An Exciting New Season for F1

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Source: Getty Images

Stephen McDonald, Staff Writer

 

With the season upon us and three races in America this year, Formula 1 has a growing interest in America and at DeMatha. Last week pre-season faith testing took place at Bahrain International Circuit and had some great surprises. Day 1 was highlighted by Fernando Alonso in his Aston Martin, who miraculously was in 2nd place behind a dominant 2022 world champion Max Verstappen for Red Bull. Also from day 1, American driver Logan Sargent had an impressive 1:34.324, filing him into 10th place for his first official testing outing.

Day 2 saw¬† a blistering 132 laps completed from Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, whose best lap was 1:31.610, .04 seconds ahead of Verstappen. Alonso finished in 3rd and looked very efficient in the Aston Martin. 4th place saw another F1 newcomer Nyck De Vries. The Dutchman driving for Alphatauri had a much better session than his Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda, who finished in last out of the 17 participants. The top 7 finishers were all from different teams, which is a good omen for racing this year.

The last day of testing saw Alfa Romeo shine again as the flying Finn Valterri Bottas finished an impressive third. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez finished at the top of the timing tables and his teammate did not run during the day. Lewis Hamilton finished 2nd, giving Mercedes some needed hope after a dismal couple of days.

Many DeMatha students are excited about the upcoming season which goes green this weekend at Bahrain. James Peters, a Mercedes fan, has an interesting take on this weekend’s race. He has Verstappen winning pole but Carlos Sainz of Ferrari winning the race. “Ferrari’s strategy missteps will be fixed pretty quick I think, plus their car looks better at long runs.”

Hayden Plakos has hope for Mercedes. “Lewis Hamilton will win on Sunday,” Hayden says. Mercedes had major improvements over the course of last year but had mechanical issues during testing last week. Hayden also said that Verstappen would win pole because “his car is just so fast over one lap.” Though Hayden is confident in Verstappen, there are other competitors he is looking out for. “Watch out for Nyck De Vries, he did great in his debut at Monza last year and will do even better for Alpha Tauri.”

Finally Lawrent Chinhakwe had to chime in. “I think it’s going to be Charles Leclerc pole. This is his ‘we are here to play statement.'” He mentioned how well the Ferrari ran at Bahrain last year, and how it should perform like that again. He then gave his big surprise. “Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen will finish in the top 10.” Both drive for the one budget American team, Haas and have had solid performances separately but doing that together in a slower car is a steep goal.

Overall Formula 1 is growing fast at DeMatha, creating a large excitement for auto racing that has not been seen in years. Hopefully the race this weekend will live up to the hopes and dreams of the Stags!