F1 2008 Preview (Launch Edition)


1. Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen
2. Ferrari  – Felipe Massa
3. BMW Sauber – Nick Heidfeld
4. BMW Sauber – Robert Kubica
5. Renault – Fernando Alonso
6. Renault – Nelson Piquet
7. Williams – Toyota – Nico Rosberg
8. Williams – Toyota – Kazuki Nakajima
9. Red Bull Racing – Renault - David Coulthard
10. Red Bull Racing – Renault - Mark Webber
11. Toyota – Jarno Trulli
12. Toyota – Timo Glock
13. Scuderia Toro Rosso – Ferrari – Sebastien Bourdais
14. Scuderia Toro Rosso – Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel
15. Honda – Jenson Button
16. Honda – Rubens Barrichello
17. Super Aguri F1 – Honda – Takuma Sato
18. Super Aguri F1 – Honda – Anthony Davidson
19. Force India - Ferrari - Adrian Sutil
20. Force India - Ferrari - TBA
21. McLaren - Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton
22. McLaren - Mercedes - Heikki Kovalainen


In what has become a yearly tradition I will attempt to preview the entire 2008 Formula One campaign in one post and put my foot in my mouth as often as possible. This is especially dim witted of me as none of the teams have released their 2008 machines yet, in fact Ferrari are the first to launch tomorrow. On with the fun…

Easy Predictions:

I will begin with something easy, namely some predictions that are so obvious they are common knowledge. Here we go:
  1. Honda will be better in 2008 - mainly because the alternative is now impossible. A company the size of Honda cannot go on embarrassing themselves for yet another year, so I am hoping Honda build a decent car. Even if they just pushed a couple of wrong buttons and make one by mistake- after all the law of averages is on their side. On top of this they’ve now got Ross Brawn onboard, which is likely to increase everyone’s motivation and in the medium term - 2009 success but that’s a prediction for next year.
  2. Something even more inane will blow up - it seems that every year something more pointless blow up into some massive scandal and it always has very little to do with the racing. If it’s not mass dampers its espionage but at the end of the day it’s an emotive sport and people like to get behind a hot topic.

Medium Predictions:

OK, these predictions are slightly more likely to backfire but are still more than likely given what is known of the 2008 season at this point (i.e. diddly squat). Here they are:
  1. Max Mosley will get his way again - recently Max announced a series of restrictive aerodynamic regulations. The biggest issue I have with them is how impossible they will be to police, I mean is he going to insist that a FIA representative goes and sits in each teams windtunnel to make sure they are following the rules? Of course not because his only reason for releasing the new regulations was to force the teams into accepting a Formula One budget cap.
  2. Slicks do not make a comeback in 2009 - the Overtaking Working Group will decide that they need yet another year to devise new aerodynamic regulations halting the return of slicks for another year. If I remember correctly slicks and the new aero rules were originally due for 2008.
  3. Piquet does a Hamilton - for the second time in as many years Fernando Alonso is made to look like a rookie by the rookie in the other Renault. Throughout their GP2 season together Piquet set considerably more pole positions than Hamilton but Hamilton proved he was more than a match on race day. Could be interesting to see what happens if Piquet sticks his Renault ahead of Alonso’s in Melbourne.

Hard Predictions:

These ones are seriously unlikely to happen but still could just about occur should something go very wrong or very right. Here it comes…
  1. Potential power of KERS system is reduced - the FIA will decide that they do not want to let the teams get rid of the standard ECU, which they will have to do if they are to get the most out of the KERS system that is set to be introduced in 2009. This is despite the FIA opening up the regulations on KERS to ensure all the teams developed effective systems.
  2. Four different teams top the podium - the 2008 season proves very tight and the top four teams (McLaren, Ferrari, Renault and BMW Sauber) all win at least one race a piece.

Surprises of 2008:

With the season wide predictions out of the way it’s time to make some predictions as to which teams will surprise with their particularly excellent or abysmal performance. Here are my top three surprises:

1. Williams - the dynamic combination of Rosberg and Nakajima don’t have the speed to win races but continue to push Williams foward and produce some stunning performances. Rosberg finally gets his first podium.
2. Toyota - another unsuccessful campaign due to a evolutionary rather than revolutionary car but the big headline is Timo Glock who completely out performs Jarno Trulli all season. 
3. Honda - by the end of 2008 Honda begin to look like a world class team capable of winning the World Championship. Jenson Button and Luca Filippi are confirmed for 2009 - 10.

Pecking Order of 2008:

Here is my pecking order for 2008. I’ve have also attempted to guess which teams will win at least one race (W), get at least one podium (P), get at least one pole position (PP) or at least one fastest lap (F). Read on..

1. Ferrari (W), (P), (PP), (F)
2. BMW Sauber (W), (P), (PP), (F)
3. McLaren (W), (P), (PP), (F)
4. Renault (W), (P), (PP), (F)
5. Williams (P), (F)
6. Honda (P)
7. Red Bull Racing (P)
8. Scuderia Torro Rosso
9. Toyota
10. Super Aguri
11. Force India

Posted byMichael at 20:49  

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