2010 Australian GP Preview: Ferrari Sprinting While Bulls Pray for Rain!

Ravikumar RajagopalCorrespondent IMarch 24, 2010

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24:  Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren Mercedes answers questions during a press conference after sailing former America's Cup yacht, The Spirit, on Sydney Harbour on March 24, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. Former Formula One World Champion Hamilton will compete in the 2010 Australian Formula One Grand Prix in Melbourne this weekend.  (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)
Don Arnold/Getty Images

The most anticipated F1 season ever started at Bahrain two weeks back, but it turned out to be a very boring encounter with qualifying, the first corner, and a faulty Renault engine deciding the outcome of the race, rather than some real wheel to wheel action which was badly missing.

Though there may not be drastic changes at Albert Park, with some predictions of rain, it may throw a surprise result with Schumacher and Vettel arguably two of the best wet track drivers fighting it out. But all depends on the success of the rain dance crew organized by the Red Bull team.

Ferrari had the perfect start with Alonso and Massa coming 1-2. Alonso made a perfect Ferrari debut by winning his first race for the team while Massa showed no signs of rustiness and made a very good comeback after a horrific accident last season.

Though Massa might have been ok to let Alonso go to the finish line without a challenge at Bahrain at Albert Park, if he is not far behind he would not hesitate to fight with Alonso to challenge for a win.

The Red Bulls may have the best car on the grid but their Renault engine has once again let them down. Tf the engine is not consistent expect another season of near misses for the team as Vettel has a very good chance of becoming the youngest world champion this season, while teammate Webber can be the most unexpected winner of the championship since Keke Rosberg.

McLaren and Hamilton will be thanking their lucky stars for a podium finish, but if they need to make the podium again they need to up their game to challenge Ferrari and Red Bull. They also need to keep a close eye on the Mercedes team as they are expected to perform well this weekend. Already both Rosberg and Schumacher finished ahead of the reigning champion Button at Bahrain.

Force India has high hopes for this season. The way the carΒ  has performed so far this season has given all indications that they do have a realistic chance of finishing fifth ahead of their immediate rivals like Williams, Renault, and Sauber.

They have already scored points and if they manage to outpace a top four team don’t be too surprised. While Williams did have a decent start, they need to do something extra special to match the top four teams, as finishing ahead of the mid pack is not a great achievement for Williams which used to be a top team in the '80s and the '90s.

Renault may be the dark horse of the season. As the season progress they should be catching up with the bigger teams, while Kubica may even get a few podium places towards the second half of the season. Petrov, who had a decent debut, will want to prove a point that he deserves his place on the grid.

Sauber and Toro Rosso both will have been disappointed with the results in Bahrain and Sauber just cannot have two cars retiring for a team which has been racing for the better part of the last two decades. Toro Rosso need to up their game to score points. Right now they do not have the pace of Renault, Williams, and Force India, but with updates they can catch up with them very soon.

Among the new comers, Lotus impressed the most. Though they did finish the race this season, this could be the one for them where they will go through a whole season without scoring. But it should be good for them as they should be more focussed on 2011 rather than this season.

Virgin Racing proved that CFD can be a thing to look out for, for underfunded teams. HRT racing got away with putting two rookies without any F1 experience in an untested F1, and that is something where the whole community should be happy for, as there were no incidents.

Let's hope it rains in Albert Park as this could turn the race into a very exciting contest, which all F1 fans deserve given the hype this season has had.

Australian GP Top 10 Predictions

1. Sebastien Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Mark Webber

4. Felipe Massa

5. Michael Schumacher

6. Nico Rosberg

7. Lewis Hamilton

8. Jenson Button

9. Robert Kubica

10. Nico Hulkenberg


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