04 March 2006

Let the race begin!

10 more days before the FIA Formula One 2006 season start. This is the most anticipating season for me personally because there are too many question that needed to be answered. The answer will only present itself when the season unfold starting March 12, 2006.

What else could be more exciting than watching 22 cars on the grid, with 22 good looking drivers (at least some of them), battle it out on the track to be known literally as the best in motorsport world? I can't think of anything else that can make my adrenalin pumping so hard (Okay... besides when I was in a bookstore but that doesn't count ...) than watching this most prestigious motorsports taking place, creating history every single year.

For those who are clueless, let me brief you on this subject. According to Wikipedia, Formula One which also known as Grand Prix Racing is the highest class of open-seat open-wheel formula auto racing. The grand prix held on close streets or circuits that are purposedly-built all over the world, whose results determine two annual World Championship, one for drivers and the other for constructors.

The rules change again for 2006 season. The most striking is instead of using the normally-aspirated V10 engines, the teams will use V8 engine with displacement of 2.4 litres. Special emphasizes are also put on electronics. aerodynamics, suspensions and tyres.

New qualifying rules were enacted as well which sees the qualifying divided into three segments, the first two being a knock-out heat for a final 20-minute shoot-out between the 10 fastest drivers. The 12 driver eliminated after the two heats will be allowed to refuel their cars at their discretion. However there's a loophole with this complicated new qualifying system. It will create a perverse incentive fo teams to adopt 'go-slow' tactics to save fuel while still adding to their tally of laps. To pre-empt teams exploiting the loophole, FIA had introduced a 110 percent rule. Only laps that are within the 110 percent of a drivers' fastest will be eligible for a fuel credit.

At one time, there were more than 20 cars on the grid but as the years gone by, the cost escalated massively, which force privateers to leave the sports. The latest victims were Sauber and Minardi, both had sold their team to the manufacturer BMW and Red Bull respectively. All hope is not lost yet as there is a new additions to the grid this year with Super Aguri F1 Team, which can also be known as Honda 'B' Team, with the kamikaze Sato and Ide at the wheels. Many predicts that this team will be the next Minardi.

And then we have the usual contenders: Ferrari, Renault, McLaren, Honda and Toyota. These are the favorites to fight for the constructor's title. From the winter testing, it looks like 2006 will be a very interesting year indeed. All of those teams had showed great potential with their race pace although there are still realibilty issues that need to be addressed by a certain team - McLaren. Honda looks set to win the title. Their third driver, Anthony Davidson concluded the last winter test for 2006 by smashing the lap record (01:08:540) at Valencia circuit yesterday which was set the day before by Raikkonen. This proved that V8 can be as fast, if not faster, as V10 engine. Last year World Constructor Championship, Renault, have no problem with either the pace or the realibility which are still their strong point at the moment. They will be the team to beat again this year, make no mistake. After the disastrous season last year, Ferrari is set to redeemed themselves. They had shows some incredible pace throughout the winter testing and with Michael Schumacher determine than ever, other teams should look out for the red-scarlet. Toyota had all the money in the world at their disposal and after 4 years since their race debut, they need to prove that money talks, in this sports specifically.

Lets move on to the midfield teams. We had Williams, Red Bull Racing and BMW Sauber F1. After BMW leave Williams and create their own team by buying Sauber, Williams collaborate with Ford to supply the Cosworth engine for their chassis. People expect them to do well in 2006 particularly because Cosworth is known to developed the V8 engines ahead of everyone else and this could be the advantages needed by Williams. There were nothing to be ashamed of Red Bull Racing debut season last year. They beat the more experience teams like Sauber and Jordan and ended up finishing seventh in the WCC. With Ferrari engine at the back of RB2, they could move up couple of places in the hunt for the title. Since the debut of f1.06, BMW Sauber F1 had wowwed many people with the realibility and the race pace of the car. Since they have the money to further develop their car (which what Sauber lacked of), I wouldn't be surprised if they knocked out Williams.

And so we have the usual suspect for the backmarkers: Midland F1 Racing, Scuderia Toro Rosso (Red Bull Racing 'B' Team) and the newly add Super Aguri F1. For the first time in many years, we could be looking for an interesting fights at the back of the grid. Some of the teams might also have the potential to beat the midfielder.

However it is quite hard to predict who will win the drivers' championship. If Alonso had made himself available instead of signing with McLaren one year before the move take place, I would have pick him - no doubt. Now that he has shoot himself on the foot, it is a toss between him, Michael and Kimi. It has been 2 years in a row where Kimi came close second to the title. I'm sure by now he's ravenous. There is nothing else he want besides to be crowned as the champion. If McLaren didn't rob him from victory with all the realibility issues, he will have no problem clinching the title. Michael want to end his career on the high and winning his 8th title wouldn't be too bad. No one in right mind would have doubts that he can't do it. As for Fernando Alonso, if he gets full commitment from the team (which he has backstabbed) then he can add a second title to his resume simply because Renault is still the team to beat. He might be commited a hundred percent to Renault, but the question remains whether or not the team will commited to him like they did last year.

As for me personally, I will be rooting for BMW Sauber F1 because a) Sauber is my favorite team, b) Nick Heidfeld, c) I love BMW! d) they had Petronas as their premium partner. I predict both Nick and Jacques Villeneuve to finish in top ten, with podium or two under their belt. A win would have been great too. 5th place for the WCC is realistic aim, don't you think?


I hope you enjoy the season, Klux. Have fun at Sepang!

Post a Comment

Do it!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...