Last year my Father-in-law looked at me and asked me what I thought about the chassis of the Formula One cars. Before I could answer, he told me they were ugly. ‘They are the ugliest cars I have ever seen, they looked like squished bugs.’ I could not see what he was seeing and therefore could not argue the point. Can not wait to hear what he has to say about this year and the new step / platypus nose just about everyone seems to be using. My big pain of the season will be something a little more close to home though. I do not hide my allegiance to McLaren. My son makes no bones about who he wants to see win. I tried hard to raise him right but he has fallen prey to the Tifosi. The good thing is that he is only six and I have plenty of time to correct him before I have to kick him out the house. Not sure what to do about the Ferrari flag hanging in his room or the Scuderia jacket his Grandparents gave him for his birthday.
So as the new season is just days away, I figured might as well throw out my thoughts for what the season may bring. After digesting all the preseason testing, it is easy to see that just about everyone is fast. (Preseason times mean nothing to me.) Well, everyone except Ferrari, who seems to be having a wee bit of issues with the car and its setup. I am sure Montezemolo will blame some obscure rule if Alonso does not make it to the podium. The first rule that comes to mind is new for the season. I like to call it the Schumacher-Monza rule which states that if a driver leaves the racing line after a defensive move, that driver needs to leave space before returning to said racing line. This will be a hoot to watch for the first few rounds. This season we also see the return of in-season testing. Not sure why this was removed, beyond the supposed cost savings, but glad to see it back. I am sure several of the teams are glad as well. The other change, allowing lapped cars to pass and get a lap back under restarts. For the love of Zeus, I am glad to see this. Having slow cars packed between the leaders is plain and simply dumb, as well as unsafe. This should help rein in a certain Bull.
A few other things this season we will see are the return to the U.S. and the Kimster! Come November Austin, Texas will host the return of the USGP on a track designed for the purpose of Formula One. I figure, if I save enough lunch money, Little Man and I can make it out there in a few years. Kimi Raikkonen, the Ice man, is back and driving the Lotus. I really missed the post race interviews that he put on. He will make a difference for the team right out of the gate. We also see a lady back in the ranks with Maria de Villoto as a test driver for Marussia. One thing we will not see this season is Ruebens. The long time veteran has been displaced at Williams and has moved on to IndyCar series. Best of luck Ruebino.
Here is what I predict for the season:
1.) Kobayashi will land a podium or two this season. Kamui is one of the more enjoyable drivers to watch and the boy is not scared to put a pass on anyone.
2.) Caterham will score. The old Lotus team will not just score once but a few times this season. The addition of Vitaly Petrov will be a big boost.
3.) Torro Rosso will continue to prove they are morons. To scrap both drivers cause the results did not meet expectations is usually a good idea. Not in this case. Just because the young protege of Sebastian Vettel managed to eek out a win in a wet race does not make one a top tier team. Buemi and Alguersuari were respectable drivers in a car that is just not up to pace. Marko is living in a dream world. Best of luck to the new boys. Keep your resumes on hand just in case.
4.) Massa is a goner. Ferrari want something more than the poor Brazilian is willing to give. Is Massa a good driver? Yes. Does he deserve to be a ‘Second Driver’? No. This is for the betterment of his career, especially if he wants to stay in Formula One.
5.) Cooler heads will prevail. The Driver’s Title will come down to young Seb and Button, both who drive with a calm style. Mark and Lewis will battle it out for the third spot which should lead to some interesting clashes. Temperament is not on their side.
The Driver’s Championship will not be a run away event this season. The battle between Button and Vettel will go to the wire. The same will hold true for the Constructor’s title. Red Bull and McLaren will duke it out until the end but pace themselves well clear of the third place spot which will be a fun battle between Lotus, Ferrari, and Mercedes. Ferrari’s spot will all depend on if they have their mid season pick-me up that they seem to have had lately. If the others make inroads as well, the Scuderia crew may be lucky to manage fifth. Time will tell.