THE HOT TOPICS OF 2016 HAMILTON ROSBERG
We pick out some of the main talking points of the F1 season ahead
The headline-grabbing rivalry of last season will undoubtedly rekindle at some point this year, and could potentially be even more dramatic second time around.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg’s, at times, very public spats have provided the story of the season for the last two years – whether it’s intra-team collisions at Spa, aggressive passing moves and post-race cap throwing at Austin, or simply a war of words in the media – the duo have brought a good dose of rivalry back to the sport.
Mercedes has regularly had to hold ‘clear the air’ talks between the two drivers to try and protect its standing as F1’s benchmark, but with Ferrari seemingly closing in even further for this year, any flare-ups in the Hamilton/rosberg rivalry could open the door for the Scuderia to steal some even bigger results.
But Mercedes has recently cooled on the idea of its drivers remaining docile at all times, as team head Toto Wolff said late last year: “It’s a great situation – what the sport needs: emotions.
“Do you want us to put a hand on them and say ‘don’t show any emotion, we don’t want controversy?’ It’s the opposite, it’s great. It’s the psychological game that always happens between team-mates who compete on an equal level.”
biggest difference though is Red Bull’s partnership with the Ilmor tuning firm, which will allow the team to pursue a different development strategy to the Renault factory team.
Toro Rosso should start ahead, but a lack of development to the old engine could catch up with it later in the year.
VJM09 Mercedes-benz PU106 Hybrid
Australia 2008 Races: 150 Wins: 0 Poles: Fastest laps: 627 Drivers’ titles: Constructors’ titles:
NUMBER 11 SERGIO PEREZ (MEX)
Debut: Australia 2011 Races: 93 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest laps: 3 Points: Best result:
Car: VF-16 Engine: Ferrari 059/5 First GP: Australia 2016 Races: 0 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest laps: 0 Points: 0 Drivers’ titles: 0 Constructors’ titles: 0 NUMBER 21 ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ (MEX) Debut: Australia 2013 Raced: 38 Wins: 0 Poles: 0 Fastest laps: 1 Points: 6 Best finish: 7th
NUMBER 8 ROMAIN GROSJEAN (FRA)