2019 is upon us and while the start of the Formula 1 season is still some time away, we can make some bold predictions for what will have transpired come November. Predicting how drivers will perform at their new teams, and who will ultimately prevail, is a very difficult task, but the patterns of previous seasons can provide us with an insight.
This year brings us what some have been branding as the most impressive overall driver line-up in the sport's history, a claim that I don't believe is exaggerating much at all.
From a technical regulation change that should enable better racing to a legend getting even closer to the very top of the pinnacle of motorsport, there are some fascinating stories brewing as early as January.
#1 More overtaking
Overtaking is always an issue that divides the Formula 1 fanbase and Liberty Media have recognised this by implementing a new, simpler front wing for 2019. The theory is that when following a car closely, the front downforce (and therefore grip) heavily reduces for the car behind, meaning that even much faster cars struggle to get past.
This "Dirty air" effect has been exacerbated by the overall increase in front downforce since the 2017 regulation changes, meaning that on-track overtakes have significantly reduced since 2016. Even the increase in DRS zones haven't negated the damage which these much faster cars have done to on-track action, more had to be done.
The simplification of the front wing means they have less overall effect on the cars and losing the grip from them has a smaller impact. This should work but let's also hope that this alteration doesn't make it too easy to overtake, as if the DRS is too powerful then the art of defending will be all but lost, which would be a crying shame.
However, despite the concerns expressed by some, I believe that these new wings will increase overtaking opportunities, but don't expect drivers to stop complaining about dirty air on the radio.