F1 2010 season is about to start in under 3 days and I am super excited. Weekends would be much more fun and weeks full of anticipation. This is the season which promises a lot of entertainment not just because of great driver lineups but because a lot of has changed behind the scene. I have been watching F1 for 15 years and this is the most change I have seen on paddock.
Last three years have been disappointing for the sport. Not because we did not have great races, but because behind the scene politics was ugly. Either it be McLaren espionage, Alonso-Hamilton rivalry, Max Mosley’s “dictatorship”, Renault’s ugly crash in Singapore or many nasty things that I don’t want to remember. Things have cleared up now, Mosley is gone and it looks like a promising sign to the sport. He did a lot of things for sport but lately things weren’t going well. Todt who once said Alonso would never race for Ferrari is not president of FIA and Alonso is in scarlet colors. Kimi who has a contract for 2010 is now racing a Citroen in Mexico. Flavio and Ron Dennis have said good bye to sports. And biggest changes of all Michael Schumacher is back but this time with silver colors. I see all of these changes as positive for the sport and wish we will see all the actions on track rather then in pitlane.
There have been significant rule changes also. I see no refueling as the biggest change, with all drivers starting heavy it would be fun to see how they manager their tires, indulge in overtaking and plan strategy. Red Bull claims to have attained sub two second pitstops and those would be fun to watch. Wheels fairings have also gone, so that adds to efficient tire changes. None of the teams would be using KERS, so we can expect a level plane to start with. Complexities have reduced, efficiency increased and so have teams. Now we will see 12 teams on grid and 10 drivers scoring point in each race. This means more competition in middle order and that would be fun considering the fact that Toro Rosso and Force India showed good progress by end of 2009 season.
Now moving on to predictions. I believe with the advantage of diffusers gone (for Brawns), Ferrari is going to bounce back and be in front of the grid. McLaren will be competing at par with them and they would be challenged by Red Bull and Mercedes GP (former Brawn GP). Middle order will consist of Renault, Williams, Toro Rosso, BMW and Force India, it is hard to predict who will come to top considering pre-season testing does not provide much information.
For the drivers I would put my money on Alonso for World Championship. He seems to be in perfect shape and can drive a sub-optimal car to perfection. In Ferrari he will be unstoppable. Massa would be close behind (Glad to see him on track after that fierce accident) and so will be Hamilton, Schumacher and Button. Hamilton will come on top in McLaren, he is definitely a better driver than Button. New drivers Bruno Senna and Chadhok will struggle in beginning but they have shown potential and by mid season can challenge Force India and Toro Rosso (provided they have decent cars).
I am super excited. Are you?!
PS: I lost twitter handle @F1 to FIA, so would be tweeting at @fakeF1