The 2009 Formula One season will start with the biggest change since 2005 when one set of tires had to last for the entire qualifying and race.
With a whole slew of bodywork modifications, a kinetic energy recovery system (KERS) and much more, this sport has taken a page from other motorsports to truly create something that will have us scratching our heads.
The bodywork modification is not something that I totally subscribe to. This is mainly because I have gotten used to the notion of sleek and rounded, not sharp and boxy. I will extend an olive branch here though that at least the sidepods are not boxed in like they were five or six years ago so a degree of slickness is appreciated.
However, the other aspects like slick tires, which will increase grip, as well as the KERS system will be something to watch.
As a result of these changes, the sport has turned unpredictable. It used to be that I could say that it was going to be Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, or another team would win simply based on if they got pole position or were fast but carrying a heavy load of fuel.
With these changes and more to come in the following years, I have found it difficult to decide on who will win the world championship.
These past two years used to be a straight fight between McLaren and Ferrari, with the occasional proxy battle resulting in BMW, Toro Rosso, or Renault winning, but the net result being in favour of either the English or Italian team.
But with all these new features, could it be BMW breaking onto the top step more often? Will it be Renault who will take glory after a two year absence or will teams further down the grid take their first or, in the case of Williams, a long overdue win?
Also adding to the unpredictability is the world champion's team boss, Ron Dennis. As had been said last year, Ron Dennis was looking to retire after his team had won a championship. With Lewis Hamilton carrying the number one on his car this year, Dennis has chosen to take a lesser role within the McLaren Mercedes team.
This also adds to the destiny of the McLaren team. With Ron Dennis starting to make his way out, could Mercedes-Benz finally make the call to buy out McLaren and become another manufacturer team? Could 2009 be McLaren's last year that they are contending for a championship?
2009 is a year of huge change with appearances of the cars to the change in management for a top team as well as the introduction of new systems not seen before in the sport.
Who will win it all?
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