Tuesday 13 December 2016

Formula 1 2017! --- A new era, a new dominator? --- Hopes and expectations

The title might could indicate to you, that I didn't like the 2016 F1 season, but the opposite is the case! What we have seen that year was one of the best seasons of this aerodynamic era, which started back in 2009. If I had to rank it, I would put it right behind 2010 and 2012, so it stands especially out of the new engine era, which started in 2014. And I think most of us will agree, that 2014 and 2015 were some of the worst seasons that Formula 1 ever threw at us. The biggest reason for that is, that we had one huge dominator, that couldn't be beaten by another team, unless they did huge mistakes. Mercedes were just too strong over the last 3 seasons, which gave us too many boring races, which most of the fans couldn't handle with. Some might argue, that Red Bull had the same dominance, when Vettel won 4 championships in a row. But that dominance wasn't as strong as the one of Mercedes from 2014-2016. Outstanding is the 2012 season, where we had 8 different winners throughout the season, with 7 different ones right at the beginning (and even Maldonado winning!). In the current engine era, we had an "impressive" amount of 4 different winners in a season as a record. And that was 2016. Still, that sounds quite lame, doesn't it? In addition to that, many of the rule changes in 2014 just ruined a lot the fans liked so much about Formula 1. We'll just need to talk about the engine sound. When I was at Hockenheim that season, I didn't even need to think about a noise protection during the F1 sessions. Then, I watched a GP2 session. The second class. And the sound was awesome. Without a noise protection I honestly spoken could not have watched it. I have to admit, that I think that's quite embarassing for, what calls itself "The premier competition in motorsport".
But what now? An F1 era finds an end and a new one will start. Again with one huge dominator? Possibly yes, hopefully not. And then there is the question, who will it be? For me personally, that is one of the most difficult questions to answer at the moment in Formula 1, because it could be anyone! The most obvious choices would be Mercedes, which just continue their run, or Red Bull, who were almost everytime good, when there was an aerodynamic change, due to their great aerodynamics department. And in addition to that the fact that they don't have to focus on engine building. Then, there's also Ferrari. And my heart is bleeding that I have to say this as a Vettel fan, but my head says that they won't compete for the championship again next season. Of course, my heart wants that to happen, but I hold the view that there are too many problerms within the team and their boss, who is too impatient and creates by that too much pressure on the team,which is just counter productive. But oh well, I'll just hope for the best and think positive!
And those were the obvious choices every F1 fan would give you if they got asked who will be the most competitive in 2017. But my list of possibilities doesn't end here. For me, there are also McLaren and Renault, who could get at least a chance to sneak closer to the top 3 and be candidates for at least cheeky podiums. You may ask why exactly those two backrunners from 2016? Well, if we look at McLaren, they had one of the best chassis already this year. Their only problem was the underperforming Honda engine, which got at least better since their comeback in 2014. In an era, which focuses more on the chassis and not on the engine, they could become (finally!) a good challenger again. Also, they will have a huge talent and one of the best drivers on the grid behind their two steering wheels. Moreover, there is Renault, which may seem even more unrealistic for some of you, and maybe it actually is. But think about it. We have a manufacturer team, which started 2016 with a car, which was built for a completely different engine. And the engine they fitted at the start of the season was far from as good as the Mercedes engine would have been. But as we have seen with Red Bull, who also drove (and will drive next season again) with a rebranded Renault engine, and could even win 2 races that season, they improved immensely fast their engine power. And even though it won't be as good as the Mercedes engine, again we have the factor, that aerodynamics will be more important than engine power next season, which all over again could give them a boost. And they won't have a problem with development, because as a manufacturer team, there are not going to be any cutbacks with the money.
And what if there's not only one team,which will dominate the whole season? The best case scenario would be, if 2 teams, maybe even 3, could challenge with at least one driver for the 2017 world drivers championship. We didn't have that since 2012 and as already stated, 2012 was awesome. This is one of my biggest hopes I have for the upcoming season.
Another hope is, that the cars will look like a real racing machine again! Don't get me wrong on this one, the cars since 2014 already looked at least quite fine, but they can't be compared to the beasts we had from about 2005 to 2008. Oh yeah, especially the 2008 cars were impressive in terms of look, just like F1 should be. Aggressive and loud and fast. Well, that already includes two attributes that the cars weren't during the last seasons. I won't complain about their speed, that was absolutely fine and for me personally already enough. Faster cars don't mean better racing. But I won't criticize next years cars now by the fact, that they are going to be faster with their much bigger tires. And by that, we come already to one of the points, which the cars from the last aero era lacked. Aggressiveness. I still can remember back in 2009, when I saw the new revealed cars for the first time, I just said:"Wow, they look bad! What did they do with the rear wing, that's horrible!" And I'm honest here, those were at least analogous my words back then, when I was 11 years old. Even in that age I realized, what harm F1 did to themselves back then. And from 2009 ongoing, we saw that huge decline in views F1 got, which just proves me in my statement.
But the 2017 cars want to make it better again. The rear wing is lower again, similar to how it was before 2009. For me personally, one of the best changes they could have thought of! In addition to that, there are the wider tires, which I already spoke about. Not only that they will make the cars faster, they also just look sick. Already only these two changes are going to make the cars look so much better in comparison to the ones we had lately, and this is a fact that gets me hyped for the next season! Oh and yeah, there is still the sound thing I mentioned. Well, that won't change for next season but let us be happy with what is given to us for now.
In conclusion to that topic, I just can hope that some of my expectations will become reality and that we are going to have an exciting Formula 1 season next year. For now, we have to look forward to the car presentations and first tests in Barcelona and I can tell you, I am more than just keen on those! Thanks for reading and leave a comment about your expectations, which team will be the dominant one in 2017 and how you like the technical changes for the next year. To read more of my motorsport and especially F1 related posts, just subscribe to the blog!


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