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Eighteen years ago, the Spice Girls joined Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard onstage at the Alexandra Palace in London to launch McLaren’s MP4-12 car. The British pop singers had recently released their smash-hit album Spice and were one of the biggest bands in the world. No doubt it was not a cheap night for McLaren.

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To the casual observer, Formula One drivers may not seem very athletic—after all, how hard can it be to drive around in a car for a couple of hours? The reality, though, is that the level of fitness—both mental and physical—required to compete in a grand prix compares favourably with what is needed for any other professional athlete.

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Ferrari are trying to temper expectations after a season of change and a successful first test for their new car. The change began last April, when team principal Stefano Domenicali surprisingly stepped down, and culminated with Sebastian Vettel’s arrival in Maranello and the replacement of Domenicali’s replacement, Marco Mattiacci, with Maurizio Arrivabene.

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On paper, the battle between Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyatat Red Bull this season looks lopsided.

Ricciardo is entering his fifth season of Formula One, and he scored three victories in 2014, thoroughly beating four-time defending world champion Sebastian Vettel in the process.

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Here are a few articles related to the first 2015 preseason test at Jerez. I got a bit behind in posting articles over the Christmas holidays and I’m only catching up now, so some of these are a bit dated now (considering the second test is already complete), but in case you want to re-live those four days in Jerez…well, here:

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Currently, there are 18 race seats on the 2015 Formula One grid. Maybe Marussia or Caterham will make a last-minute comeback, but for now, just 18 drivers will make the start at the Australian Grand Prix in March.

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Today is the 33rd anniversary of the 1982 South African Grand Prix, which was nearly cancelled due to a strike by the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association. The problem, which was resolved just in time for the race to take place, consisted of a change to the drivers’ Super Licences, which would have restricted them from changing teams.

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