Formula 1 is back in town!

By | March 13, 2008

Its that time of the year again. The time when 22 mean and fast machines line up in a row, waiting for the five sets of lights to go red. Yes, it is Formula 1 time again.

The last season was nothing short of spectacular. The simmering rivalry between rookie Lewis Hamilton & his champion team-mate Fernando Alonso was the talk of most of the season, until F1 was engulfed in the ugliest controversy the sport has seen in years. The spying scandal saw McLaren stripped of all its constructor’s title points, and short of $100 million. The drivers’ championship did go down to the wire, with Hamilton & Alonso losing the championship by just one point to Ferrari’s Raikonnen.

But 2008 is going to be a totally different season, with major changes in rules.

One of the most important changes made by FIA, aimed at bringing the focus back on drivers from technology, is removal of traction control. In simple terms, traction control is what helps drivers keep the car on the track while negotiating a corner at high speeds, with reduced risk of flying off the track(technically speaking, to avoid understeer/oversteer).

Figuratively speaking, this puts the driver back in the driver’s seat. Most of the accidents in F1 happen on fast corners, including the notorious one in 1994 that caused the death of Ayrton Senna. Removal of all traction control systems will make the races really interesting to watch, and put the drivers’ real talents to test. On its part, FIA has indicated its resolve to make races safer for drivers, teams are being made to increase the height of the cockpit padding, to enhance head protection in case of an impact.

Another small, yet eco-friendly change has been made by FIA. From 2008, it is mandatory for the fuel used in F1 cars to have at least 5.75% bio matter.This would make all engines to be bio-fuel compliant, and it certainly is music to the environmentalists’ ears.

2008 is also going to host the first ever night race in Formula 1 history! The Singapore Grand Prix in September is going to be a night race, that starts at 8.00 pm Singapore time. Even though team bosses have gone public expressing safety concerns over racing in the night, it sure is going to be an eye candy for all F1 lovers.

Now to the teams. The most major re-shuffle was announced in late season 2007, with Alonso deciding to part ways with McLaren & go back to Renault. 2008 also has a new team on the F1 block, team Force India. This team has been formed by the Indian billionaire Dr. Vijay Mallya who purchased the bottom-of-the-table Spyker team, and put a boost of $60 million in it. With this team, F1 bosses would look to make F1 popular in the land of cricket. India, which is already looking out to host a F1 race will get a big boost to its race claims with the performance of Force India.

All eyes will also be on Lewis Hamilton, who had the best season for a rookie ever in F1 history. He came close to writing a new chapter in F1 history by winning the championship in his first year, but missed out by just one point. Another man who missed out the title by one point was Alonso, who was looking to make it two in a row in 2007.

So what to look forward in 2008? Kimi is a cool-headed yet resolute driver, has on his side the tacit pit-lane planning of Ferrari. Hamilton stays with McLaren, and after an astounding first year, no one can ignore this rookie who hardly allows anyone to overtake him & has one of the most aggressive maneuvers seen on the track. Alonso is one hard-headed driver, who leaves nothing to chance, and likes to leave his opponents into dust. Couple these with some exciting drivers like Massa, Button, Kovalainen, Heidfeld, Barrichello, Fisichella and the lot, and you have an exciting line up of 22 cars at the start line.

This is going to be one hell of a season. So strap yourselves in, and be prepared for the adrenalin rush of a lifetime.

Coz Formula 1 is back in town.

Author’s notes:
Technical details & rule changes courtesy

One thought on “Formula 1 is back in town!

  1. Fel

    Caught the last laps of F1 Canadian Grand Prix. Was marvellous and Kubica really drove in top form.

    Proud moment for those Poles I’d say, where they give one in the eye to the Germans and the Swiss. 😉


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