Top five Reasons to Observe the two thousand seventeen Formula one Season
In just under two weeks, ten teams and twenty drivers will face off at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne to kick off the two thousand seventeen Formula one season. With major regulation switches and two thousand sixteen World Champ Nico Rosberg retiring at the end of last year, the off-season and pre-season over winter have been more newsworthy than usual—but will the two thousand seventeen season be the same?
I think so, and this is why.
1 – The cars are going to break records
For 2017, Formula one regulations received some of the fattest switches since the sport’s inception. Specifically, they aimed to make the cars significantly swifter rather than to curb their speed, which had been the trend for the last decade. The wings are fatter, the tires are fatter, and the cars are overall expected to be up to five seconds quicker around a lap than the cars of last year. In fact, the two thousand seventeen cars already effortlessly smashed the pole position record at Barcelona during pre-season testing over the last two week.
Nobody knows fairly yet how the aerodynamic switches will affect overtaking, but the cars will at least be more titillating to see. They’ll also be more physical to drive, which means we may also see fitness play a fatter role in driver spectacle.
Two – Mercedes reign is under threat
Lewis Hamilton won eleven races with Mercedes in two thousand fourteen alone
Since the switch to hybrid V6 engines, watching Formula one has been a bit like having a front row seat to the Mercedes Crushes Everyone showcase. Mercedes won fifty one of the fifty nine Grand Prix that took place inbetween two thousand fourteen and 2016, with Crimson Bull and Ferrari sometimes getting a share of the scraps.
Mercedes is still expected to be a top team in 2017, but Ferrari is looking stronger than it has in a long time—and possibly even stronger than Mercedes. Crimson Bull too is believed to have caught up to the Silver Arrows team, if only because engineer and god-aerodynamicist Adrian Newey, Crimson Bull’s chief designer and the man behind ten championship-winning F1 cars, will surely have spun some of his magic in the RB13.
In other words, the Mercedes team and its drivers are very likely not going to be able to run away with both championships once more, and will actually have to commence sharing wins again.
Three – Arousing fresh driver lineups
Crimson Bull Racing drivers Max Verstappen (left) & Daniel Ricciardo
You’d be hard pressed to name a previous year in Formula one that featured a more stacked lineup of talented individuals. The two thousand seventeen F1 grid features four World Champions, two phenomenal drivers in the Crimson Bull team, several promising fresh rookies, and a handful of amazingly solid midfield drivers. Of the twenty drivers on the grid, I could only name two or three who I believed to be unimpressive. If the cars are close in spectacle, expected some heated battles.
Four – The sweet, sweet drama
Shit-stirrer-in-chief Christian Horner
Formula one wouldn’t be Formula one without the sweet, succulent drama. Even if nothing is happening on the track and Sebastian Vettel isn’t complaining about blue flags or telling Charlie Whiting to f*ck off, there are still in-team fights, regulation loophole exploits, and political machinations to look forward to. Plus you can always count on sh*t-stirrer-in-chief Christian Horner to whip up some drama if the weekend has been particularly uneventful—or for Niki Lauda to attempt stealing that title from Christian.
Five – Bernie Ecclestone is out
Flavio Briatore (left) & Bernie Ecclestone
Bernie Ecclestone, once known as the lord of all things Formula 1, has ultimately been shoved off of his throne by fresh F1 possessor Liberty Media. Bernie did a lot of good for F1 in its—and his—younger days, but in latest years he was more of a troublemaker and hindrance to progress than anything else. With Liberty Media ending his reign and taking the reins, we’ve already seen enhanced presence from Formula 1’s social media channels. Kicking off in 2017, I think fans can begin to expect enlargened accessibility to the sport in general, which can only be a good thing for a sport that has until now notoriously refused to advance in the digital age.
- Kurt Verlin Editor
Kurt Verlin was born in France and lives in the United States. Via his life he was always told French was the language of romance, but it was English he fell in love with. He likes cats, music, cars, thirty Rock, Formula 1, and pretending to be a race car driver in simulators; but most of all, he just likes to write about it all. See more articles by Kurt.