Formula 1 Season 2018: What to look out for!

Formula 1 2018 Season

The 2017 Formula 1 Championship gave us everything we could have wanted – controversy, quick cars and an array of winners – so it’s no surprise that we’re on the edge of our seats in anticipation of the 2018 season getting underway next month!

Although, in the end, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes emerged as Formula 1 World Champions once again, up until the Singapore Grand Prix it looked pretty close in the standings between the Brit and his rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
So, with new rules, tracks and drivers to be introduced this year, is there a chance for an even closer championship battle in 2018? We can only hope!
So, as we gear up for new season, here are a few things to look out for this year…

Formula 1 Rules & Regs

Once again, we’ll see some new rules and regulations introduced throughout the season. Although they’re nowhere near as drastic as the ones introduced last year, we’re sure that they’re still bound to get people talking… dare we mention the dreaded halo?
The first regulation change for 2018 is that each driver now has a limit of just three engines (rather than four) to use throughout a season. This is in a bid for new owners, Liberty Media, to reduce costs and make power units more reliable. Although this may benefit the smaller teams, this will more than likely just cause problems, as it poses the risk of drivers facing hefty grid penalties.
Speaking of grid penalties, the rules concerning these have also been given a well-needed tweak for the 2018 season, making it easier for stewards – and us fans – to get our heads around! In 2018, if a driver should have to change a power unit component, they will still receive a five to ten-place grid penalty. However, if they’re then to replace a second component, they will automatically be moved straight to the back of the grid, so, there’ll be no more drivers starting in 60th place when there are only 22 cars on the track.
Still with me? Ok, good!
Finally, we must say ‘hello’ to the already, much-hated halo. Designed to improve driver safety, the protection device will be located over the cockpit, with the intention of deflecting debris and ultimately, preventing drivers from being hit in the head!
Although a well-needed feature (which, in the long run, will do more good than harm), as the 2018 cars are revealed, we can see why they have received a lot of backlash from drivers, teams and fans alike, due to their ugly appearance.

Formula 1 Races

Formula 1 car on track
What we really can’t wait for this year, is the return of some legendary circuits to the Formula 1 calendar.
As we’re sure you’ll agree, it takes away some of the pain of saying goodbye to Malaysia, after the great races we’ve witnessed there over the years… I mean, who can forget Multi 21 Gate?
But, let’s not get hung up on that! Let’s rejoice in the fact that the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim will be back on our screens this year after a two-year hiatus, along with the French Grand Prix, after ten years away from the sport!
Not only that but the Paul Ricard Circuit, which will host the French Grand Prix, has not hosted a championship race since 1990! The re-admission of this epic track also means that Formula 1 will see its first-ever tripleheader this year, as the French, Austrian and British Grand Prix fall on consecutive weekends. So, make sure you have full control of the TV remote for those three Sundays.

Team Line-Ups

Finally, we’re on to the team and driver line-ups, and thankfully, the Silly Season was nowhere near as extended as the one we had last year, with all teams having now confirmed their drivers for the season ahead.
This year, we will see more new-comers entering the sport, with a total revamp of Torro Rosso, seeing the introduction of two-time Le Mans Champion, Brendan Hartley, and former Japanese Super Formula driver, Pierre Gasly.
Another new face which will be seen around the paddock is Sergey Sirotkin, former GP2 series driver, who has been confirmed as the now truly-retired Felipe Massa’s replacement for the season ahead.
Charles Leclerc will also join Sauber this year, making him the last of the rookies to join the grid in 2018.
Aside from that, there hasn’t been much of a shakeup within the teams, with the only other change being Carlos Sainz Jr moving to Renault to partner Nico Hulkenberg.
So, with car launches firmly underway and pre-season testing starting on Monday, we can only hope for a positively action-packed season!
For a truly unique experience and to witness the season unfolding first hand, why not join us on one of our European Formula 1 tours?

Will you be my Valentine? From hearts to hogs, Valentine's Day around the world

Ah… being in love, there’s nothing quite like it, so it’s no surprise that countries from all over the world have a special day dedicated to celebrating ‘that special someone’… Valentine’s Day.

So, wouldn’t you like to know a little more about the different Valentine’s Day traditions, past and present from countries near and far?
Whilst some are what you might expect – traditional chocolate hearts and bright cards scrawled with adoring messages – there are others that are a little unorthodox!
So, if you’re looking for a truly unique way to surprise your loved one this Valentine’s Day, we might just be able to help!


Let’s start with one that’s a little out of the ordinary, shall we?
Although the celebration of Valentine’s Day in Germany is not as commercial as it is in places such as the UK and America, it’s a popular tradition with the locals there.
And, whilst lovers will exchange gifts of chocolates, flowers, and gingerbread cookies displaying romantic messages, they also like to exchange… pigs!
Yes, that’s right, pigs! Pictures of pigs, chocolate pigs, statues of pigs… even a real pig for those who want to really go for it!
In the country, the pig symbolises lust and luck.
It’s also pink, and so we can see why this little animal could be synonymous with the festival of love.


Going back to a more traditional way of celebrating one’s love for another, in Italy, Valentine’s Day is celebrated by way of a classic spring festival.
Couples shower each other with romantic poems, enjoy sweet ballads and scrumptious meals together, and often exchange boxes of ‘baci perugina’ – chocolate hazelnut ‘kisses’.
However, Italy also has a strange legacy surrounding its Valentine’s traditions, which states that the first man a girls sees when she wakes on February the 14th, she will marry within the next year…
To all those singles out there, keep an eye out this Wednesday morning!

South Africa

If you’re a hopeless romantic who likes to wear their heart on their sleeve, then the South African Valentine’s tradition might just be the one for you.
As well as the traditional celebrations, women in South Africa can often be seen to, quite literally, wear their hearts on their sleeves, by pinning the names of their significant others (or crushes!) to the sleeves of their tops.
A perfect way to let that special someone know you’re interested, perhaps?


In China, they don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day exactly, but they do celebrate Qixi.
During Qixi, young women gather, prepare and offer fruits to Zhinu, in the hope that the goddess will send them a good husband.
Qixi falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year and pays homage to an old Chinese legend.
It is said that Zhinu, a heavenly king’s daughter, and Niulang, a poor cow herder, fell in love (against Zhinu’s father’s wishes), married and had twins.
Once her father learned of their marriage, he sent for her to be brought back to the heavens.
However, upon hearing the cries of Niulang and her children, the king allowed Zhinu to meet Niulang back on Earth, once a year, hence the start of Qixi.


And finally, we have Denmark, located in Scandinavia which adds its own little Danish twist to this celebration of love.
Whilst friends and lovers in the country do exchange flowers, it’s not the traditional red rose, as the Danes instead swap pressed snowdrops to show their love.
It’s also common for men to give their secret admirers a ‘gaekkebrev’, which is a form of funny love poem presented on intricately cut paper.
For even more fun, the poems are signed off as anonymous and the receiver then has three guesses to work out who their poem is from.
If guessed correctly, the receiver will also be given an Easter egg by their admirer, later in the year.
If not, they must be the ones to buy the admirer an Easter egg – a great way to keep the gift-giving going, and get even more chocolate!
If this blog has given you some inspiration for a unique gift, or maybe even a unique trip, visit our website and discover a world of romance!