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Formula 1 looks set to be rather different in 2009 and with a host of rule changes it is one of the most eagerly anticipated for a number of years.
The cars themselves are going to look very usual - what with bigger front wings, smaller and taller rear wings, no flip-ups, chimneys and bargeboards, and then there is also the return to slick tyres and KERS to consider. How this will shake up the pack no one will really know until the Australian Grand Prix at the end of March.
columnist Mark Blundell grabs his crystal ball and gives us his thoughts on just what might
happen in the coming year. In 2008 he almost got it spot on by tipping Felipe Massa and Ferrari to take the laurels and this year he is going for...
Well read on to find out.
Mark, how do you see things developing in 2009?
It is going to be incredibly exciting because we have got new technologies coming in with the KERS system. That means the drivers will have extra power available to them at certain points.
Slick tyres are back, which is fantastic, because the ultimate level of motorsport is F1. It was a crying shame to see them driving around on grooved tyres and it just didn't look right - especially when everything else underneath F1 in the lower formulas is on slicks.
The cars will look a bit different too in their present guise. But I think that will change slightly when we get towards the first race and people have streamlined their '09 aerodynamic packages a bit more.
I think some new guys will emerge too and we have a couple of teams with new partnerships as well and they should get some strong results. Ultimately it may be a more level playing field when we kick the season off. We should definitely see some exciting racing.
Do you think the rule changes will affect the peaking order and improve the spectacle?
There will be some changes in performance and that will definitely change the outright result for the first few grand's prix. I wouldn't be surprised if we saw a few people up there that we didn't expect. It is such a big change and there is so much to do in a short space of time. There are a lot of areas that can get missed and a lot of things that can get overlooked. One of the key factors will be reliability. When you have new technologies coming in reliability is one of the biggest issues and if a couple of the guys get it wrong, it could be very costly come the end of the season.
How much difference will it make for the drivers' being on slicks as opposed to grooved tyres?