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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

70% Full Throttle 100% Entertainment

When one has a look at the circuit map of Albert Park, it’s hard to conceive that for about 70 % of the lap, the engine is screaming at full throttle. And that’s the beauty of the Ozzy GP. It’s deceptive in its appearance, but it’s a damn good place to race at.

The first two races, in my humble opinion, can be treated as warm-up races, as the conditions under which they were conducted won’t be repeated for the rest of the season. Hence one can say that the “season starts now”, albeit with Renault in the saddle and McLaren doing the catch up, sounds like a repeat of 05?

Judging by the first two races, the field is a lot closer than it was in the last decade or more, and this track provides opportunities for the truly good racers to carve themselves out from the rest of the field. Last year Fisico won the race, almost unchallenged, but this year I doubt if he can get on the podium even, if the top four pilots have a trouble free qualifying and race.  Alonso will be on the money (his consistency is sometimes boring) and Kimi will be raging to claw back some of the point deficit. JPM will want to set some records straight after his subdued performances in the last two races, and it will be interesting to hear his comments on how his car is handling over the weekend.

Albert park is one of my fav circuits as McLaren Mercedes scored their first win over here in 97, and its always been special because it has hosted the inaugural GP for so long. Although overtaking is not easy on this circuit, the reduced speed of the cars and the ability to follow each other closely thru the corners should make for some interesting attempts and half attempts. This circuit also has a great view from on track cameras, just like the final turn at Monaco. Watch out for first corner incidents, especially involving Button and probably Nico.

If I have to predict a winner, I’d choose Alonso, though Kimi has an equally good chance of winning it.

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