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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Melbourne Seems a Long Way Off

I've spent the morning trawling through the F1 sites looking for something of particular interest which I thought I would share with you.  The fact is that we would appear to be in a hiatus leading up to Melbourne.  For the last few weeks it's been Terminator or Rambo territory with news and conjecture spewing out like bullets from an Uzi, suddenly it's gone all Gary Cooper in High Noon - nothing to hear but the ticking of the clock, tension mounting, waiting for the showdown (under) - lmao! I may have enjoyed that analogy a little too much.

There are a couple of things which interest me about the coming season not least a few of the drivers.  Some interesting battles are in the offiing, not least due to the Pirelli conundrum.

Can Petrov do the biz against Heidfeld?  Heidfeld has always been quite easy on his tyres and his testing/technical experience should stand him in good stead.

Will Button make the best of the tyres and drive circles around his teammate who we know is harder on tyres?  Brundle was very disparaging recently about the ability of the McLaren to turn into and drive out of corners.  Was he watching Button or Hamilton? Or is it simply that the car is a Pig?  Button doesn't think he'll be winning in Melbourne but his comments seem to suggest he'd expect to be in and around the sharp end.

Barrichello should beat the pants off Maldonado but then I know nothing about Pastor other than he's a cash cow.  But I'm not going to disparage him any more than that (at least until he's has a chance to show his credentials).  until a wheel is turned in anger I'll reserve judgement other than to say that he just might be the second coming.

Vettel vs Webbo? That's intriguing.  Which is easier on tyres? I'm a big Webber fan and loved watching him fulfill his potential last season.  The worst thing he did was to drive the last two races with a fractured shoulder and not tell the team.  I watched him do nothing in Abu Dhabi and whinged about his poor performance for at least a week afterwards.  Now we know why and it made it worse.  I know he felt he had to take the chance but the team has to be first priority - even if they aren't treating you equally.  You have to be the bigger man Mark (and you are).  Highlight of last season - Silverstone - "Not bad for a second driver!"  I worry that Vettel is easier on tyres and may take total control at RBR.

Alonso will probably consolidate his place over Massa.  Massa was totally robbed of the Drivers Championship in 2008 - not only by Piquet's "crash" but also by Timo's inability to fight off a McLaren which had struggled throughout the Brazillian GP.  Like Webber I'm afraid that Massa has had his chance in the Ferrari and should probably find a new home.  Mercedes will probably be looking for someone next season, Williams too, and Renault may well wish to pair Kubica up with someone who will push him hard.  There could also be a place at the RBR table given that Mark is on rolling one year contracts.  Time to look at your options Filipe - put that unfortunate accident out of your mind, push Nando to the limit, leave, and never look back.  Your performance on the podium in Brazil 2008 shows your passion for the sport and your belief in yourself - put it in the car and take the Driver's Championship that you know you still want.

Mercedes will be a very interesting place this season.  Schumi has a season under his belt - Is he back in the groove or will he be relegated again to a supporting role?  We need to see flashes of his previous brilliance this year.  Ross Brawn knows what Michael needs to make a car perform - has he delivered it?  Will Rosberg teach the old dog some new tricks?  I'm looking forward to that battle.