By Steve Aibel, Senior F1 Writer
In just over one month, the 2016 Formula 1 campaign will begin anew. 11 teams will compete across the globe in what is a travelling exhibit of explosive firepower and technology. Unbridled racing as it should be! As the excitement builds toward the first race in Australia on March 20th, there are three essential story-lines that will inevitably dominate the upcoming season. How these narratives develop will ultimately determine whether the 2016 season proves riveting, or whether we mail this year in, awaiting a more competitive formula to bounce the sport back into glory.
2016, like every other F1 season, will bring story-lines!
Stories about drivers chasing greatness!
Stories about manufacturers pushing the boundaries to market their technology!
And stories about the countries and the racetracks that play host to this travelling extravaganza that we call Formula 1.
These three story-lines will underline the normal ebb and flow of the race season and we will follow them extensively throughout the campaign.
The Battle At The Sharp End Of The Field
- Let’s start here! Will Mercedes continue to devastate all other Formula 1 entries?
- Will Lewis Hamilton continue to dominate teammate Nico Rosberg?
- And will Sebastian Vettel, and Scuderia Ferrari, be able to develop enough power and consistency to catch and overtake the Silver Arrows juggernaut?
A larger and stronger mid-pack
- From the look of things, the 2016 mid-pack might be the deepest we have seen in years. Haas F1 Team is advertising points from the get go and Manor, the perpetual backmarker, has secured a Mercedes power unit that will instantly place them within the field rather than rounding out the back end. Adding the Renault factory entry to the mix and expecting McLaren to gain significant ground, fascinating story-lines will develop from this portion of the grid. Not only will these teams be challenging each other for points, some could very well challenge Mercedes and Ferrari for podiums.
A New American Influence
- Finally, America stands to make a statement within the worldwide racing community; the form of which could be three pronged. We know that Haas F1 Team will join the party and we are expecting (cross your fingers) that Circuit of the Americas will secure the requisite funding to remain on the schedule in October. Finally, Alexander Rossi is still a very strong candidate for the final, open race seat with Manor. With all of these elements coming together, it will be a terrific year to cover Formula 1 in the USA!
In the next few weeks, we will detail these three topics leading into what will surely be another fascinating Formula 1 season!