So...A New Era of Formula 1 Begins

Andrew DaviesCorrespondent IMarch 9, 2009

Here we go then, another year, another season of F1. This one however has got me more excited than previous years.

There is the return of slick tyres, last used in the 1997 season. There is the introduction of the KERS device, a first for the Motor-sport.

And there has been the introduction of tall and thin rear wings, wide and low wings for the front along with the 'smoothing' of every car's aerodynamics.

All of these factors should produce some lively results for the first 6 Grand Prix of the season. I really do not want to take a punt on who will be fastest, but, like many others I am going to go for a Red Bull being close to winning in Melbourne.

It would be fantastic to see either of the Red Bull stable on top, but even more I would like to see Mark Webber. It would be great for Mark, himself suffering a broken leg over the winter. He has recovered well and has even been testing the new car.

And to win his Home Grand Prix would be fantastic. I think everyone would agree with me- there is no one in the pit-lane who would not be pleased to see Mark on top.

I think I have gone for Red Bull because the last time the cars had a major overhaul, McLaren were fast out of the blocks. And we all know that Adrian Newey helped design McLaren cars.

Who knows, I have made a punt anyway, and I am going to stick with a Red Bull. Another team who I think might do well is Toyota. I think they are looking good. Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock will be fast this year.

It is just so hard to judge where all the cars are at.

Glad to see that Honda F1, now Brawn GP, will be at the season opener. I was worried they would not make it at one point. Then there was all the talk of Virgin buying Honda F1.

I never really thought that would happen, Sir Richard Branson I am sure is aware how good F1 is for sponsorship, but does he need it? I guess it would be good for Virgin but not right now.

''There's so much that's great about Formula 1," Branson told sky news. "But there are aspects that need to be tackled.

But it all turned out well in the end, with a Management led buyout being confirmed a few days ago on Friday. The team are in Barcelona testing as I write this very article.

All of the cars look very different, I am however getting used to it, and they do not look so bad. I still believe having tall and thin rear wings with low and wide wings at the front makes the car look out of proportion, but after seeing all the cars, it is not so bad.

Although Renault has definitely made not the best looking car! Let us wait and see if it has the speed. The smartest looking cars on the grid for me are the Red Bull, Toyota and the Ferrari. Looks are not everything as we all know, however!

As for drivers taking the title this year, well there is no way you can predict it. I am going to pick four drivers. And they are Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica, and Sebastian Vettel.

For some reason, I don't think Renault will have a good car. But well, Alonso is a fantastic driver. But I have picked my four.

Welcome also to Sebastian Buemi, a new kid on the block as all the other drivers have had at least one season under their belts. Barrichello has 16 under his!

There are plenty of races on offer to win, 17 in all. One track will be new to the calendar, and it is also the last race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Should be a great place, similar to Monaco it winds round a Marina. And a bizarre twist, the pit-lane exit will go underneath Turn One.

It also has a series of slow corner. longish straight, heavy braking corners. Overtaking opportunities galore then.

As for it being a new era, well it is. The cars are completely different in style. Slick tyres. KERS. And lots of young fast drivers.

It also a new era for the fans in terms of where it will be seen, as F1 moves from ITV to BBC.

Really happy to see that Martin Brundle will be on the commentary team, I think he's a great commentator. We will even get some Murray Walker in some shape or form too. Ted Kravitz also joins the BBC.

Well, this is more a pep talk than an article. Just excited about the new season!

Good luck to all F1 teams, Broadcasters, and Bleacher Report writers for this year.