Formula 1 season 2018: Favourites, innovations, tracks
Munich – The new F1 season is just around the corner and promises to be a spectacle once again. SPORT1 has all information about the start of the 2018 season.
On the 25th. March (from 7.10 a. m. in the LIVETICKER) Formula 1 is once again about points.
The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne traditionally marks the start of the season and opens the match between the teams. Can Lewis Hamilton defend his title or will Sebastian Vettel snatch the crown from England? What innovations provide excitement and spectacle?
SPORT1 offers a view of the 2018 season and lists favourites, drivers and courses.
After a duel between Ferrari and Mercedes last season, which was won by Lewis Hamilton, there could be a triathlon this year.
Red Bull showed during the test drives that they are on an equal footing with the two top favourites. Mercedes head of motorsport Toto Wolff also spoke of a “strong package” for Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen’s team. In the second week of the test in Barcelona, Ricciardo quickly attracted attention with the fastest time of the day. Previously, Ferrari or Mercedes had always set the best time of the day.
While the latter have a clear hierarchy, both Red Bull pilots are fighting for the number 1 status, which could lead to conflicts in the course of the season.
In the F1 carousel, things remained relatively quiet in the summer. From a German point of view, the end for Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber is painful. Instead of the 23-year-old, Charles Leclerc is now sitting in the cockpit of the Swiss racing team. The second newcomer is the Russian Sergei Sirotkin, who takes over the car of the resigned Felipe Massa from Williams.
The most striking new feature on the cars is the “Halo”cockpit guard, which is a kind of safety bar around the driver. But there is criticism:”It will feel like we’re driving a bus,”Hamilton criticized the innovation.
Due to Halo, the minimum weight of the cars has increased to 733 kilograms.
Besides, the shark fin at the stern is history. The new engine regulation will hit the teams harder. Instead of the four engines allowed so far per season, only three new engines are allowed in 2018. If the teams need more engines, the respective driver will be penalized in the starting line-up by several places.
Pirelli has also made some changes to the tyres. There are now seven tyre compounds with the new categories Hypersoft and Superhard. All in all, all tyres have been made one step softer. As a result, the officials hope for more pit stops and therefore more excitement in the races.
From a fan’s point of view, the most important innovation is the change in the start time. Instead of starting the race at the full hour as before, the starting signal will now be given only ten minutes after the full hour.
“Many broadcasters only go on air at the full hour and miss the emotion that characterizes the minutes before the start of each Grand Prix,”explains Formula One management.
In European races, the start in 2018 usually takes place at 3.10 pm local time, 70 minutes later than before. Exceptions are the races in England (14.10 hrs) and France (16.10 hrs), where the football World Cup is taking place in Russia at the same time.
The 2018 racing calendar includes 21 courses. Good news for the German Formula 1 fans: After a break of one year, the Deutschland Grand Prix will take place again in Hockenheim.
In addition, after ten years, a Grand Prix will take place in France again, in the village of Le Castellet it is the first time since 1990. On the other hand, the race in Malaysia is missing for the first time since 1999.
This season, the races will only be held on the free-TV channel RTL. Pay-TV broadcaster Sky has withdrawn after the failed negotiations on an exclusive transmission in Formula 1. SPORT1 reports live in the Formula 1 ticker from all races. In the course of the season there will also be a live stream with costs from Formula 1.