Formula 1 podcast: Will Valtteri Bottas make us miss Nico Rosberg this season?
In this week's episode of the Inside Line F1 Podcast, Mithila and Kunal wonder if Valtteri Bottas will be able to challenge Lewis Hamilton like Nico Rosberg did.
As we excitedly countdown to the 2017 Australian Grand Prix, we wonder if we'll be treated to an epic Formula 1 race or a Sunday morning snooze fest?
We're hoping for that a single team (read: Mercedes) doesn't dominate, but even if they do, will Valtteri Bottas be able to challenge Lewis Hamilton? Or will he make us miss Nico Rosberg? The pressure is on the Finn given that the Mercedes bosses have given him four races to prove himself. But will the fans be as patient?
Besides Rosberg's absence a lot has changed this season. Formula 1 is obsessed with rule changes. It seems that the sport swears by the phrase ‘change is the only constant’. For 2017, bodywork and tyres are the two areas that have witnessed key changes. The objective of the 2017 changes is to make the cars more visually appealing, faster and physically demanding for the drivers. But will that affect the pecking order?
The rule changes of 2017 would be considered a success if it allows more teams to be competitive and if the fans are treated to wheel-to-wheel action ever so often, whether an eventual overtake would happen or not. The only other reference that we have from recent history is that rule changes have often failed to alleviate the sport from the much disliked single-team domination, only that the team dominating would change. Unfortunately for 2017, there’s a good indication that Mercedes could still be the team to beat.
But there's more to look forward to in Australia: is Ferrari vs Mercedes possible? Will Red Bull Racing's RB13 look different than the one that appeared in pre-season testing? A pink Force India, an after effect of Holi? The rookies: Esteban Ocon and even Lance Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo's new party trick, Mercedes' finger hole clutch paddle and finally, a 'Fittest Driver of the Day' award?
Tune in for the full podcast:
The AlphaTauri driver was .24 seconds quicker than Red Bull driver Sergio Perez and .6 clear of Perez's teammate Max Verstappen on the 5.3-kilometer (3.3-mile) Istanbul Park circuit.
Verstappen is a major threat to Hamilton's bid for an eighth world title to surpass Michael Schumacher and stand alone among F1 greats. He leads Hamilton 7-5 for wins this season and 7-3 for pole positions.
Max Verstappen finished second to take a six-point lead in the driver's championship.