With the Formula One season set to kick off in less than three weeks’ time, racing fans are already discussing the merits of drivers and teams ahead of the new campaign.
Lewis Hamilton stole the show after overtaking Sebastian Vettel last term to go on and secure his 4th world title and now the two are likely to go head to head once more as they both go in search of their 5th championship. It should certainly be another gripping season of F1 that’s for sure.
Testing has taken place ahead of the new campaign but the weather had an adverse effect on proceedings and most fans will know that testing doesn’t really provide any solid evidence on just who is going to impress over the months to come. However, Hamilton and Vettel did finish with the fastest times of the week and it is these two drivers most people are expecting to battle it out for the title once again.
Taking a closer look at the testing results does certainly give an indication of who is likely to be the top teams this term. The best constructors last season were Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull and after they all managed to be the best on a single day last week shows that they’re likely to be the stand out teams once again. Mercedes looked to be slightly more impressive than the rest but Red Bull certainly looked like they had gained a bit of ground on Ferrari.
There’s also been a lot of talk pre-season about the Renault engine in the Red Bull. After reliability issues last term, Renault insisted they would step things up in this regard going forward but that performance could become slightly less important. There’s talk that at the beginning of the campaign they will focus heavily on the reliability side of things before turning their attentions to performance but by then could it be too late? It won’t be ideal if they expect to be in a three-way tussle for the title.
Another team looking to make an impact will be McLaren who have switched to Renault engines ahead of the new season after enduring a torrid time being powered by Honda. They’re aiming to fight for podiums once again but they will be direct challengers of both Red Bull and Renault who both use the same engine. You’d expect the former two to have a slight edge but it will certainly be interesting to see how McLaren get on.
The battles away from the top of the table in both drivers and teams are likely to be just as entertaining too. Williams had a good run in testing and are expected to do ok and after while Force India didn’t really impress, you have to bear in mind that they didn’t at this stage last term but they did go on to finish 4th in the championship. Toro Rosso didn’t do too bad with their new Honda engine but you could say that Sauber looks like they’re struggling to keep up with their rivals.