In the words of the golden one, C3PO, “Thank the maker, Formula One is back!!” Well, at least I think that’s an actual quote. It’s not important, really. What is important is that Formula One is back!! And, for the first time since the FBC Staff Pick Championship began, the playing field for this year is the same as last year.

Judging by most everyone’s pick’s, the results are expected to be the same, as well. Five of eight staffers are expecting 3-time champ Lewis Hamilton to pick up where he left off after losing the title last year, while three staffers are expecting Ferrari to finally make a long awaited resurgence. Dave and Johnpierre both see the Kimster taking the first race of the season, while Paul thinks Seb is going to win in Australia.

An all Merc/Ferrari podium is expected by everyone bar Andrew, who is taking Verstappen in the Red Bull for third. Other than a couple of picks for Massa in the Williams and one for Hulk in the Renault, all Top Six picks are made up of Mercedes, Ferraris and Red Bulls. The much coveted First Out award sees a tie with three picks apiece for Alonso in the woeful McLaren Honda and 2017’s only true rookie, Lance Stroll. Kvyat and Ocon get one nod apiece to leave the race first come Sunday. Hopefully they will all make it past the first turn and hopefully we will have another exciting FBC Staff Championship! Please feel free to play at home, too. Post your picks in the comments and then let us know how you did once the race is run.

Todd
1. Hamilton
2. Vettel
3. Raikkonen
4. Bottas
5. Verstappen
6. Massa
FO Kvyat

Grace
1. Hamilton
2. Vettel
3. Bottas
4. Ricciardo
5.Raikkonen
6. Verstappen
FO Alonso

Paul
1. Vettel
2. Hamilton
3. Bottas
4. Raikkonen
5. Ricciardo
6. Verstappen
FO Stroll

Tom
1. Hamilton
2. Vettel
3. Bottas
4. Ricciardo
5. Verstappen
6. Raikkonen
FO
Stroll

Andrew
1. Hamilton
2. Bottas
3. Verstappen
4. Vettel
5. Massa
6. Hulkenberg
FO Alonso

Tony
1. Hamilton
2. Bottas
3. Vettel
4. Ricciardo
5. Raikkonen
6. Verstappen
FO Ocon

Dave
1. Raikkonen
2. Hamilton
3. Vettel
4. Bottas
5. Ricciardo
6. Massa
FO Alonso

JP
1. Raikkonen
2. Hamilton
3. Vettel
4. Ricciardo
5. Bottas
6. Verstappen
FO Stroll

2
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Rapierman
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Rapierman

I’m baaaaaaaaaack! Ready for 2017! This time, I’m going with:

1. Lewis Hamilton
2. Sebastian Vettel
3. Daniel Ricciardo
4. Max Verstappen
5. Valtteri Bottas
6. Felipe Massa

…and first out will be Fernando Alonso.

manny petty
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manny petty

I have no reason to believe anyone will beat the Mercedes duo, and can easily see Vettel’s day ending in tears thanks to another overaggressive maneuver in turn 1. 1. Louise 2. Valerie 3. Honey Badger 4. The Plucky Teen 5. Ice Man 6. Hulk First Out: Sea Bass I’m going to go out on a limb and predict both McLarens not only complete the full race, but finish in the points; Grosjean will retire with brake issues; Stroll will finish ahead of Massa; and the race itself will be a relatively boring processional with the only passing taking place… Read more »