Mike Stevens | Apr 24, 2009

The new dawn of Formula One appeared to be little more than an apparition over the opening two rounds of the season, with many convinced the early struggles of Ferrari and McLaren were simply temporary, and that they would soon challenge Brawn GP for supremacy.

But the emergence of Red Bull Racing and Sebastian Vettel as Jenson Button’s ultimate challenger for the world title in China finally confirmed that Formula One has well and truly entered a new and exciting era.

f1_felipe-massa_bahrain_2008
Felipe Massa at Bahrain in 2008.

In the past, the Bahrain event was considered a lock for Ferrari and Felipe Massa, the undoubted master of Hermann Tilke designed circuits.

But in a sign of the massive power shift away from established teams, Massa admitted he has little chance of crossing the chequered flag first at Sakhir yesterday.

He said: "You can never say never, but for sure it's not so easy," said Massa. "I believe we can have a good race. If we are going to win or not it's a different thing. But I believe we can be more competitive and score good points.

"We need to start our championship, because at the moment we haven't started it yet."

The signs of a new world order weren’t solely restricted to on-track action though, with news emerging yesterday that the 2010 F1 calendar is set for a massive shake-up.

f1_donington-park
Donington Park.

A legal stoush between the owner of Donington Park and the track’s leaseholders has placed the future of the British Grand Prix in serious doubt.

Donington was named host of next year’s event after F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone grew increasingly frustrated with Silverstone’s outdated track and transport facilities, finally stripping the race away from promoters, the British Racing Drivers’ Club.

But now with Donington Park’s destiny resting firmly in the hands of the courts, Eccelstone said Britain may not host a Grand Prix at all next year.

"Well, we can't have one in the streets, could we?" he said.

Typical Bernie.

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