This season has now reached its closing stages with the USA, Mexico, Brazil, and Abu Dhabi still to come. The chequered flag falling on another classic year at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25.
But, preparations are already underway for the next campaign with teams advanced in their 2019 car designs, and most areas of the cars locked-off.
…while in Australia, there’s now less than 100 days until the barriers start to go up, as the circuit build begins.
… and memories of past classic races flood back.
SOUNDBITE (English) ANDREW WESTACOTT,
CEO, AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX CORPORATION:
“Paul Stoddart and Mark Webber in 2002, on debut, was a great moment for Australian sport. You then go through an era of Michael Schumacher and the privilege, as we saw, of him performing so well in Albert Park.”
In 2019, there will be lots of change with many of the teams featuring new driver combinations, and Sauber and McLaren at least with all-new lineups.
Onto the cars, and the sport has made aerodynamic changes for 2019 to clean up the wake behind the car for closer racing.
The 2019 cars will have a simplified front wing with a larger span, and low outwash potential, simplified front brake ducts with no winglets, and a wider and deeper rear wing.
We could also have a new qualifying format, with Liberty Media proposing a new four-part knockout session; with eight drivers going into Q4.
The aim, to create more uncertainty with competitors having to deliver in three sessions to get to Q4, and two fewer places available in the fight for pole.
All of which, is part of the vision to revitalise F1 on its path to an exciting new future, ahead of the regulation and financial overhaul from 2021.
SOUNDBITE (English) CHASE CAREY,
CHAIRMAN & CEO, FORMULA 1:
"One of our goals is to make, you know, not just make the sport more competitive and the action better, but to make the sport healthier for everybody.”
F1 2019 kicks off in Melbourne on March 17.