With action day looming in March, every Formula One fan is angling to understand what is new and what to expect. Of course everyone has a different interpretation of what is expected to happen because after all, anything can happen in Formula One. No one would have thought Nico Rosberg would not be on the grid after his Championship title, but that’s just Formula One for you.
Below are some of the most obvious questions every Formula One fan and pundit is asking now that the action is about to start. Most likely, you also have the same questions in mind if you are an avid F1 fan:
1. Will Ferrari Turn Up?
If the term underwhelming required a new definition, it would aptly fit Ferrari’s season in 2016. After a promising start with and proclamation that the Scuderia could at last challenge Mercedes’ dominance, all hopes went up in smoke. By the end of it all, it was obvious the main driver, Vettel, was out of sorts even with the team.
His expletive-laden laced rant to the team in the Mexican GP showed just how frustrated the German was. The question on everyone’s minds now is whether Ferrari will match Red Bull after giving up its 3rd place constructor’s position last year.
2. Can Renault Recoup with Hulkenberg?
There is no denying that Nico Hulkenberg is the unluckiest driver because he never gets a top seat yet he is one of the most decent drivers in F1. A look at what he has done with Force India is just evidence enough that the Hulk can fight for podiums with the right car. It is no wonder Renault, which has had a poor year, has made a swoop for him. Is this going to be the impetus Renault needs to make a comeback?
3. Does Stoffel Vandoorne have an X-factor?
There is no denying that fans were delighted when Stoffel Vandoorne stood in for Fernando Alonso in Bahrain 2016. He was impressive and now with a top seat, it remains to be seen whether the Belgian can push the new car to its limits. In Alonso, he has a great teacher and he can still push the Spaniard to the edge to claim bragging rights. What you can bet on is that the Belgian has nothing to lose and you might just see another Max Verstappen on the track.
4. Is this the Year Max wins it?
It is too early to write off the likes of Vettel and Hamilton, but if 2016 was anything to go by, you can expect a lot of thrilling races from Max. The Red Bull driver is an asset to every team and it is no wonder Mercedes did not even dare look in his direction when looking for Nico’s replacement. Max is on a learning curve and it is no secret that he is learning fast.
Criticism aside, what did everyone expect when giving a teenager a car that makes a road supercar fade in comparison? He is learning and this might just be the year Hamilton starts feeling the heat.
So what’s on your mind about the new season? Do you think it will be more exciting? One thing is guaranteed; the cars will be faster so the thrill will increase for sure.
The Austrian Grand Prix story starts, just like with many Grand Prix tales, with a group of individuals that were passionate about motor racing in the 1950s. These local folks created a very simple L-shaped circuit with hay bales and cones in Zeltweg town. The maiden race for the international sports cars took place in 1958. Wolfgang von Trips won this premier race in a Porsche. Nonetheless, the remarkably bumpy track attacked plenty of criticisms. This did not stop the circuit from holding two more rounds of Formula Two Championship (1959 and 1960).
The organizers had a dream of hosting an interesting Formula One race. In 1961 and 1963, Zeltweg town played host to non-championship events. Jack Branham and Innes Ireland won the races in 1963 and 1961 respectively.
Jochen Rindt, an Austrian superstar, rose as a result of the two events. As Rindt ascended through the F1 ranks, Zeltweg town pushed for a championship event. In 1964, the town realizes this great dream. Lorenzo Bandini went on to claim his only victory in motor racing. In 1965, Formula One did not return. However, the sportscar event still ran. Rindt, a local hero, won the race in a Ferrari.
Rindt’s success, combined with an ever-growing interest of Formula One racing was enough to attract funding. The funding led to the creation of a purpose built circuit. A natural basin was the location of the Osterreichring. Over time, it proved to among the fastest tracks worldwide. Its demand on driver skill, wonderful aesthetics, and impressive corners were some of the reasons for the high popularity of this circuit.
In 1970, the maiden Formula One race was held at the track. Rindt was highly dominant throughout the race. Actually, a win was expected for the Australian. Nonetheless, to the disappointment of home fans, this was not to be. Jacky Ickx took the chequered flag for Ferrari. The good thing is that there was always a next year. Sadly, at the same year’s Italian Grand Prix, Rindt died after a crash. He became the first racer of the sport to die during a race.
Consequently, the entire Austrian nation and sport fraternity were quite devastated. Fortunately, sooner than expected, NikiLunda would become Austria’s new hero. During the mid-1970s, home fans turned up in huge numbers expecting Lauda to win. This did not happen.
In the 1975 motor racing event, Vittorio Brambilla won in March’s torrential conditions.
All hail the might Hercules because legend has it that this god gave us Monaco. If you have been to this city you understand why any traveller would be so enthusiastic to go back there because you can never get enough of the French Riviera and the Monaco Grand Prix hospitality.
Finesse in Holidaying
There are many good destinations in the world but none comes close to Monaco in terms of grandeur, elegance, fun, prestige and of course hospitality. From the Monaco GP to the exquisite beaches there is no limit of the fun you can wring out of this principality.
Simply put Monaco can be termed the epitome of elegant living and once you visit you will want to go back. Whatever tickles your fancy be it the thrill of F1 speeds, incredible night life, marina or amazing casinos it will be available for you.
Unlike most destinations where you visit amazing sights but hospitality levels let you down, Monaco offers you a complete package. To sample the best out of the city you should always find the best hotels to pamper your body after a tiring day exploring the city.
The hotels in Monaco offer thousands of rooms but that’s just a tip of the iceberg. The architecture ranging from belle, Mediterranean to Classical makes them sights to behold. Their exquisite personalized service makes the whole experience ethereal.
Some of the incredible hospitality offers can be found in facilities such as:
Yacht experience: How would you like to dine like royalty on water? This is exactly what you get especially during the Monaco GP. You not only get a breathtaking view of the race but also champagne breakfast, 5-star catering, champagne open bar, menus designed by Master Chefs from 5-star hotels and much more.
Thermes Marin Spa: Hospitality is not all about food and dining in Monaco but also health. At this world famous spa, there are heated marine pools, vast treatment options including sea-peels with Dead Sea salts, algae baths and much more.
Hotel De Paris’s Wine Cellar: Enjoy the world’s most storied wine cellar dating back to the 1870s. With over 450,000 bottles and 55 types of champagne there will of course be something to tickle your bud.
World-class hotels: You have a chance to enjoy personalized service at the world’s most exclusive hotels. These include the Metropole which has ESPA spa services, Hermitage which was built in the 1900s and is centrally located, Monte Carlo Bay, Columbus, Le Meridien Beach Plaza to mention but a few.
Super car experience package: Nothing beats travelling around this great city in a supercar. The dream car you have always ogled at in Motoring Magazines is within your reach here. In fact you will get a package that comes with accommodation, VIP tables during Monaco GP after parties and much more.
It is impossible to capture all of Monaco’s hospitality in one article. You just have to fly down there and experience the glamorous and luxurious service to appreciate what it is all about.
What would you do if you were given a chance to recreate a popular event that was last held a century ago? This is the question Russia has had to deal with since the inclusion of the Sochi Autodrom in the 2014 Grand Prix circuit.
A Look at History
While most fans regard the Russian GP as a new phenomenon it dates back to 1913 and 1914 at St. Petersburg Square. It can thus be referred to as one of the oldest races but one that has also missed from action for the longest time.
These first races were won by G. Suvorin and Willy Scholl respectively but with the outbreak of WW1 it was abandoned. Plans to revive the circuit in the F1 calendar have been in the pipeline for over three decades.
Though plans to build a track have existed this long only after a meeting between FIA bosses including Ecclestone and President Vladmir Putin was an agreement signed. The city to host the track is the Black Sea resort city of Sochi which hosted the Winter Olympic Games.
Interesting Circuit Facts
Circuit length: The proposed length is a 5.853-kilometre track designed by renowned Hermann Tilke.
Location: Sochi and integrated around the Olympic Park infrastructure. The size of the circuit reduces to 13 meters at the narrowest point to 15 meters at the start and finish line.
Challenge: With 12 right and six left hand corners drivers are already predicting these to be the main challenges on the track.
Top speed: Expected top speed is 320 km/h
Last winner: Willy Scholl in 1914 still holds the record as the last winner.
When BBC’s David Coulthard joined Sebastian Vettel to try out the circuit the driver felt the track resembled Korea in layout. To come up with a prediction using this experienced driver’s feel of the track any driver who exceled in the Korean GP 2013 can make history on this track.
Vettel was of course the 1st in the Korean GP 2013 followed by Raikkonen and Grosjean. Hamilton who is experiencing explosive form this season was 4th. You can bet with all these other drivers in the list not competing for honors the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton will be renewed.
Politics aside the Russian GP can join the great races with a rich heritage including Monaco GP if it beats the usual teething problems that come with new tracks.
Come October 12th all eyes will be on Sochi to see what it has to offer both fans and drivers.