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May aswell start this one off. Channel 4 will only have 1 live race this season. The British GP. Sky will be showing all races. Rookie drivers for 2019 George Russell - Williams Lando Norris - McLaren Alex Albon - Toro Rosso Antonio Giovinazzi - Alfa Romeo OK, technically Antonio stood in for all of 2 races midway through 2017, but he's still effectively a rookie. Two and a half of the other 3 are Brits, with British-born Albon driving under the flag of Thailand. I have very high hopes for George Russell. He seems to be coming into F1 extremely well prepared. Consecutive GP3 & F2 champion. OK he's coming into a team bottom of the heap, but with Kubica alongside him, they look to have the kind of line-up that could make waves if they're given a half decent car. Hopefully he can do something akin to Leclerc in 2018. Team changes Bye bye Force India, hello Racing Point - and even that's potentially a placeholder for another name change before the start of the season. Bye bye Sauber. Hello Alfa Romeo Racing. The Sauber name gets dropped and the title sponsor takes over Red Bull join their development team by being powered by Honda. All other engine suppliers remain the same. Driver changes Huge changes. 12 in total. Only 2 teams retain their line-up from last year. Mercedes & Haas. 4 teams have 2 new drivers. McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso & Williams. Whereas Ferrari, Red Bull, Renault & Racing Point have 1 new driver each. Mercedes Lewis Hamilton Valtteri Bottas Ferrari Sebastian Vettel Charles Leclerc Red Bull Max Verstappen Pierre Gasly Renault Daniel Ricciardo Nico Hülkenberg Haas Kevin Magnussen Romain Grosjean McLaren Carlos Sainz Jr. Lando Norris Racing Point Sergio Pérez Lance Stroll Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen Antonio Giovinazzi Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat Alexander Albon Williams Robert Kubica George Russell Launch dates Feb 7 Haas (livery only) (post) Feb 11 Williams (livery only) (post) Feb 11 Toro Rosso (post) Feb 12 Renault (post) Feb 13 Racing Point (post) Feb 13 Mercedes (post) Feb 13 Red Bull (post) Feb 14 McLaren (post) Feb 15 Ferrari (post) Feb 18 Alfa Romeo Testing dates Feb 18-21 @ Barcelona Feb 26-Mar 1 @ Barcelona Design changes New aerodynamic changes to the front and rear wings in an attempt to improve overtaking. Front wing endplates are reshaped to alter the airflow, but it's rumoured the teams have already found design solutions to counteract the reduction in downforce. The rear-wing slot will be widened to increase the effectiveness of that wanky DRS system. Smaller bargeboards and limited rear wing end plane development. Fuel limits to be raised by 5kg to reduce requirement to fuel save. Driver weight is no longer part of the weight of the car, so as not to disadvantage larger drivers. Drivers must now weigh 80kg and anything less will get ballast added to the car around the driver cell. Tyre changes Simplification of the 3 designations each weekend. No matter the actual compound, they will be designated soft, medium and hard. These 3 compounds will be chosen from a set of 5 or 6 possibles (to be decided after pre-season testing). Calendar 1 - Australia - Melbourne - 17/03/2019 2 - Bahrain - Sakhir - 31/03/2019 3 - China - Shanghai - 14/04/2019 4 - Azerbaijan - Baku City Circuit - 28/04/2019 5 - Spain - Barcelona - 12/05/2019 6 - Monaco - Monte Carlo - 26/05/2019 7 - Canada - Montreal - 09/06/2019 8 - France - Paul Ricard - 23/06/2019 9 - Austria - Red Bull Ring - 30/06/2019 10 - Great Britain - Silverstone - 14/07/2019 11 - Germany - Hockenheim - 28/07/2019 12 - Hungary - Budapest - 04/08/2019 13 - Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps - 01/09/2019 14 - Italy - Monza - 08/09/2019 15 - Singapore - Marina Bay - 22/09/2019 16 - Russia - Sochi - 29/09/2019 17 - Japan - Suzuka - 13/10/2019 18 - Mexico - Mexico City - 27/10/2019 19 - USA - Austin - 03/11/2019 20 - Brazil - Interlagos - 17/11/2019 21 - Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina - 01/12/2019
With the new season just over a month away (25/03) I figure it's high time we take a look at what's changed from last year to this. We'll start with the hilarious news that Liberty Media, in their attempts to be all modern and progressive, have fired over 400 women and brought in grid kids instead. This clear step forward for womens' rights - which I mistakenly thought meant they had the right to work wherever and wear whatever they wanted - means that F1 will be using children now, who you would presume are too young to be paid (cha-ching!). Some of the countries F1 visits positively encourage child labour, but I'd have thought on balance this is a case of meaning well but shooting one's self in the foot. One common sense change that has been made is around the starting time of the races. European races have been brought back 1hr and all races have been brought back by a further ten minutes. So now your 1pm BST start is a 2:10pm BST start. The hour is to make the majority of European races more appealing across the various timezones, and the extra 10 minutes is because most TV networks start their programming on the hour, so now they'll at least get 10 minutes of build-up and grid walking instead of literally tuning in for the warm-up lap. The one significant visual change to each car is the new Halo. This controversial addition to the cockpit is designed to protect the driver's head from the majority of what might come their way over the course of a race. One vertical bar directly in front of the driver supporting a ring that encompasses the cockpit. On the team front we have McLaren leaving the Honda engine and teaming up with Renault. It'll be interesting to see just how far up the grid this engine change can bring Fernando & Stoffel. I suspect a lot. Toro Rosso in turn have left Renault and gone the other way. While this looks like a bit of a disaster for them, Honda won't be terrible forever, and as the development team on the grid this makes sense to me. It's a free hit for both. Finally, a smaller but no less significant change, with Sauber extending a deal with Ferrari resulting in them getting the current spec engine instead of a year old one. Hopefully this brings another back marker into contention for points. Driver-wise, as part of the STR/Honda/Renault deal, Red Bull have agreed to loan Carlos Sainz Jr. to Renault, giving them a very strong looking line-up. Williams have hired Russian rookie, Sergey Sorotkin to partner Lance Stroll. How quick the Russian will be remains to be seen. The interesting one is the other rookie. 20 year old Monégasque racer, Charles Leclerc who has joined Sauber. He is the 2017 F2 Champion, the 2016 GP3 Champion, the 2015 Macau runner up & 4th in his F3 Euro debut, and 2014 Formula Renault 2.0 Runner up in his debut year as a 16 year old and he's been Ferrari's test driver this past 2 years. There are high hopes on him. I suspect Sauber's new improved engine deal is linked to Ferrari's desire to see exactly what Charlie is capable of in a competitive motor. Regarding the calendar, the Paul Ricard circuit is back for the French GP. Germany is also back with Hockenheim, and Malaysia is gone. Full calendar I'll be back later with the sporting and technical changes, but suffice to say there's nothing majorly different from a spectacle POV on the regulations front. Or you can read them for yourself here at wiki.
It's about time we started this season's F1 thread It's taken a while but here's my take on the details and changes from last season to this. Pre-season Testing dates 28/01-31/01 - Jerez 19/02-22/02 - Bahrain 27/02-02/03 - Bahrain Launch dates TBC - Marussia 22/01 - Force India VJM07 first look 23/01 - Williams FW36 first look 24/01 - McLaren MP4-29, Lotus E22 first look 25/01 - Ferrari F14 T 26/01 - Sauber C33 (online launch) 27/01 - Toro Rosso STR9 28/01 - Mercedes F1 W05, Caterham, Red Bull RB10 Team changes. 1. Cosworth have dropped out of F1 meaning Marussia are now powered by Ferrari. 2. Toro Rosso have joined parent company Red Bull by being supplied by Renault 3. Meanwhile Williams have moved away from Renault and have joined up with Mercedes. Driver changes 1. Kimi Raikkonen is the highest profile mover of the winter as he moves from Lotus to Ferrari. 2. Felipe Massa has made way at Ferrari and moved to Williams to partner Valtteri Bottas. 3. Pastor Maldonado left that Williams seat to take Raikkonen's empty seat at Lotus. 4. Mark Webber has left Formula One and his seat at Red Bull has been taken up by Toro Rosso driver and fellow-Aussie Daniel Ricciardo. 5. Ricciardo's seat at Toro Rosso has been given to the highly-rated Russian and 2013 GP3 champion Daniil Kvyat. 6. McLaren have dropped Sergio Perez in favour of Kevin Magnussen, son of former F1 racer Jan Magnussen. 7. Perez is part of a new-for-2014 line-up at Force India that includes prodigal son Nico Hulkenberg who moves there from Sauber. 8. Sauber have taken Adrian Sutil from Force India and stuck by Esteban Gutierrez who needs to up his game. 9. Paul di Resta rather disappointingly misses out on a drive in 2014. 10. Caterham bring back popular Japanese racer, Kamui Kobayashi and partner him with rookie Marcus Eriksson, Sweden's first F1 pilot since Stefan Johanssen in 1991. Sporting changes taken from wikipedia. 1. There is a limited return to mid-season testing. 2. The 'penalty points' system for drivers will be upgraded and 12pts gets you a ban 3. Unsafe pit releases now get a grid penalty for the next race. 4. Drivers can only use 5 engines per season (down from 8). The engine also includes turbo, ERS & KERS all of which can only have 5 per season. There are various penalties for going beyond that number. 5. The FIA have granted themselves the power to change tyre regulations immediately if the need arises (after 2013's disasters) 6. Pit lane speed limit down from 100kmh to 80kmh 7. First free practice extended by 30 minutes in a bid to encourage teams to use rookie drivers. It will include an extra set of tyres that can only be used in first 30 mins of that session. 8. Drivers will be assigned a number that will follow them for the rest of their careers using a system similar to that in MotoGP. #1 is there for the champion IF he chooses to use it. There are other stipulations around the visibility of the number on the car and around qualification places where number used to dictate place. 9. There's a new 'pole trophy' for the driver who gets the most pole positions. 10. The final race of the season will offer double championship points. This is the most revolutionary change from one season to the next that I can remember in F1. (Summarised) Technical changes taken from wikipedia 1. Engines are now 1.6 litre V6 turbo 2. KERS is now ERS-K, it is integrated into the engine and is more powerful. It's place as a supplimentary system has been taken over by ERS which will capture waste heat from the turbo exhaust. Both systems together will give an extra 161bhp for 33 seconds per lap (!) compared to the KERS which used to give 80bhp for 6 seconds. 3. Teams will be permitted to use electronic braking systems to brake the rear wheels. This is because the power from the ERS-K makes it much more difficult to regulate brake bias. 4. For safety, car noses are lower. Down from 550mm in 2012 to 185mm in 2014. Stepped noses have been outlawed requiring a genuine design rather than a workaround. 5. Fuel flow will be restricted above 10,500rpm in order to promote fuel efficiency. 6. Exhausts will angle upwards towards the wing in order to make exhaust-blown diffusers extremely difficult to achieve. 7. Minimum weight increases from 642kg to 690kg. 8. False camera mountings are now banned. This closes a loophole around benefitting from extra aerodynamic pieces masquerading as cameras. Calendar Red Bull have brought the Austrian GP back to F1 after a 10 year absence. Bahrain will join Abu Dhabi as a twilight race. India miss out but they'll be back for 2015. Korea, Mexico & GP of America miss out after being in the provisional calendar. Russia is new to the calendar. It's the first Russian GP in a century and the first F1 race in the country. The US GP was moved to accommodate a University of Texas American Football game. 1 Australia - Melbourne - 16/3/14 2 Malaysia - Sepang - 30/3/14 3 Bahrain - Sakhir - 6/4/14 4 China - Shanghai - 20/4/14 5 Spain - Barcelona - 11/5/14 6 Monaco - Monte Carlo - 25/5/14 7 Canada - Montreal - 8/6/14 8 Austria - Red Bull Ring - 22/6/14 9 Great Britain - Silverstone - 6/7/14 10 Germany - Hockenheim - 20/7/14 11 Hungary - Budapest - 27/7/14 12 Belgium - Spa-Francorchamps - 24/8/14 13 Italy - Monza - 7/9/14 14 Singapore - Singapore - 21/9/14 15 Japan - Suzuka - 5/10/14 16 Russia - Sochi - 12/10/14 17 USA - Austin - 2/11/14 18 Brazil - Interlagos - 9/11/14 19 Abu Dhabi - Yas Marina - 23/11/14 So there you have it. That's what we're in store for in 2014. I usually take note of all pre-season testing and do a rudimentary 'analysis' of it that creates a pretend-WCC at the end. 'They' say you shouldn't take too much notice of pre-season testing and yet according to my table last season, the final WCC was fairly representative of what went on in January & February, so maybe I'll take a little more notice this year. For informational purposes here is the order the WCC finished last season with my pre-season ranking alongside it. Only Ferrari (predictably) were really sandbagging in the end. WCC - TEAM - Pre-season 1. Red Bull 2 2. Mercedes 1 3. Ferrari 6 4. Lotus 3 5. McLaren 4 6. Force India 5 7. Sauber 7 8. Toro Rosso 8 9. Williams 9 10. Marussia 10 11. Caterham 11