With the line-ups at McLaren and Renault remaining unchanged, the big question marks of 2006 surround the ripples created by Rubens Barrichello's departure from Ferrari to Honda. For the first time in this millennium, Michael Schumacher has a new teammate in Felipe Massa, and the world awaits their confrontation with interest.
But no less intriguing is the prospective battle at Barrichello's new home, where the Brazilian finds himself up against Jenson Button. The Briton has established an extraordinary close relationship with his team, as evidenced last year by his desire to stay, and the management's efforts to hold on to him. And he has a contract that stretches far into the future.
It wouldn't be easy for any driver to join the fray in such circumstances, but it doesn't faze Rubens, who arrives battle-hardened after his memorable half a dozen years alongside Schumacher.