A quick programming note before we get started. As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t been around much lately. Unfortunately, that’s going to continue to be the case for the foreseeable future. I’ve had some other things come up that have required my full attention, and those will continue to take precedence for the next few months, if not longer. That said, I am still going to try to write up as many race previews for the upcoming Formula 1 season as possible, as short as they may be. This week’s will be very short.
Also, for those of you new to HFTE that may have missed it the first time, I wrote a Beginner’s Guide to Formula 1 Racing back in January that should help you better understand the sport.
The 2013 Formula 1 season kicks off this weekend from the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit from Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia. The video below is an in-depth track preview, narrated by former F1 test driver, Anthony Davidson. This preview is a part of the F1 video game series by Codemasters, but it is incredibly realistic, and will give you a great understanding of the track. (Side note: for those of you who like racing video games, I can’t recommend the F1 series enough. The first few hours of gameplay are incredibly frustrating and difficult, but it’s worth it once you start to get the hang of it.)
What to watch for:
The Rookies - I was going to give a long breakdown of each, but this morning BadgerGP.com posted a better rookie preview than I would have been able to come up with, so go read that. It’s good stuff.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes – I touched on this in the “Beginner’s Guide,” so I won’t spend too much time on it here, but Lewis Hamilton’s switch to the Mercedes team is going to be one of the main story lines throughout the season. The Mercedes team had a strong showing in the Barcelona testing sessions two weeks ago, with Nico Rosberg claiming the fastest combined time, with Hamilton taking the third-fastest time. I’ve also bet on Hamilton winning the Drivers’ Championship this year. Let’s hope he does.
Red Bulls - The Red Bull team is fast. Very fast. They also happen to have the best aerodynamicist in all of motorsports, Adrian Newey, on their team. A quick perusal of his Wikipedia page should tell you everything you need to know about Newey. His job is to win Championships, and he does exactly that. I probably should have mentioned that in the Beginner’s Guide, but alas, I did not. (h/t VidaBlueMan for the reminder) They are the odds on favorites to repeat.
Fernando Alonso - He took second place overall last year. He was the 2nd fastest car in testing at Barcelona this year. He’s won the Drivers’ Championship before. In addition to Hamilton, he’s the other driver I’ve bet on to win it this year. Let’s hope one of the two of them does.
Pirelli Tires – They experienced unusually high levels of tire degradation during the Barcelona testing sessions. Don’t worry though, it was just a weather thing. There’s nothing to worry about once the season gets underway. [gulp]