Fans ask a lot of their sport, their team, their favourite driver and - the regulations. With a sport like Formula 1, if you wish to keep up to date on all events of the season such devotion requires some very late nights and some very early mornings…and that is just for the fans.
One of the biggest expectations fans have for the coming season is the hope that 2019 regulations will result in wheel-to-wheel racing and an increase in overtaking maneuvers. Now, if you were to ask Daniel Ricciardo if overtaking is possible in F1 his answer would probably differ to the majority of the field seeing how he has made late-braking and bold overtakes his trademark. Therefore, based on the pace shown by Renault in pre-season, many a fan expects to see more of the same from Ricciardo this year….and another shoey would be most welcome too. Although, Patrick Stewart and Martin Brundle may decline the offer to have a sip second time round.
Obviously, the 2019 regulations are not as fundamentally different as the anticipated 2021 regulations. However, the shorter front wing and larger rear wing was meant to be a step in the right direction and enough to whet a fan’s appetite in the meantime.
Unfortunately, according to four time Driver’s World Champion Sebastian Vettel, following the car in front and overtaking will be ‘tricky’.
Based on the performance Vettel saw during both rounds of testing, he has commented that he is unconvinced as to how much of a change there will be this season when travelling in the ‘dirty air’.
“It’s always difficult to say in testing and difficult to judge because you are on different tyres, different compounds and age, different compounds. So far it was still tricky to follow and to overtake.”
Such remarks are not what fans would want to hear.
However, don’t despair because this season brings a wealth of hungry racers and they are the late-braking generation. Lando Norris, George Russell and Charles LeClerc have a history of outperforming their vehicle and pushing it to the limit. Add to this the return of Robert Kubica and a happy Kimi Raikkonnen and we can certainly get excited. Not to mention a certain Max Verstappen who showed from the mid way point of the 2018 season that he can overtake with the best of them. Plus – we haven’t even mentioned the current Driver's World Champion Lewis Hamilton, a man always eager to prove his critics wrong…don’t count on a changing of the guard just yet.
So, what do fans expect?
Fans expect to see the most talented grid of drivers in many years battling from lights out to the chequered flag.
Fans expect to see engines being challenged and a reduction in fuel saving.
Fans expect to see the closer access promised by Liberty Media.
Fans exect to be entertained…that’s not asking too much – is it?