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The F1 2018 season could be a humdinger 

With the winter testing done, a run through the 20 drivers of the season and what to expect from them this year

Feature 11 Mar 2018, 02:23 IST

F1 Winter Testing in Barcelona - Day Four
Ferrari's car SF71H at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya

The 2018 F1 cars have debuted in the winter testing in Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with the halo in tow.

Although the new cars are looking meaner and have become considerably faster than when the V6 Turbo engine era began in 2014, the latest safety device has not met with the most enthusiastic response; be that in the paddock or with the fans.

It's a toss-up between aesthetics and safety and the latter has won this round. Be that as it may, the grid is looking extremely lively with bold liveries from Renault, Ferrari, Toro Rosso, Force India and McLaren to go with the new F1 logo and branding.

There are a lot of drivers who are entering their make or break season. It can be safely assumed that either way the cookie crumbles, it will open a lot of coveted seats for the 2019 season.

The ingredients are there for a humdinger of a season. Let's run through the drivers of each constructor and see what promise and challenges these 21 Grands Prix holds for them.

#1 Mercedes

F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi - Previews
Defending Champion Lewis Hamilton with Valtteri Bottas

Lewis Hamilton:

A rarefied air of greatness beckons if he can match Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio's five F1 titles.

He has the momentum behind him and is the de facto number 1 at Mercedes, and that makes it a bit easier for him.

However, he craves a tougher battle with a closer field. Ideally, he'd like to win it after an intense battle, preferably with new threat Max Verstappen or old foe and ex-McLaren garage mate Fernando Alonso.

Valtteri Bottas:

Half the grid wants his seat and essentially he's defending his chance to continue being in a race-winning car.

The best way to do that is to win the championship with it. Trickier than it sounds though. He has to beat Hamilton, if not anyone else for that. Can he do it? Jury's still out on that as Bottas was underwhelming if not just about par in his first season with Mercedes.

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