Ferrari. Red Hot In the Desert

Fernando Alonso gives Ferrari  a perfect start to the 2010 season.

Felipe Massa best start ever with P2 behind the two time world champion.

Vettel very disappointed for loosing the lead to a faulty spark plug.

Pos Driver Team Time

 1.  Alonso        Ferrari                    1h39:20.396
 2.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    16.099
 3.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +    23.182
 4.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    38.713
 5.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +    40.263
 6.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +    44.180
 7.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           +    45.260
 8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    46.308
 9.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +    53.089
10.  Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +  1:02.400
11.  Kubica        Renault                    +  1:09.093
12.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +  1:22.958
13.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +  1:32.656
14.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +     1 lap
15.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +     1 lap
16.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +    3 laps
17.  Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +    3 laps

In 2007, Kimi Raikkonen replaced Michael Schumacher at Ferrari and dominated the season opener in Australia.

This year the season opener will see Kimi Raikkonen replaced at Maranello by Fernando Alonso, man who dethroned Schumacher after five successive championship seasons.

Alonso, son of an explosive expert, scored his first F1 victory in the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix, and two years later won the first of his two back-to-back championships with Renault.

Then came the detonation in 2007 after he joined McLaren. The young charge, Lewis Hamilton, fought for the title with his teammate and their self-destruction led to Raikkonen reeling in the title in the final race of the season in Brazil.

Alonso took a return flight to Renault and scored two wins – one impressive and one controversial – in 2008. The following season was spent waiting in the wings to land at Ferrari.

The legendary “Prancing Horse” team, after a solitary win last year, is expected to mount a serious challenge for the drivers’ championship.

Sentimental favorite has to be Felipe Massa, a long serving Ferrari test and race driver. He came so close to winning the championship in front of his home crowd in 2008, only to be “Glocked” on the last lap of the last race of the season.

Doubts, which were raised after his unfortunate accident in Hungary last year, were erased on Saturday as he qualified on the front row, ahead of new teammate.

Alonso, keen to re-gain the world champion status, brings to Ferrari the natural talent and focus of Michael Schumacher, the man he replaced as world champion.

And the absence of lack of commitment of Kimi Raikkonen, the man he replaced at Scuderia Ferrari.

Remembering a title won and lost in the season finale, Alsonso made it very clear of his intentions when he declared:

“It is very important to start scoring points from the first race.”

Nando knows.

— Nasir Hameed