F1 has so much to offer this year
I'm writing this blog post on the sofa, having just arrived back from the opening weekend of the season.
I always feel really odd the day after a big race, a strange concoction of frustration over the little things I could have done better (like knowing the difference between Lee and Ted!), satisfaction that people seem to think the BBC picked up where we left off last year, and that tinge of excitement that in little over a week I'll be back on a plane to witness another weekend of F1 action... albeit the other side of the globe.
I should start by mentioning the stacks of comments I've received on Twitter, and from emails we received during the forum, clearly stating that you all think F1 might have caused a few problems for itself with the new refuelling ban leading to some pretty sanitised action on track.
I follow Mark Webber on Twitter, his address is @aussiegrit, and even he just remarked "no chance to overtake - again"...and despite all things that are great about the sport, overtaking remains F1's fundamental problem as far as you guys are concerned.
F1 is a sport full of very clever brains indeed. Brains who have helped take the sport to where it is today and make it the pinnacle of motor racing, but perhaps now is the optimum time to really focus our minds on improving the show even more.
It's a tricky conundrum for the sport. F1 must remain at the cutting edge of car development, engineering skill and technology to beat opponents, but not at all costs.
If the current situation leads to processional, predictable racing then the wry smiles on the faces of the clever guys in the sport will disappear as quickly as the millions watching TV, and in turn the investors who pay the bills.
All I know is that we at the BBC are as keen as you are for exciting, competitive, close racing and I think the drivers, FOTA, FOM and the FIA feel the same. Here's hoping Albert Park throws up a classic race after the most hyped build-up to a season in recent memory.
I'd expect the powers-that-be to already be making calls and formulating plans because they know that F1 has so much to offer this year and if anyone can make the sport even greater then it's them. Anyway, as Martin Brundle says, we need to give the new rules a chance.
This weekend alone the return of Michael Schumacher, Lotus and the name Senna to the sport. The looming realisation that Ferrari and Red Bull have stolen a march on their rivals, David and Eddie's white jeans, and the fact that we have four World Champions desperate to be the best of the best and that's before Massa, Vettel or Rosberg get a mention.
I maintain that 2010 will live long in the memory for all the right reasons! I really enjoyed this first weekend, it reminded me just how much has changed for me in the past 12 months.
This time last year I recall going into the F1 paddock as the BBC's new presenter for the first time, almost rigid with fear and loitering in the corner not knowing anyone and feeling very conscious.
A year on and it was actually good to see some familiar faces in the paddock who've become friends over the past year.
The opening race weekend is unique, with even the most experienced F1 old-hand walking around bubbling with anticipation. What really struck me this time around was the camaraderie at the very back.
Lotus will probably be the most satisfied of the new teams
I think some of the hostility shown towards the new teams had a real galvanising effect on the paddock. I was chatting to a guy who told me his team had been helping out newbies, Hispania Racing, with bits and pieces all weekend.
Even on the back of the grid there were handshakes, high fives and 'good lucks' all round despite there being a real desperation to stake a claim to be best of the new teams.
I think Lotus will be the most satisfied, I won't repeat what Mike Gascoyne said when he was out qualified by a Virgin Racing car by a tenth of a second on Saturday, but I will tell you that there were tears in the Lotus garage as Heikki and Jarno both put in sterling performances.
They were both relaxed, realistic, focussed and clearly ready to work hard to claw back the gap to the guys at the front. However, the fact they wanted to hang out with us is an example of where F1 gets it spot on.
Patrick Head's guided tour of the new Williams FW32, Mike Gascoyne interviewing his own drivers (and calling them twits!) for us after the race, and numerous other drivers, bosses and big hitters sharing their thoughts with us over the weekend.
I maintain that no other sport is as accessible and as open to the media as Formula One, and we're just really keen to keep on exploiting that access to take you all to the heart of the action this weekend.
All we need is the on-track action to help spice things up, and the sport we all love and have all missed over the winter will be living up to expectations in every sense.