With the engines of the 2015 Formula One season starting up on Saturday in Australia, LincSport‘s writers take a look at who they think are in pole position and who might be stuck in the pit-lane.
Edward Seaman | Twitter: @EdwardSeaman94
Mercedes domination?: I think it is difficult to look past Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg for this season’s title. As with last season, the Mercedes looks to be far superior than any other car on the grid. The Brit has the edge over his teammate after winning last season’s title and it will be interesting to see how the battle plays out this time round.
Ferrari to fire again?: It is tough to see where any real consistent competition is going to come from but Ferrari will be hoping that Sebastian Vettel can breathe new life into the team after the failures of recent years. His teammate of last season, Daniel Ricciardo, showed his real potential last season and with a good car will provide the main competition for Hamilton and co.
Misery for McLaren?: McLaren look set to struggle after moving to a new Honda engine for this season. However, with the experienced duo of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso (after Australia) in the driving seats, they may manage to suprise a few. Sauber’s off track troubles with Giedo van der Garde may cause them issues with the reformed Manor set to occupy the back row.
Nathan Hill | Twitter: @NCFC_Hillbilly
Challengers: It’s difficult to look past Lewis Hamilton winning his third title, and emulating the achievement of his hero Ayrton Senna, in 2015. Unfortunately I can’t see the title battle being anything other than another two horse race between the two Mercedes drivers as the winter tests have shown that the Mercedes is still well ahead in terms of performance.
Anyone close?: However, the gap between the rest of the field looks set to be much closer and will provide most of the excitement this season. Red Bull, Williams and a rejuvenated Ferrari look fairly evenly matched and will hopefully be able to cash in and steal a couple of wins when Mercedes have a rare “off day”.
Who might struggle?: McLaren are the team with the most catching up to do having swapped to a Honda engine. Whilst this was always likely to be a transition season for the team, they could find themselves even further off the pace this season. The team will also have to cope with the absence of Fernando Alonso from at least the opening race, after his crash in one of the winter tests.
Josh Barber | Twitter @MrJoshBarber
Challengers: Hamilton will be the 2015 world champion. He has the race craft, pace and mental edge on Rosberg and the silver arrow has looked mighty in pre-season testing, with no doubt in my mind that Mercedes have been sand bagging.
Can anyone compete?: If anyone is going to take the battle to the Mercs it will be Ricciardo, should Red Bull get up to speed quick enough. He will be the next person to win the world championship that hasn’t already done so!
McLaren to struggle? McLaren will do well to get two cars on the grid come Sunday morning, their pace is slow and reliability non-existent. But should they get there, it won’t be for long, at least one of the cars will be wheeled back in before half distance and I personally think we will get to the half way mark in the season before seeing a point on the board, it’s going to be a long season for the new Honda outfit.