formula 1 landscape for the last seven years, producing one monster of a machine after another, which makes the W12 the most important car in the busy launch cycle as it’s the benchmark for others to measure themselves by.

How Mercedes created the fastest-ever Formula 1 car
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How Mercedes created the fastest-ever Formula 1 car

New aero rules introduced to cut down on downforce ahead of 2022's new-concept cars mean that Formula 1's 2020 machines will probably go down as the fastest ever.

The AlphaTauri tweaks the team tried to hide

Formula 1 car launches have long been shrouded in secrecy, with each team looking for new and inventive ways to deceive their rivals ahead of the actual car appearing at the first test.

Serrated mirror mounts could be Mercedes' latest F1 marginal gain

The run of success that Mercedes has enjoyed in Formula 1 has been built on the foundations of marginal gains in all areas.

How Red Bull's 2021 F1 car is more than just new stickers
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How Red Bull's 2021 F1 car is more than just new stickers

At first glance Red Bull's new 2021 Formula 1 car looks very similar to last year's machine, but closer inspection reveals there's more to the Red Bull RB16B than meets the eye.

What Alfa Romeo's token spend says about its 2021 mindset

Alfa Romeo continued the theme of Formula 1 cars being more evolution than revolution this year when it unveiled its updated C41 in Poland on Monday.

What AlphaTauri did (and didn’t) reveal in new F1 car images
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What AlphaTauri did (and didn’t) reveal in new F1 car images

AlphaTauri became the second Formula 1 team to release images of its new car for the 2021 world championship – and tried to keep some of the more interesting design aspects hidden for now.

The McLaren secrets revealed at its F1 shakedown

McLaren was the first team to pull the covers off its 2021 Formula 1 car when it presented the MCL35M for the first time earlier this week.

First look: How the 2021 McLaren-Mercedes compares with MCL35
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First look: How the 2021 McLaren-Mercedes compares with MCL35

McLaren’s MCL35M became the first 2021 Formula 1 car to hit the track on Tuesday when Lando Norris began a filming day at a wet Silverstone.

How Ferrari’s F1 fire-up video revealed clues to key design changes
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How Ferrari’s F1 fire-up video revealed clues to key design changes

Ferrari will unveil its latest challenger, the SF21, on the March 10 – just two days before pre-season testing gets underway in Bahrain.

The clues Aston Martin has given about Vettel's new car

Aston Martin looks set to have a revised chassis at its disposal for 2021, with the Formula 1 team suggesting it has spent its allotted development tokens on redesigning this area of the car to help unlock more performance.

How Mercedes tamed its "diva" Formula 1 car

After a dominant start to the turbo hybrid era, with Mercedes getting ever stronger, it was inevitable that at some point it would hit its first bump in the road.

The car that set the tone for Mercedes' F1 dominance

Mercedes’ dominance in Formula 1 has shown no signs of slowing down, judging by how well its W11 did last year on its way to capturing the team a seventh consecutive title double.

Why F1's 2021 floor changes could alter the pecking order

While Formula 1's 2021 cars will feature a lot of carry over from last year, the changes that are being made have huge potential to mix things up.

What Ferrari's new rake tells us about its 2021 F1 car

A handful of Formula 1 teams have already been openly testing 2021 parts, but in Abu Dhabi there was special interest in how Ferrari was evaluating the changes.

Why indecision dogged teams in attacking the Sakhir GP

The Sakhir Grand Prix was not the first time that Formula 1 teams have experienced back-to-back races at the same venue, but it was the first time that they had run on a different track layout.

F1 tech: The 2021 parts teams are already testing

Renault became the latest team to sample the effects that rule changes will have on 2021 Formula 1 cars when it tested an experimental floor in Bahrain alongside new tyres.