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Formula 1 2017: Everything you need to know as action starts this weekend

The 2017 Formula 1 season starts from this weekend with the Australian GP. A look at the teams, drivers and races this season.

other sports Updated: Mar 22, 2017 16:12 IST
Lewis Hamilton will be one of the frontrunners to win the 2017 Formula One Championship.
Lewis Hamilton will be one of the frontrunners to win the 2017 Formula One Championship.(AFP)

The 2017 Formula One season kicks off in Australia this weekend, with the sport preparing to enter a new era.

Here we run through the key changes, driver line-ups, dates for your diary and the best Opta facts ahead of lights out at Albert Park.

KEY CHANGES

# A whole host of new technical and sporting regulations promise to make 2017 the most open season in years. Whether that happens in reality remains to be seen, but the wider, faster and more powerful cars certainly provide an additional level of intrigue, as does the increased responsibility placed on drivers at the start of a race.

# Nico Rosberg’s retirement at the end of last season means we head into 2017 without the defending drivers’ champion on the grid, with Valtteri Bottas taking his seat alongside Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes.

# F1 is under new ownership after Liberty Media completed its takeover of the sport’s commercial rights, with ‘supremo’ Bernie Ecclestone stepping down from his role as CEO and Ross Brawn among those added to the new management structure.

# The season is a team and a grand prix light after the collapse of Manor and the failure of two German circuits - Hockenheim and the Nurburgring - to agree a deal with F1 bosses.

# Force India’s livery is now pink!

THE DRIVERS

Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton (GBR), Valtteri Bottas (FIN)

Red Bull - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), Max Verstappen (NED)

Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel (GER), Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)

Force India - Sergio Perez (MEX), Esteban Ocon (FRA)

Williams - Felipe Massa (BRA), Lance Stroll (CAN)

McLaren - Fernando Alonso (ESP), Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL)

Toro Rosso - Daniil Kvyat (RUS), Carlos Sainz (ESP)

Haas - Romain Grosjean (FRA), Kevin Magnussen (DEN)

Renault - Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Jolyon Palmer (GBR)

Sauber - Marcus Ericsson (SWE), Pascal Wehrlein (GER)

THE CALENDAR

March 26 - Australia, April 9 - China, April 16 - Bahrain, April 30 - Russia, May 14 - Spain, May 28 - Monaco, June 11 - Canada, June 25 - Azerbaijan, July 9 - Austria, July 16 - Great Britain, July 30 - Hungary, August 27 - Belgium, September 3 - Italy, September 17 - Singapore, October 1 - Malaysia, October 8 - Japan, October 22 - United States, October 29 - Mexico, November 12 - Brazil, November 26 - Abu Dhabi

FACTS

# 2017 will be the fifth time in F1 history that the reigning champion has not taken part the following season: Mike Hawthorn won in 1958, Jochen Rindt in 1970, Jackie Stewart in 1973, Alain Prost in 1993 and Nico Rosberg in 2016.

# Last season only two teams picked up race wins: Mercedes (19 - an F1 record for a single season) and Red Bull (2). Mercedes also broke the record for most pole positions (20 out of 21).

# 2017 will be the 16th F1 season for Fernando Alonso, more than any other driver competing this year. Alonso and Sebastian Vettel are currently enduring their longest runs in F1 without a win: 27 races for the German driver (since Singapore 2015) and 71 for the Spaniard (since Spain 2013).

# McLaren are winless in their last 78 races (since Brazil 2012) - their worst run in F1.

# Max Verstappen will turn 20 in September 2017; the Dutch driver has the opportunity to become the youngest world champion in F1 history, a record currently held by Vettel (23 years, four months).

# This year there will be 20 races in the F1 season, the second time in history this has happened (also 2012).