Thought to break down the 2017 Formula 1 season into individual posts for each month but opted for a single post with links to every major quote of the year – to follow up on a quote click on the relevant link and a new page will pop-up for ease of access and navigation.
What people said over the course of the year not only sums up what went down during an intriguing Formula 1 season but also wakes the memory of some of the stories that slipped through the cracks. Invariably there are those quotes that were absolutely wrong while others that were eerily correct and of course those he said that!!! sound-bites plus everything in between.
Whatever the case, much was said by many during the course of the season and here is a long list of the choice sound bites that in the end summarise what went down in Formula 1 during 2017.
Have thrown in some pertinent photos from each of the months to spice up the show 😉
What a month to start the year. Bernie Ecclestone got the boot as the Liberty Media triumvirate led by Chase Carey and including Ross Brawn and Sean Bratches took over Formula 1.
Also grabbing headlines was Mercedes confirming Valtteri Bottas as the replacement for retired F1 Wolrd Champion of 2016 Nico Rosberg.
Interesting Fernando Alonso’s quote of Honda having enough power… how wrong that proved to be.
Testing of the all-new wider and faster cars dominated the early weeks of March and the consensus is that they were much faster and exciting to drive, but the prospect of difficult overtaking was raised and remained an issue throughout the season.
McLaren and Honda were clearly in big, big trouble with their package – the Janapese manufacturer’s F1 department got their sums all wrong.
The season-opening Australian Grand Prix at the end of the month proved that Ferrari had a good car and Mercedes would have to work harder than normal, while the Red Bull RB13 was not good out the box.
Much was made of Lewis Hamilton versus Sebastian Vettel finally going head-to-head. The pair oozing ‘love’ and respect for one another on a regular basis. Best mates at war? Not quite it would soon prove…
Antonio Giovinazzi replaced injured Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber, the latter’s decision criticised by a chunk of fans and media, while the Italian trashed their cars during a very expensive weekend in China.
Deposed Ecclestone continued to make noises from the sidelines about: hamburger joints, ripping off grand prix hosts and hitmen with no bullets, which is exactly what he became.
Capturing big headlines was news of Fernando Alonso’s Indy 500 plans that surfaced amid the McLaren team’s embarrassing adventures in Formula 1 with a woeful Honda engine.
Robert Kubica started making noises about his second Formula 1 dream to make it a busy month for those of us who tap keyboards for a living.
Fernando Alonso continued to hog the headlines with his Indy 500 foray. America loved him and he was quick out the blocks despite never experiencing ovals in his career. He also led the race at one point and was contending for victory when his Honda (!!!) went up in smoke and brought him back down to earth.
Jenson Button replaced the Spaniard in Monaco and what could have been a cool ending to his career ended in embarrassment… what did they expect?
Red Bull started making quit noises once again as their season was off to a bad start, their relationship with Renault blowing hot and cold once again.
Well into their honeymoon with the sport, Liberty Media started flexing their muscles and putting out there what they had in mind for Formula 1’s new era.
The McLaren-Honda saga continued to dominate column inches, by this point of the season it was almost certain that the two organisations were heading for divorce.
Red Bull had a woeful start to their season, although Daniel Ricciardo was making the most of what he had, young Max Verstappen was suffering the brunt of bad luck and failures – he was not a happy chappy at this point of the season and was vocal about his frustration.
After months of schmoozing one another, the gloves finally came off between Hamilton and Vettel after the road rage in Baku. The hugs and smiles disappeared forever.
The month ended with Ron Dennis ousted from his longtime leadership role by the powers that be at McLaren. In his place, we got Zak Brown. The very old guard was being shoved out the door, first Bernie, then Ron…
The Silly Season was in full swing with talk about Vettel’s contract and sound bites from the Sainz camp about the Spaniard’s future while the feud between Force India teammates Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez turned ugly as the Mexican’s fans turned on the Frenchman.
Suddenly Monisha Kaltenborn was axed by Sauber, to be replaced by Frederic Vasseur who immediately laid out his plans to revive the beleaguered Swiss team.
On track, Felipe Massa fell ill and Paul di Resta was given a hastiest of grand prix returns in Hungary where he gave a good account of himself despite nil practice and a very brief qualy run.
At the sharp end, the Red Bull boys clashed on track with Daniel Ricciardo coming off the worse for wear after being barged into by teammate Max Verstappen. The big smiling Aussie was not smiling and had some choice words for the young Dutchman.
Silly Season continued at pace with Fernando Alonso linked to Williams move, Sebastian Vettel to Mercedes, Robert Kubica testing for Renault, Carlos Sainz still making noises and the annual Kimi Raikkonen speculation fired up once again.
Honda admits they miscalculated the task of being in Formula 1, but at the same time making it quite clear that they intended to eclipse Renault – when was not quite clear…
This all coincided with the scarce on real news summer break!
Lewis Hamilton clearly recharged and refreshed matches Michael Schumacher’s pole position records on his way to defeating Ferrari at their home race at Monza. Sergio Marchionne was not happy.
McLaren and Honda announce divorce with the Woking outfit opting for Renault customer engine deal to the chagrin of McLaren traditionalists, but a change was necessary and now time will tell iof this was the right call…
On track Ferrari’s dream season turns into a nightmare after the huge prang involving Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen a few metres from the start line at the Singapore Grand Prix.
The Reds are quick to blame the young Dutchman but Verstappen and Red Bull are having none of it and neither were millions of fans who saw it for what it was.
Ferrari keeps on talking the talk despite the post-summer break shenanigans, but by the end of the month, a faulty spark plug (of all things!!!) ends their hopes while Lewis Hamilton’s mega run of form continued and a fourth title his to celebrate as the Reds lick their wounds. A clear case of imploding when it really mattered.
Also turning to dust was Daniil Kvyat’s time in Formula 1 (for now) as his extensive Red Bull wardrobe was made redundant and Brendon Hartley received a most unlikely call-up to partner highly rated Pierre Gasly at Toro Rosso.
But the Red Bull junior team were handed a rough deal by Renault as they confirmed Honda power for 2018 and beyond. A war of words erupted between Franz Tost and villain of the year Cyril Abiteboul.
Max Verstappen was in hot water for calling a steward an idiot and apologised accordingly, then promptly went on to win the Mexican Grand Prix with exceptional ease leaving everyone in his wake after a slugfest of an opening lap.
Fernando Alonso, no doubt inspired by McLaren’s new Renault deal, signed on the dotted line to stay with the Woking outfit and ending speculation that had him linked to just about every team on the grid, Indycar and WEC.
And then Bernie Ecclestone (remember him?) lobbed a few grenades into the paddock claiming Ferrari were recipients of beneficial treatment during his all too long tenure as the big cheese of Formula 1.
The biggest talking point of the month was Liberty Media’s vision for Formula 1 beyond 2020 and the fact that none of the big boys liked what they were given to see.
With the title decided, the final two races were devoid of any great tension and then to add insult to imjury the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, season finale, produced a yawn of a race which had everyone wake up to the reality of Formula 1 and the new era race tracks that may be seven stars in looks but hardly deliver what they are meant to deliver: racing.
Bernie Ecclestone continued flinging the odd hand grenade or two, while Honda kept the ‘we never give up’ stuck record on play.
The old Formula 1 logo and Felipe Massa were seen for the last time in Formula 1. The former replaced by a more modern graphic which was immediately scorned upon by all and sundry. As for Massa, it was actually his second ‘retirement’ and thus no great fanfare despite the fact that he will be the last Brazilian at the pinnacle of the sport for what may be a very long time.
The Robert Kubica return to Formula 1 story gathered steam ahead of and after the Williams test at Yas Marina a couple of days after the final race. But this did not provide any direction for his future, while cash-rich Sergey Sirotkin staked his claim for the final seat too. this one will run until Melbourne by all accounts.
Award season was all about Lewis Hamilton, he received just about every award imaginable including our very own Grand Prix 247 Driver of the Year, also scooped the best driver as voted to by team managers and of course went to Monaco to receive his fourth drivers’ World Champion trophy.
The Ferrari quit story grabbed miles of column inches with team president Sergio Marchionne adamant that if Liberty Media destroy the ethos of Formula 1 he will withdraw the fabled Maranello squad from the circus.
But then Marchionne was instrumental in striking a deal which sees Alfa Romeo (of the Ferrari family) return to the sport after nearly three decades away. And also whispers of a Haas and Maserati tie-up became news – go figure!