Vettel off to be the Whizz of Oz

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Philandering husbands and their forgiving wives is the vogue topic for today’s sportsmen. Just like Mrs Terry and Mrs Woods, Formula One fans need to give one more chance to a sport that they had previously enjoyed a fruitful relationship with.

The new rule changes have been ripped apart by every section of the media and derived by fans of motor-racing universally, however the season is only one race in. The likes of Ross Brawn and Michael Schumacher have been calling for people to give it about six or seven races and let the rules settle down.

Bahrain was like a finding yourself in a rainy Skegness having booked a holiday to Barbados; disappointing to say the least. Teams struggled with the new rules, which believe it or not were implemented to keep things closer and more exciting, yet have proved to be positively turgid. Don’t know who was in charge of that one, maybe John Major?

The rules have been heavily dissected so no need to go into too much detail, but having full tanks rules out strategies, stops overtaking and the starting with qualifying tyres is just bizarre. It is preventing the drivers doing their jobs not enhancing the way they do it.

However Schumacher, Brawn, Fernando Alonso and others have come out in support of the rules saying it is early days and everyone needs to get used to them before judging. They are here for at least the season anyway, so it’s time to bite the bullet and just hope things improve, starting in Melbourne.

The Australian Grand Prix was the standard opening circuit for a while before being shunted back by Bahrain. Everyone knows what to expect from Melbourne, plenty of long straights with that menacing hairpin on turn three and a few chicanes separating the straights, normally good for overtaking and will be a true test of the rules.

Sebastian Vettel will go in to this as favourite. The German is beginning to assert his dominance over the other drivers and would have won in Bahrain if his car didn’t let him down. Red Bull look quick, they are not in F1 to promote a fizzy drink, they are there to spray the fizzy champagne.

Outside of that, Ferrari still look the quickest out of the rest of the bunch.  Alonso is going to be up in the running all season and there is a danger that it could become a two-horse race between him and Vettel. Filipe Massa will be keen to get a win under his belt as well and has looked fast so far.

The McLaren boys had mixed fortunes in Bahrain. As expected Lewis Hamilton did the better of the two and Australia holds bad memories for the former champion. Hamilton got his 2009 season off to a nightmare start when he was disqualified following a bit of snide thinking during a safety car lap. It was the darkest day of Hamilton’s career yet when he was found to have purposefully let Jarno Trulli overtake him in safety car conditions, thus earning him a third place finish on the back of a disqualification for Turlli. I think it’s fair to say Hamilton will be looking for a podium place and to exorcise a few demons in the process.

Current champion Jenson Button struggled badly in Bahrain coasting in seventh position where he spent the majority of the race. Button will want to get big points on the board ASAP. The Somerset-born driver needs to really produce the goods to show he isn’t a one-season-wonder, but at no stage since he joined McLaren has he looked quicker than Hamilton. A similar story for the great Schumacher who says he’s still a few races short of “match fitness”. Schumacher needs to show why he is back in the sport and school his younger fellow German Vettel in how to win races consistently.

The second race of the season can’t possibly be as bad as the first and, as the former inaugural race of the season, it would be apt if Melbourne kicked started proceedings with a bang.



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