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Old 03-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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2010 F1 Annual Prediction

It's time for my annual Formula 1 season predictions. I did absolutely terrible last year, so let's hope this year I do better.



McLaren:
McLaren is a British company, and now that both of their drivers are British, I think that McLaren is going to be racing not only for prestige, but for national pride. There's no doubt that the Button-Hamilton teaming will be difficult to top. McLaren is still running a crew similar to last year. They started out 2009 poorly, but really built up. Now that factory Mercedes has drastically reduced their contribution to the team, it will be up to McLaren to really surge ahead do what they can to make sure they're holding their own. The McLaren is at least running Mercedes power again, and as it stands, Mercedes engines still appear to be topping the grid in practice as the big powerhouse engines. With the elimination of KERS, McLaren will have to rely on their power and aero to see them through.
Button: biggest hope will be to carry his momentum over from last year. He has to decide to drive like he did with Brawn and not revert back to his Honda days. He will be driving AGAINST Hamilton, which isn't a bad thing. I just don't see a lot of teamwork being used this year.
Hamilton: needs to keep working on not choking at the last minute. I think he lets stress get to him. He is a very talented driver, so if the McLaren MP4-25 is competitive, Hamilton will probably be the team star. Hamilton was able to rely on KERS to clean up his mistakes and make up for aerodynamic shortfall last year. This year KERS is no-more (thankfully), and Hamilton will have much less room for error.

Mercedes GP:
Mercedes GP will be a sure contender for the title this year. They have the advantage of being one of the few left of a dying breed-a factory team. Mercedes seems to be on fire in the racing world as of late, and if Mercedes can really put out something special, they'll really shine. Now that they've parted ways with McLaren, Mercedes GP can do everything their own way and see if it works. Having Ross Brawn as their Team Principal is going to be one of their biggest assets.
Schumacher: He's back. While many of us would have liked to have seen him back behind the wheel of the prancing horse, it's only fitting that he finish everything out with Mercedes. He is after all, a German. The big question will be whether he is able to stay injury-free with his neck. If he goes out, his replacement will most likely be the new test driver, Nick Heidfeld. That won't be all bad, as Heidfeld is very consistent driver (despite disappointing results in 2009). There's no doubt Michael's an amazing driver, but given the talent on the grid, I suspect that he'll have stiff competition.
Nico Rosberg: finally where he should be-with a truly competitive team. Rosberg was one of the most consistent drivers of the 2009 season. He finished 7th in driver points, scored points in 11 out of 17 races, only had one DNF/retirement, and did it all with a less-than-stellar car. I can only image what would have happened if that Williams car had a Mercedes engine. Now, we can see. Rosberg is a definite up and comer with potential, and he's an excellent choice for a support driver for Schumacher.

Red Bull Racing:
RBR decided to renew their contract with Renault, and I'm not convinced that was the right thing to do. The Renault engines seem to really power the RBR chassis very well and they're definitely a better mating than the Renault factory team setup. Unfortunately, the Renault engines lacked heavily in reliability for 2009. If this continues in 2010, I foresee a parting of ways of the two companies. If the engines can hold out and be competitive, RBR has a definite chance to fight for the pole in every race.
Sebastien Vettel: There's no doubt that Sebatien Vettel is one of the best drivers on the grid. If his RB6/RS27-2010 setup can put out, Vettel will once again be fighting for the driver's championship. Vettel is cool under pressure once he gets the jitters out. His first one or two races will be a good shake-down, but I suspect we may not see him come into his own until a couple races into the season.
Mark Webber: He's going to reprise his role again as a competitive, though not stellar driver. I view his role as more of a distraction to other drivers. He's such an aggressive driver that other drivers have to fight him off. He's not a dirty driver, but he's not squeaky-clean either. Drivers often focus on what he's doing, and that can take pressure off of Vettel to push ahead.

Scuderia Ferrari:
2009 was a disappointing season for Ferrari as a whole. The worst part of it was obviously the Massa incident. I think Ferrari was on pace to make strides, and they lost all momentum when Massa went down. This season there is more on the line than ever before, with Mercedes and McLaren being separate teams and with Red Bull surging ahead. Ferrari must make their stand, and hope that their engines prove to be strong. I think the biggest determining factory will be the output of the Ferrari 056 engine as compared to the Mercedes-Benz FO 108X. Whichever one can pump out the most power on the long straights will be king.
Felipe Massa: Glad he's back. Hopefully Massa is 100% and doesn't have any psychological effects from the spring impact. If he's not gun-shy, he'll really push the F10 chassis hard. Ferrari has always been a team that stresses team-play and the ability to be consistently-good. Massa can do this. The question is whether Ferrari can give him the car he deserves. Massa is a cool driver. He's collected and smart, and that always helps.
Fernando Alonso: I'm very happy to see Alonso in a more competitive car. Renault was a waste of his talent. Two retirements in 2009 were directly attributable to his pit crew. The Mickey Mouse show is now thankfully over. Alonso is known for his arrogance, but he's also known to be someone who can get the most out of a car; even when the car doesn't want to give it! Alonso will really push the limits of the F10 chassis, and I think it's good to have someone like him. If he proves to be a very competitive asset to Ferrari, I think they'll allow him to race his way. When Alonso does things his way, he usually does well.

Williams:
Williams ditched Toyota (well, Toyota was going out anyways) for an engine from a legendary manufacturer: Cosworth. It is yet to be determined what will come of this. Frank Williams is back in the Principal slot at Williams, and that may help the team immensely. Williams is a team that has been consistently and persistently average at best. Their biggest hurdle will be the other Cosworth cars. Williams has had good showings during Jerez and Barcelona test sessions, but that's just for time. We'll see how they do when the flag drops in a real race. And since many of the Cosworth cars aren't 100% yet, there remains a lot to be seen. Williams will again find themselves clawing for the middle throughout the season.
Barrichello: Rubens did spectacular last year, showing that he still has the talent to stay in F1. I think some of that was certainly mitigated by the Brawn Mercedes car. He's now in a car that I think is going to be less competitive, and I forsee him not putting up the numbers that he did last year. That said, having Rubens around to mentor Nico Hulkenberg will be a HUGE asset to Williams. Barrichello has lots to teach and more experience than almost anyone on the grid, and I'm fairly certain that this partnership is designed to use the wealth of experience and knowledge that Barrichello has to groom Hulkenberg.
Hulkenberg: While his wins in Formula Three, A1GP and GP2 will give him lots of credibility and capability, his biggest personal boost will come from having been the Williams test driver for the past 2 years. He is comfortable driving F1 cars, which are historically difficult to master. I see a bright future for this kid, and hopefully he doesn't fizzle out with Williams. If Williams can give him a great car, he'll shine. Even more so if he really listens to Barrichello and learns from the veteran. If he does, he'll be a very valuable driver in the future.

Renault:
I just can't say much good about Renault. Their engines are finicky and not terribly reliable. The engines put out decent power, but past factory Renault cars have had the aerodynamics of a Chevy Astro Van. Renault has taken hit after hit in 2009, and it is yet to be seen whether or not they'll recover. Losing Alonso didn't help them any. They certainly won't see the same success that Red Bull will have.
Robert Kubica: Kudos to Renault for picking him up, as Kubica is considered to be a very good driver. I think his talent is being wasted, but at least he's still driving in Formula 1. Kubica showed in 2008 that he has the chops to duke it out at the front with the best drivers on the grid. In 2009 he was hampered by a terrible car. If Renault can give him the car he needs, Kubica will dominate the middle group of drivers. I just can't see him doing better than middle though, but it won't be his fault.
Vitaly Petrov: He has an impressive GP2 career behind him, despite being a bit old. His age could help him with his nerves, whereas I think Grosjean wasn't ready for F1. The main problem will of course still be the car, but with knowing as little about Petrov as we do, I suspect he'll fatefully fall into the Renault support-driver role and blend in without anything substantial.

Force India:
It's hard to say what Force India will do in 2010. They are running Mercedes-Benz power again this year, which certainly helps them. The Force India cars had the highest top speed last year, and that helped them for the long tracks, like at Spa and Monza. Will it help them again? I don't know. I think they'll continue to do better, and may see one or two podium finishes. Overall, they'll probably still be relatively low to average in the points standings.
Sutil: Still not sure about him. He's got some skill, but just not that stellar of a driver. I think he'll probably wind up damaging his car quite a bit this year. I also suspect that he'll be the lesser of the two FI drivers.
Liuzzi: Vitantonio Liuzzi came out of the corner swinging last year. He's a good aggressive driver, and think he'll be the star of the team. That being said, he'll be hampered by the lack of technical support that FI has compared to other teams. The Mercedes-Benz FO-108X engine will be his best friend.

Scuderia Toro Rosso:
Toro Rosso officially became independent of Red Bull for 2010. The STR5 chassis is 100% home-grown Italian. I for one am thrilled. Toro Rosso for so long seemed to be a test group to see if Red Bull should go with Renault or Ferrari engines. Both had their own characteristics. Now that STR is on their own, I think they have a chance to really make a stand and show that they can compete. Ultimately, they lack exceptional talent, but I think consistency will be their goal. If they are consistent, they'll vie for the top slot among the middle group of competitors like Renault.
Buemi: 5 retirements and only 4 finishes in the top 10 in 2009 will mark a pretty low standard for Buemi to live up to. If he does well, he'll secure another year in the hot seat with STR. His goal should be to avoid crashes and seek to gain a few more points. To his credit, his 4 top-10 finishes were all points finishes, and he earned 6 of the 8 points that STR won in 2009 (the other 2 came from Bourdais). I think he's got potential, I really do.
Alguersuari: I got the impression that he was going to be replaced for 2010, but to be honest I'm glad STR is taking a chance and keeping him on. He doesn't have a really big racing record in open wheel racing (like Hulkenberg), but he must really be showing some potential. I think he was at a big disadvantage last year, having been brought in mid-season. He's had some time in the driver's seat, and he's done as well as 6th in Barcelona testing sessions. Lots to look forward to, I think.

Lotus:
Why the hell is Lotus using Cosworth engines? Why are they not using Lotus engines? This is confusing and stupid. Lotus used to be a big F1 engine maker and racer. Now they're just a constructor, not a factory team. Either way, I'm suspicious about whether they'll see any real success. With so many changes to the actual Lotus company in the recent years, and the fact that they're a new team, I can't hold too high of hopes for this team.
Trulli: He's a hot-head, but he gets the job done. He is a consistent driver that will push the limits when he can. I foresee him doing as well as he can with this car, but nothing too spectacular. I think Trulli is on the downslope of his career.
Kovalainen: Heikki never should have been driving for McLaren in the first place. He's just not that kind of driver. I think he's more at home with a team like Lotus. I don't expect much out of this team, but I expect that Kovalainen will be the team star and be responsible for the majority of the teams points this season.

HRT (formerly Campos-Meta):
They haven't even been on the track and they're already been changing the team around like a game of musical chairs. I want the best for this team, but I suspect that they'll be plagued by issues if they don't get their stuff straight. Campos is still not 100%, and I think they'll be playing catch-up for the first half of the season. I don't forsee them making better than the middle, this season. At least not based on what I'm seeing right now. At least they finally picked their second driver.
Bruno Senna: He's got a LOT to live up to, and I hope he doesn't fold under the pressure. I think we're going to see him either falter or really shine. Piquet Jr had that pitfall, but Rosberg shined. So it leaves a lot to see where Bruno Senna goes. If he does decently, he can probably do a lot to help the team along. Unfortunately, I cannot predict more about him since his team isn't complete yet.
Karun Chandhok: A former tester for Red Bull, and the Champion in the 2006 Asian Formula Renault V6 series, one would suspect that he's got some potential for F1. Then you see that from 2008-2009, Chandhok was doing horribly in GP2. Horribly is an understatement, too. I forsee him being akin to Crash Nakajima or Nelson Piquet Jr. He won't do much to impress, and will take up lots of track space with broken car parts and carbon fiber fragments.


US F1:
As of March 3rd, they are officially out of the 2010 Championship. They didn't even do their own press release. They just told the FIA that they couldn't make it in time. What the hell is that about? Anyone else here feeling really jipped? I know I am.


Virgin:
Formerly Manor Racing, Virgin is hitting the gates with the concept that they are the first team to develop and build their car completely within a computer. They are making some big claims that technology is on their side. Now, whether or not they succeed is to be determined. They're also running the Cosworth CA2010 engine, bringing the total number of Cosworth teams to 4. Primary sponsor, Richard Branson, has the capital to fund this project the right way. I suspect he enjoyed the success of Brawn GP so much that he wanted a part of it again. I think Virgin stands a decent chance at doing okay, but it's very dangerous to develop a car on a computer and claim that it'll be the cat's a$$ of all cars. They should be careful to properly test the cars before they really push them.
Timo Glock: He is a consistent driver, and definitely a good anchor driver for a new team like Manor/Virgin. I suspect that they'll be able to rely on his experience at this level, while also adding to his abilities with their own technology. He may do well, or he may not. Glock really isn't a driver who really pushed the boundaries, and I think he's kind of a boring driver to watch. How that will play into his team's success, I can't say.
Lucas di Grassi: He's been Renault's third driver for a couple years, and he's been also racing GP2. He's also Brazilian. How this will all play into the whole game, I don't know. I hope for big things for di Grassi, and he has a good foundation of knowledge in Glock that he can draw from. It's hard to say more for both him and Glock, since I think Virgin will be playing catch-up at the beginning of the season.


BMW Sauber:

BMW Sauber is being powered with Ferrari engines. Seriously. I'm not only shocked, but appalled by this. I'm not knocking the Ferrari 056 motor. Ferrari anything is akin to perfection and art. And sex. But BMW could not see fit to producing engines anymore, and they no longer have any major financial interest in the Sauber racing name or team. So why are they still called BMW Sauber? Why not Sauber GP or Sauber Ferrari or The Artist Formerly Known As BMW Sauber? At least they have Peter Sauber in the command chair as Team Principal.
Pedro de la Rosa: Pedro has years of experience as a test driver for McLaren. He knows the ins and outs of Formula 1 better than any other new driver, save Schumacher. De la Rosa actually got a taste of GP in 2006 when he took over for Montoya after Montoya left for redneck fame in NASCAR. De la Rosa also raced for Arrows and Jaguar in Formula 1 from 1999-2002. He did less than stellar with those teams. So what does this say? It's a mixed bag. A hung jury, if you will. He's got the experience, but whether or not he can apply is yet to be seen. I suspect he won't. Not when his team mate is a rising star.
Kamui Kobayashi: After 2009's debut of Kobayashi, I'm expecting great things from this kid. He went into Brazil and drove like a raped ape. He was duking it out with the big boys and managed to force some of them out of the insides of the corners to gain positions. Kobayashi is definitely aggressive, and that's perfect. I think he's the next big thing for Formula 1 if he keeps driving like he did in Brazil and Abu Dhabi in 2009. He managed to score points, even. That's pretty amazing in and of itself.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:27 AM   #2
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bmw will win
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Old 03-02-2010, 03:39 AM   #3
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Redbull will be fast.. I'm backing Vettel this year
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:00 PM   #4
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Like I said it my thread, Vettel Vettel Vettel! Its going to be a great year for Germany with the return of Schumi, and Rosberg at Mercedes GP. Im just waiting on the "super diffuser" to be unveiled at Bahrain
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:03 PM   #5
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I know many don't think he'll pull it off, but I'm backing Schumacher!

Edit* Nice writeup btw
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
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I know many don't think he'll pull it off, but I'm backing Schumacher!
Don't get me wrong- I'm expecting great things from him this year.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #7
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I have no team.

Been a fan of Sauber and BMW all my life!

But I think a change of team is needed, I think Peter Sauber buying off the team will be a tad better but i see no win for them this year,

After the first race I will make my decision.
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #8
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I'm pulling hard for Vettel. I just love his attitude. I hope he goes all the way.

Good predictions. I agree with the ESPNF1 articles that Schumi and Mercedes are underrating the car.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:32 AM   #9
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CRAP!!
USF1 is officially out of the 2010 season. I friggin' knew it!! Got my hopes up and now I'm pissed!

I can't decide who I want now. I REALLY want Vettel to have a run at the championship, but now that Ferrari has Alonso, I think Ferrari really is an insanely strong competitor this year. I want to see Massa get his title, too.

And yes, I agree that Mercedes and Schumi are underrating their car. I suspect they've been pushing their car in testing, but not to the limit.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:35 AM   #10
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hehe the season starts the day after my birthday!!
guess what I'm getting for my b-day btw?

I found tickets for the Montreal f1 race in my dads closet.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:56 AM   #11
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hehe the season starts the day after my birthday!!
guess what I'm getting for my b-day btw?

I found tickets for the Montreal f1 race in my dads closet.
Were you looking for porno mags when you stumbled upon them?
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:36 PM   #12
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2 predictions:

Team: Ferrari quit developing last year's car early, so they could concentrate on their 2010 machine (just like Brawn did the previous season). Ferrari will be strong from the start.

Driver: Webber did pretty good for himself in 2009 after a horrific bike accident in the offseason. This year he is healthy, and has a couple wins under his belt from last year. He has a lot of experience, and I think he'll cope better than most with the refueling ban (heavy car at the start of the race), unlike Lewis who will ruin his tires straight away with a heavy car.

So . . . What team is everyone rooting for this year? I used to support Williams back in the day before I switched to BMW Sauber (with BMW).
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Old 03-11-2010, 02:11 AM   #13
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Usually Lewis is very good with his tires.
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Old 03-11-2010, 04:58 PM   #14
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Usually Lewis is very good with his tires.
We must be watching two different f1 series then. He locks up front tires under braking more than anyone else on the grid.
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Old 03-16-2010, 02:36 AM   #15
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We must be watching two different f1 series then. He locks up front tires under braking more than anyone else on the grid.
Note to Lewis: That front end vibration you experienced during the second half of the Bahrain GP was the flat spot on your tires....
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