This has been a highly entertaining season of Formula 1 and with F1 entering the business end of the season more magical moments will give us our World Champion. There have been some brilliant overtakes, stupid clashes, crazy pit communication, team mates giving back positions, team mates fighting and so much more. These are my highlights of the 2017 F1 season so far:
1. Bigger and Faster Cars:
The change in regulations means the cars this season are bigger, the tyres are wider, and the wings are lowered. To sum up, the cars are very fast. The lap records have been broken at 6 venues (Sochi, Monaco, Baku, Austria, Silverstone and Belgium).
2. Ferrari Resurgence:
The clear winner of the regulation changes has been the Ferraris. From a dismal 2015 and 2016 they have emerged as major contenders. They actually led the table from Mercedes for the first time in 4 years and their Sebastian Vettel is a close 2nd to Lewis Hamilton by only 3 points.
3. Max’s Chinese Fight:
The Chinese GP was won by Lewis Hamilton with the Grand Chelem but the driver of the day was Max Verstappen. He fought hard to overtake 9 drivers in the opening laps to entertain the fans worldwide. He started 19th and finished 3rd.
4. Bottas’ Maiden Pole and Win:
Valtteri Bottas replaced the world champion Nico Rosberg at Mercedes and he struck immediately by claiming his first pole at Bahrain. However, his maiden win came at Russia when he overtook the Ferraris at the start and lead to the chequered flag.
5. Kimi’s Pole:
Kimi Raikkonen started from pole for the first time in many years when he guided his SF70H fastest around the street circuit of Monte-Carlo. However, he was passed by Sebastian Vettel during the pit-stops and he settled for the second.
Arguably, it has been the most entertaining race of the season so far.
First lap collisions, check.
Team mates collision, check.
Leaders going wheel to wheel, check.
Surprise winner, check.
Pass on the last stretch, check.
Shoe-ey, eww check.
The F1 world was left astonished when Sebastian Vettel hit Lewis Hamilton’s car behind the safety car. Hamilton would have won easily but his headrest came loose. Vettel would have won but he had a 10 seconds stop and go penalty. The surprise winner was Daniel Ricciardo who won just ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Lance Stroll.
7. Hamilton Magic:
Lewis Hamilton has been on fire this season. He has won 6 times already with 8 poles to his name. He has broken the record of Michael Schumacher and with 3 Grand Chelems (Pole, Fastest Lap, Led every laps and Win) at China, Canada and Britain, Lewis Hamilton has climbed up to 2nd place in the lists of most successful drivers of all time behind only Jim Clark.
Daniel Ricciardo’s constant podium ascension means shoe-ey. This season the superstar of Red bull does have lot of shoe-ey to remember. But I am pretty sure Patrick Stewart and Lance Stroll will hate him for making them drink from his sweaty shoes.
The records are tumbling this season.
- Lewis Hamilton has passed Michael Schumacher to become the most successful qualifier in the history of motorsports with 69 poles so far. 3 way battle for the championship.
- Lance Stroll’s podium finish in Baku means he is the youngest podium-sitter after Max Verstappen in the history.
- Lewis Hamilton has the record of 6 pole positions in Australia, China, Canada and Italy.
FIA has introduced the highly criticized Halo for driver’s safety from 2018.
Honda has always been on the news this season. The Honda engine failed in testing and has kept on failing and frustrating the McLaren team throughout the season. However, the sad partnership between Honda and McLaren is coming to an end this season.
London witnessed the grand show of the yesteryears’ Formula 1 cars. The crowds were huge and the drivers entertained them before the British GP. This first of the kind event was hugely successful.
Lewis Hamilton allowed Valtteri Bottas to pass him on the final corner of the last lap at Hungary. Hamilton was trying to overtake Kimi Raikkonen to go second by asking Valterri Bottas to swap position. He couldn’t make the move and so he gave back the position in one of the most wonderful moments of 2017.
14. Foul Play:
Accidents between cars have occurred as long as motorsport has been in existence but team mate clashes are a huge no no. Force India drivers collided 4 times during the first half. The clash at Canada was followed by the Baku collision. The drivers also collided at the Silverstone but the relationship took another turn when Perez nearly squeezed Ocon into the wall during the Belgian GP.
15. End of Era:
During the week of British GP, the news of Silverstone GP coming to an end from 2021 surfaced. The legendary Maggots-Becketts will be the thing of past. Also the Malaysian GP will be held for one last time in 2017.
Divorces are tough to take but necessary as is proved by McLaren and Honda. The troubled partnership ends in 2017 with McLaren going to Renault for 2018 onwards. Also Toro Rosso is splitting with Renault and there are rumours of Red Bull Racing entering partnership with Honda from 2018.
The first half of 2017 also saw some comebacks. Jenson Button drove the McLaren around the Monte-Carlo when Fernando Alonso went hunting his 2nd crown for the reputed Triple Crown. Paul di Resta deputised for Felipe Massa during the Hungarian GP as Massa pulled out because of injury. Massa himself came back from retirement to race for one more year. The most famous and inspiring comeback could be that of Robert Kubica.
18. New Contracts:
As Christian Horner had mentioned, the entire Driver line-up for 2018 will be decided by Ferrari. Ferrari retaining Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel has lead to Mercedes agreeing a year’s extension with Valtteri Bottas. The delicate situation of Jolyon Palmer, Carlos Sainz and Robert Kubica will be entertaining.
19. And Last but not Least:
“Hey, give me my steering!!!!” (Please check out YouTube if you are not familiar)