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Formula One is back!

By BenCee on 25 Mar 2011

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It seemed like only yesterday that we saw Sebastian Vettel clinch the 2010 F1 Championship in Abu Dhabi, but in the blink of an eye, here we are, ready for the new season.

By the time you read this, proceedings for the season-opening 2011 Australian Grand Prix would probably have gotten underway.

I've always been a bit of a fan of Formula One, following the likes of Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen when they battled for the title in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

I know, you might say I'm a latecomer to the scene, missing out on the so-called "glory days" of Senna, Prost and Mansell et al. But different eras attracts different fans. Obviously I respect those guys (and I truly admire the late, great Senna), but that's not what I grew up with.

And, surprise surprise, I'm a supporter of Michael Schumacher. Actually, not so much anymore, as I think he's lost his edge since returning to the scene. I'm more of a tifosi really. That means, I pledge my allegiance to the scarlet red Prancing Horse, Ferrari.

But enough of my rambling about the past. This new season promises to be more exciting (as if the previous one wasn't exciting enough!), with no less than five World Champions on the grid battling for honours. Vettel joins fellow luminaries and past winners like Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button, Fernando Alonso, and of course the legendary Michael Schumacher.

Mark Webber would hope to crash that elite party as well (though not literally I guess). The Red Bull Racing team looks formidable once again, and this might be one of the last chances for the affable Australian to have a crack at the Championship before he retires.

Going from the results of pre-season testing so far, it seems like the pack will be even closer than before. Mercedes GP, the renamed Lotus-Renault (with their fancy black and gold livery) and Sauber have all shown good pace, and you would reckon that they might give the front-runners a good scare at least. Lotus-Renault seemed like the team most likely to challenge for honours, until the unfortunate accident with Robert Kubica. But nevertheless, I'm sure that there will still be lots of action from those three teams, with the likes of Schumacher, Nico Rosberg, "Crazy" Kazuki Nakajima, the Russian Vitaly Petrov, and veteran "Quick" Nick Heidfeld all contesting.

At the back, the three new teams from last season, Team Lotus, Marussia Virgin Racing, and Hispania, will want to improve their performances. Team Lotus, with their solid backing from Malaysia and Dato Tony Fernandes, are tipped to get some points this season, with seasoned campaigners Jarno Trulli and Hekki Kovalainen at the wheel. Hopefully the other two teams don't get left behind fighting for scraps as well.

OK, I think I've said a lot now. It's time for the talking to end, and the action to begin. sgCarMart will be covering the race on their Motorsport section, so you can catch up on all the details if you somehow miss the race.

I know I most certainly won't miss it for the world though.

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