Of course, the Bahrain GP was first introduced in 2004 and it was then won by none other than Michael Schumacher. All eyes are on whether he can ‘pick up where he left off’ since his retirement. This time around, he no longer don the red of the Ferrari but he now drives with the Silver Arrows of the Mercedes Formula 1 team. The person who is on the Ferrari wheels is Fernando Alonso, who won the championship after Schumacher’s retirement and he won the 2005 and 2006 editions of the Bahrain GP with Renault.
And then there is the Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton partnership at McLaren F1 team where Button won last year’s edition here with the then Brawn GP which is now been taken over by Mercedes. Button, who is the defending world champion would want to show that last year was not a flash in a pan and that he has it in him to defend the title which he took over from his current team mate, Lewis Hamilton. Last season, Hamilton’s performance went from bad to worse and he surely wants to wipe that off and start a new this year, but first he has to overcome his own team mate.
And then there are the newcomers. Surely, the newbies are never a threat to the main teams of Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren and the Red Bulls who were runners-up last season but all eyes will surely be on the rivalry between Virgin and Lotus F1 where Sir Richard Branson and Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes are their respective team principals. Only they both know how deep their rivalry would go but as Malaysians, it will be nice to see how far the 1Malaysia F1 team (Lotus F1) can go and if they ever (ever!!!) win a race, which national anthem will be played. But that is still a moon-shot away.
And then, there are the middle table teams like Williams F1 (which Air Asia was formerly sponsoring), Toro Rosso, Renault, Force India and newly branded Hispania Racing. This season is surely getting started, and surely, this is going to be one hell of a ride…