Ferrari has changed things up in 2019.
Ferrari has changed things up in 2019.

‘Seismic’ shift amid radical F1 changes

New beginnings. New drivers. New rivalries. Forget what happened last year, because F1 in 2019 has a whole new look about it. Here are all the things that are different about this season.

Ferrari have gone big in their changes for 2019

If the decision to replace Kimi Raikkonen with Charles Leclerc was strong, the ousting of Maurizio Arrivabene to promote Mattia Binotto as team boss was seismic.

Lewis Hamilton is now a five-time world champion

Which makes him, for the first time in his F1 career, the most successful driver currently in the sport.

Just two teams - Mercedes and Haas - have kept the same driver line-up

Everybody else - so that's Red Bull, Ferrari, Renault, Racing Point, Alfa Romeo, Toro Rosso and Williams - have changed at least one of their drivers.

The season ends in December

December 1, in fact. Which is not excessively later than normal seasons. But has a nice ring to it.

Red Bull will be powered by Honda after opting to drop Renault

Which is either brave, risky or ingenious. Or, quite possibly, a combination of all three!

Ricciardo has swapped Red Bull for Renault

See the combination of words above. But with more risk involved …

Alfa Romeo are back

One of F1's most historic brands return to the grid after taking over the Sauber name. And Raikkonen will be there to lead their midfield charge.

The cars are very different

Simplified front and rear wings are the eye-catching changes, which F1 bosses hope will lead to …

… better chances for overtaking

It should be easier to follow in these new-for-2019 cars. The early signs from pre-season testing were promising, so say the drivers, so let's see what the opening races have in store.

The triple header is no more

It was fun while it lasted for fans, but a logistical nightmare for teams.

McLaren have a new management structure

Zak Brown will still oversee the F1 team, but McLaren have a new team boss in Andreas Seidl and a new technical director in the highly-regarded James Key.

The mid-season break has shifted a week

The Hungarian GP takes place in August, while the Belgian GP moves to the beginning of September.

Tyres should be easier to understand

The hypersoft, ultrasoft and supersoft names are no more. Instead, there are five tyres available but the three selected per race weekend will be known simply as soft, medium and hard.

Drivers can bulk up

There is a minimum driver weight of 80kg this year, and it is now considered separately to the car. That means heavier drivers are no longer disadvantaged by the weight regulations. Get eating, boys …

 

The Force India name is no more

How will Racing Point fare in F1 2019?

Williams start an F1 season as backmarkers

They are one of the sport's most successful teams but they come into F1 2019 as favourites to be at the back of the grid after a poor 2018 season, and a delayed car which led to technical chief Paddy Lowe taking a "leave of absence". It will be a tough task for Russell and Robert Kubica, returning to the grid after nine years away, this year.

An extra point for fastest lap?

For the first time in 60 years, F1 will award a bonus point to the driver (and his team) who sets the fastest lap in races this year - provided said driver also finishes in the top 10. If the driver with the fastest lap is outside the top 10, no bonus point is awarded.

There are two more Brits on the grid

Welcome, George Russell and Lando Norris. And do not forget the British-born Thai, Alex Albon!

This article first appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission

News Corp Australia


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