The 2012 Formula One Championship - Which way will it blow?
Red Bull Formula One driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany races down the straight during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, March 27, 2011.
In its 63rd edition the Formula One championship features no less than six world champions, two debutant drivers, two new teams, a brand new venue in the USA and even one female test driver, María de Villota!
Before the red lights go out at Melbourne this weekend ten out of twelve teams would have tested, simulated and evaluated their racing machines to the core.
Some would have managed successfully to hide their true performance.
The unfortunate two that haven't had the opportunity are Marussia Racing and Hispania Racing Team. They're proverbial backmarkers in recent Formula One. Both teams failed to pass the mandatory crash tests conducted by the FIA.
They did however do a filming run at Silverstone in UK mainly for sponsors.
What are their chances then against the giants at the front of the grid?
Marussia Racing features Charles Pic, a 22 -year-old F1 rookie from France and the now seasoned German driver Timo Glock. Both will have the chance to understand the capabilities of the MR01 only on Friday the 16th of March at Albert Park, Melbourne.
HRT F1 or Hispania Racing Team features our local hero Narain Karthikeyan. Whether the average Indian F1 fan wants to see him fight at the tail end of the grid, again in a car that's fighting to finish is unclear. But the fact remains that he and his experienced Spaniard teammate Pedro Da La Rosa are among the quickest 24 in the world. That is an achievement by itself.
Towards the tail end of the midfield are Caterham. They were Team Lotus last season and they now field Heikki Kovalainen the Finn and Vitaly Petrov the Russian Renault discard. The CT01 is now fully KERS equipped and their goal surely is to try and beat Williams and Toro Rosso this season.