Here are 7 reasons, in no order of priority, of why the 2010 Formula One World Championship is shaping up to be one of the most interesting and exciting championships ever:
1) Button & Hamilton at McLaren – The current and former F1 Champions racing together in the same team. Both are British, racing in a British team but with very different driving styles that has been compared to the different styles of Prost and Senna. Regardless of who you support or comparisons to other rivalries, everyone wants to see if Jenson can measure up to and even beat Lewis?
2) Alonso at Ferrari – The double world champion is now thankfully back in a competitive car with the most prestigious team in F1 history. Always ultra-competitive, he will be counting the milliseconds down until he can start challenging for race victories again. Whether he will be champion or not, who knows, but he will definitely be in thick of the action this year.
3) Michael Schumacher is back – The most successful racing driver ever in F1 history returns to the sport with the current champion constructor, Brawn GP, now called Mercedes GP. This is very exciting. Massive debate has already taken place as to why he is doing it and whether he can be as good as he was before. Even if he’s not at his peak, he will still be very competitive and will feature highly throughout the year. He will give Mercedes GP expert technical input into how to develop their car over the year.
4) Refuelling Ban – All drivers will have to start the race with enough fuel to finish it which will mean for the first time in over 15 years that drivers really will have to learn how to manage their tyres and fuel consumption. Drivers known to have aggressive driving styles (e.g. Alonso & Hamilton) will need to adapt in 2010 to be successful. This will make for interesting races as drivers who are more careful early on will be quicker in the later stages of the race. Drivers will need to be quick and smart.
5) At least 4 Teams at the front – At this moment in time, it is expected that McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes GP and Red Bull will all be up at the front challenging for victories and points. Normally, we get one or maybe two teams fighting it out, but this year we will have a minimum of 4 teams that will be closely matched. It will vary from track to track and as the year progresses, but it is unlikely that one team will be head and shoulders above the rest.
6) Change in Points – 2010 will see a change to the points system that will reward more points to those who finish higher up with the top 10 drivers receiving points as follows: 25-20-15-10-8-6-5-3-2-1. This is similar to the Moto GP points system and the aim is to encourage drivers to overtake and get race wins rather than settle for points.
7) New Teams on the Grid – The arrival of Lotus, Virgin, US F1 and Campos Meta will definitely have an impact on the sport and we will all be interested to see how competitive they are? Bernie Ecclestone has even recently questioned whether they will even make the first race of the season. It will be exciting to see them on the grid as well as observe talents of new drivers such as Bruno Senna, the nephew of Ayrton Senna.
Just one of these reasons alone would make the championship interesting, but combine them together and we are looking at what hopefully will be one of closest fought and exciting championships ever. Every practice, qualifying, race and point will count. I cannot wait.