Revving up for change

The 2010 Formula One test season begins today, with Mercedes, Toro Rosso and Williams giving fans their first glimpse of their car designs on the Valencia circuit.

Seven-time World Champion, Michael Schumacher was the first to unveil the Mercedes GP MGPW01 challenger. The design appears to have a number of significant differences from the other two cars, including a shark fin engine cover that doesn’t attach to the rear wing and a more exaggerated drooping nose section.

Toro Rosso and Williams also took the wraps off their cars this morning following the unveiling of the Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and Sauber designs last week. The most notable changes are in the heavier weighting of the fuel tanks with the introduction of a ban on refuelling this season. The KERs- which was introduced to increase overtaking last season- is now gone, while the double diffuser system has made a return following a dispute over its legality.

Another significant unveiling is underway today with political leaders throughout the world submitting their pledges to reduce emissions in the wake of the Copenhagen summit. Gordon Brown said that this marks the ‘first step towards a historic transformation’.  The next will be to bring the Copenhagen accord into a full legal treaty, which global leaders hope to do by the end of this year.

Closer to home, the UK’s efforts to reduce emissions will focus largely on marine energy this week. On Wednesday, the Carbon Trust is expected announce which companies have been successful in securing funding from the £22m Marine Renewables Proving Fund (MRPF).

The group claims the fund could help unlock £2bn of revenues per year by 2050 by accelerating the development of the most promising marine energy technologies through to early-stage commercial generation. However, some critics believe that Britain has already missed the boat on marine power. Tell us what you think using our Online Poll.