Formula One 2016 | Summary 1 (Start of the Season, Race 1)
So last year I did a Summary in June about Formula One at that time. And why I stopped doing the Reviews about Formula One. This year is not any different. I will still only do Summary's. But I will try to do the Summary on a more regular basis. So for now we start of with the Start of the Season and the 1st Race that was last weekend at Melbourne, Australia.
So the end of last season / start of this season saw some changes. Lotus has become Renault once more. And that after all Renault had said and wanted to see changed before they entered F1 again. I guess it's a matter of politics. Even more so after Red Bull already had decided they didn't want to continue with Renault Engines (after two years in a row having shit). So Renault in, the name Lotus out. I guess it is a good thing, because Lotus was on the edge of there existince. Result of that and also Venezuela that stopped pumping money into his career, that meant the end of Pastor Maldonado in that team. His replacement ? Magnussen, who was close to a Sportscar deal. He said he is not here for revenge on McLaren besides his career. But believe me, it would be odd to not have revenge feeling towards your old team who put you aside after 1 year. Besides Magnussen sits Palmer Jr. who was reserve driver last year with Lotus. Then the next change: Haas F1 has made it to the grid. Not that it is a surprise or anything. Because they were on schedule. But still it's good to see them here. Together with Grosjean and Guiterrez, and a young American test driver they want to conquer the field on there way to competetive driving / winning. Well they have the equipment: Ferrari stuff ;) Renault and Haas F1 have one thing in common: they both changed there livery between pre-season testing and the first Grand Prix weekend. Renault went from black with some yellow pieces to the opposit of that: yellow/gold with some black pieces. Haas F1 on there end have changed the grey on there previous livery to white. With only a few spots of grey on the back of the car. One team that also changed there livery, but then between last year and this year is the Manor Racing Team. They are totally cut loose from Marussia now. But they maintained the colours somewhat. Black with a fair chunck of red and blue, highlighted with a white stripe. John Booth is out of there, and started a LMP2 team for the Le Mans series this year. Also under the flag of Manor. They also chose for a totally different set of drivers: Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Pascal because of there team up with Mercedes, for there engines. And Rio mainly because of the money he brings with him. Alexander Rossi remains on the team as a test-driver. So besides that not much different. McLaren does have an improved Honda engine, but it still doesn't bring them inside the top 10 -just on the edge of it. Which is an improvement, that's for sure. The rest of the teams have slight adjustments. And Ferrari even pre-tested the Halo cockpit cover already.
So the first race then. Rule-wise there are two new rules between the testing and the race. A fair amount of radio traffic is disallowed. The driver can say/ask anything, but the team can't answer on everything. Wanted result from the FIA: the driver back in control / needs to know what he is doing. Making it a bit more complex. The other rule is the new system to qualify. So it's a couple of minutes free driving for everyone during Q1, after then every 90 sec. the last spot has to go back to the pitbox, and is out of qualifying. This goes on till the top 2, who then have a decision of who gets pole for Sunday. Besides that a minor change for the Sunday grid: all the drivers are allowed to use 1 clutch pedal ! Not 2, this was previous the case, so they could control the car more - and so prevent wheelspin from happening. After the qualify happened (which saw no one on track in the last 5 minutes) all the teams came together and didn't like the outcome of the system. Result: back to the format we knew from 2015. The 107% qualify rule was and is still active tough. So the grid did see some surprises (after some penalty's): Kvyat had a bad weekend, Rio in the back due to penalty, but he was faster then Pascal. Sauber is on 3/4 of the field, Renault on P13 and P14. McLaren on front of the backfield, P11 and P12. Force India who did not get used to the new system and so ended up in the back of the top 10. Verstappen on P5, well done with Sainz Jr. on P7. And in the front it's Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen. The race itself then (I will not go deep into this only highlight some stuff):