Testing begins and the excitement builds ahead of a new F1 season

By on Friday, January 30, 2015


2014 was undoubtedly the year of Mercedes. It would have been difficult for the German team to be any more dominant as its drivers won 16 of the 19 races last season. With the constructors’ championship sewn up early on, the only question was which of its drivers, Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg would take the drivers’ title? In the end Hamilton triumphed in an absorbing contest between two drivers with a keen rivalry.

So can anyone challenge Mercedes this coming season? It is perhaps still too early to say, but the fault lines are starting to develop as the teams, drivers and revamped cars hit the tracks for the opening test drive of the season at Jerez. It is the first of three tests ahead of the season’s opening Grand Prix in Australia.

One of the intriguing stories will be the progress of McLaren. A traditional F1 powerhouse, McLaren has not won a Grand Prix since 2012 and finished last year in a disappointing fifth place. However, it is all change this time round. Renault engines have been replaced with a new Honda partnership. Meanwhile, former world champion Fernando Alonso returns to the team to partner with British driver Jenson Button, another former world champion. Together they form one of the most experienced teams on the circuit.

On William Hill it is possible to find the odds to bet on the coming F1 season already. And although Mercedes are unsurprising favourites, Red Bull are still fancied ahead of McLaren, Ferrari and others despite the exit of the outstanding Sebastian Vettel. The four-time world champion dominated the sport before last season. However, he endured a torrid time last year, failing to win a single race and was outshone by his young colleague Daniel Ricciardo, who won three races, the only victorious non-Mercedes driver.

Vettel has defected to Ferrari for next season and it will be fascinating to see his progress. He will join Kimi Raikkonen in a formidable team and will drive the new SF15-T car, which team bosses will hope can deliver success. It promises to be a captivating season ahead.


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