Australin Grand Prix Preview

Craig LeMoineContributor IMarch 24, 2009

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 02: Giancarlo Fisichella (R) of Italy is forced to start from the pit lane after his Renault stalled on the grid during the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at the Albert Park Circuit on April 02, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Torsten Blackwood-Pool/Getty Images)

After what has seemed like the longest off season in years Formula One is ready to kick off again this Sunday, but not,once again with it share of issues.

The first major issue is the revamping of the rules regarding aerodynamics.In all fairness the turns out to be a non issue as it affects all the teams equally.No one was able to modify a 2008 spec car into a 2009 spec car,so everyone had to go back to the beginning and start over,

The results have been fairly interesting with the majority of the designers coming to the same design conclusions.

There are some interesting variations such as the Adrian Newey cars, but on the whole the cars seem to be fairly even in design aspects. The new movable font wing element should prove interesting to see in action as will the KERS system some of the teams will debut at Melbourne.

The major design controversy will of course be the much written about rear diffuser area. Three teams have had a look at the rules and come up with variations that appear to work much better than the solutions that other teams have come up with,so much better that there will be at least one protest filed in Melbourne by Red Bull against Brawn GP.

I guess anything less would be disappointing given the current state of F1.

The new rules have been designed to make it easier for cars to pass one another and make the racing closer,only the racing and time will tell.

The drivers line up for Melbourne 2009 is pretty much the same as it was in 2008 no major changes to speak of which will help the racing..everyone knows everyone else and how they drive and what can be expected.We should see some good racing from all the teams this year.

Kazuki Nakajima at Williams has been showing some good form in testing and may be a driver worth keeping an eye on,and my favorite driver in F1 Rubens Barrichello finally has a decent car to drive.

Rubens still has the will  to win and its good to see that Brawn GP realized this,if the car stays fast look for Rubens to place well all year long. This may also be the year that Jenson Button will finally make his mark in F1,one would hope so for his sake.

Melbourne is a fast track with a fairly tricky start,the first corner is an accident looking for 20 F1 cars to appear.

Given the new low mounted wide wings this will be the place for everyone to keep an eye on,once past here we can look for some fast paced racing. Look for Ferrari, BMW and Brawn GP to be very strong at Melbourne but don't write off the McLaren's in spite of the slow pre-season pace and Renault will be worth looking at given their end of season pace last year and their new equal power engines

It wil be interesting to see how Mercedes keeps up with being a supplier for three teams this year,will McLaren get all the good bits and Brawn GP and Force India get "B" team parts or will all three be running the same stuff?  You can bet that their will be more on that as the season progresses.

So,Sunday kicks off the 2009 season and as of this point there are no real front runners,we've read the testing reports but testing is not racing and anyone can go fast by themselves. 

Picks for Melbourne....a Ferrari win for Kimi with Robert Kubica second in the BMW. Third place is a wild card win for  ether Rubens in the Brawn or Kazuki in the Williams..let the racing begin...Finally!