F1 2017 Australian Grand Prix: Seeing Red

It’s only been 120 days between the final race of the 2016 Formula One World Championship and the start of the 2017 season but a lot has changed. The low-downforce, allegedly passing-friendly formula of 2009 has been replaced by a new high-downforce, high-speed aero formula. The caps have been taken off engine development. Tyres are wider and have been constructed to be more durable. Basically, what you remember about F1 last year is different this year.

That includes the team in front. While it sure looked like the new rules would only result in the same old, same old, there was a new car at the head of the field: A Ferrari SF70-H named Gina piloted by Sebastian Vettel who started the newest era of Formula One with a win.

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Formula One: 2016 Barcelona Mid-Season Test Recap

It’s a little known article of the Formula One Sporting Regulations but F1 can’t go to Spain without having an obligatory test session at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. So after Max Verstappen’s shock win in his Red Bull debut, the teams stuck around for a few more days to do some testing for the first time during this season.

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F1 Singapore Grand Prix: Bright Lights, Big Win

f1-2015-singapore-vettel-victoryAs much as I don’t like bestowing massive praise on a relatively young event but the Singapore Grand Prix has quickly established itself as one of the signature events of the F1 season. Along with the old standards of Monaco, Silverstone and Monza, this is one of the races that everyone seems to race with extra motivation to win.

With that in mind, it was quite a surprise to see Mercedes off the pace in Singapore. In fact, with the lights shining bright, it was Ferrari that was fastest through the night. Sebastian Vettel scored a grand slam by qualifying on pole, setting the fastest lap, leading all the laps and winning the race.

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F1 Hungarian Grand Prix: Demolition Derby

The Hungaroring isn’t one of the more passing-friendly circuits on the F1 calendar. It’s mostly turns with the occasional short straight to give you hope of a pass. However, the addition of DRS and a complete disregard for anyone else on the track has slowly turned the Hungarian Grand Prix one of the more exciting races on the calendar.

So we had a few crashes, a safety car, a total of nine penalty points awarded for four different incidents. The race could generally be described as chaotic. Well, except at the front where Sebastian Vettel took the lead off the lights and never looked back.

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F1 Malaysia Grand Prix: Be Careful What You Wish For

During the press conference following the Australian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg made a comment to the effect of that it would be great if Ferrari would catch up to Mercedes. After this weekend, I think Nico is regretting his words. Not only was Rosberg outqualified by a Ferrari, he was outraced by a Ferrari. In fact, Sebastian Vettel outraced the whole field as he took his first win as a driver for Scuderia Ferrari.

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F1 Japanese Grand Prix: Rain, Rain, Go Away

f1-2014-japan-hamiltonHeading into this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix, all the talk was about the weather and whether it would allow for the race to be run at all let alone to the 75% mark where full points would be awarded. The race made it four laps past the 75% mark, completing 44 of the scheduled 53 laps. When the race was red flagged and ruled complete, Lewis Hamilton was declared the winner but no one was focused on that.

A couple of laps prior, Jules Bianchi lost control in the deteriorating conditions and hit a car recovery tractor. As of writing, Bianchi is in an ICU in Japan after surgery for a head injury suffered in the collision.

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F1 Brazilian Grand Prix: One For the Record Books

The 2013 Brazilian Grand Prix was the end of an era. The V8s were going to be running their last race. Mark Webber was to retire after the race to go run sports cars. And Sebastian Vettel was set to break yet another record. And all of that happened. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the storybook ending for Webber as his teammate picked up his 9th straight win.

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