Date: 15th March 2012 at 9:41am
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Around The Paddock In 7 Steps

Step #1 Ferrari: confused, disappointed, struggling & defiant. All words that can easily help describe the team and it’s mood and situation ahead of the first GP this season. We have heard Alonso say the car has potential, is hard to drive and still requires much work. Pat Fry and Massa echo the Spaniards sentiments and Team Boss Domenicali remains defiant saying the team will fight to the end. Are they serious or playing head games, we shall know soon enough. Massa will be fighting for his F1 life and cannot afford a poor showing.

Step #2 RedBull vs McLaren: It seems more and more like the start of the season will be a battle between these two F1 heavyweights. Many believe that RedBull might have the initial upper hand but that McLaren’s ability to rapidly develop their car will allow them to challenge for the top step of the podium. Button is cool and ready, Lewis is more serious and better prepared, Vettel has no pressure as returning champ and Webber needs a strong season to secure his seat. Biggest news from either team is this, Horner starts the head games as he dismisses Hamilton as a possible future RedBull driver and Vettel names his RB8 Abbey…not quite as cheeky as Luscious Liz or Kinky Kiley…

Step #3 The Brawn effect: Any time Ross Brawn is coupled with talented drivers and resources, he immediately becomes a threat. Blowing Reunited with Schumacher with the help of Mercedes AMG and their engineers, this team will surely play the spoiler this season. A hungry Rosberg, some clever innovations, a strong power plant and Ross at the helm will go a long way to making the Brawn effect felt.

Step #4 The Ice Man Cometh: Kimi returns to F1 with Lotus. The team has shown some good pace and seems to have been able to overcome an early setback with a chassis issue and are looking solid. There are some questions over where Kimi might be in terms of pace and whether or not he’s lost a step. Lotus has also landed a 3 year deal with Microsoft so expect the cars and pit wall equipment to occasionally require a reboot.

Step #5 Rookie Row: There is a slight scent of buttery French flakey pastries in the Paddock this season…it must be from the freshly baked F1 rookies. Romain Grosjean partnering Kimi in the Lotus, Jean-Eric Vergne teams up with Australian Daniel Riccairdo at Toro Rosso and Finally Charles Pic is in at Marussia. Paul DiResta can’t really be considered a rookie but certainly a newby up and comer that will get some attention.

Step #6 The FIA Office: The FIA has made some changes to the sporting and technical regulations. Of note the one move rule which essentially means a driver can make one move only to defend a position. The other rule that many fans may have missed is the rule that allows race stewards to investigate an incident without first reporting it to the race director. A decision was made to run the race in Bahrain this season and for this weekend, the announcement of two DRS zones in Melbourne was made, no doubt in an effort to spice things up over last season.

Step #7 Media Mania: This 2012 season is being hyped up by the media for good reason. The Media alone is enough of a reason to get excited. F1 has attracted some of the best sports journalists and analysts and broadcasters. Bloggers all over the World Wide Web from office towers to basement bunkers have been a buzz since before the start of the season. BBC, SKY SPORTS F1, SPEED and several others are ready to bring the fans the best F1 coverage ever. The biggest names in online F1 coverage and online magazines have been reporting every detail in near real-time. Technical guru Craig Scarborough has been updating his blog and keeping Twitter followers up to speed with his expert technical analysis and also as a featured guest on The Flying Lap with well-respected F1 man Peter Windsor.

Do not forget to enter our Prediction Competition before Qualifying begins in Australia



Author: Ernie Black



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