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Karun Chandhok previews 2012 F1 season

by Karun Chandhok Posted on 15 Mar 2012 2,133 Views

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Karun Chandhok talks about the 2012 Formula 1 season that is due to start this weekend, on how the teams have shaped up, their cars and the likely contenders for the title

 

Karun Chandhok

 

 

The 2012 F1 World Championship has yet again got plenty of stories up and down the pitlane for us to look forward to. The battle at the front between the grande teams ; the intrigue in the midfield to see which of those teams can move forward, which will stay put and which ones will go backwards ; plus the challenge facing the three newest teams who can no longer use the new team tag as an excuse not to move forward – all great stories that should keep us wrapped with attention for the season ahead.

In terms of the rules, there aren’t any big fundamental changes as we saw in 2009 but the banning of the blown diffuser and a modification of the front nosebox height regulations are enough to not only make a visual difference but also give the designers enough of a challenge. Pirelli have also modified their tyres for 2012, making them more durable and consistent which could result in less pitstops during the races.

 

 

Red Bull RB8

 

Red Bull Racing

RBR start 2012 as the clear favourites after having the fastest car on the grid for the last three seasons. In 2009, they were slightly caught out by not having the double diffuser that Brawn GP pioneered (although Adrian Newey maintains it wasn’t strictly legal), in 2010 they didn’t look as operationally slick as Mclaren or Ferrari but in 2011, the team were as close to perfect as could be possible. In pre-season testing, the new RB8 has looked fast and consistent over the long runs, befitting its status as the favourite for the season ahead.

 

Sebastian Vettel drove on a whole new level in 2011, with the assured confidence of a World Champion and there’s nothing to suggest he won’t be the same, if not better in 2012. This is a crucial season for Mark Webber to recover and once again reach his personal lofty heights of 2011 where he took the fight for the World Championship down to the final round in Abu Dhabi. Mark’s biggest problem is that Seb hasn’t made a mistake on Saturday in Q3 in about 4 years which really sets him up for the wins on Sunday. To beat Vettel, the Aussie ace really needs to get on top of him in qualifying and on the opening lap of the race. There were a few times last year when Webber was on pole position but couldn’t convert it to the race lead at the start and he needs to look into that for 2012.

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