It’s back! The long wait is over, testing is done, and it’s time to see what the new cars can do. Melbourne Australia is the venue for the opening round of the 2017 world championship – will Ferrari take the fight to Mercedes, will Red Bull shake things up, and will McLaren even finish?
This popular venue contains many fast patches and some meaty corners, which under the new designs should be even more of a test for the drivers. The idea that Ferrari may threaten Mercedes was weakened a little by the practice runs – Hamilton was half a second quicker than Vettel (and interestingly, half a second up on Bottas too) – but none of the cars will yet be in their fastest configuration, so who knows? Key overtaking opportunities will probably be at turns 1 and 2, plus turn 3. Chances may also exist at turn 13 – the brave and the good might be able to find other chances elsewhere, though the new designs are expected to make overtaking more difficult.
There are as yet a lot of unknowns heading into Sunday’s race. Let’s hope it’s a good, close-run, exciting contest!
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