For those who are lovers of high octane action, yesterday saw the return of the 2016 Formula 1 Season with the usual season opener in Australia.
Given the dominance of the Mercedes team in 2014 and 2015 everyone was waiting to see if they would continue with a similar form in 2016. However, whilst Mercedes did in fact win the first race of the season, and with an all too familiar 1-2 finish to boot, it was Rosberg rather than Hamilton who led the pack home on this occasion.
So what can we look forward to this season? Here are my top 3.
Some of the changes to the rules have already made a difference. No driver aids for the start of the race may well have been the reason that Hamilton lost his pole position.
Other highlights include limited pit to car messages, different qualifying rules, a range of tyre changes, and an increase in the total number of races per season. Notably, there are rumours that the teams don’t like the new qualifying rules and have voted unanimously to scrap them. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Over the last couple of seasons the Mercedes Team has been virtually unassailable. This year, however, there is the promise of a resurgent Ferrari. Will this be the year that Mercedes have to fight for every victory? Will the Mercedes 1-2 become a thing of the past? Can hardly wait to find out.
A Hungry Hamilton
Having already won 3 championships, including the last 2 seasons, one might be forgiven for thinking that Hamilton isn’t as hungry as he once was. Wrong. This is a man that really sees himself as a potential successor to Michael Schumacher. So 3 World Championships are never going to be enough for this man.
Expect him to be as hungry as he has been in the last 2 seasons. In addition, he realises that Mercedes’ competitive advantage will last only so long. He wants to make sure that he benefits from this advantage rather than Rosberg, and for as long as it exists. Look out for more fireworks between Hamilton and Rosberg and the rest of the grid this year.
Roll on 2016.