Well friends, the time is here. Our version of the Daytona 500. Except the men have more teeth and the women have hairy legs.,
There have been some changes in the off season. Let's review:
- Brawn GP. One year old. Won it all. Bought by Mercedes.
- Toyota. Now that was an expensive recall.
- BMW. May still be a sponsor but is not making the engines and does not own the team.
- Refueling: Banned. Fuel tanks now about triple the size they were. Pit stops are fast and still exciting even without Massa dragging his fuel rig down the pit lane like newlyweds drag shoes and cans.
- 10 Point point system. Now the top ten drivers get points with the winner getting 25, second gets 18, third with 15. Trulli and Kubica still get 0.
- Jensen Button: Current reigning world champion is gone (well, gone from the former Brawn team). He's now paired with Lewis Hamilton and fully expected to return to his root strengths (crying like a jilted schoolgirl because his team doesn't kiss his ass) As much as I respected his earnest passion to win in F1, I don't think this is going to be a good move for him.
- Mercedes GP: The first Mercedes full constructor/engine F1 effort since 1955. Nico Rosberg gets to play apprentice to Michael Shumacher.
- Team Lotus. Jarno Trulli has a new team to blame and different livery to scatter across the gravel traps. Heiki Kovalainen here as well.
- HRT. Spanish team Used to be Campos.
- Virgin Racing. Funded, designed,and driven by mega-mogul Sir Richard Branson. When asked the inevitable "Who do you think you are?" Branson replied, "Didn't they tell you, baby? I'm Richard Branson." Very Beeblebrox, man, very Beeblebrox. Ok so Branson isn't actually driving, It's Glock and Luca di Grassi... but you know how cool that would have been.
- Vitaly Petrov new at Renault. "In Soviet Union, car drive you!"
- Bruno Senna. The nephew of the greatest driver of all time will likely not live up to his family reputation but at least we'll get to reminisce about Ayrton during the inevitable flashback/comparison spots.
- Nico Hulkenberg. Don't know anything about him but how cool would it be if he changed colors when he lost races. "Nico SMASH!"
- Fernando "I cut you with my eyebrows" Alonso is now with Ferrari. (Causing both Mike and I much strife. He hates Alonso, I hate Ferrari ). So two short latin crybabies on the same team. This is going to be good.
- 12 noon to 1 PM ish...
Rockband/Beatles Rock Band... some sort of banding of rocking and such. Maybe some three part harmony, even. Snacks
- 3-4 we transition to watching qualifying. Snacks
- 5 PM
Rock Band/General whatever and grilling of Sausages, Hidden Valley Ranch Burgers, and Hot dogs.
- 6 PM ish Start the race. Snacks
That's about it. Hope to see you guys there.
So this season is going to be pretty damn cool.
As much as I have come to loathe those crimson ninjas, I have to admit that they make a fine automobile and are relentless in their passion for winning. With Alonso's skill and Ferrari's muscle, this could be another good year for Alonso. There is a lot of decent competition this year. Will Mercedes be able to continue what Brawn started? The other teams were really catching up toward the end of last season.
I'm hoping Kubica will get a decent shot. He had some nice drives but got way screwed with BMW's program.
I love the idea of starting the race with the fuel you are going to use for the entire race. That's drama waiting to happen. They'll never bring back a no speed-limit pit lane, but that was cool to see as well.
Let's see how it unfolds.