After three flyaway races and three weeks off after those races, Formula One makes its gallant return to Europe this weekend with the first of three races being held in Barcelona before flying off to Montreal in June.
As it stands, Ferrari driver and world champion Kimi Räikkönen leads the championship with 19 points over Nick Heidfeld of BMW-Sauber, who has 16. McLaren-Mercedes star Lewis Hamilton rounds out the top three with 14 points, on level with Robert Kubica and McLaren teammate Heikki Kovaleinen.
One of the biggest surprises so far is BMW-Sauber leading the constructor's championship with one point over Ferrari and two over McLaren. Of course, with the upcoming Grand Prix, BMW hope to retain their lead in the constructors for the first time.
After a bad race in Bahrain almost three weeks ago where Lewis Hamilton netted zero points for only the third time in his career, he intends to come back strong in Europe.
He said he wants to "make sure what happened at the beginning of the race never happens again," in reference to his shunt with his former teammate Fernando Alonso back in Bahrain.
On the other hand, Kimi Räikkönen is rather upbeat about going to Spain as the leader of the championship. On his personal website, Räikkönen says, "Obviously I prefer being the leader from the chaser I used to be (in) almost every season. Keeping all the others behind me in the race would mean keeping them behind me in the championship too."
Of course, testing was performed in Barcelona by all but Super Aguri, who have been having financial troubles ever since the Magma Group's Dubai backing did not go through as planned. However, it seems like there is a renewed interest in the team again, according to F1-Live.com, so we cannot fully discount the Leafield-based team from Formula One just yet.
All in all, Formula One is in full swing, and with its return to Europe, this can only be a sign that summer is just beginning. Enjoy the race on Sunday.