Welcome to my first ever blog post! It's good to finally get this up and running- I'm a technology dinosaur so do hold on whilst I try and figure out how to work this (so much for me sounding professional). This first post is just a bit of a trial run as I get to grips with this. So, 1-2 testing, let the rambling begin...
Formula 1 is back for 2016 and already it has taken us on a roller-coaster. Albeit a roller-coaster that I was very tempted to get off after two disastrous qualifying sessions. Never again, FOM. Never again!
Aside from the Saturday hiccups and the ever deepening political feud, the racing is back and better than what we've seen since the turbo era kickstarted. After all, racing is what I tune in to watch - not the same front runners miles out time after time.
Admittedly, I am a bit (massive) Red Bull fan, so it has been nice to see them in a better form after their dismal season last year. With a bit of luck, their podium appearances should become a bit more frequent again. And whatever Ricciardo has done to his hair, he can keep it shorter if he's going to drive like that!
Certainly, Ferrari would have hoped for a more competitive start. They're good, but Mercedes still have that edge. With only one of their cars finishing in the first two rounds and a clash between team-mates in China, they'll finally be looking for a double podium in Sochi. Will they achieve that? Possibly not, if Lewis' run of bad luck comes to an end.
That brings us onto the next question, has Hamilton lost his edge? My answer, no. Despite hitches with his starts (where technical and clutch faults have been firmly to blame) he's managed to work his way through the field time and time again, still earning those all important points. It's not the perfect get away that he would have been wanting, but don't write him off yet. We all know he's a fighter. Although, either way, both Ferrari and Mercedes have been plagued with more reliability issues than we were expecting.
Away from the negative press surrounding the sport, it was encouraging to see newcomers Haas have a successful start to their first season. With a 5th and 6th place under their belts, they have made a sensational debut by anyone's standards. Perhaps then, Shanghai was a bit of a letdown, causing us to wonder whether their honeymoon period was at an end. It was a reality check for the American team, who'll be looking for better luck in Europe. There was one positive to take from Asia though, Esteban Gutierrez finished his first race of the season after two retirements (including that nasty crash with Alonso). Nevertheless, the newbies remain 5th in the constructor's standings. Very promising.
McLaren are still fighting a losing battle- with the only two points coming from a sensational debut drive from (an 'UnStoffable') reserve driver Vandoorne. The boys keep assuring us that points and Q3 are around the immediate corner, but just how long will it be before we see anything worth getting excited about? Yes, well done Stoffel and yes, it's nice to see Fernando back in this seat but, apart from that, everything crossed for some positive developments soon. No more power unit failures, please.
Need I say, the first three races have been exciting, a mere teaser of the battle to come in the next eight months.
Bring it on.