There’s only 87 days to the next grand prix in Melbourne, and already PF1 is looking forward to the season ahead. Here are ten reasons to grab your attention…
Honda will return to F1 in 2015. Although the Japanese company weren’t particularly successful as a constructor, their previous partnership with McLaren in the 1980s created the records that Mercedes have strived so hard to beat this year. Team principals have said that to be successful in the new hybrid power era, you need to be a manufacturer team and have the source codes for the engine software. Honda certainly have those.
And talking of engines, the unfreezing of the engine regulations ahead of the 2015 season will allow Renault and Ferrari to move towards parity with Mercedes. There is still an argument going on as to when the engines need to be homologated and refrozen, but however that turns out, the two also-rans of 2014 expect to be closer next year.
The prospect of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button in the same team next year will give McLaren their best line-up since 2007. When Fernando was there last. It will be an interesting prospect to see how they get on. El Nano walloped Kimi Raikkonen last season 16-3 in Team-mate Wars, can Jenson do better?
We’ll see the return of the Mexican Grand Prix, a historic race in Formula 1 and the scene of arguably the greatest/ballsiest overtaking move of all time. Check out Nigel Mansell in a Ferrari versus Gerhard Berger in a McLaren on You Tube (and “Red Foive” had worn tyres).
Lotus will be able to produce a much stronger car in 2015 now that they’ve got a Mercedes engine unit in the back. And mercifully, cars will be less ugly than they were in 2014.
With greater engine parity, the return of Honda, and Lotus getting Mercedes power, the racing at the front should be a lot closer, with Messrs Rosberg and Hamilton not getting it their own way. The Silver Arrows won’t have the great experience of Bob Bell next year either.
The teaming up of Daniel Ricciardo with wunderkind Daniil Kvyat at Red Bull next year is an exciting prospect. The two emerging stars of 2014 should surely add to the recently-depleted Red Bull trophy cabinet at Milton Keynes.
Everyone is agreed that Max Verstappen is a star of the future, the brightest hope to arrive in F1 since Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. But will he live up to the billing…?
And talking of Vettel, the dynamic at the Ferrari team will be fascinating. After a fairly sullen 2014, the Scuderia will have two drivers who prefer to score points against each other on the badminton court and not in press briefings. Will Raikkonen get a pointy-front-end car that he likes, and will Seb get a better-suited car than the RB10.
Finally, for the first time in four years Sebastian Vettel will have a strange number on his car. Although Lewis Hamilton plans to stick with No.44 and waive his right as World Champion to No.1, Seb will have to hand back No.1 and take up No.5. So Seb will be 5 and Kimi 7 (their average grid positions for the year…?)