What do initial rounds of Formula 1, MotoGP and WRC hint at for rest of the season?

Ken Sunny
Motorsport race

Motorsport enthusiasts remained glued to their television sets (except the minority got chance to watch races on track) last weekend as FIA Formula 1 and FIM MotoGP kick-started the new season with a bang. The season's opener F1 race was held at Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit in Australia while the maiden MotoGP race was held at Losail International Circuit in Qatar.

Even a die-hard Mercedes fan will admit that the current F1 is not matching up to good old days. The driving rivalries between Niki Lauda and James Hunt; Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost and Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher made the sport exciting over the years. It was further fuelled by constructor rivalries such as McLaren vs Ferrari. The lack of such rivalries made the F1 slightly boring after the dawn of this decade.

Formula 1

Last year, the actual drivers' championship was for the third place since Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were winning most of the races and sealed the top two places by the time the season was only half over.

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Ferrari managed the podium finish in some races but the season was mainly a one-man show of Mercedes-Petronas AMG. The 2017 Australian GP result indicated that the season will not be another cakewalk for Mercedes.

Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel passed the checkered flag first and all of a sudden, F1 became interesting. Is it a one-off success for Ferrari or they got everything right for this season? Has Mercedes-AMG Petronas finally found an 'actual' rival? A Ferrari vs Mercedes rivalry in the making? These questions promise an exciting season ahead.

On the other hand, MotoGP saw an intense battle in almost every race last season. The winner of driver's championship was unpredictable even in the last couple of races of the season. For 2017, the sport saw a lot of changes.

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Three-time world champion Jorge Lorenzo moved to Ducati while Yamaha roped in Mavrick Vinales from Suzuki. Andrea Iannone moved from Ducati to Suzuki and RedBull KTM made debut as the sixth motorcycle manufacturer.

In the race under the floodlights, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP's new rider Maverick Vinales finished first. The 22-year-old Spaniard, who had an impressive pre-season testing, continued his form in the first race of the season.

Lorenzo had a disappointing start with his new team as he finished the race in 11th place. The first race result indicates Vinales will be a key player for the season. Defending champion Marc Marquez will have to try hard to retain the trophy and the upcoming rounds will say Lorenzo's biggest risk of his racing career by switching teams was right or wrong.

Maverick Vinales

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Unlike Formula 1 and MotoGP, WRC has already completed three rounds. Reigning champion Sebastien Ogier won season opener Rallye Monte-Carlo in his new team while Jari-Matti Latvala won Rally Sweden for Toyota in Japanese outfit's return to the sport after 17 years.

The third round of the season held at Mexico and Kris Meeke of Citroen won the race. With 10 more rounds to go, no driver or team has advantage at present and that has given the sport a spectacular start.

After the initial rounds of Formula 1, MotoGP and WRC, it is clear that each sport has rediscovered the mojo. Vettel winning the Australian GP and Vinales winning Qatar MotoGP made the sport active while three winners in the rounds made WRC a lot more attractive. The results have evoked the feeling that the rest of the season will reward a lot more action and nail-biting moments for the fans and viewers.

Kris Meeke of Citroen

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