2018 Formula 1 Preview

They say flowers blooming is the indicator that spring is around the corner, but we believe that the arrival of a new generation of Formula 1 cars is a better indicator. Welcome to the 2018 Formula 1 season complete with a new F1 logo, a couple new names in the field, and a controversial new Halo on every car!

With the Australian Grand Prix and the start of the 2018 Formula 1 season set for this weekend we take a look at how each team is shaping up and what could be in store for the season ahead.

HAAS

The Haas VF18 car looks mighty impressive in its new white and red livery. Channeling much of the character of the 2017 Ferraris along with some interesting looking barge board strakes, Haas looks set to make it’s third year in F1 its most competitive to date with Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean piloting.

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Haas showed some pace during winter testing and has its sights set high for the 2018 season. The Australian Grand Prix will be the first real test to see if Haas’ pre-season pace will hold true and if Haas can keep reliability from becoming a problem.

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Williams

The 2018 Williams FW41’s will be piloted by Lance Stroll and newcomer Sergey Sirotkin. This winter saw a push for former F1 driver Robert Kubica to take the open seat but it was not to be. Kubica however was announced as the reserve driver so we may yet see him back behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car. The FW41 can been seen in all its glory in the video below.

Williams also looked very strong in pre-season testing in Barcelona with both Stroll and Sirotkin setting competitive lap times and seeming to be feeling at home behind the wheel of the new car. For Williams the Australian Grand Prix will be the benchmark of where they set their goals for the season. They appear set to be top of the midfield but time will tell just how competitive that midfield becomes this season.

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Torro Rosso

Torro Rosso had an extremely productive pre-season testing session logging the third most laps of any team on the grid all the while showing off a level of reliability that none thought was possible with the switch to Honda engines for the 2018 season.

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Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley both return for their first full Formula 1 season and are looking poised to put up quite a fight in the midfield this season.

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Force India

Force India retains its pairing of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon for the 2018 season but is planning on drastically different results. The 2017 season for Force India was highlighted by a number of ugly and devastating clashes between their two drivers. The goal for 2018 will be to avoid having any repeats of those incidents.

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Pre-season testing saw Force India struggle to show any real pace which we hope is not an indicator for the upcoming season.

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Renault

Renault made full use of pre-season testing, logging the fifth most laps and setting several top five lap times throughout the two weeks of testing. Renault this year retains Nico Hulkenburg while adding Carlos Sainz to its driver lineup. With what appears to be a competitive car and two drivers who are chomping at the bit to have a top tier team drive, expect big things from Renault this season.

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The challenge of the season for Renault however will be to keep its engine reliability high and not fall victim once again to a season of mechanical failures.

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Alfa Romeo Sauber

Alfa Romeo makes its return to Formula 1 for the 2018 season as the title sponsor for Sauber. With Ferrari power under the skin and a Formula 1 rookie joining the team, Sauber’s season could go any number of ways.

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Making his Formula 1 debut with Alfa Romeo Sauber this season is the defending Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc. Leclerc has done some previous testing in Formula 1 but the Australian Grand prix will mark his first race start. Returning to join him will be Marcus Ericsson.

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McLaren

Finally free of the ball and chain that was the Honda powerplant last season McLaren has high hopes for the 2018 season. Once more clad in Papaya Orange, McLaren is looking to channel the success of its history and finally give Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne a car they can be happy to be driving.

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Reliability issues hampered McLaren’s start to pre-season testing but this doesn’t seem to have dampened the teams spirits. They look to the Australian Grand Prix as the first real test of this new breed of papaya.

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Red Bull

The much anticipated Red Bull RB14 looks set to buoy Red Bull’s constructors and drivers championship campaigns. After the sparks of greatness that Red Bull showed last season, the other teams on the grid would be wise to not underestimate them. The 2018 season is primed to be Red Bulls greatest season so far in the modern turbo era.

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Pre-season testing saw Red Bull consistently topping the time sheets. Red Bull appears set to be involved in one of the greatest three way fights to have ever taken place in Formula 1. The dynamic duo of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo return once again to take the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes for the top step.

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Ferrari

Once again Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonnen look set to be well in contention for the drivers championship this season. After a disappointing end to the championship fight last season Ferrari is ready and rearing to go.

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With the full throated support of the Tifosi and a blazingly quick car, Ferrari looks set to provide a steep challenge for all who want to stand on top of the podium.

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Mercedes

Defending champions Mercedes are looking to pick back up where they left off last season and plan on starting off their campaign towards a fifth consecutive constructors/drivers championship double with a 1-2 win in Australia.

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Valtteri Bottas will once again line up with now four time world champion Lewis Hamilton. Both drivers have their eyes set on winning the championship but will face fierce competition not only from each other but from the other drivers on the grid.

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Round one of the 2018 Formula 1 season goes lights out in Melbourne Australia on Sunday March 25th at 16:10 local time.

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