It’s in the air. You can almost smell it. You know of what I speak. That throaty rumble, the cheers, the hubbub, the colours, the wins, the losses, the speed, the controversies – such an invigorating break from the humdrum we call life. I could feel the excitement building up within me, and I had to share it. So, I caught hold of one my friends and waxed eloquent. Oh, it’s beginning, I sang out. Even the weather seemed to agree, the cool breeze almost singing my tune. My friend’s eyes glazed over a bit. I continued regardless. His eyes glazed over some more. I stopped.
Throw a few dinosaurs and elves into the F1 mix and I know most of my friends will immediately turn F1-crazy. But since dinosaurs are extinct and elves don’t really like humans, I guess F1 would have to settle for a mere gazillion followers around the world. I, for one have realized that the route to sanity during the F1 season lies in words. So, as you, dear reader, suffer my exuberance, I will continue to wax eloquent.
There’s much excitement in store this season. Even though the FIA seems determined to make F1 a mere shadow of its former self. I speak of the numerous new rules and shenanigans. Like that overtaking rule: only one self-defensive manoeuvre! Well, this season will bear witness to how drivers interpret this rule. Of course, everyone’s talking about the ugly cars being rolled out this year, thanks to the new stepped-nose design. Here’s an interesting article I came across, courtesy CNN that explains it all (in pictures, no less) for the technologically unsound (sounds like me!).
But the stars as always, are the drivers. I have cribbed for a long time now, that F1 has become more about the technology and less about the driver. Well, I eat my words when I say that drivers like Jensen Button and Sebastian Vettel do bring that lost shine back into this sport. The Melbourne line-up has Button (3 cheers everyone) right up there at the top behind Lewis Hamilton who is on pole. Vettel though is far behind. But, as I read in one of the articles, Vettel’s like that “shark”, just waiting, circling, patient. (Gives me the heebie-jeebies. At least Vettel’s better looking eh?)
Of course, there is cheer in the thought that for the first time, there are six world champions all vying for podium finishes. Right at the helm is the return of the Ice Man. Kimi Raikonnen returns with Lotus-Renault and there will be fireworks. Fingers crossed though, he has better luck than Michael Schumacher. For the first time in a very long time, though, there will be one man missing at the grid. Reubens Barrichello, one of most experienced F1 racers, lost his seat with the Williams this year. I will miss him.
In his stead are Pedro de la Rosa and Bruno Senna. I never imagined that I would hear that name said out loud at a race. But it was extremely surreal last year, when I heard the Senna name being called out at the track in Noida, India. For Bruno though, this is a testing time. He has much to prove. And he’s driving for a team that has had a long, turbulent relationship with the Senna name. To date, all Williams cars have the name Senna embossed on their livery; a silent tribute to one of the greatest racers of all time.
As always, the action will be just as strong at the back of the grid. Though in Australia, HRT will probably be watching the race from the sidelines, as its racers failed to qualify on Saturday! All said and done, the mood’s set. It’s show time and yes, the season has officially begun. So as my friends go about their business, I guess, you know where I will be on race day Sunday: in front of a television cheering on my favourite. If you are still trying to figure out your favourite, read this brilliant Guardian article that tells you what each team and driver have been up to. Choose your favourites wisely.
In case you are wondering, I will be cheering Button. Oh, and definitely Bruno on as well. I now leave you with this teeny picture I found online. It cracked me up and, I think it definitely sets the tone for Formula One 2012: