So the 2016 F1 season is nearly upon us. Teams are putting the final touches on their 2016 contenders. All eyes will be on the new cars at the Barcelona test this week. There are many questions this season but in my eye there are only 3 worth paying attention to. 1, Can anyone come close to Mercedes AMG? 2, Will Hass F1 be any good in their debut season? 3, Can McLaren rebound from their disastrous 2015?
For the rest of the constructors I went in the exact order they finished the 2015 Constructors Championship. However were American, we have tremendous pride for anything American competing at the pinnacle of sport. So here, with us, in America Hass F1 Gets top billing.
Hass F1 has a Technical Partnership with Ferrari and shares as many parts as the rules will allow with the Italians. Most notably the Ferrari Power Unit. Ferrari possessed the 2nd best Power Unit behind Mercedes in 2015. Hopefully they have continued to close the gap. All this is cause for optimism in Hass F1’s debut season. They’re talking about scoring points etc. Only time will tell, but Haas is off to a good start and its great to have an American team back in F1.
Mercedes has dominated F1 the past two seasons. Reducing the drama for race wins between Nico Rosburg and Lewis Hamilton. With the latter winning the past 2 Driver’s Championships. Mercedes has the best power unit, and will continue to be the top dog until someone comes along and proves they can go toe to toe with them. As for their 2016 car? Everyone else went the modern music flashing light reveal route. Mercedes decided to go the a-ha music video route with their reveal. Maybe a subtle call out to their competition? Anyway the defending champs reveal was less than spectacular, so watch the on track debut instead.
Ferrari finished 2nd to Mercedes in 2016. While acceptable to some teams, that just wont do for the Italians. They have even stated that not winning a Championship in 10 years would be a disaster. Ferrari’s last title was way back in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen. 10 years is creeping up fast on Ferrari. They enter 2016 with optimistic their power unit can take the fight to Mercedes.
On the strength of their Mercedes power unit, Williams Martini Racing surprised many in the F1 world and finished 3rd in the 2015 Constructors Championship. Building on that success Williams looks to improve in 2016.
2015 was not kind to Red Bull Racing. Difficulty with speed and reliablity from their Renault power unit lead to a rather unspectacular 2015 on the track. Off the track they publicly slammed the french automaker and went in search of a new unit. Unfortunately Mercedes and Ferrari wanted no part in giving a rival their engines. Even McLaren stoped Honda from letting Red Bull use their engines. In the end they finished where they started with Renault. After all this drama Red Bull decided to spice things up for 2016, speciffically with their new livery. Going for a bold flat look it will certainly stand out on the grid in the upcoming season.
Force India teased everyone in the off season by suggesting a partnership with Aston Martin. This was all very exciting. While not completely dead for the future, the partnership is highly unlikely. Which is a major bummer. Either way Force India returns in 2016 with a new car sporting the all conquering Mercedes power unit.
Formerly Lotus, Renault returns to F1 as a full factory effort in 2016. Renault is very proud of their 115 years in racing. They hope this will help them take the fight to Mercedes and Ferrari. I will give them this, the Black and gold livery looks awesome. It’s new and fresh and doesn’t look like they copied the classic Lotus look.
Ok so that doesn’t really show the new car, so here’s a better look
The Junior Red Bull program was surprisingly quick in 2015. If it weren’t for some driver errors and bad luck, Toro Rosso would have finished much higher in the standings. Unlike the senior Red Bull squad, Toro Rosso will be using Ferrari power units. This gives other Red Bull outfit cause for major optimism heading into 2016. The new car showed up to Barcelona without it’s 2016 livery, but they did show up with a brand new car unlike Sauber.
Sauber will not debut their 2016 challenger until the second F1 test. The Swiss squad will test a modified version of their 2015 at the Barcelona test.
2015 Was nothing short of disastrous for McLaren. Their Honda power unit was a combination of under-powered and unreliable. Used to competing for Championships McLaren only managed to beat the woeful Manor in 2015. McLaren says they have solved these issues and should be way more competitive in 2016.
My mother always taught me, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” So while everyone else is revealing their new cars, Manor announces it’s driver line up. Sure this is good news for Ryo Haryanto and Pascal Wehrlein but Manor is once again starting a season behind everyone else. I honestly do not know why these guys even bother. Thanks to the financial boondoggle that was Maruissia, Manor ran an outdated car and power unit. Rather predictably they scored no points in 2015. Yes they will feture Mercedes power this season, but with the way this company is mismanaged I wouldn’t have high hopes for Manor this season. And by high hopes I mean scoring points. Guess that wasn’t very nice, whoops. Sorry Mom.