Formula One: The 26 Car Grid and a New Era for the Sport

Daniel ZylberkanCorrespondent IJune 29, 2009

NORTHAMPTON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 21:  Kazuki Nakajima of Japan and Williams drives during the British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone on June 21, 2009 in Northampton, England.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

One word: Unpredictability.

Despite the 2007 and 2008 championship chases, Formula One has been in a "drama slump" as of late.  It did come down to the last race of the season, but the championship contenders were whittled to a Ferrari and a McLaren driver rather quickly.

The 2009 championship started out with complete Brawn GP and Jenson Button domination, and it still has time to become a two horse race for the drivers' and contructors' championship with Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel trying to make a charge.

But, there hasn't been any real drama.

Everyone knows who the front runners, the mid-field, and the back markers are going to be. But, starting in 2010 with some new teams and drivers coming into the sport, the familiar order of Formula One will inevitably change.

Force India and Scuderia Toro Rosso will definitely benefit the most from the entry of the new teams.  Teams and drivers, who have become accustomed to finishing in the back, will more than likely not be able to have better campaigns than teams who've never raced in Formula One before.

But, on the other hand, maybe teams whose expectations will be low in their first year will be able to excel. Graham Rahal, Bruno Senna, and maybe Pedro de la Rosa could perhaps be some drivers, both young and old, that will be given that chance.

They will have something to prove in their first season in the sport to begin with, or as a second chance to prove their skill.

Also, new teams and new drivers provide just "more" in every sense: more racing, more drama, more drama in Q1 and Q2, and a new spirit, especially after this 2009 season that has turned the Formula One world on its head.

2010 will be the start of a new era in Formula One:

The familiar monopoly on podiums by Ferrari and McLaren will end.

Maybe three or four teams will compete for drivers' and constructor's championships.

It is also the return of independent teams running a low cost Cosworth V8.  The essence of the greatness of wharf made Formula One for two decades.

It may very well be the beginning of a new era of legitimate rivalries in the sport.  Vettel, Kubica, Button, Massa, and Hamilton all have legitimate chances of winning championships in the next few years.

I very rarely agree with Max Mosley, if you've read any of my previous articles on here. But, it's hard to disagree that enormous budgets have priced out the smaller independent teams from legitimately competing against the manufacturer backed teams. 

So, cost cutting and restraint will bring back true competition to Formula One. It won't be who has the largest budget, but who can do the most with the money they have.

Starting in 2010, Formula One will come back to its roots, and the sport will be all the better for it.