Formula One Championship preview

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
Lewis Hamilton is reigning champion

Lewis Hamilton is the current reigning world champion

With the the 2009 Formula One Championship starting this Sunday with the opening race in Melbourne, it promises to be as tight as ever. Reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton will face a tough battle to keep his hands on the title.

Yet another British driver has been causing a stir in the Formula One world recently. Brawn GP driver, Jenson Button and team mate Rubens Barrichello have set the fastest times in pre season at Barcelona and Jerez.

The performance of Brawns GP’s cars have everyone in the Formula One world talking. Spaniard Fernando Alonso, who drives for Renault, described the speed of Brawns’ car as ‘impressive’.

Brawn is the former Honda team run by the old Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn. Along with Toyata and Williams have set the fastest times in pre season training.

But there is controversy over the legality of the vehicles. the three teams have been accused of using too big a diffuser, a vital part designed to ensure the quick and smooth flow of air under the car and increase down-force.

Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault all accused the models of the cars as being contrary to regulations and given the teams using this diffuser an unfair advantage.

However this argument was rejected by the motor sports governing body, FIA. The opening race of the Formula One season will go ahead at Melbourne. Subsequently the Brawn, Williams and Toyata cars will remain as built for race.

In practise today, Williams driver Nico Kosberg clocked the two fastest times with Brawn and Toyota performing strongly. Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton has a miserable session finishing 16th and 18th.

Hamilton described the problem being the car isn’t as fast around the corners as their rivals.

“The car is the problem. It’s not that bad, it’s just we can’t carry our speed through corners,”

Yet he still believes given time this problem can be rectified.

“By no means do I think it’s going to be a year where we don’t win at all.”

“At some stage we will come back and be at the front.”

“The other teams have done a great job and they are a bit ahead of us at the moment. But this is character building.”

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