L&T Motorsport

L&T Motorsport’s 2017 Predictions – and Make Yours too!

The opening round of the 2017 Formula 1 Season is almost here, and with the help of pre-season testing results everyone is speculating what will happen throughout the season. So we got various writers to predict the championship standing after the final round at Abu Dhabi.

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to predict how this season will pan out. We would like to know what you think. So after reading this article, leave what your prediction for this years championship either in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

Alex Varic

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Valtteri Bottas

“Ferrari may have appeared quickest during testing, but they didn’t seem to be sandbagging all that much for Pre-Season Testing standards. There was never a suggestion of particular elation in the Ferrari garage, and on the contrary, Mercedes don’t exactly seem like a team in turmoil. I feel in terms of pure pace Ferrari may have the most minor of edges, but good strategy and reliability as well as experience will give Mercedes the edge.”

“In terms of the drivers, I’d expect Bottas (who I am a big fan of) to struggle at the beginning of the season. Hamilton and Vettel will pull away for much of the season. By the end of the season, I think Bottas will be able to fight for every win, and with the help of some team orders, assist Hamilton to the Title. I can’t see a reason why Red Bull and Kimi Räikkönen won’t fight for some victories. I feel they will struggle to consistently fight for the title though.”

Andrew Campbell

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Daniel Ricciardo

“Although there is not much to go off after winter testing I believe that Mercedes will have the advantage over the field as they have in recent years. Ferrari will close the gap and take over from Red Bull in second but the Champions will have the edge over the Scuderia for me. On the drivers front I expect Hamilton to regain the title and become a four time champion with Vettel running him close. Bottas will be consistent and get at least one win but I don’t see him just now getting the same amount of points like Rosberg would. Ricciardo is always overlooked by the talent that Verstappen has but I think the Aussie will adapt quicker and outpace Bottas, Verstappen and Raikkonen for what will be a highly competitive third place in the drivers title. On a different random note at this point at least I can see Sauber out scoring McLaren unless they sort the issues with the Honda engine real quick.”

Adam Todd

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Valtteri Bottas

“After three years of Mercedes dominance, 2017 is an opportunity for teams to catch up with the German manufacturer. Ferrari certainly look like they’ve made a big leap forward from 2016 and I believe if they start the season well then Sebastian Vettel can become a five-time world champion. I hope we’re able to see an exciting duel between Vettel and Lewis Hamilton with the sport in deep need of at least a two team battle. Despite going for Vettel to narrowly win the drivers’ championship I think Mercedes will be too strong to beat for the Scuderia in the constructors’ championship. Kimi Raikkonen lacks consistency and therefore over the course of the season I can see Valtteri Bottas picking up more points than his compatriot which will help clinch Mercedes a fourth straight constructors championship!”

Image result for Mercedes f1 2017

Andy Graham

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Daniel Ricciardo

“It’s very hard to predict how this season will unfold. Vettel is my favourite for the drivers title, as Ferrari seems to be much stronger this season. Ferrari felt completely different this preseason. Not only were they bang on the pace, but the car was extremely reliable, and they were sandbagging, which has caused rivals Red Bull some concern. Vettel should have no problems beating Raikkonen for the third season in a row, after beating him in 14 races last season (and it arguably could have been more). Hamilton I feel will come a close second (we simply don’t know how Bottas will perform in comparison, and it’s hard to bet against Hamilton in that inter-team battle). Ricciardo I feel will come 3rd, as he is the more complete package compared to his teammate Verstappen (who still makes quite a few errors which will hurt him in a title battle). He also seems to be a far better package than Bottas and Raikkonen.”

“Mercedes I think will take the constructors because Bottas will do a more solid job picking up points than Raikkonen will do. Raikkonen has not been the same since a back injury in late 2013. Red Bull currently are held back by their power unit, which proved a bit unreliable in testing, hence why I have placed them third. They do have the best driver lineup though so they should not be ruled out.”

Phil Martin

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Valtteri Bottas
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Kimi Räikkönen

“A new season brings new expectations, and while there may be a few changes to the order, not least what seems a competitive challenge from Ferrari, I feel Mercedes all-round package will see them to glory. However I also feel that the signing of Bottas has not been given due credit, and I can actually see him winning the title. It may surprise some to see Hamilton not in my top 3, however I see a man who doesn’t seem to retain the same fire and desire of yesteryear. The Red Bulls will be around the top 3, although it is difficult to determine whether they have sandbagged their way through the winter, and in an aerodynamically driven era they certainly should not be discounted.”

 

Jay Daniels

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Sebastian Vettel
  3. Daniel Ricciardo

“Despite the regulation changes, Mercedes still have a huge lead with the hybrid engines. Early data and results seem to show that Ferrari have closed the gap and increased reliability, so expect them to be closer at the start of the season. Red Bull have made progress in their balance of aerodynamics which means they don’t appear to only be fast on technical tracks but can also compete on the straights. Despite both Ferrari and Red Bull making gains, I still think Mercedes will have something in reserve and be able to turn the car up to 11 when needed.”

“Driver wise, Hamilton is used to the Mercedes and for that reason I don’t think Bottas will get too close to him just yet. The real focus is on Vettel, a previous champion with something to prove, I expect him to throw everything at this season, although he won’t have the benefit of Rosberg making Hamilton’s life difficult. Third is a tough pick, it’s close between Ricciardo and Verstappen but I think the Australian’s consistency will be key and he will win the battle there.”

Rob Carlson

Constructors’

  1. Ferrari
  2. Mercedes
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Sebastian Vettel
  2. Kimi Räikkönen
  3. Lewis Hamilton

“If we are to believe the numbers and figures from the Barcelona tests, Ferrari seem to have developed that is level with Mercedes (if not better). Sure, teams do not want to tip off their hand, but with new regulations, teams will have been eager to see what the pecking order will look like. Ferrari were lifting and using harder compounds on their fastest laps across the line and seem to have time in hand.Mercedes were not, and opted for softer compounds. Red Bull are tough to predict. Newey may still have a surprise up his sleeve.”]

“Predicting a return to form from Ferrari and Vettel here. Hamilton and Vettel are equally talented, Ferrari seem to have the better car at the moment. One angle not many discussing is that not many drivers have experience with cars capable of the lap times we will see this season. The G forces the drivers will experience in cornering may be the highest ever, certainly since the V8 era. Raikkonen’s experience in the V8 era, and possessing the build of someone who may be able cope with the G forces throughout the length of the season better than drivers with smaller frames will play to his advantage. Expect some surprise results from the Iceman in 2017. Lewis undoubtedly will be there. Ultimately, the battle for second place in the Championship will be closer than the battle for first.”

Image result for Ferrari F1 leading race 2015

Mark Beastall

Constructors’

  1. Mercedes
  2. Ferrari
  3. Red Bull

Drivers’

  1. Lewis Hamilton
  2. Valtteri Bottas
  3. Max Verstappen

“With all the pre-season talk being about Ferrari catching up I believe that Mercedes dominance will continue and with an Adrian Newey car and no engine tokens this year I think we will see an early Mercedes advantage with a steady stream of upgrades coming to the Red Bull, especially in the European season and it will be a bit more open from there. Ferrari have promised a lot in the last few preseasons but never really delivered and I fear this could also be a false dawn. I do sincerely hope I’m wrong and we have at least 3 manufacturers fighting it out all season.”

So then, now it’s over to you. What are your predictions?

Photos courtesy of Autosport and Sutton Images

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