How Formula 1’s Landscape Has Changed

Read time: 8 mins

“Welcome to the age of Hamilton.”

Hey folks, Dre here. Been a while since I’ve talked some F1 on here, but things have been really busy so I apologize. Lot in the pipeline on the way. I wanted to review Abu Dhabi as a race, but the race itself was filled with very little talking points. Hamilton won, surprise, surprise (You toss a coin like you do with almost race this season), Daniel Ricciardo pulled out a stonker yet again to finish 4th from the pitlane, and Lotus paid tribute to their energy sponsor “Burn”, by having Pastor Maldonado’s car catch fire.

Not much to really stretch into a full blog there for a race review if you ask me. Instead, I wanted to focus on how the landscape of F1 is going to change for next year, and if you like, a bit of retrospective on what’s just happened. Hope you enjoy it.


[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]Lewis-Hamilton-F1-Grand-Prix-Abu-Dhabi-8LB32xaLRS3x1[/fusion_imageframe]Hamilton defeats Rosberg

Okay, let’s be REAL here, Hamilton deserved it more, no? [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][fusion_tooltip title=”Which really shouldn’t be happening 8 months into a season…” placement=”top” trigger=”hover” class=”” id=””]It’s a damn shame Rosberg’s car had a ridiculous failure[/fusion_tooltip], but to be honest, I think from the moment he botched the start, I think deep down, he knew the jig was up. He just didn’t have enough to recover the gap that Hamilton laid out at the start of the race.

If anything though, you have to applaud the warrior spirit that Rosberg had all night long, even with his car severely crippled with 2 laps to go, he finished the race, nobly, falling on his shield like a true knight of the realm. Unfortunately, Hamilton already had Excalibur. And I’m very glad that he congratulated Lewis and showed incredible sportsmanship. He may not have won the title, but he won the respect of many today, and deserves praise for being a class act.

And whatever happens, Nico Rosberg can be incredibly proud of his season. A season where he was written off by many, and a year where he won 5 races and scored over 300 points, taking a guy who many see as the best and fastest driver in the world today, to the final race. A brilliant achievement and proof that he can be a World Championship level driver in the right equipment. The pole trophy proved his immense speed as well. There’s no question in my mind, that he’ll be just as big a threat in 2015.

But for Lewis, a truly amazing season. Winning 11 of 19, and seemingly always having the wheel-to-wheel measure of Rosberg over the course of the season. Hamilton only dropped seven out of the last 200 available points, winning 7 of  the last 8 to close the season, a season where he almost always had to do the chasing due to the timing of their reliability incidents. And when you’ve won the head-to-head battle 12-7, you probably deserved it a little more than the other guy, as subjective as that is. It’s just a shame the final leaderboard says 384-317 due to the double point nonsense, but it doesn’t tell the true story.

Congratulations Lewis Hamilton, the new Double World Champion, and now, one of the all-time greats.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]vettel-inline[/fusion_imageframe]Alonso and Vettel write their next Chapters

Two big moments, for arguably, the two best drivers in the world, as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso had their final races for Red Bull and Ferrari respectively.

For Sebastian, the next chapter after 15 years of support from Red Bull and the passing of the torch for what was the jewel in the family crown. Sebastian’s statistics for RBR in just six seasons there are outrageous. 45 pole positions, 38 out of his 39 career wins, and 4 consecutive Championships. He could retire tomorrow and he’d be a Top 10 driver, ever.

But for him, he fulfills a childhood dream as he moves to Maranello and the Ferrari camp, where the winds of change are blowing. He’s going to be the new centrepiece for F1’s most prestigious team, and the potential is limitless. With rumours of 60 staff heading over to build around Seb, a reshuffle in the engine department and a valuable driver with a reputation of providing great feedback, there’s a lot to gain, and not much to lose given Ferrari’s miserable season, their worst in recent times.

Sebastian Vettel is already an F1 legend. The problem is, many people still don’t believe that, Daniel Ricciardo’s ultra impressive first year at the top, further proving their point. A WDC at Ferrari, and he’d be very hard to argue against him being on the level of Senna and Prost.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]B3JFoJpCAAAKHON[/fusion_imageframe]As for Fernando Alonso, an ultimately frustrating 5-year Ferrari spell comes to an end. A time where he came so close to achieving that elusive third Championship, but just falling short on two occasions. Now, we could pretend that we still don’t know what he’s doing, but again, let’s be real here (again), he’s probably going to the new McLaren-Honda outfit for 2015.

It’s an interesting switch to say the least. McLaren is in flux, two straight years of crippling mediocrity after being a perennial title contender. Not to mention, it’s a huge gamble to walk away from what is currently, the best power unit in the field today. But Honda are going to be determined to make it work, especially with their hopes of becoming a full supplier in 2016. They want customers after all.

Alonso is 33 years old now. For him, it may very well be the final chapter, rather than the last one. He knows he may only have a handful of good years left, and with his doubts of Ferrari being around from as early as 2013, in his eyes, it wasn’t worth sticking around to see if a re-jigged Ferrari was going to be any better, especially with his two closest supporters gone, in Luca and Stefano.

McLaren is a long way from the top, barely hanging on in the Top 5, their main competition being privateers Force India, and the issue I have with this move is, the driver line-up’s have never been the problem in Woking. It’s a car with flawed aerodynamics and a chassis that can’t compete with the best of the field at the moment. Is his influence going to make up for a mediocre car? Well, we all know how well that worked out at Ferrari…just saying.

Whatever happens, their respective paths are about to take a dramatic turn, one way or another.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]_79213760_jenson_button[/fusion_imageframe]The End of the Road for Jenson?

Sticking with the McLaren theme, is it the end for Jenson Button? Now I’m no psychologist (because goddamn, half of Twitter think they are), but Jenson’s had all the body language and talk of a man who probably knows he isn’t going to be on the grid for next year. And I feel bad for Jenson, because if Abu Dhabi was his final race, he got shafted out of a proper leaving do. and it’s a bit of a slap in the face of a driver who’s been such a loyal servant for the team for 5 years, two of which with an midfield car. A driver, who was willing to get behind Lewis if it meant him winning the Championship in 2012, something many forget.

Jenson’s had a tremendous season when you look a little deeper. 126 points in the 5th best car in the field, and 8th in the Championship, only losing out on 7th due to Massa’s 2nd place yesterday. Seven times, he finished in the Top 5. If this was Fernando Alonso, we’d be calling him the second coming of GOD.

On merit alone, this season has proved that Jenson deserves another year at least, but McLaren seem to have backed themselves into a corner, having invested almost too much in Kevin Magnussen (Dumping Sergio Perez in the process), and letting him go after just a year would make McLaren look really stupid. In my opinion,having the best team available, which for me is Alonso and Button) is probably a no-go for the sake of pride and age.

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[fusion_counter_box value=”268″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Races[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”15″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Wins[/fusion_counter_box]
[fusion_counter_box value=”50″ unit=”” unit_pos=”suffix” icon=”” border=”yes” color=”#dd9933″ direction=”up”]Podiums[/fusion_counter_box]
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THEN you have Stoffel Vandoorne waiting in the wings, and its pointless making him do enough year of GP2 when he’s clearly the best of the rest once you take 4-year vet’s Joylon Palmer and Felipe Nasr out of the equation. He’s ready. Now. But there’s no room at the inn.

I understand why McLaren may very well be letting Jenson Button go. The sport is a cruel bastard at the best of times, but for me, it would be an awful end to an amazing 15-year career for one of the best British F1 drivers ever, and a terrific ambassador for the sport.

[fusion_imageframe lightbox=”no” style=”bottomshadow” bordercolor=”” bordersize=”0px” stylecolor=”
” align=”left” animation_type=”fade” animation_direction=”right” animation_speed=”1″]formula-1-jerez-spain-spanish-test-testing-action-jules-bianchi-marussia_3075733[/fusion_imageframe]So, how many cars are we going to lose?

This season was to a degree, over-shadowed by the losses of Caterham and Marussia, and the future is uncertain as to whether they’ll return next year.

Marussia are seemingly truly finished, their company ceasing trading. It all comes down to whether someone buys the piece of paper that has “Manor F1’s” entry on it. Caterham made it to Abu Dhabi to collect their constructors money after resorting to a crowdfunding campaign to get there, but their future seems all over the place and no-one has any true answer to what may lay ahead.

And as I’ve already written about, it’s awful news for the sport. 500 less jobs, 4 less drivers if they can’t come back, and of course, a grid of 18 cars is never going to be a good look in the supposed “Pinnacle of Motorsport”. And if the trend continues, teams like Lotus and Sauber could be at risk, because they’ll be the next teams at the bottom of the ladder. It’s not a good sign, at all, and I can only hope their absence from F1, is only temporary.


And for me, one thing over-shadowed all else this season. The F1 family is one driver short right now. So please, keep fighting Jules Bianchi, we’re all behind you, and we miss you.

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Monaco Grand Prix - Sunday - Monte Carlo, Monaco[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

About the Author:

Dre Harrison

Dre Harrison, 28 year old Bookies Manager and hobbyist Motorsport journalist. Lover of sneakers and sports, but refuses to stick to it.

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