After a long winter without open wheel racing, the F1 and IRL seasons both kick off this weekend. The F1 season opens in Bahrain, and Sebastian Vettel (driving for Red Bull) has put his Renault powered car on the pole. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) has the outside of the front row, followed by Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes) and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) to round out the top five. Rosberg’s teammate, seven time world champion Michael Schumacher, qualified in seventh spot, followed by current world champion Jenson Button in eighth.
I’ve been saying for years that Michael Schumacher’s best talent was being in the right place at the right time, so it will be interesting to see how he fares against the new generation of star drivers like Hamilton and Vettel. My call? Hamilton takes the championship, followed by Massa and Vettel. If Schumacher completes the season, he’ll be lucky to crack the top five.
In the U.S. Market , the race airs on Speed TV at 7:30 A.M. ET.