When the lights go out in the first grand prix of 2010 the twenty six strong field will be the largest rostrum of drivers seen for over ten years. This is most certainly a good thing as it will provide a greater impetus for performance when you consider that last year only one driver who drove in every race failed to score a point.
Points have become slightly easier to access than in previous decades it has to be said, so with further drivers to contend with comes more responsibility to gain these accolades.
The increase in competition has not stopped the teams however from joining forces and continuing the re-branding of the sport into the next decade of ultimate racing.
The teams have seemingly decided to collectively unveil their 2010 cars in one huge launch as opposed to the thirteen separate events we thought likely.
Individual launches have often given a team the opportunity to advertise their intentions for the upcoming season and to stake their claim to the constructors’ title. It is also the unveiling of the full unit for the impending season with drivers included. We see a team ready for action.
So why would teams decide to join together and celebrate their new machines mutually and therefore share the exposure instead of taking it all for themselves?
In a word I think it is inclusion.
The decision builds upon the unifying aspect introduced back into the sport in recent seasons which has allowed teams to be brought closer together in competition and additionally in the ability to perform.
Teams have effectively found themselves with equal status with the budget cap in place and additional rules which have meant that the big boys could not flash their cash to the top step of the podium, leaving the independents struggling to keep up.
Last season saw the success of newcomers Brawn GP and therefore the resultant resurgence of Ferrari and Mclaren in the latter stages of the race calendar.
Both former front-running teams were seemingly flawed and embarrassed by their lack of performance in the early stages and this gave them inspiration to claw their way back to the forefront. This in turn provided us with race weekends we could fully become engrossed in, opposing the banal and often dreary weekends we had come to known since the turn of the millennium.
Although their early frustration by not heading the field was detrimental to their own visions of the sport, for everyone else it allowed them to feel more accomplished in a sport that had become so controlled by bank balances.
Formula 1 began a new era of brains over money in the battle to be king of the race track. Domination was up for grabs and it was an enticing prospect.
The joint launch by the teams will therefore provide a glorious spectacle for Formula 1 fanatics. It will give us thirteen teams in unity that we can all be intrigued by due to the unpredictability that has befallen on the sport.
Yet it can also give us thirteen teams in direct competition with each other whose aggression will protrude upon their rivals in their attempts to stand out from the crowd.
After all we don’t want the sport to become too unified so that the competition element is lost amongst it all.
Scenes of one team trying to outperform another at the launch will hopefully give the event a great level of exposure to Formula 1 as we head into a season where form books will go out of the window.
Newer teams such as Virgin Racing and Campos will sadly not have fully fledged cars at the expected event due to ongoing developments, but they have promised to bring the closest they can get to their final visions, their prototypes if you will, to the opening.
Part of the joint launch will also enable teams the opportunity to size up their opponents and to judge their competitors updates and also the elements they will need to take notice of.
Now it is not just the likes of Ferrari and Mclaren who are more capable of the strongest updates; other teams are more able to compete with the revolution of the technical aspects of the sport. Their eyes will be open to those who may be doing it better.
Valencia is the place being spoken off for the joint launch, before the pre-season testing which will allow the cars to begin to show their true colours.
This is where the heat will truly start to push the teams to perform with none of them wanting to be outclassed in a Brawn style fashion again.
The sport as a whole will head into 2010 looking as much a staple part of a sports fans diet as it has ever been, with the competitive edge still prevalent. Our minds have been set to rest about the idea of a breakaway series and our beloved sport looks likely to continue gloriously for years to come and the teams seem content with this opinion.
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