70th Formula 1 World Championship season is ready to kick-off
The 70th season of the Formula 1 World Championship, what is considered by many as the world’s premier racing competition, will start in a few days in Melbourne, Australia.
The Australian Grand Prix traditionally marks the start of the season which again features twenty-one Grand Prix events, the same number as in the year before.
All the races from the previous season are on the calendar again, with only one slight change because the Mexican Grand Prix and the United States Grand Prix swapped places on the calendar. The season’s finale will take place again at the Yas Marina Circuit in Dubai, on December 1.
There are several changes in technical regulations, the most notable are aerodynamic changes on the front and rear wings which have to improve overtaking. The maximum fuel level was raised from 105 kg to 110 kg so drivers wouldn’t have a need to conserve fuel during a race.
Following last year’s confusion about too many types of soft tyres, Pirelli renamed its range of tyres and now there will be only five types available – soft, medium, hard, intermediate and wet.
The notable change in sporting regulations is the bonus point for a driver who sets the fastest lap during the race, but only in he finishes inside the Top 10. It’s the first time since 1959 that the championship will introduce a bonus point for the fastest lap.
The most interesting is, of course, the changes among teams and drivers. Ten teams will be on the grid again. The teams are the same as in 2018 but with several changes in engine compartments and new names.
Red Bull Racing and its sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso will both use Honda powerplants. Racing Point F1 Team completed a transition from the Racing Points Force India identity. Sauber also disappeared from the grid when the team was renamed to Alfa Romeo Racing.
Only two teams will have unchanged pairs of drivers in 2019 – Mercedes and Haas. The defending Constructors’ champions will run cars for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas while Haas retained Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.
Sebastian Vettel will lead Scuderia Ferrari’s effort with the support of 2017 F2 champion Charles Leclerc. The current F2 champion George Russell joined Williams, where he would be partnered by experienced Robert Kubica.
Lando Norris and Alexander Albon, who finished second and third in the 2018 Formula 2 season, will race again against Russell. Norris will form the all-new line-up of McLaren F1 Team together with Carlos Sainz Jr while Albon joined Toro Rosso alongside Russian returnee Daniil Kvyat.
Red Bull Racing will continue to race with the Dutch ‘wunderkind’ Max Verstappen, putting Pierre Gasly to their second car. Renault F1 Team relies on experienced Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg, hoping that it can improve the performance and to increase the gap between the Big Three and other teams.
Sergio Perez stays in the team that changed a name from Force India to Racing Point, being joined by Lance Stroll, whose father is one of the team owners. After converting from Sauber to Alfa Romeo Racing, the Swiss-Italian team hired charismatic Kimi Raikkonen and young Italian Antonio Giovinazzi.
2019 Formula One World Championship entry list
|Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||F1 W10 EQ Power+/Mercedes||44||Lewis Hamilton|
|Scuderia Ferrari||SF90/Ferrari||5||Sebastian Vettel|
|Aston Martin Red Bull Racing||RB15/Honda||10||Pierre Gasly|
|Alfa Romeo Racing||C38/Ferrari||7||Kimi Raikkonen|
|Rich Energy Haas F1 Team||VF-19/Ferrari||8||Romain Grosjean|
|McLaren F1 Team||MCL34/Renault||4||Lando Norris|
|55||Carlos Sainz Jr.|
|SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team||RP19/Mercedes||11||Sergio Perez|
|Renault F1 Team||R.S.19/Renault||3||Daniel Ricciardo|
|Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda||STR14/Honda||23||Alexander Albon|
|ROKiT Williams Racing||FW42/Mercedes||63||George Russell|
Photos: Formula 1,