Tuesday, March 2, 2010

2010 Formula One Season Preview

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

At long last, the 2010 Formula One season dawns upon us. After a long winter break, it’s time for the circus to head to this season’s curtain raiser, the Bahrain Grand Prix. Although with pre-season done with, teams only have a vague picture of where they stand in the pack as testing times are very hard to be read due to a host of manipulative factors.

This season, we see a major shakeup in the team’s driver’s line-up, the most notable of which is the much hyped return of the king of Formula One, Michael Schumacher. Inevitably, this sets the stage for an explosive grid line-up, with Schumacher coming up head to head with Lewis Hamilton for the first time.

Add Fernando Alonso, Sebastien Vettel, Felipe Massa and Jenson Button to the fray and you have the perfect recipe for edge-of-the-seat racing. Too bad though that Kimi Raikkonen won’t be there to throw his hat into the ring after taking an indefinite sabbatical from Formula One.

Still, perhaps the most radical change for this season is the inclusion of a host of new teams. Mercedes make a return as a works team after buying over last seasons champions Brawn GP, whilst Virgin and Lotus make their maiden foray onto the grandest motorsporting arena.

Interestingly though, with so little time left till the five red lights go off at Bahrain, we still do not have a clear idea as to which team will be the 12th and 13th entry respectively. Initially, it was supposed to be Campos and USF1, but both seem not ready for the challenge ahead. Now, there is another team, Stefan GP, who supposedly claim that they have their car ready for action.

Teams and drivers aside, the most glaring rule change is the ban of in-race refuelling. Therefore, teams would now have to take their cars through the whole race distance without refuelling. This decision was made in view of cutting costs and making the sport more environmentally friendly.

The next obvious change in rules is the distribution of points. Last time round, points were offered for the top eight finishers, but to accommodate the larger grid size, points would be on offer to those who finish in the top ten, with the winner raking in a whooping 25 points.

Speaking of the race tracks that would feature on this year’s calendar, the only new track that is on the list is the South Korean GP slated for the 24th of October. All in all, a total of 19 races would be held, eclipsing the previous record of 18 races held in a single season. The Canadian GP also sees a return after sitting out for a year.

In addition to that, the sport sees a change in the administrative section. Max Mosley, a highly influential figure in Formula One in recent years, has stepped down, paving the way for Jean Todt to assume the role as the President of the FIA, the governing body of Formula One. The teams hope that this would herald a new era for the sport as their relationship with Mosley was anything but desirable.

Imperative of what happens, this would definitely be one of the most-followed Formula One seasons ever. People would flock to the racetracks and turn on their television screens in anticipation of Schumacher, wanting to see if whether does he still possess the hunger and drive to succeed like his old self.

And they would want to see which one of the many plausible candidates come up trump at the end of the season. One thing for sure here is that whosoever is crowned World Champion come October would arguably be the greatest Formula One World Champion of all time.

Which team and driver do you reckon stand a good chance to become World Champions at the end of the season. Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.
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