Formula One revs up for new season
THE covers are being taken off Formula One's new contenders as the excitement and hype builds for this year's season opening race in Australia.
As the countdown to Melbourne Park's showpiece event clicks over to just 37 days, the Formula One paddock, media and motorsport fans wait with bated breath for the unveiling of this year's chariots.
First off the line was the Caterham team - formally known as Team Lotus - which introduced the team's new CT01 to the world through the social network medium Twitter.
McLaren slotted into second position, taking the covers off the new MP4-27 at the team's factory in Woking.
McLaren finished second behind the all conquering Red Bull Racing team last season, but there are high hopes within the team that the MP4-27 can deliver greater success for drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button.
Ferrari's legion of fans had to wait longer than expected to get a glimpse of its new title contender - the F2012 - as snow caused the cancellation of the team's unveiling.
But just 24 hours later, the F2012 became the new wallpaper and screen saver of every Prancing Pony fan's computer as the Italian team released images of the car online.
On the same day - and not to be outdone by its illustrious rival - the Force India team rolled out its new VJM05.
A solid contender since its introduction into Formula One four years ago, Force India is expecting the VJM05 to firmly entrench the team in the midfield battle.
Sauber's C31 was the next cab off the rank, followed by Lotus' E20 and Torro Rosso's STR7 - the car Australian Daniel Ricciardo will try to push to the front of the grid.
However, the final say so far in this busy period has been to the defending champions - Red Bull Racing.
After two years of domination, rule changes may well bring world champion Sebastian Vettel and Australian team-mate Mark Webber back to the field.
But the team's new RB8 has all the hallmarks of chief designer Adrian Newey and will be no doubt be in the hunt for pole position in Melbourne.
Mercedes, Williams, HRT and Marussia have yet to unveil their challengers for the 2012 title.