There are seven billion people in the world. 22 of those are Formula One drivers who wait on five red lights to go out in 21 races to battle it out to be crowned the World Champion. Formula 1 is back.
Mercedes come into the new season as reigning World Constructors’ Champion. The teams dominance was clear to see last season and the question all F1 fans are asking is can anybody stop the Mercs? The team have kept the pair of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with the team mates rivalry set to increase. Hamilton won his third World Championship last year beating his teammate by 59 points. Undoubtedly favourites to retain their Constructors title and it is hard to look past the Drivers’ Championship going to one of the Mercedes drivers.
Ferrari will look to improve on the advances made last season as they bid to win their first Constructors title since 2008. The Italians are expected to be Mercedes biggest test this season and with the experience of four time Drivers’ World Champion Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel Ferrari could very well put Mercedes under pressure. Vettel will have the same teammate as last season in the Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen who was the last man to win the Drivers World Championship in a Ferrari back in 2007. Expect to see the Prancing Horse on the podium multiple times this year but on what step?
Williams finished third overall last season and will look to continue their battle with Ferrari for a place on the podium. Impressive drives from both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas have seen the men retain their seats for the coming season. Expect the William to be challenging along with Ferrari this season and don’t be surprised to see them putting Mercedes to the test.
Last season was very difficult for a once dominant Red Bull team. The Austrian team never really featured in the title race and finished behind Williams in the Constructs Title. Nevertheless Red Bull are back and looking to compete once again. No change to their drivers as they stick with Daniel Ricciadro and Daniil Kyvat. Expect Red Bull to be more competitive this season but podiums will be at a premium.
Force India will once again look to rub shoulders with the big boys this season. If Sergio Perez can replicate the third placed finish he achieved in Russia it will be a great season for Force India. They have plenty of talent in the two drivers their retained with Nico Hulkenburg driving alongside Perez. A mid table finish is expected for this team.
Renault make their return to Formula 1 this season and will look to settle in this season. It is unlikely Renault will challenge this season and will likely be seen at the back of the grid. Their two drivers include former McLaren Kevin Magnussen and rookie Jolyon Palmer.
Torro Rosso will look to improve this season on last season’s 67 points. Powered by a Ferrari engine expect to see the Toro Rosso doing well this season. No change to their driver lineup as they stay with teenage sensation Max Verstappen and Spaniard Carlos Sainz.
Sauber will be determined to improve on last season’s 36 points. Sauber will be challenging to get in the points this season but they face tough competition. They stick with last seasons pairing of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.
Last season was very unusual for McLaren as they spent the majority of it at the back of the grid. An uncompetitive and problematic Honda engine saw World Champions Feranado Alonso and Jenson Button suffer multiple retirements and lowly placed finishes. The two veterans have stayed with the team and will hope this seasons car will allow them compete for at least a mid table finish.
The dark horse of this season has to be Manor. Powered by a Mercedes engine Manor could easily finish mid table. However a lot will depend on how rookies Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto perform. Watch this space…
Haas are the first new team to enter Formula 1 since 2010. The American team however is not expected to challenge in any way and will most likely be a back marker along with Renault. Should Haas produce a shock they have experience in their two drivers. Romain Grosjean pulled off an incredible third placed finish in Belgium last season for Lotus while Esteban Gutierrez drove for Sauber in recent seasons.
Formula 1 is most certainly back and be sure to visit this site for full qualifying results, race reports and the latest news as it brakes.