Will Australia be better?

Posted on March 25, 2010

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Formula One fans will be stocking up on the coffee this week as the circus arrives in Melbourne but will it be worth getting up early?

Bahrain was a snooze-fest. It’s been well documented, everyone’s had their say. Suffice to say the problem was not entirely down to the desert track – though the absurdly long lap didn’t help. The sheer robustness of the tyres seems to me to be the bigger issue but there is no indication Bridgestone will do anything about that in-season.

The FIA clamping down on some of the more extreme diffusers might help a bit but all of the cars are running double diffusers. And the shorter lap time means the cars will have to be closer together – though Melbourne is famously difficult to pass on.

So what to expect? Schumacher has been feisty in the press today, telling people to judge him by results full in the knowledge he has never been beaten over a season by a teammate and only twice in every session of a weekend – the second of which being Bahrain.

Red Bull will be quick. Webber’s on home soil and fighting off retirement rumours which have, apparently, been started by Lewis so I think he’ll go very well. It’s probably a race between Christian Horner’s outfit and Ferrari.

The McLaren squad is downplaying its chances, saying they aren’t quick enough in qualifying. It’s a shame the car is not up to scratch early in the season – again – and the concern has to be the focus on creating an effective B-Spec car in 2009 has caused the problem.

Among the midfield and backmarkers, it will fascinating to see if Sauber can move up after nicking McLaren’s f-duct system. It will be a useful way of finding out much the system is really worth. I’d guess not much in practice, but we’ll see. Personally, I’d love to see Kobayashi in the thick of it on the twistier sections of Albert Park.

HRT say they want to finish and we’ve got to hope both they and Virgin can do better than Bahrain’s series of mechanical disasters. Lotus will hope not to come dead last but that’s probably only possible if one of the HRTs or Virgins makes it to the chequered flag.

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Posted in: Formula One