2019 Formula One and Honda's Role in the Sport
Slideshow: With the 2019 Formula One season getting underway, we take a look at what is new this year, and the impact of Honda's involvement providing engines for 2 teams.
2019 Is Here
This weekend marks the start of the 2019 Formula One Championship season. There's plenty of buzz around the return of the pinnacle of motorsport for a new season. New driver lineups, new partnerships, and even more fierce competition all make for exciting battles on track. Honda will be right in the thick of things, providing the power units for Toro Rosso, (Red Bull B team) as they did last season, in addition to the Red Bull senior team.
Rocky Comeback to F1
Honda's most recent stint as a power unit manufacturer in Formula One got off to a shaky start with McLaren in 2015. The lack of reliability and overall performance of the Honda engines steered McLaren away from the Japanese make and towards the better-proven Renault in 2017.
During the 2018 season, the Honda engines showed amazing promise powering the Toro Rosso. Meanwhile, McLaren's failure proved to be from within the team and not to be blamed on Honda. Red Bull motorsport management was so excited with the potential of the Honda unit that they decided to ditch their Renault power in favor of Honda for 2019.
In regards to the capability and reliability of Honda engines this year, only time will tell if Red Bull made the right choice. Those within the team are certainly hugely optimistic about the potential of the Honda engine and the partnership.
What's Different This Year?
The FIA have applied a few minor changes to the regulations for 2019 Formula One cars, the majority of which are concerned with aerodynamics. Their goal is to make close, wheel-to-wheel racing more possible by allowing for cars to be able to follow each other closely.
The Problem With Turbulent Air
New F1 cars create massive turbulence behind them, due to their highly complex aerodynamic features. This makes it almost impossible for 2 cars with a similar pace to battle closely, as unpredictably moving 'dirty' air coming off the back of the car in front will throw off the aerodynamic behavior of the car behind, making it harder to handle.
New Driver Lineups
The number of changes to the driver lineups this season is somewhat unprecedented. That's not necessarily a bad thing, however, as new names and new teams for some of the sport's veterans always makes for exciting racing on the track. Most notably, Daniel Ricciardo will not be racing for Red Bull for the first time in 5 years as he starts fresh at Renault.
Same Old Thing?
While most of us are expecting yet another season dominated mostly by Mercedes-AMG and Ferrari, it's looking more and more like the competition among the rest of the pack is going to be much tighter this year. And that's great news for fans of racing. We are eagerly waiting for the start of the new season and will be keeping a keen eye on Honda's performance.
Melbourne, Australia kicks things off
It all starts this week in Melbourne at the Australian Grand Prix! The race weekend proceedings started on Thursday. The first practice session will be on Friday, followed by qualifying on Saturday, and the race itself on Sunday.
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