In just a few months the 2010 season of Formula One has become one of the most eagerly awaited in years.
A huge number of changes to drivers, and constructors alike will ensure that the sport which was under so much threat last summer will be as gripping as ever.
The 7 times world champion is returning to drive for the newly renamed Brawn team, Mercedes.
Both Schumacher and his fellow F1 drivers have told the press how excited they are about the return. Hamilton, Button and Alonso have all said that they are looking forward to the challenge.
With worries about a neck injury that plagued him last year returning we are yet to see if Schumacher can return to form.
The current world champion, Jenson Button has formalised his move to McLaren to race with former world champion Lewis Hamilton, a move which has been criticised by F1 veteran and pundit Eddie Irvine. Despite this Button retains high hopes that his new team will offer him all the same success he enjoyed last season with Brawn. However, if this season follows the last then the McLaren car will be anything but spectacular and the Mercedes team will have plenty of time to do some damage.
In other team news, the addition of the four new participators; Lotus, Campos, Virgin Racing and US F1 will certainly be something to watch. Lotus is perhaps the most eagerly awaited of these new four due to their previous dominance of the sport. They have secured the contract of Jarno Trulli who moved from Toyota following their withdrawal from F1 in 2009. This, coupled with ex-McLaren driver, Heike Kovalainen should ensure they make a good first impression.
Lotus’s main new rivals will be the Virgin team. Their signing of Timo Glock should mean they can start a competitive season with a bit of experience behind the wheel. With their relatively unknown drivers – in the US case their unannounced drivers – the other two new entries are less than promising. This said, one of these rookie teams just might be nursing the next Hamilton.
F1 has also lost plenty of teams. Most significantly this year is the absence of Toyota and BMW.
Following Honda’s lead the two teams announced they would be withdrawing from the sport following the 2009 season. This was then worsened by the threats from Renault saying they too would be withdrawing before 2010. This fortunately did not become reality and F1 didn’t lose another one of their giants. However, with the move of Fernando Alonso to Ferrari and Robert Kubica their only remaining experienced driver, it is debatable as to what kind of impact Renault can have.