Ladies and gentlemen. We are one week away from what promises to be a great 2015 Formula 1 Season. Lots of changes since that last race in Abu Dhabi where an engine failure in Nico Rosberg’s car made it «easy» for Lewis Hamilton to win his second driver’s championship. All the behind the scenes preparation over the break will be put to the test in Melbourne next Sunday.
The Silver Arrow team has kept both of its world class drivers in charge of delivering another Constructors Championship. From the engineers to the mechanics to almost everyone on the staff will be returning this season. Nico now knows what it is like to handle the pressure of being in title contention feels like. Totto Wolf and Paddy Lowe know that can still get more points from the German driver. Lewis Hamilton will help him add even more points but is not expected to hold back for another shot at another title. Their testing results at Jerez and Barcelona point toward another great season for Mercedes.
This team is seeing how Mercedes is drifting away with all the glory that used to belong to them. They not only lost their place on the top of the constructors and drivers championships, they also lost Sebastian Vettel. The Germani driver is now with Ferrari and leaves the leadership on the track to Australian sensation, Daniel Ricciardo while promoting Daniil Kvyat from Toro Rosso to Red Bull. The car did well in testing but has some things to figure out to make their Renault engine catch up with Mercedes.
Probably the team that surprised fans the most in 2014 was this one. With Felippe Massa’s resurrection and the solid performances by Valtteri Bottas, they finished third. This year they should obviously be expecting to make it further up the podium. The greatness of this team is greatly powered by a woman. Claire Williams has been accredited with much of the team’s recent success. She is also pushing that in a near future Sussie Wolf could be behind the wheel in her team. This team only looks to be moving forward. The recent deal with BT should really help them get the best out of their cars.
The longest lasting Formula 1 team is experiencing one of its deepest crisis in many years. Their lack of victories is driving officials crazy and last year only one man was able to make it a decent one for Ferrari. Now that Fernando Alonso is on another team, Kimmi Raikkonen will be joined by Sebastian Vettel. They are both world champions but have forgotten about their winning ways. The reconstruction of this team was almost complete over the break. They want to deliver their fans a win but with how Mercedes and other teams are rolling, it will be something hard to see happening, but not impossible.
This team has a solid driver’s lineup. Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are experts at getting the most out of their cars. Unfortunately for the team that returns to run with a Honda engine, it will not be the two of them that line up at Melbourne. After Alonso’s crash during practice, he will miss the first week of action of the season. After that, both drivers will have to make their skills count to get McLaren back to where it once was. Button was about to leave the team, but Alonso suggested that he wanted the Englishman to stay. The team listened and both of these drivers have a lot of catching up to do for McLaren.
In 2014, this team was really unpredictable. They would have a great race one day and the next weekend they would barely even finish the race. Sergio Perez has found a new contract with this team but his biggest motivation might be having a Grand Prix in Mexico in sight. Perez is known for his aggressive driving that has cost him big points and in some cases a finish in the podium. He has to show maturity this season because he’s got talent. Then his teammate Nico Hulkenberg has been more consistent but not in the spots he would like to be. Team owner Vijay Mallya would like to see his money spent wisely.
The driving school of Red Bull is a team that mostly prides itself in preparing their drivers for the F1 lifestyle by the time they make the jump with Red Bull. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr are the two drivers representing the Italian constructor. In 166 races, they have one win and one pole position. As we said before, this is more of a development team than a team concerned to win a drivers championship. Sebastian Vettel’s and Daniel Ricciardo’s success at the top can be highly attributed to what they learned from their time at Toro Rosso. So it’s fun to watch their drivers develop throughout the season.
The problems just wouldn’t stop for this British team in 2014. Despite having Pastor Maldonado as their leader, there was not much to celebrate last season. Romain Grosjean and the Venezuelan driver must take advantage of a team that does not seem to have the financial problems it had in 2013 and 2014. They will be supported by a Mercedes engine just like the team that leads the competition does. Their standard to beat last year’s performance is not high. With only 10 points in 2014, they sure have the drivers and hopefully the car to do better.
The swiss team finished pointless in 2014 so there is no way they could do worst than last season. Esteban Gutierrez was expected to stay with the team but he did not convince the team management it should be that way even with the Mexico Grand Prix in sight. They feel that Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr are what the team need to score some points this upcoming season. Troubles with their engine could be parallel to the ones Ferrari has with theirs. But something is for sure, to belong in this category you need more than a deep wallet. The two drivers have the skills to prove they belong in the F1 world.