As the curtain raiser in Melbourne is soon to get underway, we look forward to the five things you can look forward to in the 2017 Formula 1 season.

Mercedes v Ferrari

An intriguing battle is building ahead of this weekend’s opener with Ferrari looking like the biggest challenger to Mercedes’ long-standing reign over the sport.

Lewis Hamilton has even said: "I see Ferrari being quickest - they are definitely favourites”.

It’s been ten years since Kimi Raikkonen was crowned champion for Ferrari back in 2007 and the Tifosi are finally looking like competing again.

There are so many unknowns going into the season, including where Red Bull fit into the frame, but if there is competitive racing again at the front of the pack then it will be a win for fans.

Lap Records Tumbling

The new regulations have seen a vast increase in cornering speed and a similar reduction in lap times.

Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap in testing with a 1:18.634 around Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya and was only three tenths from Felipe Massa’s time of 1:18.339 in 2008 testing.

Lap records will be broken at certain tracks, including Azerbaijan and Russia, which were introduced during the previous era.

Rookies Versus Experience

Youngest driver on the grid: Lance Stroll (Williams) – Age: 18

Oldest driver on the grid: Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) – Age 37

There’s a big gap forming on the grid in terms of experience and it will be interesting to see how newcomers like Stroll and Stoffel Vandoorne cope.

We’ve seen the likes of Max Verstappen come in at a young age and take the bull by the horns, but is he a one off?

Fernando Alonso has more race starts (272) than nine of the drivers on the grid combined. But how many of those will be finish ahead of if his Honda engine continues to spoil the party?

An Arms Race

The cars exhibited at testing in Barcelona are nowhere near the finished product; Force India have already changed their livery.

With teams only having so much time over the winter to develop their cars to the new regulations, in-season development could play a huge role in who wins the Constructors’ Championship.

A New World Champion

Will it be Lewis Hamilton? or Sebastian Vettel? With the departure of last season’s champion Nico Rosberg, the Formula 1 grid will line up without the defending champion for the first time since 1994.

Bet365 make Lewis Hamiltion the favourite to lift the trophy in Abu Dhabi with odds of 1/1.

Or perhaps you fancy Hamilton’s teammate to upstage him once again, you can have Valtteri Bottas to be the 2017 champion at 9/2.

To bet on Formula 1 action click here to bet with Bet365.