We all know that in Formula One, what happens off the track can have a massive bearing on it and that certainly looks set to be the case as we look ahead to the 2017 season.
Factors away from race day could have a huge influence, and that makes things all the more interesting as we gear up for the first showpiece of the year – the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne.
Ringing the changes
Reports suggest that the regulation changes coming in this season are the most significant in the history of the sport. Without getting too technical, we have reached the end of the years known as the V6 hybrid era. Now we will see cars with wider front wings and bigger tyres. What does all this mean? More speed and more exciting racing which is intended to provide an even better spectacle for the fans.
Sky’s Martin Brundle believes that the veteran drivers could benefit from this – so will this be a year for the Ferrari duo of Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel to shine, or could Fernando Alonso at McLaren get a look in?
Who can match Mercedes?
Mercedes are firmly placed at the summit of the sport, having taken the last three Drivers Championships thanks to Nico Rosberg, who won last time out, and his team mate Lewis Hamilton, a three time champion. But with Rosberg retiring from the sport and Valtteri Bottas replacing him, do Mercedes have a weak spot? Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo could be best poised to take advantage of any Mercedes form drop.
New tracks on the block
This year sees the introduction of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, which will replace the European Grand Prix on the calendar. It is an exciting street circuit on which speeds will reach 360 km/h, making it faster than either Singapore or Monaco!
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