Ahead of the first race in Melbourne tomorrow signalling the start of the new season for Formula 1, here are a few facts and tips to help you get involved.
What is the point of Formula 1?
Formula 1 is often referred to as the peak of motorsport with many drivers who compete in track racing aspiring to become formula one drivers. Three-time British champion Lewis Hamilton began his career at the age of 8 kart racing. Drivers in formula one often earn the most money, drive the fastest cars on a track and race for the FIA world championship. Teams such as Mercedes-AMG, Scuderia Ferrari and Red Bull Racing all look each year to be the number one constructor.
What’s changed this year
This year sees lower cars that are wider and designed to go much faster. With these changes comes upset, and although Mercedes have dominated the standings for the past three years since the turbo powered engines were introduced, pre-season testing tells a new story. Lewis Hamilton the returning driver for Mercedes formula 1 has said the Ferraris are the car to beat this year. With drivers, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and previous world champion Kimi Raikkonen the team's lap times were impressive. However, Sebastian isn’t celebrating just yet because Lewis Hamilton has a very quick car and a list of F1 records including most career points, most pole positions at different grand prix and the most consecutive races where he was at least 1 lap in the lead by the chequered flag.
F1 2017 Teams
There are ten teams again in this year’s world championship and each is hoping to win or managing expectations improve on last year's results.
The dominant team for the last few year was Mercedes and they start the season with their new Mercedes W08. In second place last year was the Red Bull racing team, featuring the same lineup they ended last year with, the team’s new car is the Red Bull RB13. Last year's third place went to Ferrar, a team who this year hopes to return back to form with the Ferrari SF70H. Force India was proud to finish high on the table last year in fourth their highest result so far. Their bright pink Force India VJM10 is a car that has already had tongues wagging for its unique livery. The team finishing just behind them was Williams who are looking to step out of the midfield pack and challenge the leaders while retaining their iconic Martini colours with the Williams FW40. While Jenson button isn’t in a driver’s seat for the first time since 2010 he hopes to support the new McLaren MCL32 from the sidelines. The sister team to Red Bull finished in 7th last year. Toro Rosso hopes the STR12 is enough to put them ahead of the pack. Haas intend to use their experienced driving team and the new car to deliver better qualifying times and more consistent point finishes. The team that hopes to put their best foot forward this weekend is Renault. Consistency and reliability after struggling in the 2016 season. Something they hope won’t be an issue in the Renault RS17. Finally, the Sauber team hope to dramatically improve on their last place finish in the constructor's championship with the Sauber C36.
F1 2017 Drivers
Some of the new faces to formula 1 this year include Lance Stroll who is driving for Williams alongside veteran Felipe Massa. While Stoffel Vandoorne who has had only one start previous in F1 replaces Jenson button at McLaren and drives alongside ex-World Champion Fernando Alonso. Changes to the formula one team have come thick and fast from retirements team changes. Most notable is the move from Valtteri Bottas, he fills the seat left empty by retired World Champion Niko Rosberg. The last time the reigning world champion didn’t return to formula one was back in 1994 when Alain Prost retired from his fourth championship victory. Valteri’s move opened the door for rookie F1 driver Lance Stroll, While Mclaren replaces Jenson with Stoffel Vandoorne. Esteban Ocon is the new face in the Force India garage replacing Nico Hulkenberg who made the switch to Renault racing. With the swap, Kevin Magnussen switched teams to drive for rival team Haas. Rounding out the changes is Pascal Wehrlein who signed his contract with Sauber to replace last year’s driver Felipe Nasr.
Get to grips with the Formula 1 Cars of 2017 here
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Images are credited to Miro.