This coming weekend, 13 – 15 March, the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship will begin. This week the F1 Teams head to the ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, first race of the 66th season of Formula 1. Enthusiastic fans can expect another great racing season.
Formula 1 has already gone through drastic changes in 2014, but the Federation Internationale de L’Automobile (FIA) is still tinkering with the regulations for this year to focus on safety and cost checks. For cars, the big change for 2015 is in the nose design with more gradual shape and the height reduced from 550mm to 185mm. Another technical change is the chassis height that will be reduced from 625mm to 525mm. Other FIA Rules consists of restrictions on power units, brake discs rotating at the same speed as the wheels, among others.
As the drivers and their cars arrive in Australia, the question that comes to mind is if this season will be any different than last year’s, when Mercedes-Benz teammates, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, finished first and second respectively in the race championship. Team Mercedes definitely outperformed the rest of Formula One cars, while their drivers proved to be much more spectacular on the race circuits over their rivals.
A year ago, Ferrari had one of the best driver line-ups on the grid, Alonso and Raikkonen, but due to the car, less so for the drivers, the team’s performance just wasn’t as expected and Ferrari landed a fourth place in the team standing. It was Ferrari’s worst season of Formula 1 in over two decades. Will Sebastian Vettel’s move to team Ferrari make the team more competitive?
Sebastian Vettel who was Red Bull’s four-time world champion (between 2010 and 2013) has now replaced Fernando Alonso as the newest driver with Ferrari (racing alongside teammate Kimi Raikkonen). Vettel has signed a three-year contract with Ferrari from 2015 on. With his F1 experience, he should play a big factor to the team’s success driving the new Ferrari SF15-T. At least, Ferrari fans hope so. Whether this restructure with new star driver Sebastian Vettel onboard will result in a team capable of delivering race wins remains to be seen. With Sebastian, a new chapter in the history of Scuderia Ferrari begins with the departure of Alonso.
Alonso now races for McLaren Honda and is teamed with Jenson Button. What is different this year from last season, other than gaining Alonso as one of the drivers, is the engine: McLaren-Mercedes now becomes McLaren Honda with the Honda-powered MP4-30 machine containing a Honda RA615H Hybrid power unit; it’s, then, a completely different F1 car. This is McLaren’s first Honda-powered car in 23 years (since 1992). Unfortunately, for the team, Alonso is to miss the Australian Grand Prix after having suffered a concussion in a crash during testing; he was involved in an accident at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on February 22. Fernando’s doctors made this recommendation not to race; this is normal medical procedure when treating athletes after concussions, McLaren said in a statement. McLaren also said Alonso would be cleared to race in the second Grand Prix of the season in Malaysia on March 29.
One can be certain that Formula One’s main protagonists Lewis Hamilton, the 2014 drivers’ championship winner, and his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, runner-up last season, will once again be strong competitors.
For more info regarding the 2015 FIA Formula One World Championship (team vehicles, drivers, FIA rules, and race calendar), visit the official website at Formula1.com.
Speaking of the race calendar, fans can begin planning on attending the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX (29 Nov 2015). Ferrari fans will be able to cheer for Vettel as he attempts to beat his own record lap time established in 2009 with Red Bull: 1:40.279. Also, while in the area, they’ll be able to ride on the world’s fastest roller coaster at Ferrari world, an amusement park located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Check out its website for details at http://www.ferrariworldabudhabi.com/.