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Formula One 2018 opens the curtain in Melbourne

Formula One 2018 opens the curtain in Melbourne
The 2018 Formula One World Championship opens the curtain this Sunday with the Australian Grand Prix at the Albert Park circuit in Melbourne, where two four-time world champions, the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and the German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), they start as favorites.
Hamilton, current champion of the queen category of the motoring speed, has added his last three crowns in the four years of dominance of Mercedes (2014, 2015 and 2017, in addition to 2008 with McLaren), who also took the 2016 title with the German Nico Rosberg, retired after achieving the championship.
For his part, Vettel has in his history four titles in a row with Red Bull (2010-2013) and embodies Ferrari’s hopes of having a champion again since his last title, which dates back to 2007, achieved by his Finnish teammate Kimi Raikkonen, back to the ‘Scuderia’ since 2014.
The two, together with the French Alain Prost (winner in 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1993), are the only pilots in history with four winches and aspire to reach a myth: the Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio who achieved five between 1951 and 1957 Above is the German ‘Kaiser’ Michael Schumacher, seven titles between 1994 and 2004.
The first half of last season, in which Vettel won three of the first six races, made Ferrari dream of a peer-to-peer fight with Mercedes; but Hamilton, with five wins in six races after the summer break, put an end to that idea and added another wound on his personal account and that of the ‘silver arrows’, also in the Constructors’ World Championship.
Now, the story will be put aside from this weekend, in which the Australian Grand Prix will kick off the new season.
A race that Hamilton has dominated in the qualifying sessions of the last few years, with five pole positions in the last six seasons, four of them in a row, but that has not always managed to translate into victories.
Only twice (2008 and 2015) did the British driver convert his first position on the grid into a triumph in Melbourne. Last year, despite his ‘pole’, it was Vettel who took the victory thanks to a successful strategy from Ferrari, and in 2016 Nico Rosberg did after an engine problem in Hamilton.
Behind them and their teammates, the Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Raikkonen (Ferrari), will fight to get to the podium in the semi-urban circuit of Albert Park the Red Bulls of the Australian Daniel Ricciardo – who has never managed to be a prophet in his land , with a fourth in 2016 as the best place – and the Dutchman Max Verstappen, in constant progression after his two victories in 2017.
The fight of the teams that aspire to get closer to the three dominating teams of recent years is guessed more open than ever in 2018.
The new McLaren project aspires to that position, which ended its tortuous three-year relationship with the Japanese motorcyclist Honda to receive the engines from the French manufacturer Renault, with the aim of giving the Spanish Fernando Alonso, two-time world champion in 2005 and 2006 with the same brand, a more competitive season in which to fight at the head, after three seasons of disappointment.
Although the tests at the Montmeló Circuit (Barcelona) have not been flattering for McLaren in terms of reliability, with several engine changes, the Asturian driver finished the last day of testing with the second best time of the drivers who practiced, at half a second from Raikkonen. The weekend in Australia will show if that time was a mirage or something closer to reality.
With the same engines, accompanied by the work of the entire Renault factory, another Spaniard, Carlos Sainz from Madrid, will compete in his first full season with the French team in which he already competed at the end of last season. His aim is to take a step forward and he will have a good rival for this in his partner, the competitive German driver Nico Hülkenberg.
However, if there is a team that should be considered to be after the six best cars, it is undoubtedly the Force India of the Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez and the Frenchman Esteban Ocon, ultimately seventh and eighth, respectively, in the World Cup. 2017.
The Haas of the Frenchman Romain Grosjean and the Danish Kevin Magnussen will also be talked about, with a car that was very fast in Montmeló, as well as two drivers will debut in Formula One: the Russian Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) and the Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Alfa Romeo Sauber).
The new season that will begin in Australia will be marked on an aesthetic level by the implantation in all the cars of the ‘Halo’, a set of three titanium bars located in front of the pilot’s cabin to improve their safety in the event of an accident, which will contribute a weight extra to the car that the teams must take into account.
Neither of the two new tires planned for this season by Italian manufacturer Pirelli, the orange superhard and the pink supersoft, should be used in Melbourne. The Italian house has promised that this season’s tires will be the fastest in history.
The Australian Grand Prix will be marked by rain, as showers are expected at qualifying on Saturday, and may also appear at the end of Sunday’s race.
The Albert Park circuit, with an extension of 5,303 meters and 16 curves, will have for the first time a third DRS activation zone, located at the exit of Turn 12 instead of the usual two, which are on the home straight and at the exit of the second curve.
These zones allow the driver to activate a system that allows them to gain top speed to try to overtake the car that precedes them if it is a second or less away, so that with this addition the Formula One organization intends to add opportunities to overtake. on a difficult circuit for it.
The winner of the Australian Grand Prix, who will be the first leader of the Formula One World Championship in this new season, will be decided after 58 laps of the Albert Park circuit, a total of 307,574 kilometers or two hours of racing. EFE
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