The new Formula One season is now just 67 days away and Badger’s getting pretty hyped about it. Here we’re taking a look at ten reasons to be excited about the new campaign, which kicks off in the desert of Bahrain on March 13th. Remember, this is just what we’ve plucked from our heads at random – there are a million and one other things to look forward to, so why not let us know what you’re most excited to see when F1 returns in the Spring by using the comment section below.
The resumption of 2010’s title battle.
Honestly, how many people think anyone but the same drivers who fought for the world title in 2010 will be in the hunt this year? Maybe Felipe Massa could get involved if he can make a good start to the campaign and perhaps Mercedes will be closer to the front, but in all honesty we’d expect the five guys who contested the majority of 2010’s title battle to be up there again in 2011. They’re five very different characters and all superb drivers, and it certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing if they were once again the ultimate contenders for the crown.
We know it’s tough on those who work in the sport (Badger included) but 20 races should be a mouth watering prospect for any F1 fan. That’s more than there have ever been before, and if the championship proves as engaging as last year’s we’ll still be left wanting more.
After four years of sole-supply from Bridgestone (and total of 14 years in the sport for the Japanese brand) Italian manufacturer Pirelli take over F1’s tyre production duties in 2011. Okay, they’ll probably be a bit conservative at first, but they could shake the order up a little. The likes of Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher felt that the nature of the tyres was a big part of their poor performances in 2010 – could these two find the new rubber a happier hunting partner?
They’re always good fun, rookies, as you can never quite tell how they’ll get on. We currently have three confirmed: Pastor Maldonado at Williams, Sergio Perez at Sauber and Jerome d’Ambrosio. All are GP2 graduates with different reputations – Maldonado as crazy but quick, Perez as quick but crazy and d’Ambrosio as neither quick nor crazy – and it’ll be interesting to see who comes out looking best in 2011. There’s potential for a few more rookies in 2011 too, with Paul di Resta strongly rumoured to be taking a Force India seat and Hispania sniffing about a few well-funded GP2 racers. Out with the old…
They’re not all to our liking but anything new and different has got to be worth getting excited over – be it for good reasons or bad. Out goes the F-Duct, back in comes KERS and for the first time we’ll see the slightly worrying moveable rear-wings. Will they improve the racing, devalue it or simply make it stupidly dangerous – only time will tell.
New engines regs enforcing a switch to turbocharged 1.6-litre motors for 2013 mean F1 cars’ distinctive scream will likely be dulled, so fans of that incredible, bone-shaking noise better enjoy the next two years as much as possible. Those who can get themselves to a race in person should make a point of doing so to hear the dinosaurs roar one last time.
Lotus Renault GP vs Team Lotus Renault
In life there will always be irritants – and we wouldn’t deny that the bizarre Lotus naming debacle has been one – but why let these things get you down? Lotus vs Lotus should be an odd-but-brilliant addition to F1 2011, with Robert Kubica no doubt leading the way in his black and gold machine. But with an improved car, Renault engines and Red Bull transmissions Tony Fernandes’ British Racing Green team should be further up the grid, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see Trulli or Kovalainen put Petrov in the shade at some stage. We’re stuck with this nonsense now, so let’s look on the bright side, folks.
Brazil as the season-closer
Yes, Abu Dhabi looks very fancy, but the racing and atmosphere there are pretty rubbish. Far better to end the season in Brazil, with its passionate fans and antiquated, blast-from-the-past track. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the title once again goes down to the wire at this superb circuit. Now if only we could shift the season opener back to Melbourne…
A new pit straight at Silverstone
Obviously we can’t be sure that this will be a hit yet but Badger likes to be positive about these things. 2011 will see the pit complex at Silverstone switch to the straight between Club and Abbey, meaning we’ll no longer see the cars blasting in to Copse at the start of the race. Overall though it should make no difference to the racing, with the move more about improving facilities at the home of British motorsport and ensuring the race goes off as smoothly as possible. Badger will of course be in attendance in 2011 – be sure to say hello!
A bigger, better Badger!
Badger will be relaunching as Badger GP next month as we aim to provide a new and improved site for the 2011 Formula One season. We’ve been working like crazy to get things ready, and we hope you’ll like our new look and some of the new features we’ll be bringing your way in the near future. Not that it’s all change – expect plenty more of what Badger brought you in 2010 but on a bigger and better scale. Now that’s definitely something to be seriously excited about.