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5 Drivers to look out for in the 2016 Formula 1

Chinese-GPThree races down the line, the 2016 Formula 1 Grand Prix is all fired up for all the good reasons. Fans might have expected the worst but the thrill in Australia, Bahrain and Shanghai GPs has given a sneak preview of an exciting F1 season ahead. Away from the usual power games in F1, the action is happening where it should actually happen; on the track.

So far it is obvious the game has changed and there are some drivers who are definitely helping bring fans back to the stands. Here are some of the drivers to be on the lookout for:

1.      Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull

Red Bull might not have expected to be taking the fight to Ferrari and Williams this season, but it seems Daniel Ricciardo has other ideas. The Australian has always impressed on the track and his ever amiable personality belies the steel beneath. After three races, Ricciardo boasts 36 points 3 ahead of Sebastian Vettel. This is after finishing fourth in Australia, Bahrain and China. This is one driver who has the skill and guts to push for a top three finish in 2016.

2.      Nico Rosberg, Mercedes

To say that Rosberg is enjoying his best run in Formula One is an understatement. The German is winning races with so much ease that it is disarming. With six wins over the last six races including the last three of the 2015 GP season Nico is showing his mettle and it is obvious that his battle with his partner in Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, is going to get exciting.

3.      Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull

There has been so much pressure on Kvyat with both on-track and off-track pressure. There have been rumors that his seat is in jeopardy after being outperformed by his teammate Ricciardo. Whether this pressure motivated him in the Chinese GP or not, he was downright impressive. Kvyat showed his qualities with an incredible podium place and even Sebastian Vettel was stunned by his ‘torpedo like’ driving.

4.      Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari

If you are wondering why Kimi comes ahead of Vettel in the list, just consider where he stands in the driver’s standing. The Finn is at fifth only 5 points behind Vettel. Already, he has taken podium place in Bahrain at 2nd place and with his future in the Scuderias at risk, he will definitely push Sebastian Vetel to the limit.

5.      Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes

Behind but not out; this is the message Hamilton is struggling to send his fans and you can bet the Briton knows how to fight back. Well, his clutch has had issues and his slow starts have cost him two races. Add this to the unfortunate incidents in Australia and the 5-grid penalty in Shanghai and you appreciate why Lewis might just fight back to snatch the lead before Abu Dhabi GP.

Well, there are other future champions in the making including Romain Grojean of Haas, Max Verstappen, Stoffel Vandoorne who stood in for Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain GP, Pascal Wehrlein at Manor. It seems like things are going to get more exciting and isn’t this what every fan desires?

Here is how the Bahrain Grand Prix Went Down

bahrainIf there is one Formula One race you should never miss then it has to be Bahrain GP. Every year thousands of F1 fanatics throng Sakhir to get a taste of the thrill and intense pace at the International Circuit. Indeed, the 19th March race Sunday was watched by a record 32,000 fans.

If you were not there, here is a simple breakdown of what really went down at Bahrain. Of course, so much goes on in every F1 circuit but the over-the-edge excitement that everyone had before this Grand Prix makes it special in the 2015 calendar.

Take a look:

Pre-race Drama

Formula One gets a lot of thrill from what happens before the cars hit the tarmac.  The Hamilton-Mercedes contract drams dominated F1 circles as suggestions that he might replace Kimi Räikkönen at Ferrari emerged. Lewis was cool about it all and said there is no rush in signing his contract.

The Hamilton vs. Rosberg drama reignited with a report on Daily Mail quoting Rosberg as saying he and Hamilton cannot be friends. At the same time, Bernie Ecclestone was stoking fires saying he would like to see Hamilton and Vettel together at Ferrari. His idea on reverting to the older V8 engines also startled pundits.

Practice and Qualifying

While most fans had expected fireworks during practice and qualifying stage, there wasn’t much on offer. Well, Rosberg was in scintillating form during practice but fell short in qualifying eventually handing Vettel second position.  Hamilton took pole position but McLaren’s troubles continued amazing everyone with Button doing almost nothing in practice and finally failing to qualify due to car problems.

Race Sunday

Like in Australia and China GP, Hamilton never let his lead get away from pole. By the first corner, the Briton was showing his intent and took full advantage when Vettel went off track while fighting with Rosberg. Kimi was on an alternate tire strategy and it worked driving him to second position when Rosberg ran too deep into turn one in the penultimate lap.

Even after undercutting Hamilton and Rosberg during their pit stops, Vettel couldn’t hold on to second position. Another jinxed day for Rosberg saw his car’s brake failure give way to Kimi who then held on to the second position. Behind the three cars, Bottas managed to fight off Vettel and come in 4th with Vettel settling for 5th and Ricciardo in his RB11 coming in an impressive 6th.

Romain Grosjean again dazzled and came in 7th in his Lotus in front of Sergio Perez, Danill Kvyat and Felipe Massa closing the points at number 10. Well, you have to give it to Bahrain 2015 GP for another impressive race.

McLaren promises take the race head-on in 2015

McLaren have managed only two podium finishes in the 2014 Formula One racing season. The first time was during the Australian Grand Prix, which was the season opener. The team claimed position two and three thanks to Kevin Manussen and Jenson Button. The second podium finish was in Sochi at the Russian Grand Prix. McLaren finished in fourth and fifth positions.

New developments at McLaren

Team officials state that McLaren has been busy working on a new engine development with Honda. That means from 2015 onwards, McLaren racing cars will be running on engines supplied by Honda. Already, McLaren is planning to test their interim car. It will ship the car to Abu Dhabi. It will not be in the race, which is the season-closing event this year. However, the team will use the Yas Marina circuit as a testing ground for the new car.

Return of Fernando Alonso

McLaren also announced that Fernando Alonso will be joining the team in 2015. Alonso had been with McLaren in the 2007 season before leaving for Ferrari. The team hopes Alonso will propel its new partnership with Honda to a Formula One victory. The team has had a disappointing season in 2014. Last year, 2013 was also not good for McLaren. The team hopes to regain its lost glory.

Senna and Prost – best exploits ever

One will remember the days of Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Together, they helped McLaren win constructors and drivers’ titles four consecutive times. McLaren won these titles from 1998 to 1991. However, team officials are still tight-lipped on who will be sitting in the cockpits of the brand’s cars in 2015. Sources feel that the company is waiting until it gets a teammate for Fernando Alonso.

Button staring at a career end

McLaren look intent on retaining Kevin Magnussen. If they do, Jenson Button’s career that spans 15 years will have come to an end. Honda had a team in the Formula One. The Japanese automaker quit after five years. Its drivers did not win either the constructors’ or drivers’ titles. In 2008, Honda bowed out of F1 after another unsuccessful season. FIA has introduced new regulations to enhance fuel efficiency. Perhaps this is what has drawn Honda back into action.

Overpowering mighty Mercedes

Mercedes, with its turbo hybrid V6 engine, has been the dominant team in 2014. It appears Honda is nearing its completion of a similar type of engine. However, the company will have to enhance the engine further if at all it hopes to maintain a competitive edge in 2015. Mercedes are a step ahead. Even with the new FIA rules, Mercedes is said to have an engine that has speed advantage of one second per lap over its closest rivals.

The 2015 season looks poised for a rivalry like no other. The Australia Grand Prix in March 2015 will be the curtain raiser. The Monaco Grand Prix will be the sixth race that will take place in May. After Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2015, teams and drivers will take a well-deserved break.

Either you are at Monaco or you are Not a Racing Fan

Monaco is one of the countries that hold the Formula One Grand Prix. The motorsport calendar has about 18 to 20 cities across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. The Monaco Grand Prix takes place in the streets in Monte Carlo. The race covers 78 laps with one lap having a length of 3.34 kilometres. In total, drivers cover a distance of 260.52 kilometres. Any Formula 1 driver you come across will tell you that winning at the circuit of Monaco is in their dreams. Due to the circuit’s design, the Monaco race is slower than the rest.

Historic status, little room for error

Monte Carlo is the second circuit in the history of Formula 1 to receive its racing status. Silverstone in the UK was the first one. Winning at Monte Carlo requires a lot of skill and talent. Many drivers do fail to qualify and end up abandoning the race altogether. Drivers have no room for mistakes and every moment counts. This is one track that calls for maximum concentration. No other circuit gets down to this. There is a lot of braking and while at top speed, even the best Formula One drivers find overtaking an opponent almost next to impossible.

Michael Schumacher at MonacoJoining the hall of fame

The winning driver in Monaco puts his name among the greatest. Champions such as Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna are some notable entries. The latter won six times while Schumacher, fondly referred to as “Schumi” won five times. Organizers have made few changes to the original circuit. That is probably the reason why Monaco Grand Prix remains prestigious. The only alterations done increased the capacity of spectators and introduced a new garage complex. Against the roar of engines and ululating shouts of spectators is Monaco’s glorious sunshine and gleaming yachts docked in the harbour just next to the racetrack.

This is where you need to be

If you are looking for the most exciting Grand Prix, the Monaco circuit is where you ought to be. As the streets close to give room to some of the fastest and fascinating machines, the principality opens up her heart to eager tourists. The aroma of burning rubber is present at all times. That is how you get to know that you are in Formula One. As you look around, a variety of fashions line up the spectator stands. You cannot count the number of camera clicks and flashes that greet your view. All you need to do now is get your Monaco Grand Prix Tickets.

History Waiting To Unfold At the Russian Grand Prix

The circuit on which the Russian Grand Prix takes place is the Sochi circuit. This is a purpose-built facility designed for Formula One races. This year’s event will be the first one on the facility. The event is slated for Friday, 10 October, 2014 to Sunday, 12 October 2014. You will notice that Formula One races take place over the weekend. This makes it convenient for hosting cities, citizens and touring fans such as you.  The first day is always for practice sessions. Competing drivers utilize this opportunity to get a feel of the circuit and rev their engines. On day two, the final practice session takes place paving way for a qualifying race.  Sunday is every racing enthusiast’s favorite. It is the main racing day.

Russia’s date with Formula One

It was in October 2010 that Russia’s date with Formula One was cemented. It takes a lot of cooperation between the government of the host country, race promoters and the international association behind Formula One to host a race. Russia’s bid was boosted by President Vladimir Putin’s presence.  Russia was also on course to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. Apparently, the circuit’s infrastructure is merged into that of the Olympic Park. The Russian government has also undertaken construction and upgrading of roads connecting the circuit with the international airport at Sochi.

A sneak peek into the Sochi circuit

The circuit’s track has a width of 15 meters at two crucial points, the starting and finishing lines. The narrowest point is 12 meters wide. Cars move in a clockwise direction. Sochi circuit has 12 corners to be taken on the right hand side and six on the left hand side. In terms of spectator capacity, Sochi can accommodate up to 55,000 fans. Drivers will get a rare chance of driving through Sochi Olympic Park. Sochi resort city will also host the FIFA World Cup event in 2018. It is one of Russia’s popular resort centers. Going by the number of events taking place here, Sochi is a favorite sporting destination too.

History waiting to be made

Sochi Autodrom is the official circuit name for the venue of Russia Formula One GP. Competitors will have to do a total of 53 laps in a circuit length of 5.853 kilometers.  This translates to a total racing distance of 310.209 kilometers. Since this will be the inaugural event, there is no racing history to report about. However, a number of records will be set here. GP fans can look forward to the best lap time and inaugural winner among other tops.  Sochi International Airport is seven kilometers away from the circuit. The city’s transport system is also good. The Sochi Aeroexpress railway or a shuttle bus will get you to the venue.

Activities to keep you busy

In between watching the main race or practice sessions, you can go swimming or skiing. October is the month when the skiing season starts and runs all the way till May. The Black Sea waters are warm from April through to October. Therefore, bring your swimming costumes along and take a dip in the warm waters. You will also need to obtain a visa to visit Russia. The only exception is where your country has an agreement with the Russian government to provide visa-free entry. Make sure you confirm these details from your country’s tourism office or the Russian one.  Apart from the Olympic Park, you can also visit museums, botanical gardens or enjoy Russian cuisine. There are many places you can choose to stay at. If you have time to spare, you can also visit the Hermann Tilke racetrack in Moscow.