Formula One 2016: Season Preview

Mar 19th, 2016 Betting Tips, Previews

Lewis Hamilton

After an outstanding run in 2014 and 2015, Lewis Hamilton is still the man to beat in Formula One. Last season’s Mercedes car seemed unbeatable, with pace and reliability in abundance, delivering a comprehensive win in the manufacturer’s category. With the 2016 season right around the chicane, their rivals are hoping for more success this time around. Cars have been redesigned, modified and tweaked, drivers well-rested, and test laps banked right across the division. But as we gear up to this season’s debut in Australia, big questions remain over who, if anyone, has what it takes to topple the three-time winner.

Where Next For Lewis Hamilton?

Winning the Formula One world title in consecutive years is no mean feat, let alone scooping the top prize in motor racing thrice. Lewis Hamilton is already securely in a bracket that sees him mentioned in the same breath as racing greats. But Lewis still has a point to prove if he wants to undeniably stake his claim. At 30 years old, he still has time to cement his legacy in the sport, and he looks certain to challenge yet again this season at the top of the pack. His driving ability suits the current Mercedes car perfectly, and pending any late disasters, he is expected to pick up in Australia from where he left off last season.

Vettel

Already at the top of his game, and arguably in his driving prime after two back to back title wins, Lewis Hamilton will be keen to push for a fourth title, which would see him level with rival Sebastian Vettel. Odds on favourite to regain the title for the third year running, Hamilton looks to be in a strong position from the get go. But according to early season odds, it could be a straight run off against Vettel and Ferrari for the title, a head to head that is guaranteed to make for engaging viewing as this season’s calendar heats up.

Can Anyone Rival The Mercedes Car?

In recent years it has all been about Mercedes, who have clearly led the pack with a superior car and superior driving. Ferrari and Red Bull Renault have been ably chasing, snapping at the heels of Mercedes. But little is known at this stage about the cars either team will be fielding, with teams adopting an unusually tight-lipped approach to the season to come, save for the usual hype and build up. Low-key launches belie months of tweaking, all with a view to gaining ground on Hamilton this season.

But Mercedes aren’t exactly standing still. With a solid car already at their disposal, the team has focused on extracting every extra millisecond they can, seeking to build on last season without tipping into diminishing returns. The 2016 season has seen minimal regulatory change, and there is a feeling within the Mercedes camp that they are already approaching maximum efficacy. Of course, other teams have more ground to make up, and we will need to reserve judgement until the flag drops in Australia to see whether Mercedes have managed to make any progress on what is already one of the most advanced racing machines ever built.

F1 Monoposts

Ferrari approach this season having started late on the development of their new car. Prolonged work on the 2015 offering meant work on this season’s offering started later than planned, giving them less time to get things working perfectly than their competitors. While this might otherwise be a cause of concern, Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne is relaxed about their prospects.

“Maurizio will tell you we delayed some things to allow for the 2015 car to be finished. Hopefully he will not bitch about this. We pushed the start of some of the work on the 2016 cars on the chassis, delayed it a bit. But we have had adequate time and adequate financial resources to do the right thing given the rules.”

Ferrari fans may take a slightly less laid-back view, and there will be some concern if the car that lines up on the grid in Melbourne isn’t quite on the pace with the Mercedes.

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