The 2011 season of Formula 1 kicks off this weekend with the Australian Grand Prix. I am definitely excited for this season.
Many tech changes have been made this season. The banning of the controversial F-Duct system and the addition of adjustable rear wings will give the manufactures some new tech to show off. Bridgestone has been replaced by Pirelli as the tire supplier. Testing showed the new Pirellis wear much faster and will add a third pit stop to many races. KERS units will also be an option open for all the teams that choose to use one.
On the driver side of things, two teams will be running under the Lotus badge, one running under Team Lotus Renault GP, the other as Team Lotus-Renault. How can two teams be running under the same manufacture badge? Lotus founder Colin Chapman kept the commercial and racing sides of Lotus separate, eventually leading to two different people having the rights to the Lotus name. So for this season one team has optioned to buy the rights from the new owners of Lotus motor car and the other team is licensing the rights from he current owner the Lotus racing division.
In sad news Lotus Renault GP driver Robert Kubica suffered a terrible crash in the Ronde di Andora Rally and was severely injured. He is luckily alive, but has undergone numerous surgeries including a partial amputation of his forearm. Hopefully he recover goes well and he can make a return to racing. He is being replaced for the season by former teammate Nick Heidfeld.
I was always a fan of the Melbourne based track, with parts on sectioned off public roads and the rest on purpose built speedway. I hope that Sunday shows to be a great opening race for the 2011 season. Here are some shots from the first two practice sessions.