The most anticipated F1 season ever started at Bahrain two weeks back but it turned out to be a very boring encounter with virtually qualifying, the first corner and a faulty Renault engine deciding the outcome of the race rather than some real wheel to wheel action which was badly missing. Though there may not be drastic changes at Albert Park but with some predictions of rain, it may throw a surprise result with Schumacher and Vettel arguably two of the best wet track drivers fighting it out but all depends on the success of the rain dance crew organized by the Red Bull team.
Ferrari had the perfect start with Alonso and Massa coming 1-2 with Alonso making a perfect Ferrari debut by winning his first race for the team while Massa showed no signs of rustiness made a very good comeback after a horrific accident last season. Though Massa might have been ok to let Alonso go to the finish line without a challenge at Bahrain but at Albert Park if he is not far behind he would not hesitate to fight with Alonso to challenge for a win.
The Red Bulls may have the best car on the grid but their Renault engine has once again let them down and if the engine is not consistent expect another season of near miss for the team as Vettel has a very good chance of becoming the youngest world champion this season while teammate Webber can be the most unexpected winner of the championship since Keke Rosberg.
McLaren and Hamilton will be thanking their lucky stars for a podium finish but if they need to score podium again they need to up their game to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull while they also need to keep a close eye on the Mercedes team as they are expected to perform well this weekend and already both Rosberg and Schumacher finished ahead of the reigning champion Button at Bahrain.
Force India has high hopes for this season and the way the car performed so far this season has given all indication that they do have a realistic chance of finishing 5th ahead of their immediate rivals like Williams, Renault and Sauber. They have already scored points and if they manage to outpace a top 4 team don’t be too surprised while Williams did have a decent start but they need to something extra special to match the top 4 teams as finishing ahead of the mid pack is not a great achievement for Williams who used to be a top team in the 80’s and the 90’s.
Renault may be the dark horse of the season and as the season progress they should be catching up with the bigger teams while Kubica may even get a few podium places towards the 2nd half of the season while Petrov who had a decent debut would want to prove a point that he deserves his place on the grid.
Sauber and Toro Rosso both would have been disappointed with the results in Bahrain and Sauber just cannot have 2 cars retiring for a team which has been racing for the better part of the last 2 decades while Toro Rosso need to up their game to score points. Right now they yet do not have the pace of Renault, Williams and Force India but if updates they can catch up with them very soon.
Among the new comers Lotus impressed the most and though they did finish the race this season could be the one for them where they will go through a whole season without scoring but it should be good for them as they should be more focussed on 2011 rather than this season. Virgin Racing proved that CFD can be a thing to look at for underfunded teams while HRT racing getting away with putting two rookies without any F1 experience in an untested F1 is something where the whole community should be happy as there were no incidents.
Hope it rains in Albert Park and this could turn the race into a very exciting contest which all F1 fans do deserve given the hype this season has had.
Australian GP Top 10 Predictions
1. Sebastien Vettel
2. Fernando Alonso
3. Mark Webber
4. Felipe Massa
5. Michael Schumacher
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Lewis Hamilton
8. Jenson Button
9. Robert Kubica
10. Nico Hulkenberg