The new Formula One season gets underway in Australia in just three months’ time, and after years of Mercedes domination, there’s hope that things are finally about to change.
A raft of new rules come into force this year, including a dramatic aerodynamic overhaul.
Aimed at making the cars quicker, it offers the chance for Mercedes’ rivals to close the gap.
Plus, with a raft of driver moves – and retirements – over the winter, there is plenty to be excited about in the coming months.
So, who could be in for a good year?
When it comes to aerodynamics, it’s widely regarded that Red Bull are the best in the business.
And the new rules should allow their aero nous to come to the fore.
Having been Mercs’ closest challengers last year, and with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen ready to push the team forward, Red Bull are primed for their strongest campaign since 2013.
While Honda work on improving their turbo unit, McLaren will be hoping to take advantage of the new regulations.
The enhancement on aerodynamic dependency should allow the former champions to make inroads.
And there’s McLaren’s trump card, namely, Fernando Alonso. Faster cars require greater driver skill, and the Spaniard is still unmatched in that regard.
Last season we had two new teams from very different backgrounds.
But while Haas exceeded expectations in 2016 and Renault flopped, 2017 could offer the chance for a role reversal.
The American outfit could get caught out by the new regs, while it’s exactly the kind of opportunity for experienced heads Renault to take advantage of.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing