With a total of 20 races in the year, Formula 1 seems to almost begin one season before it has finished another. Such is how I feel this year as I find myself still looking back, at what was one of the closest competitions between two dominant drivers for a long time, only to find myself staring down the barrel of the 2015 season without much recollection of there being any sort of break in between.

Rosberg f1melbourne2015 b

As is such the only thing left to do is to take note of the testing session just been at both the Circuito Permanente de Jerez and Circuit de Catalunya which shows a clear difference from last years testing. A clear example of a formula that has had a season to mature and develop its new technologies with the only team to suffer from inconsistent performance was Mclaren-Honda as the team works hard to pair what they learnt from last years disastrous season to a new engine form a manufacturer who has not been in the sport for some time.

Mercedes may have dominated the season last year but the big question as we ramp up to Melbourne is, who has caught up and have they been able to improve, yet again, on their winning formula to stay that crucial one step ahead of their rivals? Only time will truly tell but with closest rivals Williams and Ferrari’s performance over the testing sessions, they will certainly be spending more time looking in their mirrors than they ever did in 2014.

vettel F1Melbourne2015

Drivers

Though the driver line up in the top tier has largely remained the same, other than the big move of Sebastian Vettel to Ferrari and Fernando Alonso returning to McLaren, leaving a sort after seat in Red Bull to the young Russian star Daniil Kvyat. The lower half of the grid has had quite the sake up. Gone are a few fan favourites like Jean-Eric Vergne, Jules Bianchi and Kamui Kobayashi leaving least to a new batch of up an coming young drivers full of promise. This wasn’t helped by the demise of Caterham at the end of last year that resulted in their not even completing the full calendar.

The only real disappointment to the new drivers grid for me is the lack of Susie Wolff, though she continues her roll as lead test driver for Williams F1. I would really like to see her get a drive under full race conditions.

DriverTeamPoints
Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

0

Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

0

Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing

0

Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing

0

Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari

0

Kimi RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari

0

Valtteri BottasWilliams F1 Team

0

Felipe MassaWilliams F1 Team

0

Fernando AlonsoVodafone McLaren Honda

0

Jenson ButtonVodafone McLaren Honda

0

Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team

0

Sergio PérezSahara Force India F1 Team

0

Carlos Sainz Jr.Scuderia Toro Rosso

0

Max VerstappenScuderia Toro Rosso

0

Pastor MaldonadoLotus F1 Team

0

Romain GrosjeanLotus F1 Team

0

Will StevensManor Marussia F1 Team

0

Roberto MerhiManor Marussia F1 Team

0

Marcus EricssonSauber F1 Team

0

Felipe NasrSauber F1 Team

0

Calendar

This year remains much like last, with the only notable addition being the return of Mexico to the calendar after a 23 year absence. This year I found my usual calendars to be out of date so have turned to f1fanatic‘s superbly moderated calendar. As it is hosted by Google Calendars you can be assured it will work on whatever your preferred device is for keeping up to date with Formula 1 but they also have links to the usual formats if you prefer to add the information to your calendar directly. You can find both the calendar and links here

In conclusion the 2015 Formula 1 season is shaping up to be an even more exciting fight than last years battle. I would usually sign off with a cry of “I can’t wait,” but this year we truly don’t have to. It’s now. Drivers start your engines.

Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)
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Brought up in a world of Mini's, road trips, rallying and tinkering it is unsurprising that among my passions, since I can remember, cars have been something very special to me. The way they look, the way they smell and especially the way the sound.This passion has grown over the years from a spectator's seat at Formula 1 and WRC events to active participation in events such as the Cannonball Run NZ and Stance Off Events. My current love affair is with a slightly tuned Mk4 Golf GTI which brings me nothing but joy on the road.This love for driving and cars has led me start a Podcast dedicated to my love of driving called Drive Life NZ where I hope to share my story while exploring the varied stories of other enthusiasts. Dispelling the myths surrounding car people and celebrating our diversity.

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