Monday, March 22, 2010

Countdown to Melbourne

Please let the Australian Grand Prix be an improvement on Round1!!! It’s less than a week away to round 2 of the championship in Melbourne Australia and the main headlines since last week have been of course the processional affair that was the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lots of calls for the rules to undergo an emergency change but also a lot of people telling us to give the rules a chance. After my rant last week about the Bahrain grand prix I’ve finally calmed down and decided wait a few races before passing judgement. After all we are heading for Albert Park, one of the more exciting race circuits on the calendar.

Who can forget some of the classic races we have seen here over the years. 1996, the first time F1 graced Melbourne was definitely one to remember. The race was only seconds old when Martin Brundle launched his Jordan into the air and barrel rolled into the gravel trap at turn three splitting the car in half! The race will also be remembered for Jacques Villeneuve's incredible debut: starting from pole, leading for most of the race only to have to relinquish the lead because of an oil leak. It’s a circuit that has played host to a number of impressive debuts over the years. Lewis Hamilton's in 2007 and of course Brawn GP'S debut last year.

In 2010 McLaren find themselves in a bit of a dilemma, as a do a few other teams. They have been ordered by the FIA to modify their diffuser as it was deemed to give them an unfair advantage and with Martin Whitmarsh saying that the team is only bringing minimal upgrades for the car the question has to be asked will their pace improve over Bahrain. Hamilton finished third in Bahrain which he was quite pleased with which seems to suggest that the car wasn't expected to perform as well so with a new diffuser how will that effect performance.

There have been a number of stories coming out this week about fuel consumption. It has been suggested in the media that Ferrari’s cars are quite bad on the fuel consumption and are using more than their rivals but if Ron Denis is to be believed then Red Bull may also have the same problem. Denis believes that the spark plug problem that the team reported wasn’t true and he reckons that the car's ECU put it into safe mode in order to save fuel. If it's true then it will be interesting to see if the other teams can capitalise on this especially Mercedes who have been disappointing so far. Rosberg far outperformed Schumacher in Bahrain and it will be interesting to see if the forty one year old German can react. It certainly wouldn't look good for his comeback if the seven time world champion was out performed by a man who hasn’t won a grand prix yet.

Let’s hope that all this results in an exciting Australian Grand Prix this year. The track is a lot more unforgiving than Bahrain so hopefully that will add a bit if spice to the action. Also hopefully the Hispania team can get to the finish of their second grand prix; mileage is going to be their biggest ally. Virgin and Sauber have to sort out their reliability issues as well as Lotus capitalised on that last time out to be the only new team to get a car across the finish line. Round 2 is only a few days away!!

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