So…. This is what you need to know about the 2018 F1 season. Most importantly, the #F1SashaRoadshow2018 will kick off with the Spanish Grand Prix at The Baron Fourways. Details to follow as well as the details where you could #WIN an astonishing prize…
Also, very important information is the start times of the FP and race sessions for this weekend. These times are South African Times.
Australian GP Info
No of Laps: 58
Race Distance: 307.574 km
Lap Record: 1:24.125 – M Schumacher (2004)
2017 Winner: Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) – 1:24:11.672
Halo can you go?
Nope, afraid not… So much has been said about this year already. Negativity galore about the Halo design! Here is the lowdown – the Halo is here to stay. A head safety device was asked for by the GPDA (Grand Prix Drivers Association) after the terrible Jules Bianchi incident.
The FIA spend huge amounts of money on research and did not just decide on this device at the 11th hour. Whether you like how it looks or not, it will be beneficial to the driver’s safety and that is the point. There will be one big frustration though. Before we could distinguish the drivers by their helmets but now the Halo seems to cover them so identification is definitely going to be more difficult.
Personally, I love the design of the 2018 cars and the Halo doesn’t even get into my way. I’m used to it just by looking at the pictures and also some limited testing footage.
We have a new logo, new Safety and Medical Cars and an official theme tune for F1. All very exciting, isn’t it?
Also, we don’t have the grid girls anymore and times for the races have changed as well.
Races will commence at 10 minutes past the hour while the hour itself will also change for all the European events – as well as the Brazilian GP – with the start time pushed back by a further 60 minutes. Goodbye 1 pm in mid-summer, hello 2.10pm. So, consult your local TV guide for the information or go to Autosport
But how will things actually go?
In 2018, F1 is turning to youth. When the new season commences, there will be nine drivers aged 25 or younger: Esteban Ocon (21), Stoffel Vandoorne (25), Max Verstappen (20), Carlos Sainz (23), Pierre Gasly (21), Lance Stroll (19), Kevin Magnussen (25), Sergey Sirotkin (22) and Charles Leclerc (20).
There are some Technical and sporting regulations that change in 2018.
Suffice it to say, this is the most important regulation that you should be aware of.
In a bid to make F1 power units even more reliable – and further, reduce costs – this season each driver must make do with just three engines for the 21-race campaign. That compares with four engines last year (when, incidentally, the calendar featured one less Grand Prix). Expect penalties, some even pre-determined from certain teams. I think from Renault and from Toro Rosso who have the Honda PU.
Will we see closer racing, a new champion and new winners in 2018? A bit unlikely but this is F1 and anything can happen.
Pre- season testing might have gotten the “Tifosi” excited with Vettel topping the time sheets but the weather was so weird in Barcelona over the two weeks that it would take a very brave and gambling person to make predictions from that test.
Mercedes still are the favourites and my reasoning is this. They have been so dominant in this hybrid era that each season they are always a few steps ahead of their rivals. admittedly the other teams have improved. most notable with Ferrari in 2017. Red Bull Racing will be strong contenders for race wins this year as will Ferrari BUT if you look at the final race of 2017, Mercedes annihilated the opposition just to show their true dominance and pace. They have plenty left in their tanks.
The big talking points will be whether Bottas can pose a real challenge to Hamilton as Rosberg did in 2016. Can Vettel shrug off his petulant attitude and focus on the prize at hand. Will Max be the Marquez of F1? So many questions to find answers for in 2018. I cannot wait.
Also, we have the return of Alfa Romeo to F1. For me this is heaven but they will struggle initially. They do have the might of FCA behind them but they don’t have the taps open like Ferrari does. Give them time and let’s see what they can do. Le Clerc vs Ericsson will be fun to watch.
I don’t make predictions in F1 as I am too superstitious. The testing didn’t reveal too much but we can say that Mclaren will be more competitive than 2017 and 2016 but will they be as good as they say? I don’t think they will be. Can Williams survive a season with two very paid for drivers? The list goes on.