The twentieth of March will mark the start of the 67th Formula 1 season.
The season will kick off in Melbourne with the Australian Grand Prix, which will feature Mercedes AMG Petronas as the defending World Constructor’s Champion. Mercedes will rely on their new, extremely reliable W07 Hybrid Silver Arrows, driven by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in order to preserve their title.
However, it seems that Mercedes will face some tough competition, especially from Ferrari who came in second place in last year’s Constructor’s standings and lead the way in the first three out of the four days of pre-season testing. Ferrari is banking on their new car, the SF16-H, to close the gap to Mercedes, in the hands of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen says that his new prancing horse is definitely a big step up. Exactly how big of step is it, particularly relative to Mercedes is a question that can only be answered in full on the Melbourne Grand Prix circuit.
On the other end of the spectre, McLaren Honda has been having a severe problem with the reliability on their new car-the MP4-31. The reliability problems really sabotaged McLaren, especially on the fourth and last day of testing, where a coolant leak limited the team to only three laps.
Honda’s new F1 Chief Yusuke Hasegawa, admitted reliability problems have not yet been sorted. Nevertheless in a recent Q&A session, McLaren’s racing director, Eric Boullier stated, “We’ve been working very hard on the huge evolution of the car. We left no stone unturned.”
Furthermore McLaren’s driver Fernando Alonso declared that the MP4-31 is on the cusp of having the best chassis in the field. In the event that they fix their reliability issues, McLaren has a chance to put on a good show this time.