By Theydon Bois.
Welcome to Post Webber era of Formula 1, and therefore a more enjoyable outlook on the Australian Grand Prix without having to worry about what slice of bad luck the man will suffer this year.
To celebrate Webber’s exit they came up with as many changes as possible to make it interesting without him in the field. New V6 Turbo engines, downforce limiting regs, less fuel and more energy recovery, nose sections that can be compared to a variety of animals are all designed to shake up the F1 landscape after Vettel and Red Bull domination. Going on Winter Testing, they have been very successful.
Winter Testing is the Methadone for F1 fans who have been starved of anything F1 for a while, and as the forums become more of a playground and less interesting or relevant it was nice to have something concrete to talk about. There certainly were no shortage of talking points from the testing.
The major two is the form of the Mercedes team, and the lack of for Red Bull. Whilst Mercedes seem to have found a sweet spot with their car, Red Bull have struggled with the Renault engine and their own issues trying to house it. When Vettel and Marko are talking up a retirement assisted points scoring finish you know there’s some issue for them to deal with.
Other teams being dragged forward along courtesy of their Mercedes engines are the Force India and Williams teams. One would be a welcome return for a much loved team, who hope to return to turn of their glory days instead of their steady Tyrrell like decline of the past few years. The move of Maldonaldo to Lotus-Renault is another reason to like the team again. Force India being the other team have the promising driver line up of Hulkenberg and Perez and car. Both drivers in a hurry to prove to the top teams that passing them over is a mistake. One more recently shafted than the other.
Ferrari have been accused of sandbagging in recent days by former driver Mika Salo, and it will be interesting to see how right he is in a few days time. The intra team battle between two champions could be just as interesting as the season itself. Ferrari powered Marussia look like they may well have taken as step forward, and it’s about time one of the new teams get close. If the car is reliable enough there’s plenty of chance for a point or two in Melbourne and in Chilton is a man who finished every race in his first season. He may well end up battling Vettel for the final point according to them.
McLaren welcome a new Magnussen, who has slightly less promise than his father, but hopefully slightly less disappointment in F1. The question being will a McLaren rookie pester another World Champion first year. Some new recruits at Toro Rosso and Caterham and a very welcome return of Kamui Kobayashi will brighten up the back of the grid.
Oh, almost forgot Sauber. That’s just the way they like it.
So, as a one off the poor football tipster is going to see if he’s any better at F1.
Here’s hoping for a classic race. Unreliability, shake up of order and Melbourne’s weather look set to provide what the punters want.
Mercedes Winning Team – either driver – $2.00
Nico Hulkenberg (Podium) – $7.50
Max Chilton (Top 10) – $8.00
1st Retirement – Kobayashi – $15.00
THE CAN YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN BET ON IT?
Winning Time Thousandths – you can bet on the last digit of the total race time.
E.g. (hh:mm:ss.xx0) – $9.50 for the win for any digit 0 – 9.
A bet surely for the purists, or people with far too much money.