Welcome to our Formula One world...
A Formula One car is an amazing feat of engineering. The Team might make close to 100,000 individual carbon fibre parts over the course of the season, while the machine shops are just as busy making mechanical components.
This year F1 has 21 races – tying its longest season ever (2016) – lasting from March to November, and will feature the sport's first ever triple-header, racing on three consecutive weekends in the European summer, going from France to Austria and then Britain.
Over the course of the season the teams will cover over 200,000 miles, visiting five continents. They'll spend over ten days in the air, wolf down around 30,000 sandwiches in the garage because they're too busy for meals and get absolutely no sympathy from the drivers, who will lose around 80kg in sweat over the course of the season – and still need to watch their weight.
Formula One rarely sits still: every season the format is fine-tuned to cater for engineering advancements, enhance safety or simply to improve the spectacle.
WHAT'S NEW THIS YEAR?
Something to watch out for this year are the tyres. There's lots and lots of colours. In addition to a wet tyre (with blue markings) and an intermediate (green), we have superhard (orange), hard (lighter blue), medium (white), soft (yellow), supersoft (red), ultrasoft (purple) and hypersoft (pink).
The whole range of dry tyres are moving softer this year – and softer tyres mean more grip – and thus faster laptimes – but with reduced tyre life. Are you following?
Hypersoft carnage! The pink-banded Hypersoft tyre is something the old-timers are calling a 'qualifying compound'. Basically, it's expected to be good for a qualifying lap and then fall apart.
Red Flag Restarts: In a break with recent history, there's a plan to restart the race from the grid, if it's been halted mid-race. Previously, when things have been stopped in this way, we've had a rolling restart.
Daniel Ricciardo is starting his eighth season in Formula One, and his fifth with Red Bull Racing. Hailing from Perth in Western Australia, our Aussie is a product of the Red Bull Junior Team, for whom he won the British F3 title in 2009 before becoming our test driver.
He made his F1 debut on loan to backmarker team HRT in the second half of 2011, before getting a full-time gig with our sister team Toro Rosso in 2012. Daniel did two years with Toro before earning his promotion to Red Bull Racing. He's won five races for us, most recently last year's Azerbaijan Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen shot through the junior categories of racing in short order, spending just a year in single seaters before moving up to Formula One with Toro Rosso, aged 17. After 23 races with Toro Rosso he moved up to Red Bull Racing and won on his debut for us, becoming the youngest grand prix winner in the history of the sport.
Last year he added victories in Malaysia and Mexico. Now a relatively mature 20 year old, the Dutchman is getting better with every race – which is ominous for the other 19 drivers on the grid.