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Formula 1

F1 2019: Everything you need to know about the season ahead

Plenty has changed in Formula One and we run you through the key alterations ahead of the season opener in Australia.

F1 2019: Everything you need to know about the season ahead
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The new Formula One season kicks off in Australia this week, with Lewis Hamilton chasing a sixth drivers' championship.

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.


- The driver market was particularly active ahead of the 2019 season, with a number of high-profile moves made. Charles Leclerc heads to Ferrari, with Kimi Raikkonen now driving for Alfa Romeo, while Daniel Ricciardo's move to Renault gives Pierre Gasly the chance to shine with Red Bull. Only Mercedes and Haas will field unchanged driver line-ups this season.

- Red Bull will use Honda power for the first time, bringing them in line with junior team Toro Rosso.

- Sauber are now known as Alfa Romeo, while Racing Point begin their first full season after taking over Force India last year.

- Changes to how the weight of a car and driver are calculated mean heavier drivers, such as Renault's Nico Hulkenberg, will no longer be at a disadvantage.

- An increase in fuel allowance from 105kg to 110kg means drivers will be able to push for longer and reduce the need to save fuel by coasting.

- Drivers will wear biometric gloves that will transmit data to on-site medical staff. New helmet standards are aimed at giving extra protection to drivers' heads.

- Wider and higher front and rear wings will make it easier for chasing cars to follow the driver in front of them.

- The names hypersoft, ultrasoft and supersoft for tyre compounds have been scrapped. The compounds themselves remain, but on any given race weekend, teams will choose from a hard (white), medium (yellow) and soft (red) tyre - a move aimed at making strategy simpler to understand.

- A chequered flag will still be waved, but the official end-of-race signal will be a chequered light panel, after the flag was waved a lap early in Canada last year.


Lewis Hamilton (GBR)
Valtteri Bottas (FIN)

Sebastian Vettel (GER)
Charles Leclerc (MON)

Red Bull
Max Verstappen (NED)
Pierre Gasly (FRA)

Daniel Ricciardo (AUS)
Nico Hulkenberg (GER)

Romain Grosjean (FRA)
Kevin Magnussen (DEN)

Carlos Sainz (ESP)
Lando Norris (GBR)

Racing Point 
Sergio Perez (MEX)
Lance Stroll (CAN)

Alfa Romeo
Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)
Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA)

Toro Rosso  
Daniil Kvyat (RUS)
Alexander Albon (THA)

Robert Kubica (POL)
George Russell (GBR)



- Mercedes (2014-2018) are one title away from equalling Ferrari (1999-2004) as the team with the most back-to-back F1 constructors' titles (six).

- If Mercedes GP win 13 races in 2019, they will become the fourth team to reach 100 wins in F1.

- Sebastian Vettel has reached the podium at 24 of the 26 different grands prix he has raced (only missing out in France and Azerbaijan). If he makes the podium at those two races this year, the German will be the driver with the most podiums in different grands prix in F1 alongside Kimi Raikkonen (26).

- If Kimi Raikkonen (292) races all the grands prix this season, the Finn will surpass Fernando Alonso (312) as the driver to have raced the second most races in F1 history behind only Rubens Barrichello (323).

- Red Bull's Max Verstappen recorded 11 podiums in 2018, as many as in his whole F1 career before that.


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