Another year and it’s another season of the thinking man’s motorsport. Yes you’ve guessed it, Formula 1 is back! The only problem for a man sitting down to write a preview for the season is that this is one of the most confusing and volatile starts to a season that I can remember in some time. There is only one thing which is certain, and that is that Bernie Ecclestone will somehow make the sport worse than it was the year before.
I could sit here and talk about who I think will win the championship, will it be everyone’s least favourite German or maybe somebody new? The answer is who has a clue? I certainly don’t. There are so many uncertainties about what is going to happen this season, that I just don’t know. Sure I can sit here and rattle off names of guys who will probably challenge, but I honestly couldn’t make a well thought out and educated decision on it.
One of the major problems is that the cars for this year are hugely different to those of last year, I’m not going to go into the mechanics of it because I’m not one of those guys (I personally watch F1 because of the tactical side of it), all we think we know is that the cars are going to be much less reliable than last year, but by the end of the season will that be the case? Who really knows, I certainly don’t.
Now if you’ve read this far you must be thinking ‘what the fuck dude? This isn’t much of a preview!’ And you’d be right, it isn’t much of a review, but you can never really tell how good a car is until race day. Practice sessions and days are almost irrelevant because there is a huge degree of posturing going on from the teams, so as to not show their hand to their opponents. Yes Red Bull look dreadful just now, but for all we know they’ve got the greatest car ever constructed in the garage (I doubt it). It also isn’t how well you start in F1, it’s how you develop in the season. Last year Lotus looked pretty good at the start of the season and fell away. If you looked at Mercedes’ qualifying you would think that they would have been right up there challenging for the title, they were nowhere to be seen. The simple fact is that until the races are run and the rust has been shaken, we won’t really know.
Currently the Mercedes looks like the car to beat, Ferrari are always there, Williams looks surprisingly good and McLaren look like they’re back on track after last year’s pitiful season. Currently Red Bull look truly awful, but it is hard to think that the team which won the drivers and constructors championship four years in a row won’t improve dramatically throughout the season, especially when they have done just that in each of their four championship winning seasons. Could the same be said about the other teams? I’d be surprised if Williams are still there by the end of the season, and although a team like Force India look like they’ve improved again and have two good young drivers, they’re still a couple of years away from being the next Red Bull. So once again it is likely that the four big teams will be there battling it out at the end. If I had to choose who was winning the constructors championship right now I’d have to plump for Mercedes, they have to top drivers and seem to have the best car to start the season. I’d have Ferrari sitting as my second favourite because it is hard to put two quality drivers like Alonso and Raikkonen and not challenge for the constructors title.
So who’s going to win the title that people actually care about? Possibly unsurprisingly I don’t have a clue (a bit of a theme throughout the piece). However just to satisfy the buzzards and all the people getting frustrated at my lack of decision making and actual predicting in what is supposed to be a preview, I think that Nico Rosberg will be the drivers champion at the end of the season. Yes not Lewis Hamilton, Nico’s overpaid and overrated driver buddy, because well he’s overpaid and overrated. Rosberg will find himself in the best car at the start of the season and as Jenson Button showed a few years ago, you can turn that into a championship quite easily. It is a very open championship battle this year, and I could make an argument for Alonso, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel or even Magnussen (I won’t, but I could).
One thing we do know for sure is that good ol’ Bernie (a sarcastic term in case you wondered) has introduced the genius idea (also sarcasm) of making the last race a double pointer! Yes by the time we go into the last race we will see a super duper double bonus round! Double points bayby! Of course this makes absolutely no sense, but what else do you expect from a man who can’t figure out how to use a revolving door?
So the season starts in sunny Australia and will end in sunny Abu Dhabi, but we get to make our usual trips to Canada, Germany and Belgium. However the highlight of the calendar must surely be the newest grand prix to be welcomed into the Formula 1 family, a nice little trip to the welcoming and safe country of Russia! Plus we also get to go to Austria…which is much less exciting.
There you go, possibly the worst 2014 Formula 1 preview you will read this week, but what am I meant to do? I’ve read a few by proper journalists and they’re as stumped as I am about the whole thing. If you’re a betting man (or lady) I’d put my money on Rosberg to win because he looks like he’s in the best car and there’s no value in betting Hamilton, plus Rosberg’s a better driver. I don’t know who’s going to win and that’s a good thing. At times the last four seasons have been atrocious, and that is a big part as to why these radical changes have been put in place. So enjoy the season, hopefully it will be better than last year, although it couldn’t be much worse.