As the rest of us shiver through the windchill and snow of March, 22 rubber-burning Romeos get to race around in the Melbourne sun. Nice work if you can get it.
The new F1 season kicks off with the Australian GP on Sunday as some uncomfortably good-looking men get paid millions to drive very fast, sleep with pop stars and insist it’s a sport. Paddy likes their style.
[Click Formula One team guide to enlarge]
- If Fernando Alonso (9/2) or team-mate Felipe Massa (33/1) can transform the fortunes of Ferrari who came close to Championship glory last year despite their car being a total crock.
- How close the rest are to frontrunners Red Bull and ‘joint No1’ drivers Sebastian Vettel (13/5) and Mark Webber (17/2). Owner Dietrich Mateschitz insists Webber will enjoy equal status with the triple world champion. We’ll see…
- That Sergio Perez (16/1) will make team leader Jenson Button’s life (5/1) difficult at McLaren but at least the Brit has escaped Lewis Hamilton’s demented twittering over at Mercedes.
- If the best team on paper, Lewis Hamilton (13/2) and Nico Rosberg (16/1), can pay back heavy winter investment with a 2014 title challenge for Mercedes. They’ll have to hold off Sauber, a possibly resurgent Williams, and the chasing pack too.
(Outright odds for this weekend’s race in brackets)