The 2015 Formula 1 season is almost upon us once again and not a moment too soon! This will be my second season watching and I thought I would make the effort to blog more about it because it’s something I am passionate about.
Judging by pre-season testing, I can’t say I believe it’s going to be the most exciting season on record. It looks like Mercedes are still going to be the dominant force but unfortunately, unlike previous years where Red Bull had that honour, it doesn’t look like the rest of the pack will be close enough to mount a real threat. I had hoped that they would close the gap during the winter but while some teams do appear to have made several steps forward, Mercedes appears to also be one of them. So I can’t help but think the championship is still going to be between Nico & Lewis but fingers crossed that the other teams can make them work for it a bit harder this year!
And with that in mind, I present to you my Top 10 Things I Want for the 2015 F1 Season:
- No serious crashes
I’m not too fond of any crashes, it has to be said because I’ve become very invested in every one of these guys and any moment that finds them planted in a wall leaves me with my heart in my throat. But it also has to be said that it is a part of Formula 1 and it does make it a spectacle and often makes a race more exciting. Crashes bring out safety cars which lead to closing laps like Bahrain 2014 which was edge-of-your-seat action. But incidents like Suzuka last year need to not happen again. It shouldn’t have happened in the first place and I hope that all the new safety regulations will prevent a recurrence. Crashes are par for the course in F1 and that’s fine, just so long as the driver walks away from it every time.
- Williams to get P2 (or higher!) in the Championship
It will become clear very soon that Williams are my favourite team. And as such, I really hope they continue their momentum into this season and can replace Red Bull as best of the rest. Judging by testing performance they are well on their way. The Mercedes engine is obviously a bonus but they also have the benefit of having an excellent collection of staff, two drivers who are very fast and committed to the team and an overall feeling of dedication to the sport. They want to race and this year they want to win. Last year they were so focused on getting the points that they didn’t seem to consider until late in the season that they may be in a position to get that top step. Hopefully this year they’ll go on the offensive and show what they’re really made of.
- Ferrari further up the grid
While Williams is my favourite team, Ferrari boasts two of my favourite drivers and so I would love to see them have a better season than they did last year. But let’s face it, that shouldn’t be difficult. I do like Fernando Alonso quite a lot but I think he was dragging the team down and making them suffer by demanding so much focus. I already feel like the team has been reinvigorated by the reshuffling and with the arrival of Sebastian. It’s hard to tell from testing just where they are as first they seem to be pace-setters and then they were mid-field. I am confident that they will be able to fight it out with the Williams and Red Bulls and get more podiums than they did last year.
- A better variety of pole positions
Last year we only had three people claim pole, and Felipe Massa was most certainly the odd one out, managing it only once. I think the Mercs will be untouchable (save for any issues) during a race but I think it may well be a closer fought battle over flying laps. I think the Williams may well have a better chance at scoring poles and maybe even the Ferraris and Red Bulls depending on the track and the conditions. It’s slightly depressing to see how fast the Mercs were on the Medium Tyres compared to other teams on the Softs but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. It will be a shame if it is only ever one team locking out the front row.
- On track battles all the way down the field
Unfortunately, as I’ve said, I believe the Mercedes’ will be ahead of the pack but hopefully there will be plenty of battles with everyone else. I imagine we’ll see many fights for position between Williams, Red Bull & Ferrari. Force India believe they may have slipped down the pack a bit which would potentially leave them with the Saubers. Although the Swiss team appear to have improved their form so it’s hard to know just where they will be. Same with the Toro Rossos and especially McLaren. With such little testing, I don’t think McLaren will be in a position to fight for good points (or any points!) until about 4 races in. But hopefully we’ll see them scrapping with more and more teams as the season progresses and they get a better handle on their equipment.
- Marussia to return to the grid
Excitingly enough, this looks like it’s all set to happen! I was so sad to see the team go into administration last season, especially with everything that was happening with Jules too. They were the little team that could, we need teams like that in Formula 1, we need underdogs. And now they have a new investor and they have one confirmed driver, they’ve passed their crash test and are on their way to Melbourne as I type! The only thing I hope is that the cars are as safe as they can be, what with them not being brand new 2015 spec.
- The German GP to go ahead
The Nürburgring was scheduled to host the German GP this year but, due to monetary issues, it looked like Hockenheim would have to host it instead. But now Bernie Ecclestone has claimed that maybe the GP won’t take place at all due to falling attendance last year. This would be a complete travesty. The German GP is one of the oldest on the F1 calendar, it would be a real shame to lose it after all this time. Never mind the fact that a German team are current World Champions and they have 3 German drivers on the grid. Maybe rather than depriving fans of an entire GP, they should be working on how to attract more fans. Otherwise we’re going to end up with even fewer races in a few years time.
- All teams collect points
Pretty straight forward, this one. I just want every team to get some points on the board by the end of the season. It’s not even too implausible to consider. Marussia managed to get 2 points last year and with more opposition and, while I believe a lot of that was down to Jules, I still think they have a chance. Hopefully Sauber will manage to improve on their dismal performance last year.
- Nico Hulkenberg to get a podium
Sadly, judging by Force India’s performance so far and how late they came to winter testing with the new car, I feel this may be out of reach. But of all the people on the grid, he is the most overdue for a podium and I don’t understand why it hasn’t happened yet. Hopefully he will find his way into a top team sooner rather than later because he’s more than earned it.
- Felipe Massa to get the first Williams win
Felipe is my favourite driver on the grid and I won’t even pretend that this will be an unbiased blog. I will focus on everyone as much as possible but my focus will always fall to Williams and especially Massa. He is well overdue a win, the last one being all the way back in 2008. He should have won in 2010 but was robbed of the win by his team and that clearly dented his confidence. Now he has been reinvigorated by his arrival at Williams and – after a run of bad luck at the start of last season – he was getting podiums and even challenging for the win at Abu Dhabi. If Williams are in for a shout this year, I really hope that Felipe is the one to take the top step first and that Rob Smedley joins him to take the Constructors’ trophy.
Those are the main points! I feel that Lewis is already on track to win the title again but I have confidence that Nico will put up an even bigger fight and will have learnt a lot from last year. If it is between the two of them then I hope that Nico comes out on top. If the Williams somehow manage to challenge for the driver’s title then with every fibre of my being I hope Felipe clinches it.
So I look forward to this season and even if it does quickly appear to be more of the same from last year, at least we have enough changes (Sebastian in Ferrari, Daniil in Red Bull, the rookies in Toro Rosso, the unpredictable McLarens) to keep things interesting.
Bring on Melbourne!