Race To The Chequered Flag

Two races in, and this Formula 1 season is already shaping into a hotly contested pursuit for the Championship.  Mercedes carried forward their dominance from last season with a 1-2 at the Australian GP, and Lewis Hamilton in fact needled Ferrari after the presentation, with the words ‘Game on, Ferrari’.  Ferrari did respond, with Vettel leaving Hamilton in his slipstream early in Malaysia and leading till the end.

A number of technical and sporting changes have been brought in this season, some as a result of Jules Bianchi’s horrible crash at the Japanese Grand Prix last year.  Races are to now start an hour earlier so as to end before dusk and the Virtual Safety Car has been brought in which shows the speed at which the race car is to drive while the Virtual Safety Car is in force.  Moreover, the double points that were available in the last race have been done away with.

The engine and aerodynamic regulations too have undergone changes (shocking how they do it every year).  Constructors are now allowed to do half the development that took place in 2014 and such reduction will continue.  This has resulted in increased development costs and complaints by Red Bull and Toro Rosso against the Renault engine, resulting in Renault threatening to pull out in order to protect its reputation.  Complaints against the nose specifications too have resulted in changes, with a lower nose allowed as long as the minimum cross section remains.

Despite everything, this season is shaping into one of the closest two horse races which, barring surprises should be between Mercedes and Ferrari.

Schedule

Round Grand Prix Circuit Date
1 Australian Grand Prix  Melbourne Grand Prix CircuitMelbourne 15 March
2 Malaysian Grand Prix  Sepang International CircuitKuala Lumpur 29 March
3 Chinese Grand Prix  Shanghai International CircuitShanghai 12 April
4 Bahrain Grand Prix  Bahrain International CircuitSakhir 19 April
5 Spanish Grand Prix  Circuit de Barcelona-CatalunyaBarcelona 10 May
6 Monaco Grand Prix   Circuit de MonacoMonte Carlo 24 May
7 Canadian Grand Prix  Circuit Gilles VilleneuveMontreal 7 June
8 Austrian Grand Prix  Red Bull RingSpielberg 21 June
9 British Grand Prix  Silverstone CircuitSilverstone 5 July
10 Hungarian Grand Prix  HungaroringBudapest 26 July
11 Belgian Grand Prix  Circuit de Spa-FrancorchampsStavelot 23 August
12 Italian Grand Prix  Autodromo Nazionale MonzaMonza 6 September
13 Singapore Grand Prix  Marina Bay Street CircuitSingapore 20 September
14 Japanese Grand Prix  Suzuka CircuitSuzuka 27 September
15 Russian Grand Prix  Sochi AutodromSochi 11 October
16 United States Grand Prix  Circuit of the AmericasAustin, Texas 25 October
17 Mexican Grand Prix  Autódromo Hermanos RodríguezMexico City 1 November
18 Brazilian Grand Prix  Autódromo José Carlos PaceSão Paulo 15 November
19 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix  Yas Marina CircuitAbu Dhabi 29 November

Competing Teams And Drivers

Team Constructor Race drivers
 Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari  Sebastian Vettel
Kimi Räikkönen
 Sahara Force India F1 Team Force IndiaMercedes  Sergio Pérez
Nico Hülkenberg
 Lotus F1 Team LotusMercedes  Romain Grosjean
Pastor Maldonado
 Manor Marussia F1 Team[5] MarussiaFerrari  Will Stevens
Roberto Merhi
 McLaren Honda McLarenHonda   Kevin Magnussen
Fernando Alonso
Jenson Button
 Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes  Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton
 Infiniti Red Bull Racing Red BullRenault  Daniel Ricciardo
Daniil Kvyat
   Sauber F1 Team SauberFerrari  Marcus Ericsson
Felipe Nasr
 Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro RossoRenault  Max Verstappen
Carlos Sainz Jr.
 Williams Martini Racing WilliamsMercedes  Felipe Massa
Valtteri Bottas
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