Now that I have the 1980s-esq title out of the way, lets be honest, the cars are faster, fatter, and lower to the ground, but is that the recipe to solve the issues that have transpired during the break from the Flying Circus. I list them in order of magnitude to show how serious the state of affairs is being taken by those now leading F1. I also list my expectations for 2017 too!
1.) The removal of Bernie: There is no other way to put it, the regicide, (and for the record, I am not saying it was some sort of revolution against Bernie, but he was in-fact, removed,) of Bernie was the most significant event of the off season, it brought an end to the reign of the long running titular head of F1 who for better or for worse was running F1 through some of the most spectacular racing and some of the most controversial changes in motorsports history. He had suffered some defeats at the hands of teams and their heads over things like race refueling, but until he was brought down, you can count this F1 fan as being totally shocked that there was enough power gathered to bring him down. Liberty are running the show now and we will have to wait and see what is going to happen there, they have plans that are well written about for F1 so 2018/2019 will be critical.
2.) The removal of Ron Dennis: This was another shocking event, I am going to say something controversial and say this was the most unnecessary act ever committed by a team in Formula 1 history. Ron was not perfect, and he was leading the team during a particularly difficult patch in their racing, but to remove him with no real reasons given, then make superficial changes like ending the MP4 program, and changing the paint scheme to an unrecognizable black and orange, the original McLaren colors had no black if this is what McLaren or Honda think is going to cause some up turn in performance. I point to the testing in Spain, it just does not hold water, and even more importantly, you took away the most singular talent to ever run an F1 team.
3.) The Issue of McLaren...again: Will the team possibly preform better? Considering I was rather hoping for them to have podiums last year, I am probably wrong this year too. I also have pointed out Honda took from 1983 to 1986 to win Championships but only to 1984 to win the first race and by 85, Williams came 3rd in the Constructors Championship with 4 wins. Now we have had McLaren working with Honda for 2 years, and the results are not quite as good, Williams rose less than 50 points under the old 9 point per win system from 1984 to 1985 the first two full seasons they used Honda engines. McLaren on a 25 point per win system, they rose 49 points from 2015 to 2016, which is appalling if you consider that there were overall 8 more races available to McLaren and ironically, similar circumstances on the dominance of teams, in 1984/85, McLaren themselves dominated with Lauda and Prost each winning the Drivers Championship, in 2015/16, Mercedes did the same thing.
4.) Will Ferrari bring it's A game in 2017? The answer to that question is yes, it would be unfair to say they have not been performing fairly well in the face of Mercedes ruling the roost and Red Bull rising to win two races in 2016. If you want to watch competition, it will be between these three teams again, the 6 best drivers in Formula 1 today are in those three teams, and Ferrari truly has the talent, with the calm and cool Kimi and the dedicated Seb Vettel. History shows that while Ferrari is the dominant team in F1, this may be due to it's longevity as much as it's ability to build a good car or recruit the right drivers.
5.) Haas, will they be up or down this year? Definitely and hopefully up, 29 points in 2016, my prediction is hopefully about 50 or so in 2017, they have K-Mag and Grosjean is back for another year and I expect both young guns will be on the hunt for points. Also Haas and Dallara have had another years worth of testing and familiarization with F1 and various other technical points, also the fact that these new cars are not the same as 15/16 gives the chance to shake the field up potentially. What would really be fantastic is to see them score a podium, or finish consistently in the 4th to 10th position all year long because in 2016, they had a strong first 5 races with Grosjean, (he scored points 3 out of the first 5 races,) he only scored twice for the rest of the season,which is not reflective of his driving so much as it's the teams first year. Gene Haas is a man who can claim the fastest drivers in NASCAR and he will probably look to claim that title in our time for F1 as well.