Formula 1 (2017) | The Start
Yes I am back with mine Formula 1 Pre- and Reviews. I don't know how long I will continue with them. (As you may know, the last time I gave up on my reports (in 2015) about the series because I was so bored with it/dis-interested). So here's to a new start, after my last Summary back in early 2016. First I will describe the changes and my view on it... PRE-SEASON AND CHANGES | So there are a few new regulations in this new F1 Season. This should make it more interesting. Aerodynamics have changed; barge-boards, front wing, rear wing and bottom plate. The fuel chell may be filled a bit more. The tyres have increased in width and inches (in total), at the front and back. That last change should result in more grip on the track/in corners, together with the aero-changes. Besides that Bernie Ecclestone has retired and the new management has taken over. One person left, four new persons in place amongst them Ross Brawn. 4 instead of 1 I hear you say/think. Well yes, and for now I can only agree. Because it makes more sense. Every one of them has there own specialty. One more change, that most of the fans and reporters were unhappy about is the return of the Shark-fin because of the new aero-rules. But at every team it's a bit different. Some have made a T-Wing on it/beside it, some have left it out.
TEAMS AND DRIVERS | Amongst the drivers there are not that many changes for the 3rd Season in a row. The only suprise after last season was that Rosberg left the Mercedes team. And that Manor F1 is no longer with us. The financial status of the team was very bad appearently. Once again the F1 management/ others have said: we should prevent this from happening again. What they seem to forget is that Sauber was for 3 years in a bad situation. And only recently they have found the big sponsor/partner they were waiting for. And that Force India was also in the same position as Sauber, luckely for them they have a new sponsor since the start of this year between testing and this first race. So the drivers that are still here have more or less stayed at there place. Only some changed teams or went to a different class. The drivers, from 2016, we won't see again (excl. Test-roles, etc.) are: Rosberg, Nasr, Button, Haryanto and Gutiérrez. The driver that left the scene was Massa, but he is back because Bottas was called in by Mercedes to replace Rosberg. So any new faces ? Yes, there is one: Lance Stroll, he is Canadian and 18 years of age. During the 2nd half of his F3 career he won multiple races. During the first week of testing in Spain however he made quite a lot of error's. He was in driver academy of Ferrari before he moved towards the Williams program at the end of 2015. (Vandoorne is not a full rookie, he has replaced Button at McLaren). The drivers that changed teams are: Bottas (Williams > Mercedes), Ocon (Manor > Force India), Magnussen (Renault > Haas), Hulkenberg (Force India > Renault) and Wehrlein (Manor > Sauber). So any big changes in teams then ? Some staff members have changed, mid last year we saw a change at McLaren (Zak Brown), and for this year Lowe changed his Mercedes seat for one at Williams. Besides that some teams changed colors: Force India, McLaren, Toro Rosso, Renault (a bit) and Sauber.
CALENDAR | One more thing to discuss/talk about: in 2015 there were talks that Monza would be replaced by Imola in 2017. But that isn't the case at all, too bad. This year we won't go to Germany. And the race in Baku is no longer called the GP of Europe but the GP of Azerbaijan. Some tracks have changed dates, but nothing major.
MY VIEW | So after seen the tests, and also the first 'Qually' of the Season, my view is the following: Mercedes has still a head-start. Ferrari is close, followed by Red Bull Racing. Suprising acts ? Well Force India and Toro Rosso, Williams (in the shape of Massa) and Haas in the shape of Grosjean. Renault is a bit disapointing. Sauber is on the split-side. They could be a Q2-team, but they are on the 'edge'.
So till so far the first view. Tommorow the review about the 'Qually' and the Race o'course. And hopefully it's more interesting and most of all: not boring.