As the highly anticipated 2019 campaign prepares to go, go, go, here’s what to look out for this season…
FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2019, Sunday 17 March, from 3.30am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Buckle up and get ready for the return of the fastest show on four wheels. The first round of the 2019 Formula season is primed and ready for action on Sky Sports F1, with the practice races starting in the wee hours of Friday 15 March in Melbourne, Australia, and culminating in the Grand Prix itself early on Sunday morning.
As this is F1 we’re talking about, a lot has changed since the chequered flag was waved for the final time last season – a season that saw Lewis Hamilton clinch a fifth world title. We’re talking new teams, new contenders and new tech.
One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the fact that you can watch every single practice session, qualifying round and heart-pumping race live on Sky Sports and the Sky Sports app. It really is the place to be for all things F1.
Excited? You should be, because this season is already shaping up to be an absolute cracker. So, as the likes of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull fine-tune their mean machines ahead of the start of the season, here’s everything you need to know about the new campaign.
Hamilton wants title number six
It’s set to be another massive year for Stevenage speedster Lewis Hamilton. The 34-year-old romped to a fifth World Championship title last year, moving up to joint second on the list of all-time champions, alongside the great Juan Manuel Fangio. The Brit is still two titles behind table topper Michael Schumacher, but another victory this season would put him one step closer to immortality. Make no mistake: Hamilton’s still the man to beat.
Watch out for Lando Norris
With a name straight out of Star Wars, you’d expect the British rookie to have something special about him. Just 19 years old, the F1 debutant will be racing for McLaren this season. Big things are expected of the talented Norris and it’ll be fascinating to see how he fares against the big boys this year.
Alfa Romeo are back (sort of)
Formula One teams love chopping and changing their name depending on sponsorship deals. One to look out for this season is Alfa Romeo Racing, which will be the title sponsor of Sauber. And who’s that lining up for the team? Why it’s Mr Cheerful himself, former Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen!
Expect more overtaking
Calling all engineering geeks! This season’s cars will feature modified front and rear wings, which should encourage more overtaking and generally more competitive racing. Bet your blood’s pumping just thinking about it.
A landmark race in China
Expect fanfare and pageantry on an epic scale at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday 14 April, because it will be the 1,000th race in F1’s history. Here’s to 1,000 more!
Ricciardo at Renault
The biggest personnel change this season is undoubtedly at Renault, which has pinched Daniel Ricciardo from Red Bull. After a number of years in the wilderness for the team, the Aussie is hoping to get them back in the winning habit. It’s going to be a huge challenge for Ricciardo, but with seven Grands Prix wins to his name, he’s got the pedigree.
Robert Kubica is back
Eight years after a rally accident nearly killed him, Robert Kubica will make his triumphant return to Formula One this season with Williams. The 33-year-old Pole completed four full seasons as an F1 driver, last competing in 2010. However Kubica fares this season, it’s one of the great sporting comebacks.
The pressure is on for Ferrari
How do you solve a problem like Ferrari? Despite substantial financial clout, one of motorsport’s most iconic names hasn’t won any F1 titles since 2008. This year, Sebastian Vettel will have a new teammate in Charles Leclerc, while new team principal Mattia Binotto has been waxing lyrical about their new car. Is it time they delivered the goods? Watch this space.
New team alert!
Remember Force India? Well they don’t technically exist anymore. But allow us to introduce you to Racing Point! They’re owned by Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll, who took over Force India last year when the stricken team buckled. Their drivers? Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence.
Watch every race live on Sky Sports
With unrivalled coverage of this season’s World Championship, Sky Sports is the home of live Formula One action. Every practice session, qualifying round and race is live on Sky Sports F1® and the Sky Sports app, putting you at the heart of the pulsating action.
Live FORMULA 1 ROLEX AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX 2019
Friday 15 March, 12.30am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Friday 15 March, 4.45am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Saturday 16 March, 2.45am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Saturday 16 March, from 5.55am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Sunday 17 March, from 3.30am, Sky Sports F1®/HD (CH 516/506)
Find out what’s on Sky Sports this week
Keep up to speed with the latest games, players, athletes and action with our Sky Sports schedule. Collecting together all the latest sports coverage from across the channels, there’s something for every fan to celebrate on our homepage!
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