The wait is over. Formula 1 is back for a new season this weekend as we return to Albert Park in Melbourne for the start of the 2017 Formula One World Championship. To kickoff the season and TeamVVV coverage of F1 this year, we have produced a podcast discussing all the key points from the closed season and a team-by-team preview.
More than ever, there is a real sense of intrigue, as not only do we have new technical regulations in 2017 but we also see a new figurehead behind the scenes of F1 with Bernie Ecclestone moving aside and Chase Carey of Liberty Media taking the commercial reigns of the sport.
Nico Rosberg set big headlines at the end of 2016 – not just because he won the title but more from his surprise decision to retire from motor racing. Valtteri Bottas from the Williams team took the prime seat at Mercedes and moves into contention as a potential driver to take the title this year. Lewis Hamilton goes into the season as favourite to take his 4th title but there is a growing force from Ferrari that they will be on-form this year – Seb Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen looking imperious during testing this month.
Red Bull won’t be too far behind and with the Renault engine continually improving, the Adrian Newey designed chassis will always be a threat when the opportunity arises. Beyond the top three teams there will be a fascinating battle and be the best of the rest and it was the Force India in 2016 finishing in fourth place – overcoming the mighty Williams.
Eyes will be looking at McLaren though, and from testing it looks like it will be a third year of ignominy with Honda simply not delivering and with McLaren already trying to ruffle feathers with an approach to Mercedes for an engine supply made public, it could be a fiery year for the Woking based team.
The rest of the grid will hold interesting stories with Haas entering a second year – usually seen as a harder year than the first. Toro Rosso with arguably the best livery on the grid but not looking so quick in testing – Sainz needs to perform to attract a big team move for 2018 and Kvyat just needs to prove that he deserves to be in F1.
Renault has signed their big name leading driver in Nico Hulkenburg and with Jolyon Palmer staying on for a second season it will be interesting to see the Renault works team try to move up the grid. Finally, Sauber makes it 25 years in the sport this year but also enter their anniversary year as the team most would expect to finish in last place – they have investment but on-track performance is needed to maintain their new-found security.
We are looking forward to what we hope will be an enthralling year of F1. Team VVV will be providing coverage throughout the season across our social feeds with more podcasts and fan interaction on the channel, and you can check out our first Podcast below.