Op-Ed: The top 11 things I hope to see in 2011

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We’re solidly into 2011 now, and even if Force India doesn’t know when the Formula 1 season starts, there is talk beginning of new car designs, driver goals for the year and the first round of tests and reveals.

With all those topics in mind, here’s my list of things I hope to see this season.

1. One of the three “new” teams score points — maybe even consistently. In season two, it is legitimate to expect Virgin or Lotus (Malaysian edition) to score a handful of points. Perhaps the biggest haul still will come during some rain/crash-heavy race, but those two teams should be able to battle into Q2 and sneak up into the top 10 a few times in 2011.

1a. HRT to make the grid. Enough said, right?

2. KERS used to make the racing more exciting and not to keep the cars behind at bay. As much as I hate that KERS cost Force India a top podium at Spa in 2009, that kind of passing is more of what we should hope to see from KERS boosts.

3. Even more drivers battling for podiums. This one is maybe the ultimate sign of a spoiled F1 fan given the 2010 season, but I’d like at least Williams and Force India to be legitimately in the fight for top three finishes. That would fill our race weekends with a combo of Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Renault, Williams and Force India in real battles. Just among those teams I’ve more than filled all the points positions if they finish the race.

4. Throw Sauber into that mix from No. 3. C’mon, how exciting would it be to see Kamui Kobayashi make a last lap pass to score a podium?

5. Better use of the Internet by F1, the teams and drivers. It is such a simple way to engage fans directly. Just do it, already.

6. The Canadian Grand Prix in person, with a majority of the F1B team in tow. Grace can pick the beer and wine, and Paul can help us pick the best spot to watch the race.

6a. The Long Beach Grand Prix (especially the ALMS race) and maybe Sebring with a few of the F1B suspects.

7. Rubens Barrichello getting one more victory.

8. Force India’s first victory. (And maybe Nico Hulkenberg’s?)

9. Michael Schumacher winning at Monza. That would send the Tifosi into theatrics.

9a. Nico Rosberg’s first victory.

9b. Michael to reclaim the “Fashion Award” from all the wanna-bes.

10. The USGP site progressing throughout the year ahead of schedule.

11. Your world champ: Felipe Massa.

Those are mine. What are you hoping to see?

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