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Five things to look forward to in 2012 (Part 1) - The world versus Red Bull // Red Bull hope to repeat their success, whilst the rest hope to stop them

Published by Christine

F1 Pocket Handbook

In my new book Pocket F1 Handbook : Guide to the 2012 Grand Prix Season you'll find a top ten list of things to look forward to in the coming year, highlighting what may be different and better from 2011, and what could make this year in Formula One stand out. As the first race draws ever nearer, over the next week, I'll select five items from that list - expanding on them and building up to the brand new F1 season. Today, we're starting with the defending champions, and the F1 paddock's desire to beat them.

1. The World versus Red Bull

Two back-to-back championship victories mean Red Bull are the team to beat for the coming year - particularly after their supreme performance of 2011. With almost zero reliability issues, pole positions aplenty and an excellent conversion rate of poles to wins, there were very few chinks in the armour for other teams to exploit. A new season levels the playing field, and a change in regulations specifically designed to hamper the extra pace that Red Bull exploited helps close the gap. There is now the chance for other drivers to catch Sebastian Vettel, and hopefully provide a closer championship that goes down to the wire.

Red Bull are the team to beat for 2012
Red Bull are the team to beat for 2012Credit: Mark Thompson/Getty Images

The team are feeling relatively confident ahead of the season ahead, although I think it's fair to say that most are expecting it not to be quite such an easy year for the Milton Keynes squad. The team completed a filming day at Barcelona, and put out a couple of videos of their exploits. The drivers were pushed out into the chilly pit lane to discuss their hopes for the first race in Melbourne.

The, of course, there's always the super duper pit stops. Red Bull are almost always a well oiled machine when it comes to changing tyres and sending a driver back on his way in style. They recently revealed their tip-top secret to fast stops.

Both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber seem nice and relaxed as the first session of 2012 creeps towards us, but I hope that they will soon have to be on their guard as other teams give them a run for their money. We've had two seasons of successful Red Bull campaigns, it's about time someone else had a turn.

You can find more top ten things to look forward to in 2012 in the Pocket F1 Handbook, available now on Amazon. I'll be back tomorrow with another installment as we build up to the Australian Grand Prix.

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