Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2017

Essential reads 2017: The best articles and your favourite features

2017 F1 season review

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If you missed any our of most-read features, articles, news or quizzes throughout 2017, you can find the very best of them in one place here.

Favourite features

Timo Glock, Toyota TF109, Algarve Circuit, 2009
F1 tested but hasn’t raced at Portugal’s Algarve track
Interactive: Compare every F1 car on the 2017 grid How the new, wider cars compared.

Liberty want more races: Here’s 15 tracks they could add tomorrow One of Liberty’s best-known plans for F1 is to make the calendar even longer.

Seven Bottas races which show he’s the real deal After Nico Rosberg’s sudden departure, Valtteri Bottas landed the most coveted seat in F1.

Has F1 hit ‘peak penalties’? Fewer sanctions in 2016 A drop in penalties was noticeable before the season began.

Does Ocon ‘know how to deal with Verstappen’? Maybe not The 2014 European Formula Three championship saw many thrilling fights between Esteban Ocon and Max Verstappen.

Title fight had little effect on Hamilton’s jet-setting In 2015 Hamilton defied his doubters by winning the championship while sustaining a very busy global social life. The next year he kept up his jet-setting but missed out on the championship,

Changing F1 for the better: 14 smart moves Liberty have made already Early progress from F1’s new owners.

Alonso’s overlooked remark which shows he’s serious about winning the Indy 500 One of the biggest talking points of the year was how Alonso would cope at Indianapolis.

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Why Hamilton had to slow the field more at that controversial restart Analysis of the moments leading up to the collision between the championship contenders in Azerbaijan.

Seven other F1 title fights which failed to go the distance As this year’s championship fizzled out, as several before it also did.

How a secret Mercedes engine mode helped pressure Vettel into a race-ending puncture A fascinating new detail emerged about the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix.

From Farina to Hamilton: The stats of F1’s pole position record-holders Formula One has a new pole position record-holder.

Lando Norris, McLaren, Yas Marina, 2017
One to watch: Lando Norris
Norris facts: 12 things you should know about McLaren’s future F1 driver Expect to hear a lot more about McLaren junior driver Lando Norris in the future.

It’s not over yet: Top ten ‘dead rubbers’ that rocked Sometimes great races happen after the championship has finished. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case this year.

Hulkenberg’s seven missed chances to score his first podium Still no F1 podium for Nico Hulkenberg, who has set a new record for most starts without a rostrum finish.

Vettel’s Singapore crash is why his title hopes are over The championship should have gone down to the final race and there was a key reason why it didn’t.

Goodbye open cockpits, hello Halo: F1’s ten great watershed moments Formula One will look very different next year. Here are 10 other times the sport changed in a profound way.

n F1 driver was dangled from a car for spilling cocaine’: Exclusive extract from “The Mechanic” F1 Fanatic presented an exclusive part from a must-read new book.

This just in

Manor 2017 wind tunnel model
Manor’s 2017 car wasn’t to be
Manor’s never-to-be-raced 2017 F1 car revealed It should have been the 11th car on the grid but Manor’s pre-season demise meant it wasn’t to be.

Hamilton wants no more data sharing with team mates Having missed out on the 2016 title to his team mate, Hamilton made this revealing disclosure as new team mate Bottas arrived.

Copenhagen’s F1 street circuit plan includes two bridges and a crossover Several potential new venues are investigating layouts for F1 races.

Brundle reveals Monaco Grand Prix heart attack It was while he was running to the podium ceremony!

Newey gives new insight into Senna’s death and why he feels guilty over it Revealing words from Adrian Newey on the death of Ayrton Senna.

Wolff says Alonso’s “history” with Mercedes is why he won’t get 2018 drive There could have been an opening for Alonso to join Mercedes next year but Toto Wolff explained why it was never on the cards.

Juan Pablo Montoya, Bugatti Chiron, 2017
Montoya found another way to experience F1 speeds
Montoya breaks 400kph world record in a Bugatti Chiron Spectacular ex-F1 racer meets world’s most outrageous hypercar.

Paradise Papers claim Hamilton avoided paying £3.27 million in tax on his jet Shortly after winning the world championship for a fourth time Hamilton found himself at the centre of a tax evasion row.

New photos show Kuwait’s F1-spec circuit taking shape A possible future venue for F1?

Pirelli data shows overtaking fell by 47% in 2017 The big drop in overtaking during 2017 was widely expected.

New F1 logo planned? Trademark application reveals designs The final logo was later confirmed but was far from universally popular.

Talking points

John Surtees, Goodwood Festival of Speed, 2014
F1 said farewell to a unique champion
John Surtees, 1934-2017 The only driver to win world championships on two wheels and four passed away this year.

Are tickets too dear? Crowds fell at some tracks in 2016 How many people attended F1 races in 2016 compared to the year before.

The data which shows DRS has failed to win over F1 fans It increasingly seems to be a matter of when, not if, Formula One will scrap DRS, and it seems most won’t miss it.

Pass or fail: How will Liberty respond to calls for more overtaking? From the beginning of the season there were concerns overtaking would become more difficult with F1’s new generation of cars.

Overtaking is overrated: F1’s top ten ‘processions’ Perhaps more passing isn’t the solution to everything?

Fabiana Flosi in Bernie Ecclestone's golf buggy, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017
Ecclestone bowed out
Only one thing mattered in the Ecclestone era Thoughts on how Bernie Ecclestone ran F1 following the end of his tenure at the top.

The Bull that cried wolf: Red Bull threaten to quit F1 again By the end of the year Ferrari were threatening to walk out on Formula One but to begin with another team was making the threats.

Vettel must cut out the temper tantrums A lapse in self-control by Vettel in Azerbaijan cost him dearly in the championship chase.

Is Halo really as popular among the drivers as the FIA claims? The sport was divided over the rights and wrongs of introducing Halo, even among the drivers.

Halo is hideous but there’s a good reason why it isn’t going away In a question of safety versus aesthetics there was only going to be one winner.

Debates and Polls

Should F1 ban ‘shark fins’? Engine cover extensions made a return in 2017, to the dismay of many. But not the majority of F1 Fanatic readers, more than 60% of which were against banning them.

Fernando Alonso, McLaren Andretti, IndyCar, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2017
Most believed Alonso at Indianapolis was good for F1
Have 10 years of mandatory tyres changes improved F1? This one split readers right down the middle. While 43% of you don’t believed forcing drivers to change tyres has made the racing better, 41% were supportive of the mandatory tyre change rules.

Is Alonso’s IndyCar adventure positive for Formula One? Although a small number of people had reservations about Alonso racing at Indianapolis, most of you supported the move.

Do F1’s blue flag rules need changing? We can guess what Kimi Raikkonen would say, but most of you feel F1 drivers get too much help from blue flags to lap backmarkers and the rules should be tightened up.

Were the stewards right to penalise Verstappen? One of the most controversial on-track incidents of the year produced a surprising verdict from F1 Fanatic readers: Most of you supported Verstappen’s penalty for overtaking Raikkonen off the track.

Was Alonso right about Palmer’s “joke” penalty? Like Verstappen, Palmer got a five-second penalty for cutting a corner, but it seems some of you are growing concerned these sanctions aren’t tough enough.

Which new drivers belong on the F1 grid in 2018? Your top pick was Charles Leclerc, who dominated the Formula Two championship and won a place at Sauber for 2018.

1997 F1 season

Jacques Villeneuve, Michael Schumacher, Jerez, 1997
The 1997 finale was unforgettable
Our series of grand prix flashback articles looked back on the thrilling and controversial 1997 season. From David Coulthard surprise win in the opening race, to the shocking collision between title contenders Jacques Villeneuve and Michael Schumacher at the final race, every aspect was covered in our race-by-race retrospective.

Read the series in full here:

Let’s get quizzical

Felipe Massa, Williams, Interlagos, 2017
Massa retired, again
Quiz: How well do you remember Malaysia’s 19 F1 races? Sepang dropped off the F1 calendar.

Do you remember these 20 team radio messages? Memorable moments from the team radios.

Quiz: How much do you remember of Massa’s F1 career? The 16-year veteran finally bowed out.

Races outside F1

Newey vs Schumacher vs Mawson in MRF title-decider Harrison Newey and Mick Schumder were among the title contenders in the winter season MRF Challenge championship.

Billy Monger, Lewis Hamilton, Silverstone, 2017
Monger’s crash shocked the motor sport world
Horror F4 crash overshadows BTCC Donington weekend Billy Monger’s terrible crash cost the young racer the lower parts of both his legs.

Engine failure ends Alonso’s Indy 500 bid A fairytale victory was on the cards for Alonso in his Indianapolis 500 debut.

Hybrids ‘not ready for Le Mans’ Toyota suggest after latest defeat – Alonso’s next stop for 2018?

WTCC introduces ‘joker laps’ but alarming practice crash prompts safety questions It turned out to be the final season for the struggling World Touring Car Championship in its last guise.

Championship contender loses his cool as Formula E title is decided Sebastien Buemi lashed out as Lucas di Grassi won the championship.

Bizarre ambulance incident disrupts NASCAR race A memorably strange moment from NASCAR’s visit to Richmond.

Leaders crash out at final corner in sensational Macau Grand Prix A stunning conclusion to in the annual Formula Three classic.

2017 F1 season review

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 8 comments on “Essential reads 2017: The best articles and your favourite features”

    1. Are you going to do 1998 flashbacks now?

      1. @flatsix I assume so. He tends to do that for old races during their any given circular anniversary year, so, therefore, I assume that throughout next year he’s going to do the same with 1998 races that he did this year with 1997 races, and then 1999 races in 2019 and so on.

        1. Guess that means borefest 2015 in 2035.

            1. 2025 will be 2005.

      2. @flatsix That’s not the plan at present, I intend to do a smaller number of flashback articles next year which will feature races from a few different seasons.

        1. @keithcollantine Oh, that’s cool too. I’ll ready anything pre-2002 as that’s when I started watching. Although a 2002 Australien GP would be a great read too.

    2. Interesting, didn’t know ricciardo and bottas met in previous formulas too, that was good and fair racing, exactly like they kept doing this season several times; had seen verstappen vs ocon one before though, at least the spa ones.

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