As the 2016 F1 season drew closer to the Abu Dhabi season finale, it all came down to Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg battling it out amidst controversial team orders and last-resort on track strategies. Valtteri Bottas his new teammate, but surely the road is open for the Brit to take another title?
After a hard 2015 season for Red Bull, Ricciardo reaffirmed his abilities at the 2016 Australian Grand Prix, starting from P8 and narrowly missing out on the last spot on the podium. Ricciardo has won four races from 109 Global Positioning System, but he said a win in Australia would top them all.
Although the Australian Grand Prix will not be my first Formula 1 race, it still feels like a completely new experience for me travelling to Melbourne as a proper race driver for the 2017 season.
Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel, who has won four world drivers' titles, thinks 16 to 20 would be enough. In tests it was the fastest vehicle and covered many kilometres. Ferrari and Red Bull are expected to be the closet challengers to the World Champions, and each package has their own strengths and weaknesses.
And yet Mercedes, once again, appear primed to ride roughshod over new-season hopes for a changing of the guard. At the end of the tests in Barcelona, the McLaren team had completed the least amount of laps of all the teams, less than half of those completed by Mercedes and Ferrari.
"The target with these new regulations was to make this generation of F1 cars the quickest in the history of the sport", Wolff said.
Everton Winger Focused On Loan Present Despite Barcelona Links
He's played just nine times for the San Siro side but that has earned him a call-up to Julen Lopetegui's Spain squad. Spain worldwide Gerard Deulofeu has downplayed reports that he could soon return to former club Barcelona .
Significant changes to the cars are already pointing towards this being the fastest season yet.
"It is my target and aim to be world champion, and I will do what I can to make it happen this year, but I am not expecting it".
The 2017 season marks the start of a new era for F1 - with faster cars.
"We're very pleased with the pre-sales. we're up in corporate, we're up in grandstand and we're up in general admission", Westacott said. "We will try to enjoy the weekend as much as we can".
"Candidly, I would love it if more of the drivers had big personalities, there was more controversy among the drivers - and you kind of unleash them a little bit", he said.
Belgian driver Vandoorne stepped in for an injured Alonso in Bahrain last year and is gearing up for his first full season in the sport, as is Force India's Esteban Ocon, who competed in nine races last year for tailenders Manor.