Given the significant upgrades most teams including the top three are bringing to this weekend’s 2017 Spanish Grand Prix, Non executive chairman of Mercedes and F1’s elderly fan Niki Lauda has suggested that the 2017 F1 season will basically start from scratch in Spain.
Photo : Reuters / Albert Gea
The first four races of the season have made it clear that Ferrari and Mercedes are the current title contenders and Red Bull Racing are operating at a significant performance deficit to the top two teams.
“It’s very simple, everyone will come with upgrades”, said Niki, “The season will start new and whoever has the better upgrades, we don’t know yet. But we will see in Barcelona in practice and then in the race.”
Photo : XPB Images
Asked if Bottas can mount a serious title run, Niki said : “Nobody knows. This is one race, he has won his first race and now we have to wait and see. You cannot force this kind of thing.
“Bottas was quicker in Russia because he won the race but Lewis is an outstanding talent, a world champion. Bottas beat him but perhaps the next three times maybe Lewis will do that.
“You cannot say this but he is certainly a very good replacement for Nico, I have to say, because twice pole position and to win the fourth race is not a bad performance for us.”
It is believed that the upgrades Mercedes are bringing to Spain are to do with car weight reduction because they believe the increased weight is the cause for their balance problems. Ferrari and Red Bull, however, are bringing upgrades with a major focus on aerodynamic improvement.
It will be interesting to see how the upgrades will shake up the midfield as well.
Force India believe their upgrades will cement them at the top of the midfield. Can Williams reply to that with a performance upgrade? Will there be respite for McLaren Honda?
We shall see. Formula 1 is back this weekend for the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona at the Circuit de Catalunya.
Feature Photo : Sutton Images / Formula 1
– Aditya Bhat.