Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Formula One - First half complete

The teams and drivers have now gone on their summer holidays, a mandatory break forced into the F1 Calendar so members of formula one have a summer break. It's in essence a 2 week break from all track activities but spans over 3 weeks with 1 week for testing and preparations. The break splits the season into two halves so to speak and with the first half now completed after last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix, this years title and constructors race is proving to be a lot more riveting than expected. 

While being a massive fan of the Italian team, I didn't expect Ferrari to be as competitive as they have proven to be this season. They were ruthless and dominant in Hungary, a race that drivers title hopeful Sebastian Vettel had to win to ensure he extends his lead in the championship after it his points gap was reduced to just 1 after the Silverstone Grand Prix which saw his title rival, Lewis Hamilton finish in first place. At the beginning of the season I picked Ferrari to surprise everyone and win the Melbourne race, that victory went on to spur a great revival of this F1 team and ignited a spirit that was last season when Schumacher was in the team. They brought the fight right to Mercedes who had a relatively easy last two years in F1 and one that was much needed to make the sport interesting for viewership. 

That's not to say Mercedes have been poor this season, their number one man Lewis Hamilton has a point to prove after losing out to his team mate last year in the drivers championship. While the team won't admit it, after Nico Rosberg's departure and the addition of Bottas, Lewis is very much their number 1 driver, as was proved on Sunday when Bottas allowed Lewis through to try and catch the Ferrari's but was unsuccessful and valiantly gave back the position just before the race was over. Merc will head into this break scratching their heads on what they can do to catch the red team and make a surge in the second half of the season. They're not far off but there is many factors that play its part. Tyres being a big one with the last few races seeing a lot of drivers getting punctures and blisters. 

While the other teams do make up the pack, it's been interesting to watching them fight it out for the remaining points places. Red Bull Racing have had a decent few races which saw them get onto the podium a few times. Their drivers are young and hungry, maybe just a bit too hungry as proved on Sunday with Max driving into Ricciardo on the first lap. Reliability also played its part at their home race in Austria, hopefully they can sort out those niggles and salvage their season when the break is over. There will be plenty of fight in the back as well, with Mclaren surprising in Hungary, who knows what could happen, would love to see Alonso get up on that podium at least once this year, it is a long shot but you never know what could happen. 

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