It was clear that Sebastian Vettel had the edge last year in the world of Formula One. 17 Podiums. 15 Poles. 11 Wins but we all knew 2012 would be different. Red Bull didn’t have such an advantage of speed like in 2011, This was proven in Australia when Vettel could only manage 6th in Qualifying. He went on to get a 2nd place finish behind the McLaren of Jenson Button. The 2012 F1 season was underway and looked to be the start of a classic year.
The F1 circus landed in Malaysia and this race will be remembered for the shock result of Ferrari and Fernando Alonso taking the win in front of what was to be an even bigger surprise, After starting 9th on the Sepang grid, Sauber’s Sergio Perez made the bold decision to switch to full wet tyres after the first lap, When the rain came down, he was able to keep on going while the rest of the field had to stop. He had his chances to take Alonso for the win but ran wide at Turn 14 putting an end to his challenge for the win. Since that result in Malaysia, Perez has been linked with a switch to Ferrari for 2013. So after 2 races. Alonso led the championship.
China was next on the calendar and under pressure was the Mercedes team who had went into 2012 needing a major improvements so when Nico Rosberg lit up the timing screens during Q3 they were overjoyed, He got pole by an incredible half a second. The race was a similar story, Rosberg dominated from lights to flag for his first ever win and also the first Mercedes win since the days of the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio back in the 50’s.
So from Shanghai they went to the deserts of Bahrain and it was a very controversial affair, With all the recent trouble going on there were concerns about safety but the race went ahead as planned, Saturday was about the return to pole of the World Champion, Vettel showed that he still has the speed and done so again in the race, He held off a strong challenge from Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean to seal his first win since the 2011 Indian Grand Prix.
So, Off we go to the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend. Who will win is anyones guess.