Thursday, March 15, 2007

Parade Lap


HOT DAMM! Time to put away the snow shoes. Can you believe that its time to kick off another Formula 1 season? And I must say that this one will be quite different with the departure of Herr Schumacher.

I’ve spent the whole winter reading various pundits’ predictions of who’ll be the driver/chassis to beat. I have purposely tried to stay unmoved over the weekly scribbling's of the Winter Olympics, a phrase used for F1’s winter testing times...

Yet I must agree that the Ferrari’s look quite quick, along with the McLaren. Renault and BMW-Sauber have also spent time at the front of the pack and I expect the season to be much more closely contested than in previous years.

The verdict is still out on Honda, while Toyota has reportedly had a miserable winter test season. New Toyota runners Williams has so far outpaced the factory team.

Another chassis having teething problems (again) is the Red Bull racing squad, while its little sister Toro Rosso has spent more time manipulating the media then testing.

Super Aguri will also be an unknown with its 2007 challenger being unveiled “Just-In-Time” for Melbourne, while my personal favourite for “Underdog of the Year” is Spyker F1. I’m really pleased to see that the team is finally pointed in the right direction after its miserable Midland years.

For a more in depth team by team preview, See: Season Preview by Adam Cooper.

And while I have been a devoted Michael Schumacher fan since 1991, I now find myself rooting for nearly half of the grid. Will “Jense” pull a rabbit out of his crash helmet? Or will “Fishy Fella” pull off another win for Renault? And how will the new Scuderia Marlboro brothers do? Will Quick Nick get out pipped by the speedy “Pole?” Or will Fernando continue his winning ways?

I traditionally do not predict winners, and he’s not my sentimental choice, but I’ll have to give the nod to Felipe Massa for the first round “Down Under…”

(Anybody besides Alonso!)