Formula One is naturally a fast moving sport, in more ways than one! There is always something bubbling away in the background, the next controversy, the next talking point, and the 2016 season has already thrown up many of those!
We are set for what is going to be an interesting start to the ‘European’ season, with the most dramatic change happening at Red Bull and Toro Rosso. Yes, Daniil Kvyat has gone from hero to zero at the lead Red Bull team, dropped just four races into the season only to be replaced at the top table by Red Bull wonderboy Max Verstappen. Sebastian Vettel was clearly unhappy in China, with the way the Russian made his move down the inside of the Ferrari in the first corner, and express his dissatisfaction to former boss Christian Horner during the race in Russia when he was taken out of the race by Kvyat.
We are now going to see what Max Verstappen can do. A new car for him to get used to, against a highly rated race winning teammate in Daniel Ricciardo will be a test for the young Dutchman, but one the Red Bull team think he can easily handle.
The flip side is what will happen at Toro Rosso. Red Bull have described Kvyat as being ‘out of form’, alongside Carlos Sainz who has shown that he can certainly be a match for Max Verstappen. With many contracts up in the air for 2017, you couldn’t certainly not bet against a Verstappen/Sainz line up at Red Bull, especially if Ricciardo gets a drive at Ferrari.
The second simmering theme emerging ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix weekend is that of Lewis Hamilton. He has suffered in the first part of the season, firstly against an in form Nico Rosberg, and then battling against a series of other problems, including that with failures on the car. It has led him to defend the team in wild accusations that the team is sabotaging his campaign. More woe in Spain will only fuel that fire, so is defiantly one to watch.
With a number of the teams traditionally bringing upgrades to Spain for the start of the summer ‘European’ season, form can often and will change. The order could have a little bit of a shake up, especially for those in the midfield group. Williams look to be set at the front with Red Bull (depending on the nature of the circuit), followed by Force India, McLaren and Toro Rosso. McLaren have some large upgrades coming, which they hope will mean they are able to be regular Q3 challengers, while Toro Rosso can only rely on car updates given they are stuck with the 2015 Ferrari engine, which can only dent their chances towards the end of the season.