The Australian Grand Prix marked the beginning of the 2009 season for F1 racing. For those of us who value exceptional engineering, these races are the pinnacle of auto racing. I will admit I have a strong dislike for NASCAR, as they simply take existing platforms and trick them out to perform very well on a circular racetrack, so we're going to ignore NASCAR in this blog.
First, a recap and some info: I'm a huge Ferarri fan. I know, it's kind of like being a Yankees fan, and I loathe the Bronx Bombers. But I have Italian blood and Ferrari is one of the best car companies in the entire world. I'm also a Mercedes owner, so I'm not too disappointed when I see Benz teams win - except for the fact that I cannot stand Lewis Hamilton (kind of like my LeBron envy as a Celtics fan, which may rear its ugly head big time in the 2009 NBA playoffs).
Once Schumacher retired a few years back, no one knew what to expect from Ferrari. Then, clawing their way back into the race after a disappointing start, Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen took the championship for Ferrari at the very last minute of the last race in 2007. In 2008, they were in a similar position, but Hamilton - in only his second year of being a professional F1 racer - took the championship.
What does 2009 hold? Well, with Honda bowing out of F1 racing, siting economic concerns (we all know how I feel about Honda lately), another Mercedes team filled the gap: Brawn-Mercedes. This team is new for 2009 and, surprise surprise, took the first race in Australia this past weekend. This goes to show how important it is to have both a driver's and constructor's championship in F1: it's the mating of the two - great driver, great car - that wins races.
It should be an interesting season as both Ferraris were out of the first race and didn't cross the finish line.
The disappointing part of recent seasons of F1 for me, is that they have now eliminated both the Canadian and the US Grand Prix races (Montreal, Indianapolis, respectively). I'm much closer to Canada and had the good fortune of attending the 2004 Canadian Grand Prix with my father, and can only hope they add a course in North America again in the near future.