As launch week begins ahead of the new season, F1 Top 10 predicts the 2017 championship and you can have your say by voting in our polls! With the biggest rule changes to F1 since the start of the hybrid era this will certainly be a challenge.
World Champion: Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo proved last year that he is one of the best drivers in the world. He should’ve had three victories instead of just the one in Malaysia after a strategy mistake by the team in Spain and then two weeks later the Red Bull pit crew weren’t ready for him when he pitted costing him a Monaco GP victory. Ricciardo proved that he can match highly rated teammate Max Verstappen after out-qualifying him 11-6 and beating him in races 8-7 in the head to head last year.
Constructors Champion: Red Bull
After three years of Mercedes dominance, I genuinely believe that Red Bull will be on a a par with Mercedes in terms of performance especially when it comes to aerodynamics. The big question is whether Renault can deliver a good enough engine to propel Red Bull back to their glory days. In my opinion, Red Bull have the best driver line-up with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen bringing the best out of each other.
Biggest Surprise: McLaren Honda
After two horrific years of the renewed McLaren Honda partnership, I think they will finally come good or at least I hope they do! With arguably the best driver on the grid, Fernando Alonso, who is able to extract every ounce of the car’s performance and more, I believe McLaren will be fighting for regular podiums and in the points every race.
Best Rookie: Stoffel Vandoorne
Vandoorne showed the F1 paddock just how good he was in Bahrain last year. The Belgian out-qualified Jenson Button and on the Sunday he finished in 10th to give McLaren their first points of the season. With the expectation that McLaren will make a big leap forward in 2017, Vandoorne has the possibility of getting a podium in his first full season in F1. And before you ask, Vandoorne is a rookie despite racing in Bahrain! The definition in the dictionary states that a rookie is “a member of a sports team in their first full season.”
Australian GP Winner: Lewis Hamilton
Despite my brave prediction that Red Bull will win both championships, I think Mercedes will start the season marginally quicker and that Lewis Hamilton will pick up his third victory of his career in Melbourne.