Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain has his tyres changed during a Formula One pre-season testing session at the Catalunya racetrack in Montmelo, outside Barcelona, Spain. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
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Formula One ventures into the unknown zone of a long-awaited revamped and high-speed era under new American ownership this weekend when the engines roar into life at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.The wider new machines with broader tires make much greater physical demands on the drivers and are expected to provide more noise and spectacle -- and hopefully better racing with more passing moves -- as Formula One bids to appeal to a younger, global, digital and social media savvy audience.The retirement of 2016 drivers world champion German Nico Rosberg has also triggered change with Finn Valtteri Bottas switching from Williams to partner three-time champion and pre-season favorite Lewis Hamilton in the champion Mercedes team.For one of the sport's traditional grandee teams, it is an embarrassing situation that new executive director Zak Brown has inherited. And even before the start of the new season, team chief Eric Boullier had to fend off talk that Alonso is looking to move.
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