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It seems hard to believe but after weeks and weeks of pondering the pecking order, with the first race of the season about to begin the situation is no clearer. OK, Red Bull is clearly the team to beat, but what of the rest?
The weather means that we haven't had a level playing field nor the opportunity to really allow the runners and riders to stretch their legs and with the weather threatening today's season opener, not to mention the prospect of further rain next week at Sepang, it may be some time before we really know who's hot and who's not.
That said, in as much as we know that Ferrari is strong this year, as are Lotus and Mercedes, two former champions, Williams and McLaren are really struggling. While the Grove outfit is doing its best to put on a brave face, the pain its rivals from Woking are suffering is all too obvious.
Ignoring what looks to be the leading pack, the midfield should see a lively battle between Force India, Sauber and Toro Rosso, with McLaren probably keeping them company, certainly in the early stages of the season.
On the evidence thus far, Force India's strength lies with its driver line-up, while both Toro Rosso drivers have impressed thus far this weekend.
Another revelation this weekend has been Jules Bianchi, the French youngster appearing unaware that he didn't get the Force India drive and is actually at the wheel of a Marussia. Difficult conditions this afternoon could enable him to pull off a major surprise.
Sauber's chances take a major hit when it is revealed, just ten minutes before the pitlane opens, the Nico Hulkenberg's car has a fuel cell problem. The German watches patently as his mechanics work on his car which, even at this impossibly late stage, doesn't have an engine. Indeed, shortly after the Swiss team confirms that the German won't be able to make the start, his race over before it had even begun.
The big question today, other than how much mayhem the five rookies might cause at the start is tyres. With the supersofts going off very, very quickly it is thought that some drivers will be pitting to get rid of them after just a few laps. It is thought that 2 - 3 stops will be the order of the day.
Fifteen minutes before the start, the air temperature is 18 degrees C, while the track temperature is 26 degrees. It is overcast - though the sun is out there somewhere - but at least it is dry. That said, there is talk that there could be rain at some stage during the race.
All appear to be starting on the option (supersoft) other than Sutil, Ricciardo, Perez, and Maldonado.
As the field heads off on the parade lap Webber is told that there is a threat of rain, a shower currently out over the sea.
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