The F1 season-opener, the Australian Grand Prix, has now taken place, with the first win for Nico Rosburg, but the state of the sport is still in question. According to Bernie Ecclestone, the top honcho at FIA, Formula One has never been so boring and he vows his family won’t be at any race. This coming from the head of the sport puts a damper on the action, but as a fan you need to appreciate that F1 is still deeply plagued by power politics.
Away from all these shenanigans, there are so many reasons to go to the races because that is where the real thrill is. If you are puzzled by all that is going on in F1, here are some reasons to convince you that the 2016 season will even be more exciting;
To say that Ferrari dazzled at the Barcelona pre-season testing is an understatement. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were in imperious form clocking the fastest times in 5 days of testing out of the total eight available. It is obvious their 2016 car is faring better and though Mercedes was still ahead in terms of total laps, it is clear they have a battle on their hands. For every Formula One fan, this is exactly what is needed to spice up the sport.
If the later part of the 2015 F1 season is anything to go by, then Lewis Hamilton has to up his game. Nico Rosberg was already impressive, taking poll in the last six races of the season and winning the last three convincingly. Were it not for the accident in Hungary and technical glitches in Russia and Italy, Nico would surely have been in contention for the championship.
FIA’s World Motor Sport Council has made some timely changes to bring fans back to the terraces. Among the changes are the new Ultrasoft tires by Pirelli that are going to increase speeds. They have already been tested and drivers feel they offer better grip.
Teams have also been given more freedom in terms of tire choice while increasing season development tokens meaning teams can improve their efficiency in the course of the season. Power units from the previous season will be re-homologated and Ferrari will now be able to supply more teams with their 2015 engine. This makes more teams competitive and fans will definitely enjoy the action.
If there is one driver who made F1 exciting to watch in the previous season, it has to be Max Verstappen. Mad Max, as adoring fans have christened him, has made daring moves and you couldn’t guess a rookie was behind the wheel just watching his amazing driving. Carlo Sainz jr, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Nasr are other young drivers who have shown great character and talent and they will make the sport more thrilling.
The 2016 F1 calendar features a new race in Baku, Azerbaijan in June and the return of the all-important German Grand Prix at Hockenheim. This is expected to bring in more fans and increase global appeal of the sport.
There is no denying the sport is in need of more changes, but for now, 2016 promises to be a fantastic year for fans. I’m really looking forward to the Monaco Grand Prix 2016, my favorite race.
People choose their Grand Prix circuit based on different aspects, and what may be a big circuit event for one person may not be so for another. There are various circuits that have featured widely in the favourites list around the world. The Grand Prix Monaco continues to attract a lot of attention for both the drivers and spectators. It’s no wonder it features at the top of iconic circuits in the history of Grand Prix motor sporting.
It may not be because of its history, glamour, or glitz, but the kind of challenge it presents to those willing to take Monaco’s sporting battle. While the track is said to have streets that are outgrown by the cars, Monte Carlo has still survived in hosting Grand Prix events.
However, every circuit has its own challenges, and this may probably be one thing that has kept Monte Carlo in the list of challenging circuits. The lack of runoff areas implies that there is little room for error, and drivers have to be very smart and keen when they negotiate corners.
Precision and skill have to be at the heart of every driver, and this is what makes the circuit a real challenge for the drivers. And as a Murray Walker, a former commentator once said, his favourite corner was the left hander just at the top of the hill situated at Massenet.
Murray Walker described the experience of racing at that left hander as where the tires of racing automobiles kiss the Armco barriers before the cars speed around into Casino Square. This is also where you find the slowest corner in Formula One races – the iconic Fairmont Hairpin. This is where everyone gets the opportunity to see all the cars slithering their way like a giant colourful snake downhill. The right bending tunnel speeding underneath the Fairmont Hotel is also an unforgettable feature.
Nelson Piquet, a former Brazilian racing driver and businessman, once said that racing in Monaco was like riding a bike at full speed through your house. Nelson was trying to emphasize the narrowness of the street circuits that are sometimes perceived as preclusive to excellent racing.
Drivers here need to have exceptional skill for them to overtake their competitors and ensure they keep their cars in the race. All in all, Monaco is quite a unique circuit and it deserves its slot in the top circuits of the Grand Prix.
If you watched Nico Rosberg win the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix on 10th May, you will concur that it was an emotional affair. This is considering the fact that the German has been struggling for his best form since the beginning of the season at Melbourne.
It was a sporting event that has enhanced the fortunes of Formula One by instilling more competition and thrill. While this is one of the most outstanding aspects of this year’s action at Circuit de Cataluña, the history of this Grand Prix will excite you even more.
If you are an F1 diehard, you do appreciate the importance of such a background; it helps you enjoy more from every race. Here are some of these highlights:
1. 1913: This year forms the origin of the Spanish GP as you know it today. On your way to Valladolid near Madrid, organizers set up a 300-kilometer circuit that features racing under touring cars rules.
2. 1923, Sitges-Terramar circuit: This new circuit became the site of the 1923 Spanish GP and with financial difficulties a few years later the race moved to Lasarte.
3. Formula One Proper: The differences between Madrid and Barcelona helped revive racing in Spain with Pedralbes circuit becoming the site of the World Championship F1 race in 1951.
4. Jarama vs. Montjuic Park Rivalry: The 1960s and 70s featured increased rivalry between the two circuits in Barcelona and Madrid. Big names such as Jim Clark and Jackie Stewart were racing on these tracks thus increasing popularity of the Spanish GP. Montjuic Park was abandoned after a 1975 tragedy and Jarama dominated with James Hunt, Gilles Villeneuve among other F1 legends starring.
5. Jerez, 1985-1991: After the mayor of Jerez built the popular Circuito Permanente de Jerez, racing shifted South near Seville. Racing over the next 6 years featured amazing battles between more F1 legends such as Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna and Mansell among others.
6. Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona, 1991 to date: This amazing circuit still hosts Spanish GP to date where Michael Schumacher still holds the record of six wins.
Fernando Alonso is credited with much of the success enjoyed by the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona as a home boy. He has also won twice on this track in 2006 and 2013. Other multiple winners of the Spanish Grand Prix include Louis Chiron, Jackie Stewart, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Mika Hakkinen, all with three wins.