2017-11-29 Lewis Hamilton was the big winner in the 2017 Formula 1 season with his fourth championship.
The sun has set on the 2017 Formula 1world championship. Lewis Hamilton is a four-time champion and the fractious relationship between McLaren and Honda is over, but here are the real winners and losers of 2017:
Hamilton may divide opinions but, whatever you think of his lifestyle away from the track, he is a demon behind the wheel. Breaking record after record across the season, Hamilton also joined Juan Manuel Fangio and Michael Schumacher as only the third driver to win the championship while registering points in every single grand prix of the season.
Hamilton may have made the odd error here and there, but a combination of flawless reliability and supreme skill saw him round out the championship with relative ease.
While Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull have seemingly bottomless pockets of cash, Force India managed to finish fourth in the constructors’ standings for a second season in a row, beating their points total of 2016 despite this season having one less grand prix.
In Esteban Ocon, they have one of the most exciting drivers outside of the top three teams, and in Sergio Perez, they have a reliable leader. Whether Force India can continue their progress remains to be seen, but the challenge will be even greater in 2018, with Renault and McLaren expected to take giant strides forward.
Mercedes has now joined Ferrari in threatening to quit Formula 1 after the 2020 season.Earlier, Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne said that if Liberty Media proceeds with its plans for the 2021 ...
The new logo revealed in Abu Dhabi may have been met with a mixed reception, but can we just take a moment to remind ourselves of all the improvements made in fan access to the sport, both at the circuit and to fans at home?
Include the street fan event in London, the return of the boat race in Canada, massively improved social media output and Formula 1 has finally put the fans at the forefront of what it does.
Liberty Media now has a full season under its belt and is able to understand what the fans want. If I could talk directly to Chase Carey and Liberty Media, I would simply say that they should carry on with what they are doing.
This was always going to generate a little bit of controversy, but I have been massively disappointed with both Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen this season. Bottas may have been flawless on the way to victory in Abu Dhabi, even better in Russia, but he was utterly dominated for the most part by Hamilton and was unable to fill retired champion Nico Rosberg's shoes.
Moving from Williams to Mercedes to replace Rosberg was always going to be a challenge, but he didn’t live up to his "champion of the future" tag, and you have to think that, unless he can show massive improvement in 2018, he will not remain with Mercedes for many more seasons.
Raikkonen was even worse. Unable to match Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari must have come very close to retiring the 38-year-old Finn, who finished over 100 points behind his teammate. Raikkonen says that he can win another world title, but had it not been for a complete implosion at McLaren in 2007, he wouldn’t even have one to his name.
The new Formula 1 logo was revealed during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium celebrations, and it has been met with a largely negative response.But what's all the fuss?Let's get straight to it ...
Ferrari and Red Bull
Both of the title-challenging teamswere hampered by reliability issues and silly mistakes that cost them big time.
Across 20 grandsprix, Red Bull managed to get both cars to the finish in just seven. Max Verstappen bore the brunt of the problems in the first half of the season, but the situation was reversed in the latter stages as Daniel Ricciardo retired from three of the last four races of the season. As a result, Red Bull, who won three grands prix in 2017, finished 300 points behind Mercedes.
Ferrari had been right there in the drivers’ battle but threw it all away as the championship headed to Asia for the events in Singapore, Malaysia and Japan. A race win in Singapore bit the dust in spectacular fashion at the first corner, a failure before qualifying for Vettel in Malaysia saw him start from the back and a simple spark-plug problem put the German out in Japan. If you want to know where the championship was lost for Vettel, those three races are what did it.
While certain drivers did their best to make the racing exciting, our worst fears were realized at the opening round in Australia. The new cars are extremely difficult to follow and even harder to overtake. Daniel Ricciardo did prove to fans that passing was possible if you dared to get close to the limit, but few others could muster his bravery on a consistent basis.
What made a true mockery of the racing, however, were the grid penalties dished out at most every event after the summer break. Whoever decided that limiting the number of power units to just four was a good idea clearly needs their head checked, and as for next season's limit of three, we're best to keep those opinions to ourselves.
McLaren, with their endlessly unreliable Honda unit, came close to being pushed back by 400 grid slots in 2017 -- an average just over 20 places per race and there are only 20 cars on the grid!
Simplify the aero devices and raise the limit of power units. Formula 1 is not endurance racing.
By Sam Hall
Formula 1, Racing
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