We’ve had the long wait, the bluster of pre-season testing, but now the 2019 Formula 1 campaign is upon us. Just ahead of on-track action getting underway for 2019 at the Australian Grand Prix, Rob Watts looks into his crystal ball to predict exactly how the next nine months or so will pan out.
Sebastian Vettel will finally bring the world title back to Maranello this season at the fifth time of trying, but reigning champion Lewis Hamilton will put up a spirited fight and find a way of taking his challenge alive until the final round.
However, it strongly looks as though Ferrari's advantage in pre-season is real and will carry through to the start of the season as Mercedes are reluctantly forced to play catch up.
With Charles Leclerc taking a little time to settle in, I expect Vettel will hold a comfortable lead heading into the summer break but Hamilton will fight back in the second half of the year with some memorable drives.
Unlike recent seasons though, Vettel will keep a cool head his time, thriving in Ferrari's calmer and more harmonious team atmosphere, and will clinch a dramatic and emotional title win under the lights in Abu Dhabi.