Welcome Formula One 2009!

Madan GopalCorrespondent IMarch 22, 2009

The start of yet another F1 season is just a week away, in fact just four days more in the USA to watch the "amazing" cars and listen to the "awesome" sounds of the F1 engines during Friday practice.

With the new rules and regulations involving the tires, the aerodynamics and in my opinion, somewhat odd-looking cars, it is going to be an interesting season from the very first race itself.

There is this "uncertainty" about which of the teams are going to dominate from the first race itself.

The reason for this "uncertainty" is due to the new rules and regulations, unknown performance details involving "slicks" (tires), the use of Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).

In the past couple of seasons, it was easy to point out the "top" teams based on their performance during testing.

But that is no longer the case this year, as instead of the usual picks like Ferrari, McLaren, BMW, there is a new team called Brawn F1, (Honda team of last year) with the master strategist Ross Brawn at the helm.

If the season could be decided just based on the testing performance, I guess Brawn F1 can be crowned champions for this year, although the testing times again do not indicate the fuel level etc of the cars.

Consider this for a moment. Autosport F1 recently analyzed the teams based on their testing in Barcelona. Their verdict: Brawn F1 followed by Toyota, BMW and then Ferrari, with McLaren near the other end.

Again, all these are speculations based on the particular individual or interpreter. As much as reading such comparisons is "enlightening" and sometimes "funny", I guess we will get to know in four days, three hours...when the first practice gets underway Down Under!

It is going to be an absolutely wonderful season, and hopefully the teams that showed "sufficient" promise during testing can live up the performance and let us have four to five teams competing for wins in each race, rather than the usual two.

Being a big fan of Kimi Raikkonen, I believe that we might see a rejuvenated Kimi and Ferrari this year, and there is no better sight in Formula 1 than seeing the Iceman in full flow!

My bet for the "darkhorse" this year: Force India F1

The top four teams in contention for Melbourne: Ferrari, Brawn GP, BMW, and Renault.

Keep your picks coming and let us all join and Say "Gentlemen, start your engines" in four days and three hours!!