The Year That Was: Formula 1 in 2017



Hello, one and all, it's December 1st (if you read this on the day...) and its nearly Christmas! Yay! Bad news: no F1 until March. Boo! We've had a great season this year, so join me, @a_buckmaster, as we looked back at The Year That Was: Formula 1 in 2017...

Testing Everyone look in horror as they saw the results. Ferrari were on top? Was it the end of Mercedes domination? Well, kinda. Everyone thought it couldn't be true, but even Hamilton thought Ferrari was the faster car. Everyone also thought this was McLaren's year, after an improvement from 2015 to 2016 was expected for this year. How disappointingly wrong they were...

Australia The prediction of Ferrari became true, they were fast, and the best in getting the most out of the tyres. Vettel won the race; Hamilton was on pole We finally saw how bad the Mercedes was in bad air, along with Red Bull's reliability problems, and, of course, Honda and it's engines It wasn't a crazy race, but a great showcase for the 2017 cars! Highlights:

China The Mercedes now begun to fight back, back to it's strengths, Hamilton was on pole, Vettel was second, just 0.001s ahead of Bottas in his second race. Stroll's bad luck continued from Australia, crashing again: Giovinazzi - after his great debut in Melbourne -crashed in qualifying and the race, with the left-over rain catching him in both occasions. Bottas had *that* infamous spin behind the safety car, making us question if he was ready for Mercedes. Vettel stormed through the pack to get P2, while both Red Bulls fought for P3 Once again, a McLaren retired, but it was both cars this time Highlights:

Bahrain Now after his poor performance in China, Bottas brought it back to get pole in the desert. Lewis and Seb got P2 and P3 respectively. He lead the race until a safety car came out as Stroll retired AGAIN - but it wasn't his fault - after which, Bottas succumbed to Vettel, then a team order to let the faster Hamilton past. Another victory for the Scuderia, but Raikkonnen's poor performances and not getting any podiums meant Mercedes lead the constructors Another in a long list of DNFs begun for Verstappen, however, it wasn't engine related this time... More problems for McLaren: Stoffell didn't even start, Alonso had another DNF... Highlights:

Russia The unthinkable happened: a Ferrari front row - Vettel pole - while Bottas was the faster Mercedes in P3, while Lewis was P4 Another DNS for McLaren, this time for Alonso on the formation lap. Safety car came out on Lap 1 after a shunt between Grosjean and Palmer, which helped Bottas who stormed into the lead past the Ferraris - Stroll had a spin due to Hulkenburg tapping him during the safety car, what a surprise. Another DNF for Red Bull, Ricciardo this time, as his right rear wheel was ruined, and could not continue. After the pit stops, Bottas and Vettel were like cat and mouse until the last lap - Bottas under pressure, and it showed. Massa became an annoyance to Vettel on the last lap, blocking him out of Turn 3, leading to Bottas first win after his first pole in Bahrain. Ferrari had two on the podium with Seb P2, Kimi P3, while Lewis didn't perform well and stayed P4. Highlights:

Spain Some changes to the car, with more personalisation, introduced by Liberty Media made the cars stand out much more - a welcome addition. Lewis came back and got pole, Seb P2, Valtteri P3. First corner, Max and Kimi and Valterri all squeezed, and a chain begun. Alonso had to go onto the gravel, despite a great start; Kimi and Max ran off and both sustained damage. Both out. Vettel overtook Hamilton on the first corner, and continued to lead until Lap 44 and two pit stops when Lewis overtook on T1. Sainz and Magnusson drag raced out of the pit exit, causing the most bizarre overreaction by a race engineer ever. Massa and Vandoorne tapped tyres into T1, but the McLaren ended up worse, and - again - didn't complete the race, but due to a broken suspension. Valtteri had a smokey engine, and had Mercedes only engine problem of the year - imagine saying that to a Lewis fan last year... Ricciardo finally got a podium for Red Bull by taking P3 - a consolation to another DNF But, most importantly, Spain 2017 will remembered for that young Kimi fan who cried after T1, and the special moment he had with Kimi. Highlights:

Monaco Qualifying was a shocker. To quote David Croft, Kimi's first pole since France 2008, while Vettel was P2, and Bottas P3 - while Lewis started P14... Button was back - threatening to pee in Fernando's car - as Alonso was racing in the Indy 500, but Button was only here for a one-off. Hulkenburg's engine blew up on Lap 16; the beginning of a trend for Renault and their engines... Kimi had priority on the pits, but Seb done the overcut, and came out in the lead of the race - just about- which angered some due to the idea of team orders. Wehrlein had a bizarre encounter with the wall, with his car being flipped by Button and his McLaren into a barrier just before the entrance into the tunnel, while Button retired just past the chicane due to the damage caused by the shunt. A safety car came out. Under the safety car, Ericsson somehow locked his brakes and hit the barrier on the first corner, damaging his front wing. Both Saubers were now out. Green flags. Stoffel does the same as Ericsson. Now both McLarens are out... Vettel gained a controversial win, while Kimi stayed in P2, with Valtteri P3. It seemed that Mercedes dominance was over. All hail Ferrari... Highlights:

Canada Hamilton equalled Senna's record for poles; Vettel P2; Bottas P3. Verstappen had an amazing start, getting into P2, as Vettel dropped back. Grosjean tapped Sainz, and the Toro Rosso became a passenger, and collided with Massa into the barriers. Safety car comes in, and Vettel gains some small front wing damage, comes into pits on lap 5. Another retirement for Max, the engine breaks down, after a great start for him. Perez and Ocon begin to fight, and cause problems for Force India. Vettel storms back through the pack, and takes advantage of the infighting, takes P4. Alonso has another engine problem, and breaks down in front of the fans towards the end of the race. Decides to go into the grandstand.... Hamilton wins the race, a 1-2 for Mercedes, and another podium for Ricciardo... and Stroll gets into the points for the first time! Highlights:

Azerbaijan Hamilton gets another pole, Bottas P2, Raikonnen P3 Bottas and Raikonnen have contact on the second corner; Bottas gets a front right puncture and needs a new front wing. Sainz spins for some bizarre reason just past T1. Kvyat pulls over just past the castle section on Lap 10 which brings out a safety car; Verstappen also comes into the garage to retire, again. Under the safety car, Vettel and Hamilton had THAT incident where they touched . During the restart, the two Force Indias have contact as they squeezed each other into a wall. Red flag. Too much debris on the track. Perez and Raikonnen had damage, so the mechanics tried fixing their cars under the red flag. The cars were fixed, but were a lap down, when the session restarted. Ricciardo and Stroll begin to go through the pack together. Hulkenbrug breaks the wishbone on his suspension just before the castle section, and is out. Lewis' headrest began to come out, and he tried to fix it, but was called into the pits for it to be replaced. Vettel was now in the lead. Vettel then got a 10 second stop/go penalty for THAT incident. Ricciardo is now in the lead. Perez and Raikkonnen get penalties for their cars being fixed under red flag (???) so retire from the race. Bottas then begins to hunt Stroll down - who's P2 - towards the end of the race. He just about catches the Williams before the finish line, and gains P2. Ricciardo wins the race, Stroll gets a podium?! Highlights (you'll wanna watch it):