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Monday, March 21, 2011

Five Days

Oh my goodness! It's almost time.
The excitement has been building for months.
They've been practising, revising and practising some more.

On Friday, there will be two more practise sessions; and on Saturday, qualifying for the first grid of the 2011 Formula One season will take place.

Even before the racing gets under way, there has been so much happening.

The political events in Bahrain eventually led to the first race being postponed; and now it's likely to be cancelled from the calendar altogether, this year.

The teams have new rules to digest, learn and incorporate into their strategies.  Pirelli, the tyre maker, have taken over from Bridgestone; and not everyone is happy with the durability.  Some drivers believe they will lead to more pit-stops.  Others, who have a softer driving style, may benefit from this, and make their tyres last longer.

The rear wing, on the car, is now adjustable by the driver, mid race.  Under certain conditions, they can alter the angle and increase downforce (the energy that 'sticks' the car to the road) which will make them go faster and be able to over-take.  There are some pretty stringent rules for this; and I look forward to seeing how they will be enforced!!

KERS; the Kinetic Energy Recovery System, has been re-introduced after being banned last year.  For the uninitiated; this means that the energy produced through breaking is stored and can be used to provide a power boost.  It's a small boost; but will be enough to either pull away a lead; or from the start-line; make a faster getaway!!!

The recent practise sessions have shown some remarkable differences in performance; and Ferrari and Red Bull certainly seem to have the better all-round package.  However, this time Mercedes did well too.  McLaren didn't run the car as long as other teams; leading to speculation that they have lots of work to do.  Personally; I think they'll be quite happy; and as always, there will be modifications across the board, by all teams as the season progresses.

So; during this week; I'll introduce the teams and their drivers; as they make their way to Melbourne, next Sunday.

It promises to be an exciting season.  Do you support a Formula 1 team?  Who do you hope will take the chequered flag this year?
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