Guide to F1 2016

A simple guide to the upcoming f1 season. This year will introduce 3 new drivers, a new Pirelli compound tyre and a new venue to race at.


Teams and Drivers Changes

  • Renault will return to the sport as a works team after they purchased Lotus from Genii Capital in mid December 2015 after Lotus suffered badly in 2015 due to lack of money.
  • Romain Grosjean left Lotus, at the end of 2015 to join new f1 team, Haas F1. He will be joined by former Sauber driver, Esteban Gutierrez. Gutierrez will return to F1 after a year as Ferrari’s test and reserve driver.
  • Taking Grosjean’s seat at Renault will be Jolyon Palmer. Palmer, the GP2 2014 series champion will partner Kevin Magnussen.
  • Kevin Magnussen will replace Pastor Maldonado as Maldonado’s sponsor feel behind on payments to the team.
  • Manor have changed their line up for this year signing Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto to replace Will Stevens, Alexander Rossi and Roberto Merhi.

Team and Driver Line-Up

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen

Williams: Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa

Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen

Force India: Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg

Renault: Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer

Torro Rosso: Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat

Sauber: Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson

McLaren: Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso

Manor: Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto

Haas: Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez

In season changes: After the Russian GP, Max Verstappen was promoted to Red Bull and Daniil Kvyat was demoted to Torro Rosso.

Lewis Hamilton will be the defending drivers champion with Mercedes being the defending constructors champion.

Calendar Changes

20 March: Australia
3 April: Bahrain
17 April: China
1 May: Russia**
15 May: Spain
29 May: Monaco
12 June: Canada
19 June: Baku, Azerbaijan**
3 July: Austria
10 July: United Kingdom
24 July: Hungary
31 July: Germany***
28 August: Belgium
4 September: Italy
18 September: Singapore
2 October: Malaysia***
9 October: Japan
23 October: USA
30 October: Mexico
13 November: Brazil
27 November: Abu Dhabi

  • The Russian* grand prix has changed the date from the 11th October to the 1st of May.
  • The grand prix of Europe  will return to the calendar with the race to be held in Baku**, Azerbaijan.
  • The German*** grand prix returns to the calendar after it was cancelled and dropped after both venues,  Nürburgring and the Hockenheim ring were unable to host the event.
  • The Malaysian**** grand prix has changed places with the Russian grand prix. Malaysia, held in the early months will now be held in October, paired with the Japanese grand prix.
  • This season will be the longest ever in the sports history with 21 grand prixs set.

Manufacture suppliers

  • Mercedes will be the biggest manufacture supplying teams with Mercedes engines including: the works Mercedes team, Williams, Force India and Manor.
  • Ferrari will supply 3 teams with Ferrari engines including: the works Ferrari team, Sauber, Haas and Torro Rosso.
  • Honda will only be supplying McLaren and are hoping for a better year.
  • Renault will become a works team and will only supply themselves.
  • Red Bull will run TAG Heuer branded Renault engines after Red Bull and Renault split after the Renault engine was unreliable and uncompetitive throughout the 2015 season.


2016 Changes

  • Exhaust layout
  • To Improve engine noise, teams must now separate exhaust pipe for the turbine and wastegate rather than the single exhaust used last year.


  • Power unit development
  • Each manufacturer, (Mercedes, Ferrari, Renault and Honda) will be allowed 32 power unit tokens for in season development to update their engines. They are allowed to use these tokens where and when ever.


  • Tyres
  • To encourage variation and excitement between race strategies, Pirelli have added a new tyre compound called the Ultrasound, marked purple. They have also introduced a new rule on how the teams use the tyres across the weekend.


  • Radio communications
  • Last year, the FIA clamped down on engineer to driver talking relations. But there has been more restrictions on what the drivers can be told. This is supposed to make the drivers more self-reliant during the races.












Round up of Test 1

Ferrari are quickest in 3 out the 4 days but Mercedes complete the most laps by far so it seems the gap has slightly closed but we won’t really find out till Melbourne.


Mercedes’s best ever test

The amount of laps Mercedes did was very impressive and shows the reliability of the car. Over the 4 days of testing, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton managed 675 laps between them. The WO7 was reliable and the team and drivers did not push for lap times and was tested purely on reliability.

Haas are a force to be reckoned with

Despite a front wing failure for Romain Grosjean on Monday, testing went really good for the American team as Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez managed 281 laps between them, more than McLaren and Manor. Despite the team only entering this year, the car that they have produced is really smart and clever in design.

Renault improve as the test goes on

The test improved for Renault as the short test went on. Jolyon Palmer ran on days 1 and 2 and faced the difficulty of reliability and completed 73 laps. When Kevin Magnussen took over, the luck changed and Magnussen was able to complete over a 100 laps on days 3 and 4. Overall Renault was 7th  in the laps completed chart.

Difficult test for Palmer

As one of the 3 new drivers entering the sport this year, its fair to say that Renault’s Jolyon Palmer was the one who had the most difficult of test. Palmer ran on day 1 and 2 for Renault and ran into problems on on both days including a power unit failure. Palmer completed just 73 laps compared to team-mate Kevin Magnussen who completed 264 laps on days 3 and 4.

For the rest

Ferrari were quickest on days 1, 2 and 4. Sebastian Vettel ended the test quickest on a 1:22:810 and it was on the new Ultrasoft tyre. Ferrari only suffered a fuel system problem which hampered Kimi Raikkonen on day 3. Both Vettel and Raikkonen like the SF16-H as the major change on the car is the push-rod suspension which Ferrari have reverted back to which also Vettel and Raikkonen prefer.

When Ferrari had the fuel system problem on day 3, Force India and Nico Hulkenberg were their to pick up the pieces and went quickest. First impressions show that Force India have caught Red Bull and Williams. But this could change as Williams did not show much throughout the test and remained in the shadows. Daniel Ricciardo set the 4th fastest time for Red Bull in the test and both Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat completed 369 laps between them.

Sauber ran their 2015 car as their 2016 version will arrive at the next test, so this was just practise for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson. But this did not effect them as they completed 426 laps between them, the 3rd highest laps completed during the 4 days behind Torro Rosso and Mercedes.

Torro Rosso ran a plain blue livery during the test as the team is yet to unveil the seasons livery on the 29th of February. They did manage the 2nd highest amount of laps during the test with 447 laps between Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.

McLaren had a decent but not the best of tests as the team suffered an hydraulic leak on day 3 and then a coolant leak on day 4. Jenson Button ran reliably on the opening day and Fernando Alonso ran on day 2. Button then ran on day 3 and Alonso on day 4. Between them they both completed 257 laps, only 3 laps more than Manor.

As it it just the first test, the times don’t really matter right now at this moment in time. Reliability and how many laps the team and drivers do is more important.

Test 2

March 1st – 4th: Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona test 1 information

As many of the teams are unveiling their car liveries for this year, the first pre season test starts tomorrow at Barcelona.


Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes and Haas all unveiled their cars earlier this week along with Williams, Red Bull and Renault earlier this month.

Haas is the latest team to unveil their car and at first glance for me, I thought the colour scheme looked like a HRT from 2012 a bit. But overall the car looks pretty decent.

Test Topics

Ferrari’s title challenge

From when Sebastian Vettel won for Ferrari in Malaysia last year, we hoped Ferrari would keep this up for the rest of the year and they did winning in Hungary and Singapore. Now we need a real title fight and it looks like that Ferrari can do it. Testing will give an insight to how much Ferrari have improved.

Will Haas hit the ground running?

Haas unveiled their car today and look pretty confident to hit the ground running. Haas are the first team entering F1 since 2010. Manor are now the only and surviving team that entered the sport along with 2 other teams. Haas are also looking to score points in Australia. But will testing show how hard it is competing in a such competitive sport?

Deja vu for McLaren-Honda?

Last year, McLaren suffered their worst season in years as they reunited their partnership with Honda. They were up to 5 seconds of the pace in the final test of last year. All thought it it not confirmed, Fernando Alonso could potentially leave the team after testing and take a sabbatical from the sport if early signs of the car, performance wise aren’t great.

Driver line up Barcelona Test 1

Day 1

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton
Williams: Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo
Renault: Jolyon Palmer
Force India: Alfonso Celis Jr
McLaren: Jenson Button
Haas: Romain Grosjean
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson

Day 2

Mercedes: Nico Rosberg
Williams: Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull: Daniel Ricciardo
Renault: Jolyon Palmer
Force India: Sergio Perez
McLaren: Fernando Alonso
Haas: Esteban Gutierrez
Sauber: Marcus Ericsson

Day 3

Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg
Williams: Felipe Massa
Red Bull: Daniil Kvyat
Renault: Kevin Magnussen
Force India: Nico Hulkenberg
McLaren: Jenson Button
Haas: Romain Grosjean
Sauber: Felipe Nasr

Day 4

Mercedes: Nico Rosberg & Lewis Hamilton
Williams: Felipe Massa
Red Bull: Daniil Kvyat
Renault: Kevin Magnussen
Force India: Alfonso Celis Jr
McLaren: Fernando Alonso
Haas: Esteban Gutierrez
Sauber: Felipe Nasr

At the end of this test, there will be a round up of all 4 days in 1 post.


Haryanto joins Wehrlein at Manor

Manor confirm that Rio Haryanto will replace Will Stevens and partner Pascal Wehrlein at Manor for 2016.


Rio Haryanto will make his F1 debut alongside Pascal Wehrlein at Manor and takes the last seat for 2016.

Haryanto, 23 years old, was 4th in last years GP2 series.

Will Stevens, Alexander Rossi and Roberto Merhi who raced for Manor in 2015 have all lost their drives for 2016 as well as Pastor Maldonado, who was replaced by Kevin Magnussen at Renault.

Pre-season Test dates:
February 22-25: Barcelona, Spain
March 1-4: Barcelona, Spain


Just 1 seat left in 2016!

Manor have signed Pascal Wehrlein to take up one of their seats for this year. Also as things “look positive” for Alexander Rossi to take the second seat.


Wehrlein, 21, was the Mercedes reserve driver in 2015 and also won the DTM German Touring Car Championship the same year. He is also the second rookie to be signed for 2016 alongside Jolyon Palmer at Renault.

Wehrlein has also tested for Mercedes and Force India. He was reserve driver for Mercedes in 2014 and 2015 and also for Force India in 2015.

Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens, who both drove for Manor in 2015 and Rio Haryanto are also hoping to take the second seat alongside Wehrlein and the last seat in F1 2016!


Nico Rosberg’s 2016 Chances

For a third consecutive season, Nico Rosberg was beaten by Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Can Rosberg go for another season where he is beaten?


Mercedes, the most dominant team in formula one right now have two drivers battling it out for this season, a third time for the championship. But one driver is proving more difficult to beat.

Hamilton joined Mercedes in 2013 after leaving McLaren where he won the title in 2008. Hamilton and Rosberg, knew each other from karting and competed in the ranks on the way to formula one. That year and Hamilton bet Rosberg by 18 points in the final standings.

In 2014, the rules changed and Mercedes had the advantage in both championships. The relationship began to deteriorate and that showed at the Belgian grand prix where both drivers touched and made contact. Hamilton retired and Rosberg went onto finish 2nd. Another major point during the season was the qualifying for the Monaco grand prix. Rosberg, on his final run, locked up and went wide causing yellow flags and prevented Hamilton to go any faster. Rosberg then went onto win. Rosberg took more pole positions than Hamilton but fared less in races where he was beaten too easily by Hamilton. Hamilton went onto win his 2nd championship at the final round at Abu Dhabi with Rosberg, having an ERS failure was helpless to attack and challenge Hamilton for the title.

2015 was a different story to 2014. Rosberg did not start off the way he wanted to and only took his first pole position and win at round 5 at the Spanish grand prix. By this time Hamilton was in the lead and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel had already won in Malaysia. Rosberg then won in Monaco when Mercedes called Hamilton in for a pit stop when it wasn’t needed. Rosberg then won in Austria and only trailed Hamilton by 10 points. Rosberg’s championship challenge took another hit where his engine gave up at the Italian grand prix and now he was 53 points behind Hamilton. A throttle failure at the Russian grand prix saw Rosberg retire and he was now 73 points behind Hamilton and he was overtaking by Vettel in the standings. Rosberg qualified on pole position for the American grand prix but lost the lead to Hamilton near the end and Hamilton went onto win and he took his third championship. Rosberg then went onto win the last three races of the season, could this have been the start of the 2016 championship challenge?

We certainly hope so. Rosberg is running out of time to beat Hamilton and the developing Ferrari. This might be the last big push if Rosberg wants to win a world championship!

From Rosberg’s point of view, Hamilton is beatable in qualifying and in races but not the drivers championship. Rosberg lost out to Hamilton in the championship battle twice in 2014 and in 2015.

Can Rosberg finally beat Hamilton in the Mercedes battle and win his first world championship. All will be revealed at the Australian grand prix on the 20th of March.

Renault situation update

Renault confirmed that Kevin Magnussen will replace Pastor Maldonado at Renault. Renault also confirm that Esteban Ocon will be their reserve driver and Cyril Abiteboul to Managing Director


The news is out, and so is Pastor Maldonado. But in is former McLaren driver, Kevin Magnussen.

Magnussen spent only a year at McLaren in 2014 and finish on the podium on his debut. He was dropped and replace by Fernando Alonso for 2015. Magnussen then was set to race in the opening round of 2015 due to Alonso’s crash in pre season testing. But the McLaren failed to start the race due to an engine failure. He was McLaren’s test and reserve driver for the rest of the year until he was released in October.

Speculation started when Magnussen was spotted at early January at the teams base speaking to the senior management team.

On the 1st of February, Maldonado confirmed that he would leave the team due to financial difficulties with Maldonado’s sponsor, PDVSA fell behind on payments due to the country’s falling oil prices.

Renault also unveiled their 2016 livery on their car, the RS16. The colour scheme is mostly black and hints of yellow on the car, but it could change ahead of the season opener in Australia. Renault have also changed the team name to Renault Sport F1 Team.

Frederic Vasseur will be the racing director with experienced Bob Bell as chief technical officer and Nick Chester becoming the chassis technical director.