Who will dominate this year’s Formula 1?

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

RACING season has begun. The first Formula 1 test took place with Ferrari showing good improvement from last year by topping the time sheets most of the days, while Mclaren could barely get their car running with their new Honda power unit. World champion team Mercedes did the most mileage and it seemed like they were testing their reliability instead of outright speed.

Nevertheless, Mercedes showed really good pace. More good news for Formula 1 fans, this year’s cars look a whole lot better than last years from a purely aesthetic point of view. But I guess for this year Formula 1 will still have those vacuum cleaner sounding power units.

I am really looking forward to this year’s F1 season. The intra team rivalry between current world champion Lewis Hamilton and his runner-up team mate Nico Rosberg will be back, with Rosberg having a lot to prove this year. We have the return of the Mclaren-Honda partnership having two former world champion drivers in Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel has left Redbull and moved to Ferrari to join 2007 world champion Kimi Raikkonen. Redbull has Daniel Ricciardo, who was the only race winner last year not driving the dominant Mercedes.

F1 SEASON. Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP at the wheel during the 2015 Formula One Testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain earlier this month. (AP FOTO)
F1 SEASON. Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP at the wheel during the 2015 Formula One Testing at the Circuito de Jerez in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain earlier this month. (AP FOTO)

A good fight

I believe that the driver who will win this year’s Formula 1 title will either be Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg because Mercedes will still be the dominant car. I am hoping, though, that Redbull was able to make a lot of progress with their car so that Daniel Ricciardo can put up a good fight. Ricciardo is a future Formula 1 world champion and deserves to be in a car that is capable of fighting for the world championship. His performance last year in consistently beating his team mate, four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, showed how much talent this Ricciardo has.

Some years ago, 2009 I think, I saw one of my greatest heroes, two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz. This was at the Asian Open Karting Championships in Macau. He was there because his son, Carlos Jr., was racing in the KF3 Junior class and dominated the race. This year, Carlos Sainz Jr. will be in Formula 1 driving for the Toro Rosso team. I hope this kid will do well in Formula 1.

Visayas season

Racing season is also starting for us here in the Visayas. Today is an autocross race at the Old Bacolod Airport, while tomorrow and Sunday will be a drag race. This is the first of four legs for this year, meaning Bacolod is hosting double the number of races than they held last year. This is really good for motorsports here in the Visayas.

The Bacolod group added two new heads-up classes for street cars in drag racing. One for naturally aspirated street cars and one for forced induction street cars. In the past the only heads-up class was reserved for the quickest eight cars of the event, which meant more often than not only race cars would make it to the Quick 8 and all the rest had to race in the brackets.

My racing team, Group B, has always brought street cars to these Bacolod events where we have performed very well, giving the race cars a run for their money. The reason why we only bring street cars is because, with street cars, we can drive them to Bacolod, whereas if we brought racecars, we would have to trailer them. Moreover, there is a big difference in the cost of building a racecar as compared to a street car.

Good luck and godspeed to the racing department of Group B Automotive and Tuning. Have a safe race and do well.

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