Can you hear the scream of the engines or the start of The Chain yet?

Posted on February 26, 2012

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Eleven of the 12 cars have been unveiled and testing is well underway – and yet Coffee Powered Racing has been more HRT than Red Bull Racing in getting out of the garage.

Sebastian Vettel remains the man to beat in 2012. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

But the blog is back for a third season. There’s a fresh lick of paint going on the walls and the Sky deal is forcing many of us out of our armchairs and into the bars – hopefully the blogging  won’t be too messy.

There should be a lot to look forward too. We have a record breaking six champions on the grid, Kimi Raikkonen back with Lotus and the blown diffuser banned, hopefully reigning in Red Bull.

That said, there is nothing at all to suggest Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull will not be the team to beat again. The 2012 regulations are an evolution, not a revolution, and there is no reason to think Adrian Newey will have slipped behind in the ideas race.

What little we can glean from testing suggests the top outfits may be closer than last year but it really is impossible to tell for sure until the cars are lapping in anger in Melbourne. Certainly we all live in hope we can look forward to a closer championship than we saw in 2011!

Unfortunately, as has been well documented watching live this year is going to be more difficult. The Sky deal is taking 10 live race weekends off of terrestrial TV. In particular, this is going to make following practice and qualifying more difficult: I await with interest full broadcast schedules for Radio 5Live.

Fortunately, in London at least, options are emerging. I’m attending Badger GP’s Breakfast Bash for the Australian Grand Prix, which even though it means getting up and out at a ridiculous hour even for a fly-away, looks a fun event.

And F1 in Pubs appear to be doing a laudable job in organising regular events for other races, all out of a single venue. Such initiatives won’t survive without support but hopefully enough fans will come along to make it worthwhile.

Silverstone is once again on the agenda too, which adds a healthy dose of excitement to the year. A long weekend in July with nothing but the scream of the engines to worry about isn’t a bad prospect to look forward too – maybe with some British success this year?

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Posted in: Formula One, News