Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Although news remains scarce in F1 at the moment, it's time to look forward to the new season. There are still plenty of days to go until everything kicks off in Melbourne (I'm refraining from actually counting the days) but there's plenty going on before we get there.
If you're in the UK, you'll know that Autosport Internationl takes place on the weekend 8-11th January. Although not specifically about F1, there will be many famous faces turning up, including David Coulthard, Paul di Resta, Martin Brundle and Anthony Davidson. There will also be a display of F1 cars, many motorsport stands, a live action arena and plenty more. Tickets are available through the website or at the door. I'll be there on Saturday, so if you can't get there yourself, I'll be writing about my experience during the following week.
There are three tests scheduled ahead of the beginning of the season. The first, in January, will be at the new Algarve track in Portugal. The other two, both at Jerez, take place in February and March, leading up to the first race in Melbourne. Expect to see plenty of new regulation bodywork, plus teams really pushing hard with their KERS development.
Although most of the launches seem to be pretty understated this year, it will still be a good chance to see how the cars will look for 2009. With such vastly different chassis specifications, it's hard to get a picture in our minds of how the finish grid will appear. However, as the cars launch over the next couple of months, we'll get more information and plenty of pictures.
As mentioned, the regulations are changing vastly for the upcoming season, but as we get nearer the time, we'll have a confirmation of the rule changes - both sporting and technical. This will give us a good idea of how things will run during 2009, although there's no way of knowing until we hit the ground at the first race.
Hopefully, this will keep us entertained during the slow off-season. It wasn't too bad up until the festive weeks, but now the news has really died down. Here's hoping things pick up again now we're in the new year.