The 2007 season is almost here…the last time I checked it was 13 days, 6 hours and 38 minutes away. This season is expected to be a very exciting one what with the influx of new talent like Kovalainen and Hamilton driving for top teams, not to mention Sutil and Davidson driving for not-so-top teams. Then there is Kubica who displayed good potential last season, and adding to the mix are the more established racers like Fernando Alonso, Kimi Raikkonen and now Felipe Massa. With Vettel and Hulkenberg emerging as potential future F1 drivers, both being touted as the next ‘Michael Schumacher’ by the German media – one must admit things are looking particularly rosy for the sport.

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Michael will of course be sorely missed at the Melbourne starting grid by his legion of fans, and not so much by the drivers who are all happy at finally having a chance to win a few races for a change. Fernando Alonso will also be looking forward to a more casual championship defense, and not something that would make him totter on the brinks of insanity like last year. Michael did have this tendency of making the championship fight seem like a crusade upon which earth’s fate depended, and incredibly enough, sustained this intensity for a decade and a half. He almost sent a few of his rivals over the edge in the process though.

We will now have to look to the sport’s young stars for setting new standards, considering the older ones consist of DC, Webber, Trulli, Ralf, Rubens and Fisichella – enough said. I like DC but one would have to be an eternal optimist to harbor any championship hopes for him. Infact with this year’s Red Bull, Toyota and Honda not exactly setting the track on fire, there is no reason to suspect any of them will be featuring largely in it. Fisi might have a competitive car in Renault, but then we all know what he did with it last couple of years.

For the tifosi, the season looks particularly promising. Felipe Massa has been quite the revelation and Kimi Raikkonen is quite honestly a class act waiting to be unleashed. There is no denying Fernando Alonso’s talent, and given a good car there is no doubt he will be a tough competitor. But with the Ferrari looking as competitive as it does currently, it looks like a lot of the team’s detractors will be eating their words before long – but then they have been wrongly predicting Ferrari’s doom for so long now that they must be quite used to being disappointed. Will Ferrari win back both championships this year? We are certainly keeping our fingers crossed.

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