F1: 5 feel good podiums for 2019
Podiums in Formula 1 since 2014 have become increasingly monotonous with a near certainty of drivers from Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull stepping on it and spraying the victory champagne. Only Williams, Renault, McLaren and Force India have managed a few streaky look-ins.
A stellar underdog drive of the day still won't necessarily see them on the podium unless the front runners have taken themselves out in a collision or mechanical trouble has caused a shuffle in the pack.
The regulations for 2019 will enable for closer racing and overtaking, which offers a glimmer of hope in changing that scenario. The sport needs new heroes, newer narratives to flourish, or else it runs the risk of being a contest between the top dogs and the also-rans.
Apart from the usual suspects from the top constructors, here's a list of drivers whose top-3 finish, if at all in 2019, will make for a feel-good story and infuse a fresh lease of life to the proceedings.
#5 Pierre Gasly - Red Bull Racing
The Frenchman has the unenviable task of going up against Dutchman Max Verstappen, and clearly starts as the number two driver for the Red Bull team. While he is older than his team-mate, he has lesser races under his belt and a podium will do his confidence a world of good.
Driving for Toro Rosso, his best finish was a stellar and completely unexpected fourth place in the 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix.
Would Gasly be able to go one better? Or two or maybe win his first grand prix? It definitely would make for a sweet story on two accounts - a Honda-powered podium, and proof that Gasly is the real deal when it comes to performing at the highest level and under extreme pressure.