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2019 Formula One Season Preview

2019 Formula One Season Preview
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Last year’s was a belter and there’s very little to make us think that the 2019 Formula One World Championship will be any different. On from March the 17th and wrapping up on December 1st, we’ve got a full 21 races to look forward to from all across the world. Starting with the Australian Grand Prix and concluding with the Abu Dhabi GP in eight and a half weeks’ time.

The Formula One World Championship is the absolute pinnacle of motor racing, as most motorsport fans will tell you. Can the now legendary British driver Lewis Hamilton, racing for Mercedes, claim his sixth world title this season? We’ll have to wait and see.

Here’s everything you need to know about what will be the 70th Formula One season…

Key dates for the calendar

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There are plenty of great races to look forward to this year, as with every year. As per usual though – a few stand out. Obviously the first GP of any season is something to really get excited about. It’s over to Melbourne for that on the 17th of March. Then we’ve got the 14th July as a big one for the diary as the F1 action comes from Silverstone. And who doesn’t love the British Grand Prix, eh?

The season wraps up at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday the 1st December at the Yas Marina Circuit in the UAE. Will we have an outright winner before then? Only time will tell.

The other big race of the season that really stands out to us at this early stage is the Chinese Grand Prix. It takes place on April the 14th at the Shanghai International Circuit and will mark a huge milestone in the history of the sport… It’s going to be F1’s 1,000th world championship race.

A full list of the races in the Formula One calendar for 2019:

March 17th, 2019 – Australian Grand Prix
March 31st, 2019 – Bahrain Grand Prix
April 14th, 2019 – Chinese Grand Prix
April 28th, 2019 – Azerbaijan Grand Prix
May 12th, 2019 – Spanish Grand Prix
May 26th, 2019 – Monaco Grand Prix
June 9th, 2019 – Canadian Grand Prix
June 23rd, 2019 – French Grand Prix
June 30th, 2019 – Austrian Grand Prix
July 14th, 2019 – British Brand Prix
July 28th, 2019 – German Grand Prix
August 4th, 2019 – Hungarian Grand Prix
September 1st, 2019 – Belgian Grand Prix
September 8th, 2019 – Italian Grand Prix
September 22nd, 2019 – Singapore Grand Prix
September 29th, 2019 – Russian Grand Prix
October 13th, 2019 – Japanese Grand Prix
October 27th, 2019 – Mexican Grand Prix
November 3rd, 2019 – United States Grand Prix
November 17th, 2019 – Brazilian Grand Prix
December 1st, 2019 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

 

The teams & drivers

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There will be ten teams contesting the 2019 Formula One World Championship:

Mercedes-Petronas – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas

Red Bull Racing – Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly

McLaren – Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris

Toro Rosso – Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon

Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc

Sport Pesa Racing Point F1 – Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll

Rich Energy Haas – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen

Renault –  Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg

Williams – Robert Kubica and George Russell

Alfa Romeo – Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi

 

New season, new rules?

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The sport’s organisers have looked to shake up F1 a little this year, with a few changes that – by and large – are being welcomed. Recent years have seen fewer overtaking manoeuvres and some dissatisfaction over races becoming a little ‘boring’. This could well be overhauled with new rule changes that should see cars less susceptible to turbulence when they’re closely following another car. If this works, we’ll see more overtaking and much more excitement.

The biggest change outside of promoting overtaking comes in the shape of an extra point up for grabs… Each race will see a ‘Fastest Lap Time’ rewarded with a point. The driver has to finish in the top ten to be eligible for the point, but with tight margins sometimes proving decisive, these extra points could be big. And they should certainly see some pedal-to-the-metal action throughout the year.

 

British drivers to cheer on

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Fans of F1 from these shores can, of course, cheer on Mr. Lewis Hamilton as he attempts to hone in on Michael Schumacher’s record of seven Formula One world titles. But if you’re not a fan of the confident Stevenage-born McLaren man, there are two British drivers making their F1 debuts this year…

George Russell – Last year’s F2 champion, this 21 year-old lad from King’s Lynn in Norfolk has a huge future ahead of him in the sport. He’s being eased in here, though. This year he’ll drive with Williams, who have the slowest cars on the track. Don’t expect podiums for Russell in 2019, but do expect them soon enough.

Lando Norris – If you think a 21 year-old making his bow at this level is mad, wait ’til you get a load of this kid… Lando Norris is not only a full two years than his Williams counterpart, he’s also making his bow for McLaren. True, they’re not quite the force of yesteryear, but with Honda’s power unit gone, McLaren are hoping to break the big time again. The Bristolian rookie’s proved himself already at Formula E level. Here’s hoping he can he go one better with Formula 1 in 2019.

If you don’t find yourself taking to either of the new lads, but still want a British driver to follow, try Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon. The former Formula 2 driver technically drives under the Thai flag due to his mother’s nationality, but was born and raised a Brit. His dad is ex-British race car driver Nigel Adlon, no less.

 

What TV channel is F1 on in 2019?

Sky Sports F1

Sky Sports F1 will be showing every single race live in 2019. 2009 F1 champion Jenson Button will be joining the Sky Sports presenting team to add a bit of personality (no laughing at the back).

Not got Sky? Don’t worry, Channel 4 will be televising the British Grand Prix live on the 14th of July and will show highlights of all of the other 20 races throughout the season.

 

Predictions & odds

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It’d take a big shout for anyone to call a winner that isn’t Lewis Hamilton-shaped. The man might well be the most naturally-gifted F1 driver of all time. So it’s all but impossible to pick anyone else as a winner for 2019. If we had to, of course, we’d single out the two Ferrari boys. Monaco-born Charles Leclerc stands out in particular. Especially at 6/1.

Picking favourite Hamilton to win the drivers’ championship should put Mercedes in pole position to take the constructors’ championship. But with a dream team of Vettel and Leclerc – and nearly 2/1 available on their pipping their German foes to the title – The Prancing Horse appeals. We see Ferrari coming out on top.

Like longer shots? Max Verstappen and Red Bull, at 9/1 and 6/1 respectively could pay dividends on your betting app.

Those odds in full:

2019 F1 drivers’ championship winner

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 11/10
Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 5/2
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): 6/1
Max Verstappen (Red Bull): 9/1
Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 25/1
Pierre Gasly (Red Bull): 50/1
Daniel Ricciardo (Renault): 80/1
Carlos Sainz (McLaren): 250/1
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault): 250/1
Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo Racing): 300/1
Kevin Magnussen (Haas): 300/1
Robert Kubica (Williams): 500/1
Lando Norris (McLaren): 600/1
Sergio Perez (Racing Point): 600/1
Romain Grosjean (Haas): 600/1
Lance Stroll (Racing Point): 750/1
Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo Racing): 1,000/1
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso): 1,000/1
George Russell (Williams): 1,000/1
Alexander Albon (Toro Rosso): 1,000/1

2019 constructors’ championship winner

Mercedes: 9/10
Ferrari: 17/10
Red Bull: 6/1
Alfa Romeo Racing: 300/1
Racing Point: 300/1
McLaren: 350/1
Haas: 350/1
Toro Rosso: 500/1
Renault: 500/1
Williams: 1,000/1


There’s nothing quite like a Sunday spent watching Formula One at home in your living room, is there? Well, unless you’re talking about a Sunday spent watching Formula One down at your nearest Rileys with a few drinks, a burger and a couple of game of pool or darts, of course…

Steve Charnock A freelance writer who writes news stories, features, articles, reviews and lists. But *always* forgets to write his mum a birthday card. Follow him on Twitter or follow him into the pub and buy him a drink.