• INSIGHT: Five Things We're Excited For in F1 2018

The 2018 Formula 1 season is shaping up to be a good one, and the cars haven't even been launched yet! Here are five things we're seriously excited about.

1. Returning Home

While the Silver Arrows' base may be in the UK, our heart is very much in Germany. So, it was a shame we didn't race on home soil in 2017, with the German Grand Prix not featuring on the calendar - which has only happened a couple of times since F1's formation in 1950.

Thankfully, F1 is returning to Germany and the Hockenheimring in 2018, with the race returning to the schedule. We can't wait to compete in front of our home crowd again. As an added bonus, the French Grand Prix is also back on the calendar this season.

F1 last visited France in 2008, two seasons before the Silver Arrows returned to the sport, but we've got pedigree in the Republic, with Juan Manuel Fangio leading a 1-2 in 1954 around Reims. So, it will be great to race in France once again, this time at Paul Ricard.

2. Strive for Five

Last season, our hard work paid off and we secured an incredible fourth Championship double. It was a remarkable season and it was great to be rewarded for our efforts, after a long year of intense racing and on-track action.

Of course, last year's trophies mean nothing now, and we're not taking our past successes for granted. 2018 will be tough, but our focus is remaining at the top of the Championship table. We're striving for five... a record only one team has ever achieved in F1 history - Ferrari.

3. Three-Way Battle

We came under immense pressure from Ferrari last year and we're expecting the Prancing Horse to remain a formidable force in 2018. It brought us some added stress, but it was incredible to fight with such a successful and historic F1 team.

Red Bull joined the club towards the end of 2017 and proved to be tough competitors. With fairly stable regulation changes, we're anticipating the Bulls to be regular challengers this season. Could fans be in store for a three-way fight for the Constructors' crown?

We'll also be keeping a close eye on the rest of the chasing pack.... McLaren has swapped its Honda engines for Renault power, Force India will be determined to keep up their strong form, and the Renault team ended 2017 strongly.  Game on, we say!

4. Next Generation

There's a lot of extraordinary young talent on the F1 grid and we're looking forward to seeing how they fare in 2018. Esteban Ocon, one of our Junior Drivers, had a brilliant first full season with Force India in 2017 and looks set to make even more progress this year. The inter-team battle at Force India is shaping up nicely indeed!

Should McLaren's new engine power them further up the grid, Stoffel Vandoorne will surely be fighting for strong results, while Toro Rosso has retained rookies Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley for the new season.

Last year's Formula 2 champion Charles Leclerc has stepped up to F1 with Sauber and is definitely one to watch for the future. Speaking of F2, our Junior Driver George Russell moves up to the category this season with ART Grand Prix - so keep your eye out for him! We're excited to see what he can do behind the wheel of the all-new F2 car.

5. Tyre Tweaks

Quite a lot has changed for 2018 when it comes to tyres, and it should - fingers crossed - make for more intense, action-packed racing. There are now seven dry compounds, compared to 2017's five, with the Super-Hard and Hyper-Soft debuting.

The construction of the tyres has changed, with all of the compounds going one step softer, and this should lead to more degradation and fewer one-stop races. This'll open up strategy variation, create larger tyre drop-offs and help improve overtaking. That definitely sounds good to us!