IN MY opinion: HARRY EADE
2016 WAS GOOD, BUT 2017 IS GOING TO BE EVEN BETTER. EADE JOINS IN ON THE DEBATE AS HE LOOKS BACKWARDS AND FORWARDS.
F1 2016. It was actually pretty damn good. We had crashes;
Controversy in Spain this year, both Mercedes crash out on the first lap
A new star;
Verstappen's rain masterclass in Brazil means his name is being talked of with the greats
Hamilton's engine failure in Malaysia this year whilst in a commanding lead
And of course, more crashes;
Alonso's horror crash in Australia which the Spaniard was lucky to walk away from
Overall, 2016 shaped up to become quite an exciting season (better than 2015 anyway). The closing gap between Mercedes and Red Bull/Ferrari meant that the reigning champions were always kept on their toes, and were punished for any mistakes they made - Spain being the prime example.
Hamilton fans will of course rue this season as one that got away from the Brit through poor reliability, but that is just the way of life sometimes. Interestingly Hamilton and Rosberg over the three 'Hybrid' seasons have had exactly the same amount of unreliability, and there were Sundays this year that Rosberg actually won fair and square. And anyway, if Hamilton had walked away with the championship we would not have ended the season with perhaps the most intense final laps I have ever witnessed, so lets rejoice in the exhilarating sport that is Formula 1.
Nico Rosberg of course is worthy of the championship. He is undoubtedly slower than Hamilton overall but he used other means to make sure that he took his first championship. Luck was on his side, but with Hamilton chasing him down in the final races he applied himself superbly to not crack under the pressure which could have so easily happened.
Enough dwelling on the 2016 season anyway. 2017 is what I am now most looking forward to. More downforce + Bigger tyres = better Formula 1. I can't wait to see what these cars will look like when they launch at the start of the New Year. Meaner, faster cars is what the sport needs, and in my opinion the drivers need to be challenged once again. I want the last few laps in Abu Dhabi to be repeated but without Lewis having to back the pack up.
On that note, I am intrigued to see whether Ferrari and (especially) Red Bull can use these new aero rules to finally close that last gap to Mercedes. A six way title fight would be fascinating to watch. The new and exciting Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo vs the 8 World Championships between Hamilton, Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel vs fan favourite and still quick guy, Kimi Raikkonen. Its mouth watering stuff to think about.
Raikkonen testing 2017 spec tyres
I hope McLaren can catch up to the chasing pack next year too. A Formula which may be slightly less reliant on engine power is what they need. Fernando Alonso has once again driven brilliantly this year, always on the limit of what the car could do, occasionally getting it wrong (see above). A talent that big needs a quick car. It will also be fascinating to see how his rookie teammate Stoffel Vandoorne will stack up next to the double World Champion. He's already made quite an impression and will be wanting to continue that form.
The midfield battle will be great to watch again as Force India look to hold on to a brilliant fourth place from this year. Williams and Renault will of course want to improve on average seasons to catch them. They all need to keep an eye behind them as well as Toro Rosso, Haas, Sauber and Manor all want to make it to the top of that midfield pack. Aerodynamic development will be key for next year.
2016 has been good, but the 2017 season is going to be great. Roll on 26th March...