While 2015 has been labeled an insipid if not boring F1 year, things are looking good for 2016. Away from the usual shenanigans around Bernie Ecclestone, there are so many ingredients to spice the action and return the fans to the terraces.
One of the features at play is teammate rivalry as each driver tries to upset the other in order to get the pecking order. Here are some rivalries to look out for in order to spice your season:
1. Daniel Ricciardo Versus Daniil Kvyat
There was no argument that Ricciardo was the more talented if not experienced driver at Red Bull when the 2015 F1 season kicked off. Already, the Australian had wowed during the 2014 season, a fact that eventually forced Vettel out of Red Bull. Nevertheless, Kvyat has dazzled and even finished 3 points on top of his teammate. This year, both drivers say the car is impressive and you can bet they will be fighting both for points and bragging rights.
2. Lewis Hamilton Versus Nico Rosberg
To call this the most exciting if not ominous teammate rivalries is an understatement. It brings to mind the legendary rivalry between Alain Prost and Senna among other classics. Hamilton really wants another title in order to cement his place among the greats such as Schumacher, Aryton Senna and Graham Hill among others.
Nevertheless, Nico Rosberg is desperate to prove his worth at Mercedes and obviously doesn’t like playing second fiddle as he has already said. In the last six races, Nico was in imperious form, taking pole position in all and winning the last three, though the title had already been won by his teammate. Could this be a precursor to a more aggressive Rosberg or did Hamilton just relax after winning the title. Time will tell, but you can bet there will be no letdown in the aggressive rivalry which will enliven F1.
3. Valtteri Bottas Versus Felipe Massa
It is a rivalry that doesn’t elicit a lot of interest in F1 but with Bottas aiming for a top team seat, there is no underestimating the hunger to prove his worth. Already there is a chance at Ferrari if Kimi doesn’t impress once more this season and Bottas knows he has to beat Massa consistently at Williams in order to clinch a better deal with such a top team.
4. Max Verstappen Versus Carlos Sainz
FIf there is one F1 driver who is under close watch by the top teams, it has to be Verstappen or Mad Max as fans have christened him. The Belgian-Dutch racing driver has impressed everyone in the F1 paddock despite the team getting a lot of flak for hiring a teenager. In fact, the tough licensing rules were conceptualized just because of the hype surrounding Verstappen’s seat at Toro Rosso, but clearly Carlo Sainz Jr has his work cut out for him. The Spaniard has to work extra hard to get closer to Verstappen and increase the chances for a top seat.
There are other teams that have ambitious teammates, including Vettel versus Raikkonen, Alonso versus Button and Sergio Perez versus Nico Hulkenberg.