Formula 1 2017 Season Review!
The season has come to an end, the last race in Abu Dhabi showed the Ferrari team how much work they have to do in the coming months for the 2018 season. Vettel finished the championship in second place, but overall it was the most succesful season since 2012. So let’s look back on 2017!
We’ll go all the way back to Australia, the first race of the season and the least predictable. Hamilton is on pole but a brilliant strategy from the Ferrai crew brings the first win for Vettel! An exciting season ahead, as the two top teams seem closely matched. This is confirmed in the following races: Hamilton wins over Vettel in China, Vettel wins in front of Hamilton in Bahrain.
The championship gap increased in Russia, a Ferrari front row at the start but Bottas had an excellent start and won the race. Seb and Kimi were on the podium, Hamilton 4th.
Drama at the start of the Spanish GP, Kimi Raïkkönen made contact with Verstappen which ended both drivers’ race. A memorable moment followed when a young fan, who was in tears after Kimi’s retirement, was invited to the Ferrari hospitality to meet his hero.
Meanwhile on track Sebastian was fighting for the lead, spectacularly passing Bottas into turn 1. After a safety car Hamilton was very close and eventually passed Vettel. A race we should have won.
Ferrari struck back in style at the Monaco Grand Prix. 1-2 at the start and 1-2 at the finish! Perfect weekend and a healthy lead in the championship!
Unfortunately Mercedes took a 1-2 in Canada, where Vettel was helpless when Verstappen destroyed his front wing at the start. Another front wing incident in Azerbaijan, when Hamilton prepared for the restart after the safety car, Vettel touched him and damaged the car. Vettel then lost his cool and bumped Hamilton, an incident that caused a lot of controversy. We can all agree that it was a bad move and it should not have happened. That race was won by Ricciardo. Kimi was damaged by Bottas and did not finish.
In Austria Vettel was on the podium, further extending his lead over Hamilton. Then came the British Grand Prix, a race to forget for most Ferrari fans. In the last laps of the race, tyres failed on both cars! A terrible mistake from the strategists. To make things worse, title rival Lewis won and gained a huge advantage.
Once again, Ferrari hit back in a beautiful weekend in Budapest. 1-2 on the grid, 1-2 on the finish line. Absolutely perfect performance into the summer break.
In an exciting race in Spa, the Mercedes proved stronger in the end and the championship lead started to fade away. But the change happened in Monza, Italy. Ferrari home ground where the 70 years was celebrated. A difficult race for both drivers, because the Mercedes power was unstoppable.
Singapore. Not much to be said about this. It was the worst GP in 70 years history of the Ferrari team, both cars out after the first few corners. The Hamilton lead increased dramatically.
The season really turned around after the summer break, more problems followed in Malaysia (DNS for Kimi) and Japan (DNF for Vettel).
In a few races, the championship slipped away and Hamilton confirmed his 4th title in Mexico.
The engineers delivered a great car, but some mistakes and reliability issues caused a bitter end to the 2017 season. However, it’s the best season in recent years, Ferrari could compete for victory and had the speed to win most of the times. A lot better than 2016. So what will 2018 look like? Mercedes will still be strong, because the rules haven’t really changed. I strongly believe that Ferrari can be as strong as Mercedes next year, which should deliver a battle of the titans between two 4-time world champions Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
The 2018 season will be the longest ever, with 21 Grand Prix. The return of the German GP in Hockenheim and a French GP at Paul Ricard. We’re excited, see you next year!