F1 planning group launch event for 2018

F1's owners are planning a group launch event for the 2018 season.

That is the claim of Germany's Auto Motor und Sport, reporting that all the teams will reveal their new cars and drivers at the event ahead of winter testing early next year.

The report said it is "not clear" if the launch will take place at the Barcelona circuit or elsewhere in the city, but "fans will have free admission and be able to see the cars and drivers up close".

But before that happens, 2017 is witnessing an exciting showdown between Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

"A red world champion would be a blessing for everyone," said former Renault boss Flavio Briatore.

"But if I assess the chances today, I would say it's 60 per cent for Hamilton and 40pc for Vettel.

"And for the constructors', I have the impression that Bottas is stronger than Raikkonen," the Italian told Rai radio.

Former F1 driver Christian Klien agrees.

"Before Canada I saw Ferrari with the advantage, especially with handling the tyres. But the tables have turned since Montreal, with Mercedes understanding better how to get the Pirellis into the best operating window," he told the Austrian broadcaster Servus TV.

"The world champion will be the team that develops the most efficiently until the end of the season," Klien predicted.

(GMM)

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