Barcelona 2015 wasn’t quite a classic, but there’s plenty to talk about from the first leg of the European season and these are the highlights we picked out from Spain!

badgerometer-5-1‘Predatory Graphite Grey’

After having basically the same livery since 1997, McLaren finally made a change to their black and grey livery with red accents… by merging the black and grey to form very dark grey, and changing the red lines to sweeping arcs.

It wasn’t the gorgeous, glowing orange, or the white with red chevrons that the entire universe was clamouring for, and the new design did divide most people, but it’s fair to say that the new design looks pretty striking.

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Paint job… check. Performance… ask us again in a bit. Photo: Octane Photographic

The red on the nose looks a bit like a a cartoon pair of eyebrows that you might see on a beast, or maybe Dennis the Menace.

badgerometer-41Upgrades!

You might not have noticed all of them, but there were billions of new car parts on show in Barcelona. One of the more noticeable was Red Bull’s new nose which is much more akin to that of Williams, in that it looks like it’s mounted much further back on the main beam of the wing, with the little protruding nub sticking out over the wing.

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An up-close look of Dany Kvyat’s nose in Spain. Photo: Octane Photographic

Yeah, okay, words like ‘nub’ are not very technical, so check out Craig Scarborough or Matt Somerfield for more technical insight.

The point is, it’s upgrade season, and now that the season is back in Europe, they will be coming pretty much every weekend. That means we could see teams ride and fall as they try out new bits of aero kit, which is a tantalising prospect. It could make Williams, Ferrari and Mercedes closer, or it could separate them further.

Mystery is exciting, isn’t it?

badgerometer-311Kimi Sarkkonen

Something has changed over the winter period within the Ferrari team. It seems that the Iceman has become a lot closer to his engineer, because the two throw banter around during Grands Prix like a pair of chums out on the town.

Here’s his best Monty Burns impression from Spain:

So far this year he’s also asked for McLarens to get out of the way and sworn countless times. Long may his freedom of speech continue!

badgerometer-21Revitalised Rosberg

We dubbed Rosberg as ‘Invisible Britney’ during the race, because the cameras simply didn’t show him. He was miles ahead! Nico finished 17 seconds clear of his team mate Lewis Hamilton, and lapped everyone but his British counterpart, and the Ferrari and Williams cars.

Rosberg was simply unbeatable in Spain. Photo: Octane Photographic
Rosberg was simply unbeatable in Spain. Photo: Octane Photographic

After a slightly quiet first four races (Well, if you can count two 2nds and two 3rds as quiet) it looks like the Rosberg of 2014 is back with unshakable consistency and lightning speed, a return that earned him our Top Dog accolade. A string of five podiums in the first five races is no slouch at all, but he didn’t look like challenging Hamilton until now.

It’s early days in the championship but he’s only 20 points behind, and with Ferrari making gains all the time, we could be in for an absolute treat of a mid-season.

badgerometer-11Lotus kick arse at promotional activities

There’s something about the folks over at Lotus – they just LOVE to have a good time.

Their race might have gone a little better; RoGro rowed his boat gently into eighth (Bonus points to you if you sang that as a nursery rhyme) which brought some handy points in, but Pastor Maldonado’s car self destructed, which meant a mechanic ended up tugging a piece of the rear wing off in the pits.

He eventually retired instead of fitting a new rear wing, as the team are a little bit short on spare parts, due to building this monster:

A special Lotus F1 Team car livery to promote the film Mad Max: Fury Road.<br /> Spanish Grand Prix, Friday 8th May 2015. Barcelona, Spain.
Okay, that gattling gun definitely needs to go through scrutineering again… Photo: []
Over the years Lotus have promoted Daft Punk and The Dark Knight Rises, but this is by far the most noticeable tie-in.

Unfortunately, due to some silly FIA regulations about “Not murdering the opposition”, they couldn’t run the fully-armed chassis in the race, but instead made do with ‘Mad Max’ adorned on the sidepods.

badgerometer-noteMonaco Bash!

Yes, it’s that time again. Badger’s Australian GP Breakfast Bash in London was the perfect way to kick off the season, even if it did mean getting up very early. This time it’s back to ‘proper’ time with the Monaco GP Badger Bash, starting at 11.30am.

More details here.

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