2016 Formula 1 season is GO!!!
This last Sunday, the Formula 1 season took off with the first round, in Melbourne, Australia, at the Albert Park circuit.
The weekend started on Friday, with practice sessions interrupted by heavy rain, and then Saturday saw the qualifying session taking place.
A new qualifying format saw the light, but was met with extreme discontent by the drivers, the teams and of course the fans.
The new system was found too complicated for the fans to grasp, in a time where the sport’s fan base is in an apparent decline.
The race ran in a dry weather, which was to the teams’ liking.
Another new integration was the freedom of choice that the teams had to make in terms of tire choices, with each team allowed 13 sets to choose from, and to be used freely throughout the whole weekend.
This had an impact on the strategies the teams had to make in terms of the number of pit stops, as a number of teams had each of their 2 drivers choosing a different number of each tire compound.
The race start was a thrilling one, as all eyes were on both Mercedes and Ferrari, to see if the German team was still dominant, or the Italian outfit had gained the needed momentum to challenge them; and Sebastian Vettel came with the answer.
The Ferrari driver was leading the first half of the race, in front of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
but the bad strategy that the team set for him, and an unfortunate incident for Raikkonen, where he had a fire just behind the cockpit, only meant the prancing horse could accomplish a 3rd place finish behind the Mercs, who apparently still remain dominant.
The race saw a red flag, which meant it had to stop, at lap 18 , when Fernando Alonso was chasing Esteban Gutierrez entering turn 3, and the first crashed into the back of the latter, in a crash that we only see once every decade.
Luckily, both drivers walked out of it, but Fernando Alonso was dubbed the luckiest man alive on this day.
Another surprise, was the performance shown by the Haas F1 team, the first American team to join the competition in 20 years, who was able to score a sixth place finish by his driver Romian Grosjean. That felt like a victory.
The Mercedes duo, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were first and second respectively, once again a surprise as all expected the Briton Hamilton to be the dominant one.
The season continues next week, at the Bahrain Grand Prix, taking place at Sakhir circuit, with a high expectancy for the Ferraris to clench a win and prove they can challenge the Mercedes dominance.