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Giovinazzi takes his chance

Sauber inherit a three-driver conundrum of a different kind

Sidepodcast: Giovinazzi takes his chance

by Adam Barton

The new season is here and boy did the Australian GP add to the intrigue. With many sceptical of Ferrari’s title potential, they more than kept Mercedes on their toes on Saturday and then on Sunday, Vettel showed that Ferrari had the pace, as well as the ability to manage their tyres, to beat Mercedes, regardless of strategy. Is this the end of single team domination? It’s too soon to tell but it won't be long before we find out.

Put to the test

Team wrap ups after two weeks in Barcelona

Sidepodcast: Put to the test

by Christine Blachford

“I don’t remember how it was last year, but this felt like a good couple of weeks.” So says Lewis Hamilton, who wrapped up two weeks of testing for Mercedes, alongside teammate Valtteri Bottas. The pair of them completed over 1000 laps between them, and saw barely any reliability problems, which should give them both confidence for the season ahead.

Drive time

A journey through Formula One's driving opportunities

Sidepodcast: Drive time

by Christine Blachford

This is a quote from Claire Williams, deputy team principal of the Williams team, as she shared her thoughts about Valtteri Bottas. With the Finn’s departure to Mercedes, an emotional hole has been left at the Williams team, as he’s been with them for many years, building up the team, as well as working through the stages of his own career. And it was Claire’s words here that made me realise just how many different types of drivers there are in Formula One, and just how many words there are to describe them.

Don't drop back in anger

Hamilton's change of heart in the heat of the battle

Sidepodcast: Don't drop back in anger

by Christine Blachford

“If I am out ahead I want to be as far ahead as possible.” The eager words of Lewis Hamilton, who was ruling out the possibility of doing anything other than racing his heart out in Abu Dhabi. Red Bull chief Christian Horner had suggested it would be prudent to get out in front of the pack and then start to back the field up in an effort to mix up the position Nico Rosberg ended up with, giving Hamilton half a chance at taking home the 2016 World Championship title.

Vettel best of the rest as Rosberg secures maiden title

Sebastian frightens Mercedes on way to rare podium

Sidepodcast: Vettel best of the rest as Rosberg secures maiden title

by Adam Barton

The marathon 2016 season is finished, and the final round followed a pattern that seemingly everyone but Mercedes expected. Lewis Hamilton had a clear pace advantage throughout the weekend over the rest of the field, but he needed luck, help or a little ingenuity to secure a fourth world title. He tried everything, but came up just short, running against team orders and helping to set up a thrilling finale to the season.

The Hulk unleashed

Was the backwards move perfect to release the 'real Hülkenberg'?

Sidepodcast: The Hulk unleashed

by Adam Barton

The Mexican Grand Prix was a race that will be remembered for the stewarding precedents it set, as well as a bizarre battle for third but more importantly it kept the title battle alive for another race. Lewis Hamilton may have got away with it into turn one but it likely made minimal difference with his pace. And it was those further back who made the most of their machinery.

Verstappen back on top form

Flying Dutchman splits Mercedes in standout drive

Sidepodcast: Verstappen back on top form

by Adam Barton

The focus was on the front but the action was further behind with great overtaking moves and tense tactical battles in the midfield. 13 thousandths made a big impact on the championship battle, as Nico Rosberg secured pole and Lewis Hamilton made a terrible start, slightly impacted by a damp gridslot, from which he would never fully recover and taking the championship hunt out of Lewis Hamilton’s hands.

Shoeys all round!

Ricciardo cashes in as his luck finally changes

Sidepodcast: Shoeys all round!

by Adam Barton

A chaotic race where it appeared all teams were making it up as they went along to fit to Virtual Safety Car windows went from an intriguing battle to a key moment in the championship as Lewis Hamilton’s engine went up in smoke, creating a 28-point championship swing, proving it’s better to have your misfortune at the start and recover than late on. Hamilton had been the class of the field all weekend but there were others who starred and delivered crucial points, with machinery that didn’t let them down.

Ricciardo shines again but can’t silence the tifosi

Strong drive secures more than expected but Ferrari and Mercedes prove out of reach

Sidepodcast: Ricciardo shines again but can’t silence the tifosi

by Adam Barton

Monza may have been spared the dramatics but it could prove a significant weekend in the championship. In fact, there were 100 metres that could prove decisive. Buoyed by a strong damage limitation display at Spa, with three new fresh engines to use, Lewis Hamilton looked on form and blew his teammate, let alone the field, in qualifying on Saturday, securing pole by an emphatic near half second. But in the vital moment, his luck was out, and he faltered at the start, dropping down to sixth and, on a track where Mercedes were so dominant, a fairly automatic win for Nico Rosberg.

Alonso storms through the field

Fernando scores unlikely points as McLaren’s redemption continues

Sidepodcast: Alonso storms through the field

by Adam Barton

While it may not be endurance racing, the Belgian GP really did feel like a sprint, with drivers desperate to hit the front early. As it happened, the chaotic first six laps led to a stalemate for the rest of the race, as everyone attempted to stretch out their stints beyond their optimum and few daring to risk an aggressive strategy. That said, with so many drivers out of place, there were still some good performances in Belgium.

Ricciardo pushes Mercedes to breaking point

Aussie continues to show the pace of a future world champion

Sidepodcast: Ricciardo pushes Mercedes to breaking point

by Adam Barton

There may not have been masses of wheel to wheel action in Germany but there were still some fascinating battles and some great drives throughout the field as it became clear who was fully focused right until the summer holidays. Unfortunately it also showed that while Rosberg was giving it everything, making aggressive moves to reduce the loss to Hamilton, his mind, and clearly that of his chief mechanic had started to wonder a day early.

The answer is right there in front of them

F1 stalls for time on cockpit protection

Sidepodcast: The answer is right there in front of them

by Steven Roy

Formula One is always keen to portray itself at the centre of technical excellence that can resolve any technical problem more quickly and to a better standard than any other group of organisations. So I was disgusted to see the complacency emanating from the people who normally make these claims when they were asked on Sky about the reasons for not introducing the halo or any other form of driver head protection for 2017.

Ricciardo’s efforts finally rewarded

Aussie proves he can take the fight to Mercedes when luck isn’t against him

Sidepodcast: Ricciardo’s efforts finally rewarded

by Adam Barton

While Hungary has tended to go against the grain, with better races than expected, Sunday was a bit of a return to the norm. It wasn’t terrible, with close racing and tactical battles but overtaking on track was clearly an issue, leaving many to use strategy and quick pitstops, like Renault, to jump up the field. As ever though, the cream rose to the top and there were several strong performances resulting in good points.

Button stars in changeable conditions one last time

Mixed up grid and unknown tyres keep everyone guessing until the final lap

Sidepodcast: Button stars in changeable conditions one last time

by Adam Barton

Another fascinating race in 2016. Who knew that not having the fastest cars at the very front would spice up the action, with a Mercedes and a Ferrari starting further back and a Force India, McLaren and Manor further forward than expected? And even despite cars being out of position on the grid, the strategies came together in a scintillating climax. Rosberg tried and failed to prove a point, while others capitalised on their opportunity to secure an unexpected result.

Bottas puts Williams back on track

Sterling drive brings much-needed points for the Grove squad

Sidepodcast: Bottas puts Williams back on track

by Adam Barton

Another 2016 race, another intriguing tactical battle as all 11 teams sat on the knife edge between preserving the tyres to eke out a one stop strategy and getting aggressive and using the grip advantage of stopping an extra time. In the end, it depended on your scenario and whether you committed to your strategy; the two stop strategy appeared the fastest option in a vacuum but at the end of the day, Hamilton overtook Vettel to win the race using a one stop strategy as Ferrari once again failed to convert a guilt edged opportunity into victory.

Buy from Amazon - Pocket F1 Handbook: Guide to the 2015 Grand Prix Season

365 F1 stories

What was the infamous excuse McLaren gave, when they confirmed on this day in '05 that Montoya would miss a race?

F1 team launches
Sauber F1 TeamOnline20 Feb
Renault Sport F1 TeamTBC21 Feb
Sahara Force India F1 TeamSilverstone, England22 Feb
Mercedes AMG Petronas MotorsportSilverstone, England23 Feb
McLaren HondaTBC24 Feb
Scuderia FerrariFiorano, Italy24 Feb
Williams Martini RacingTBC25 Feb
Haas F1 TeamTBC26 Feb
Red Bull RacingOnline26 Feb
Scuderia Toro RossoBarcelona, Spain26 Feb
F1 test schedule
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain27 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain28 Feb
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain1 Mar
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain2 Mar
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain7 Mar
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain8 Mar
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain9 Mar
Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaSpain10 Mar

On this day in F1 history