Formula 1 2019 is finally here

2019-03-13 06:00

IT’S been an awfully long wait but the start of the 2019 season is here. Twenty-one races, several countries and continents and an excess of expectation await.

Everyone is clamouring to understand and predict the pecking order and while there is a rough idea of who sits where, at least at the top, Formula 1 has always been better when it’s been unpredictable. Still, the probability is that Ferrari are a smidge ahead of Mercedes on pace.

The traditional season opener around Australia’s semi-permanent Albert Park circuit is unlike any other on the calendar.

The fiddly track is akin to a street circuit, albeit with a bit more run off area should the odd mistake arise.

The layout comprises a mixture of medium speed corners and places an emphasis on stability under braking. It is highly possible for a car to go well around this circuit and not truly be in the running come Abu Dhabi in December.

New for 2019 are the aero regulations surrounding the front and rear wing area of the car as well as the simplification of the barge boards.

In addition, three colours have replaced the rainbow selection of tyre compounds for this season, with white being the hardest of the weekend, yellow the medium, and red the softest tyre available.

At Mercedes Valtteri Bottas has to impress Toto Wolff and co enough to keep Esteban Ocon out of his seat. At Ferrari expectations are high for young Charles Leclerc too.

Pierre Gasly arrives at Red Bull from Toro Rosso where he easily had the beating of Brendon Hartley. It will be significantly more difficult to outperform Max Verstappen.

All of this and the incredibly tight battle for midfield supremacy hasn’t even made into the conversation yet.

While Williams are unfortunately expected to prop up the rear of the grid, the battle between the likes of Renault, Haas, and Alfa Romeo appears to be especially tight.

The most important thing that needs to be known, for now, is that Formula 1 2019 is here.

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