With the new Formula one season two weeks away; teams are fine tuning preparations for the new season which revs up on 18th March in Melbourne’s Albert Park.
The famed Ferrari name have struggled in testing and are unlikely to be particularly competitive when the new season starts. The Italian team have struggled to complete as many laps as other teams and look to have more work to do than most to get onto the podium.
With six former world champions in the 25 man field; there is plenty of tried and tested quality with several possible champions for the 2012 season. Kimi Räikkönen has returned whilst seven times champion Michael Schumacher will be in the Mercedes AMG Pretonas.
Sebastien Vettel will be looking for his third consecutive title with Reb Bull whilst Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button will battle it out against each other as much as the rest of the field. If Ferrari get their act together however, then another two time champion; Fernando Alonso is likely to provide Vettel with the biggest threat to his crown.
With new regulations this season, there is a consensus that the relative performance of each team is much closer than last season.
All cars must now pass their mandatory FIA crash tests before being allowed to take part in pre-season testing. Previously, passing the crash tests was only a requirement prior to the first race of the season. Crash tests for the 2012 season will be more rigorous than in previous years, which will further level the playing field as teams (and drivers) will be allowed take fewer risks.