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.