15 March 2007

Part One: 2007 FIA Formula One Championship Preview

40237_070041aus_780x520_1 In this Part One of the 2007 FIA Formula One Championship Preview, I am going to touch on the seats-swapped for several drivers this year, the rookies, the engine deals and also the one and only tyre supplier for this season, Bridgestone.

It’s a brand new start of the season as the Australian GP closed it curtain to make ways for the 2006 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix that will be held on April 8, 2007. This is also the first post-Schumacher season and there are plenty of things for motorsports fans to look forward to.

First let’s take a look at the seats swapped. The double World Champion Fernando Alonso started the season with a new team Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, replacing his nemesis Kimi Raikkonen who is filling a very big shoe of Michael Schumacher at the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro. So far both Alonso and Raikkonen have been doing pretty impressive with their new team. Seemingly they have no problem adapting to their new working environment. Mark Webber moves from WilliamsF1 Team to Red Bull Racing. He will be partnering the oldest driver on the grid David Coulthard.

There are practically 5 rookies this year if you want to include Robert Kubica who had a splendid debut with BMW Sauber F1 Team last year and Anthony Davidson who had been filling several seats for Minardi and Super Aguri for the past several years. The eyes however are focuses on the GP2 Champion Lewis Hamilton who is driving for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes and Heikki Kovalainen who is driving for the ING Renault F1 Team. Both are young and mega talented and it came to no surprise if there are mountains of hopes on their shoulder to fight for the Championship this year. Adrian Sutil is not really a new face on the grid as he had been the third and Friday driver for Midland F1 Racing team last year. He is replacing Tiago Monteiro and has his own battle to win, which is to outpace his team mate Christijan Albers every other weekend.

Ferrari is supplying engines to Scuderia Toro Rosso while Renault will be supplying engines to Red Bull Racing. It will be interesting to see which one of these two teams will come out on top. It will prove one way of the other how good and reliable is the engine compared to the other. WilliamsF1 Team supplies Panasonic Toyota Racing with it seamless gearbox while Toyota supplies engines to the team. Wiliams is eager to bounce back from the worst ever result from last season and perhaps with the Toyota engine at the back of the FW28 car they may challenge for the top spot again. Toyota of course would not want to miss on the fun and it is a question mark whether they will give Williams the same engine specifications as the one that they will be using. Surely they do not one to see Williams finish ahead of them in the Championship? Super Aguri F1 Team (or also known as Honda’s B Team) will continue using Honda engines.

There are no more Michelin tyres for the team this year. Bridgestone will supply all tyres to the teams which means there are no more tyre war. Bridgestone supply two types of tyres for the race weekend which are the soft compound and the hard compound. The teams need to use these two sets of tyres during the course of the race. It is mandatory. Soft compound is more risky over long distance but have more grip than the harder tyres. It will be a strategy call for the team to use which tyre for the car and at what time will be perfect to change it.

We will continue with the teams and their drivers that will be contested in this year’s Championship in Part Two of the 2007 FIA Formula One Championship Preview.


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