Well, it was already pretty clear, but now we know for certain…it’s going to be like this all the way, isn’t it? Granted, there’s still more than enough time for things to change – and, to be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did – but, when all’s said and done, this is meant to be the highest level of motorsport in the world, and it doesn’t do that image many favours when there’s only two cars from the same team fighting it out at the front, but, at last, things seem to be starting to change. I mean, when you consider the way the last few seasons have played out, it would have been easy to think this sort of competition was still some way off, but such a significant change in the rules was always likely to help bunch the field up and give a few different names an opportunity, and, as a fan…this is just the kind of thing we’ve been crying out for. After several years at the top, the pace-setters finally have a fight on their hands for the 2017 Formula One World Championship…and they’re certainly not going to have it their own way from here on in, either.
Continue reading “Formula One 2017 – Russian Grand Prix (Round 4)”
OK, so it’s not quite ‘back to the future’, but…I think we’ve been here once before, haven’t we? When it comes to motorsport, the world of open-wheel single seaters is often seen as the most spectacular form of racing, but, while the majority are well aware of Formula One as being the top level and the ultimate ambition for any aspiring young driver, there’s never been much consistency in the junior categories as to the best way to get there, but, at long last…it looks like that might all be about to change. Yes, it’s not exactly a massive alteration – in fact, you’d find it difficult to pick out anything different apart from a new logo and a new name – but, in the long run, it could be a hugely important development, and, if the action on track remains even half as good, I don’t think there’ll be many people complaining. It might have a new identity, but, in almost every other way, the 2017 FIA Formula Two Championship is pretty much the same…and it’d be a brave man to try and predict how it’s going to turn out.
Continue reading “FIA Formula 2 2017 – Bahrain (Rounds 1-2)”
Well, we all knew it was coming, but, even by their standards…that was quite some response, wasn’t it? I mean, whichever way you look at it, securing any kind of silverware in the cut-and-thrust world of motorsport is hard enough at the best of times, but the challenge often seems to be even greater when it comes to retaining a particular title, and, while some teams have the ability to make it look incredibly easy at times, it’s equally as interesting to see how quickly they can respond when somebody suddenly emerges from the pack and presents themselves as a genuine challenger…and that’s almost exactly what we’ve got here. OK, so it didn’t come completely out of the blue – in fact, the signs were there for all to see even before a wheel was turned in anger, and it generally doesn’t take much to work out who’s going to be quick and who’s not in this game – but, once you get used to it, that winning habit is difficult to get out of, and really, it was always going to be a case of ‘when’, not ‘if’, the pace-setters would show just what they were capable of. The fight for the 2017 Formula One World Championship already has the makings of more than a two-horse race, and, even at this very early stage…it looks like it could go the full distance.
Continue reading “Formula One 2017 – Bahrain Grand Prix (Round 3)”
Despite having only been in existence for seven years, the GP3 Series has become arguably the best place to spot the next F1 superstar – this is the field of 2016 at the start of the feature race in Germany – and, with so many already having gone on to bigger and better things…who’ll join the roll of honour this time around?
OK, so it might not be the most spectacular series around…but it certainly does the job, doesn’t it? I mean, whichever way you look at it, the world of motorsport is incredibly difficult to get into at the best of times, and, while any aspiring racing driver worth their salt will be looking to make it to the very top, the reality is that they have to spend time in the junior ranks to prove their worth, but, with the top brass of Formula One teams watching on from the sidelines, there could hardly be a better shop window than this. However, there might well be problems on the horizon, and it’s nothing to do with the concept – in fact, the amount of talented drivers that have been produced in recent years shows just how successful things have been – but the changes that have gone on further up the single-seater ladder means it now suddenly looks out of sync, and, with some questioning whether it’ll even be around in the near future or not…the pressure’s on to see if they can come up with the answers. Despite all this, though, the GP3 Series is still one of the most prestigious championships in open-wheel racing, and, as the 2017 season prepares to burst into life this weekend…there’s plenty to get excited about.
Continue reading “GP3 Series 2017 – Season Preview”
Sure, there’s still an awful long way to go, but at first glance…this is already looking a lot more promising, isn’t it? I mean, as far as most people are concerned, this is meant to be the absolute highest level of motorsport anywhere in the world, but it’s hard to be positive about a situation where two drivers from the same team are constantly battling it out for overall supremacy, and so something had to be done to turn the tide. Sure, there’s always an element of risk whenever a championship – especially one as high-profile as this – brings in a new set of rules (chiefly because no one really knows if they’re going to work or not), and, perhaps inevitably, some are going to get to grips with them quicker than others, but, when you consider the pattern of the last few seasons, it was a surprise to see them have such an immediate effect…and it looks as though the competition is going to be stronger than ever before. The most iconic name of them all has drawn first blood in the 2017 Formula One World Championship, and, for the first time in a long while…the pace-setters look like they’ve got a fight on their hands.
Continue reading “Formula One 2017 – Chinese Grand Prix (Round 2)”
OK, well…this is certainly going to take some getting used to, isn’t it? Granted, there’s always changes being made in the world of motorsport, and some are inevitably going to be bigger than others, but it’s not often you see one quite as momentous as this, with the genuine end of an era – and one that’s not even been played out on the track, at that – being executed in such a ruthlessly efficient fashion, and already, there are signs the future direction at the highest level of the sport is going to be significantly different to what’s gone before. However, for everything that’s gone on behind the scenes, the on-track action hasn’t escaped without alteration either – in fact, you could probably argue the sheer scale of the rule changes this year is the biggest for quite some time – and, with the usual changes of personnel adding another element to the already complicated mix…it’s anyone’s guess what’s going to happen next. There’s every reason to be excited about the 2017 Formula One World Championship, and, after so much talking over the winter…it’s time to write the first chapter.
Continue reading “Formula One 2017 – Australian Grand Prix (Round 1)”
After more than a decade as the main feeder series to Formula One, GP2 has now morphed into the FIA Formula Two Championship for the new season – this is the 2016 field at the start of the feature race in Austria – and so, with such a valuable prize potentially on offer…who’s going to be the one to watch in 2017?
Well, they’ve finally managed to get it done…but what exactly HAVE they done? I mean, normally in motorsport, whenever a new championship pops up, there often has to be something that little bit different about it compared to its direct rivals, but, when the biggest alteration is to the name of the series rather than the technical aspects of the cars on show…it does seem to be a fuss over nothing. Sure, for people who only follow motorsport in passing, without knowing about the various ins and outs of a particular series, it does make a little more sense to have a clear, ordered structure to the single-seater ladder that allows young drivers to move up through the ranks more easily, but, from a fan’s perspective, there wasn’t really all that much wrong with the old system, and it does beg the question whether this needed to be done right now or not. The newly rebranded FIA Formula 2 Championship is all set to burst into life this weekend, but, while it might well signal the start of a new dawn for the direct feeder series for Formula 1…there’s still plenty to prove.
Continue reading “FIA Formula 2 2017 – Season Preview”
Arguably the most spectacular and prestigious motorsport championship in the world, Formula One is about to change in a big way – this is the field of 2016 at the start of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix 12 months ago – and, with so many questions still to be answered…who’s going to grab the glory this time?
Talk about the winds of change…this is more like a hurricane, isn’t it? OK, so I might be overstating things a little, but it can be easy sometimes to become accustomed to things being done in a certain way – particularly after such a long period of time – and so, when the status quo is upset for whatever reason, there’s immediate pressure on those coming in to prove they’re capable of delivering the goods. I mean, it’s natural that the world of motorsport has to move with the times every now and again, but this is very much a case of revolution rather than evolution, and, to be honest, it’s difficult to emphasise just how important this could be for what many people regard as the pinnacle of racing. That’s right, Formula One is back, and, with the 2017 season set to get underway this weekend and so many unknowns to throw into the mix as a new era for the sport begins…it’s anyone’s guess how it’s going to play out.
Continue reading “Formula One 2017 – Season Preview”
There’s no disputing that Formula One is still the place to be in open-wheel racing – this is the start of the 2016 Australian Grand Prix – but what’s going on further down the system?
With their distinctive appearance and often incredible performance figures, it’s no surprise that open-wheel, single-seater racing has become one of the most recognisable and popular forms of motorsport on the planet, but, with most of the attention and coverage directed towards the very highest level of Formula One, it’s often easy to forget the vital role that the numerous feeder formulae play in providing aspiring young drivers with a platform to show their skills.
In the past, it used to be relatively straightforward to work out where a future F1 superstar might well emerge from, but now…well, the picture is more than a little muddled with the numerous different avenues on offer to the next generation, and so, for the first of my new ‘Mouthing Off’ series of posts, I’m going to take a look at the current situation from three separate angles – money, seats and career progression – before giving my opinion on what could potentially be the best way forward…
Continue reading “‘Mouthing Off’ (1) – The current state of junior single-seaters”