What’s new for Formula One in 2019?
Richard Marsh | 11 March 2019
New season gets underway this weekend
The 2019 Formula One roars into life in Australia this weekend, with 20 drivers hoping to become this year’s champion across 21 races around the world.
Will Lewis Hamilton become world champion for the sixth time? Can Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari finally get the upper hand? We’ll find out all this and more over the next eight months.
But ahead of Sunday’s opener, we’ve put together a one-stop guide to what’s new for F1 in 2019…
This year’s cars will look a little different to last season. The FIA have brought in new regulations in a bid to enhance the racing spectacle and make overtaking easier.
You’ll see simplified and wider front wings in 2019. This should allow cars to follow one another more easily than before.
There’s a similar story with the rear wings too. These will be wider and include fewer aerodynamic features, in order to produce less turbulent air for following cars.
And in addition, the DRS flap on the rear wing has been increased, meaning DRS could become up to 30% more effective than in 2018.
The FIA haven’t just stopped at the cars, though. We’ve got new tyre rules too. From 2018’s seven compounds and colours, Pirelli will be making only five and bringing three to this year’s races.
Tyre-naming will be simplified too. At each race we’ll have a white-marked hard tyre, a yellow medium and a red soft.
Teams can now fill their cars with 110kg of fuel for each race. This is to help ensure drivers don’t spend races conserving fuel rather than going flat-out for the whole Grand Prix.
There are rules on weight as well. Driver weight is now considered separately to the car. In the past, driver and car weights were taken together. This put drivers under pressure to be as light as possible, so that the car could be as light as possible.
But that’s over now, and it will come as a relief to taller and heavier drivers like Nico Hulkenberg.
We’ll be saying hello to three rookies in 2019. Lando Norris begins his career with McLaren, George Russell has rocked up at Williams, and Alexander Albon will start life as an F1 driver with Toro Rosso.
The trio are part of a driver line-up overhaul during the winter. Only two teams, Mercedes and Haas, have retained the same drivers from 2018.
Max Verstappen is joined by Pierre Gasly at Red Bull, Charles Leclerc is taking the fight to Vettel at Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo has found pastures new at Renault, and Kimi Raikkonen is team leader at Alfa Romeo.
And there’s the return of Robert Kubica. The Pole, back from a horrific crash and injury at a 2011 rally event, is raring to go again with Williams.
Mercedes have won the last five Constructors’ Championships, while Lewis Hamilton has taken the driver’s crown in four of the past five seasons.
Will that domination come to an end in 2019? Ferrari were the team to beat in pre-season testing.
Winter running is never a concrete indication of pace, but there are plenty of murmurings that this might be the Italian squad’s year.
Ferrari haven’t won the constructors’ title since 2008, and they’re 6/5 to end that drought this year.
And if Ferrari’s winter pace is genuine, then Vettel might finally get one over Hamilton after two years of defeat. The German is 13/8 to win a fifth world crown this year, with Hamilton currently favourite at 5/4.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing