Saturday, 6 February 2010

Formula 1 in 2010 - 1.000

The FIA Formula 1 World Championships – 2010 are just over a month away from us. It promises to be a cracker of a season, one which I aim to (for the first time) write about. I will skip analyzing the launches, but aim to write about testing and then the season as it unfolds.

As someone who has been watching F1 for over 10 years now, I know that I have several opinions – on cars, designs, tracks, team bosses and above all, drivers. Yes many of those opinions are very strong, and there are a few things I will never accept (though I may privately feel). Like Michael Schumacher being the greatest driver of all time. No, he isn’t and no I do not privately feel that he is either. Ayrton Senna is. Michael Schumacher is statistically the greatest Formula 1 racer of all time. I know this is one of those opinions that everyone will land up having a problem with. I have heard almost every argument there is for MS. That he does what it takes to win, that he’s won more than anyone else, that he is a genius in the car, that technically he is the strongest driver ever with the ability to tell his race engineers exactly what is wrong with the car and how to fix it yada yada yada. I still do not buy it. My friends know me to be a Hakkinen-man. Principally, he is my favorite racer. He did not act like an asshole, he did not cheat, he showed he was human (1999 Italian GP) and when he did cry, it was because he crashed while leading comfortably.

The point is that I am aware that I have many opinions. I will however, try and be neutral while I write. I believe I can do so. I know you will catch me out if I do err.

I would like to start off by saying that I welcome the return of several big names. Michael Schumacher is undoubtedly one of them. Lotus is another. Not too many people remember Lotus. Certainly no one in my age group (me included) can claim any knowledge on Lotus from first hand viewing experience. As I read up more about them though, it becomes plainly obvious that they are a constructor worthy of a place on the 2010 grid with 7 constructor’s championships to their name. I wish them the best, and hope that they can get through the season financially and otherwise.

I am thrilled with the return of a track as well. The Canadian GP at Montreal is held at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. I love the track and the sight of the cars as they round the famous Turn 10 hairpin and barrel down the back straight. It truly is worthy of a place on the calendar. Long do I hope it stays there. I would like to place on record the fact that Formula 1 will miss Kimi Raikkonen. He was a supremely fast racer, one who I believe deserved a place on the 2010 grid.

New rules, New teams, New races (Korean GP) and New Drivers. This season is going to be a stormer. Life will still be lived in intervals of 0.001 seconds and everyone will still be under the gun, especially pit crews who will, with the refueling ban now in effect, aim to break the 3-second barrier for a pitstop. But if not here then where else? After all, this is Formula 1.

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