With the 2011 season so close to starting it’s only natural that fans eyes turn to the first race, and more importantly, exactly what they think will happen when the five red lights come on in Melbourne. It’s no different here in Sett, so this week’s Scrutineering Bay will be focusing on the event by asking:

“What will happen in Oz?”

The Scrutineering Bay is a simple thing. Once a week several Badger writers are sent the week’s question and they put their thoughts across in ways that suit them. This week’s eager-beavers are myself Craig Normansell, Jimmy Von Weeks, Benson Jammichello and kicking us all off with something a bit different, is Adam Millenueve:

Adam has gone for the simple approach, pie-charting the possibilities of victory for the front-running teams. Do you agree with his choices though?

Next up, is Benson, who has added his input in the shape of a list:

  • – Lewis Hamilton will sound like he’s been media trained to within an inch of his life, and then slag off the car over the radio when he’s running behind a Toro Rosso.
  • – Bernie will do a tribal rain dance on the grid.
  • – Everyone will realise Hispania are just slow, if not slower, than last season.
  • – I will be tired on the Saturday.
  • – I will be tired on the Sunday.
  • – There will be a first corner accident.
  • – Martin Brundle and David Coulthard will very chummy.
  • – Nick Heidfeld will beat Petrov hands down. This will set the tone for the rest of the time.
  • – Everyone will say they think “it’s going to be the best season ever”.
  • – Someone will blame an incident/anything on KERS and/or adjustable rear wings. Someone will mention “safety-risk”.
  • – Bernie will realise that the F1 train (see previous Scrutineering Bay) is a genius idea. I will make lots of money.
  • – Red Bull will still dominate. I will still not like Vettel.

Benson has struck at the heart of all F1 fans and used the list format. Which ones will come true and which ones will not?

The next Badger to have a crack is Jimmy, still on a high from his Mika Hakkinen experience. His choice it to run down each team one-by-one:

Virgin: An Australian journo will make a pun on Jerome d’Ambrosio’s name and he’ll wonder when, if ever, that joke is going to get old. Timo Glock meanwhile will wish it was still 2009.

HRT: Narain Karthikeyan will become the first person since Alex Yoong to fall foul of the 107% rule and not qualify for the race. Colin Kolles will then somehow find a way to put a positive spin on this. “We’ve saved valuable parts for Malaysia,” is likely to be included in their press release.

Lotus: Should be fighting Force India – definitely a step forward. Neither car will finish though.

Toro Rosso: Their name may be Italian for Red Bull but these lads are in fact dark horses. May wish they had a seasoned pro in one of their cars but that’s not really the point of the team. I boldly predict Q1 and points for at least one of their drivers.

Sauber: Both drivers will likely crash out in Oz but the car will be quick. It’ll be a poor start, but they’ll impress plenty as the year progresses.

Force India: Should be fighting Lotus – definitely a step back. I like the lad a lot, but I’m picking Paul di Resta to drop out in Q1.

Williams: A bit of a mystery. Maldonado will be gone by turn three (hello gravel trap, I’m Pastor) but Rubens should be able to score strong points, maybe even a podium if attrition is high. What’s absolutely beyond doubt is that Craig Normansell will continue to marvel at the car’s rear-end (edit Yes. Yes I will. – CN).

Renault: They’ll miss Bobby K. and will be all the poorer for his absence in Australia. They’ll also call themselves Lotus a lot and subconsciously cause millions of ex-smokers to relapse with a pack of JPS.

Mercedes: Like Williams, a bit of a mystery. If the car is sorted they’ll be up there, perhaps even looking to sneak a lucky podium.

McLaren: This could get ugly…

Ferrari: Reliable but a bit dull, thus making a mockery of everything Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi stands for. Alonso and/or Massa on the podium is likely. If Felipe is asked to ‘move over for the championship’ we’ll know the Brazilian is in for another toughie.

Red Bull: I think they’re going to win, aren’t they?

Up next is my go. Just like the others I’ll be making my predictions a little bit differently:

With the new season around the corner, we’ll all be looking to the stars on the grid, but what if the stars in the sky held the key to what might happen? (You see what I did there?).

Looking at the front of the grid, Capricorn’s Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Michael Schumacher might be in for a media storm as they are predicted to “rage, gush and sing out the contents of your heart to the world”. It also seems that there is “an unfinished chapter in their history books”. Will Schumacher top the podium again, or will Button and Hamilton secure another driver’s title?

The Ferrari driver Felipe Massa (Taurus) might be in for a good opener, with his forecast saying that “a line in the sand will be drawn and from now on, everything is going to be different”. Leo the lion team-mate Fernando Alonso’s horoscope has mentions of “cooking pots pouring forth” and “golden egg laying geese”, but “the more love he allows himself to feel, the more he will be able to draw from his heart”. Hmmm.

Sebastian Vettel has the star sign Cancer, which states that “these are emotionally trying times but there is still every reason to expect a positive outcome to an important process”.

Is there trouble ahead for the reigning champ? Possibly. Is it all load of old codswallop? Definitely. Lets let the racing tell the tale and simply enjoy it for it is, not for what it could be.

So, there we have it. Badgers have put forth their thoughts on the season opener, but of course we’d like to here yours as well. With only days left of the winter and everyone waiting in anticipation, only time tell. We at Badger simply cannot wait.