What if F1’s midfield was a separate championship in 2017?

Who doesn’t love a spot of fan fiction? The internet has become a breeding ground for theories spawned from those ‘what if’ questions generated at the end of films, TV series and even sporting spectacles.

What if Anakin Skywalker had the ‘high ground’ on Mustafar at the climax of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith? Or, closer to home, what if Lewis Hamilton didn’t catch and pass Timo Glock on the final lap at a soggy Interlagos in 2008?

The 2017 Formula 1 season has featured several intriguing narratives thus far that could trigger many ‘what if’ scenarios. For instance, in a world without the elite three of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, what would the championship picture look like at this halfway stage?

With the numbers crunched, here are the facts and figures;

Sergio Perez

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‘Eyeballs’ key to Gow’s BTCC success story

“It’s never boring” states MSA director Alan Gow when asked to describe the British Touring Car Championship for which he is ‘commander-in-chief’. Few could disagree with his statement.

The BTCC – and touring car racing as a motorsport┬ásubsection in general – is a thrill a minute, bumper-to-bumper, door-handle-to-door-handle spectacle. It is a championship that prioritises the racing over all else. The product is quite remarkable.

BTCC Brands Clearways

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Could Toro Rosso be powered by Honda in 2018 and beyond?

At present, Honda doesn’t necessarily have the most marketable product in Formula 1. Their current partners McLaren are continually pinning their lack of performance – and quite rightly so – on the Honda power unit’s deficiencies and the Japanese manufacturer has a history of overstating the value of engine upgrades.

Regardless, certain teams are willing to consider Honda power as an option for 2018 and beyond. Sauber had even signed a deal with Honda prior to the appointment of Frederic Vasseur as the team principal, who had other ideas and subsequently terminated the deal. Now, it would seem that Toro Rosso is considering Honda power for 2018.

While it may sound bizarre, such a tie-up would make a lot of sense.

F1 Winter Testing In Barcelona - Day Two

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Why DRS works today and can be made to work for the F1 of tomorrow

Even since its introduction in 2011, the Drag Reduction System and its application has been a point of contention among Formula 1 fans. Deemed by many as a feature too artificial to have a place in F1, calls for a review into whether DRS should be scrapped have regularly been made.

It’s now 2017, however, and DRS is arguably now more entrenched in the sport than ever, given the added challenges that the increased effects of turbulent air and lower tyre degradation have made to ‘unaided’ overtaking.

The question is, should we now consider DRS an essential key to creating a racing spectacle or a crutch that F1 should have long tossed aside?

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Why the FIA was backed into a corner on halo ruling

F1 had appeared to be entering a lesser spotted spell of positivity. A stunning display of power and personality in London was followed by a glorious weekend in the Great British countryside, leaving fans beaming from ear-to-ear, (unless, of course, they were wearing red.)

However, it only takes a day of politics to burst F1’s bubble. Positivity dashed by the news that the much maligned ‘halo’ cockpit protection is scheduled to be introduced to the sport from 2018 onwards, despite nine of the ten teams voting against it.

Cue social media storm.

Halo Ferrari

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The plot thickens in the Sainz saga

Amid speculation of an imminent split between Carlos Sainz Jr and Toro Rosso, Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has hinted that the Spaniard could be available to rival teams if the price is right.

Sainz has expressed his frustration in what he perceives as a lack of opportunities within the Red Bull programme, while Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen are under contract beyond this season in the senior team.

F1 Grand Prix of Great Britain

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Trackside observations from a spectacular British Grand Prix

Forget the British Racing Drivers’ Club, Lewis Hamilton is the true owner of Silverstone. The Englishman won his fifth British Grand Prix at a canter last weekend, demonstrating the type of imperious form that the home fans have gotten used to over the past four years.

The triple champ’s snub of the very first F1 Live London event in the build up to the weekend was quickly forgotten. There were no boos for the Brit at Silverstone, as peak ‘Hamilton-fever’ returned.

In fact, having been fortunate enough to spend the entire weekend trackside, I’d be willing to say that peak ‘F1-fever’ has also replaced the pessimism that has previous riddled the sport.

Here are my trackside observations from a thrilling weekend of action at Silverstone.

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