World champion 1980
We need grid girls back – what a joke! If I could change one thing, it would be to reverse that decision. But on track, I’d be surprised if the status quo changed significantly. We’re hearing stories of Mercedes having 1000 horsepower and that’s not something I see Renault making up in the next couple of months. Ferrari you can never be quite sure about, tucked away over there out of the mainstream they’re always capable of springing a surprise – and they may very well come up with something that blows everyone away. But my money would still be on Mercedes.
So it’s a bit of a shame that we’re sitting here in February already sort of knowing who is going to be standing on the podium places; it’s not as unpredictable as it needs to be. It’s hard to see past Lewis Hamilton. He’s got Valtteri Bottas there with him but I was rather left cold last year by this ‘psychologically it was difficult and I went off the boil’. If you need motivating, don’t bloody do it! You have to believe in yourself and just get stuck in. If I was a team owner I’d be thinking, ‘Why do I need this?’
Red Bull’s an interesting one. I don’t see them as title contenders because I just cannot see Renault suddenly making up that power gap but I’m sure they will have one of the very best chassis and it’s an interesting time for Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull has signed Max Verstappen ahead of him and they’re sort of saying ‘He’s our boy’. If I was Daniel in that situation I’d be thinking ‘Oh, is that right?’ and I’d be talking to Ferrari. I’d love to see him in a Ferrari. I’m a huge fan of Max, I love his do-or-die attitude but he maybe needs another year before he has Daniel’s consistency.
As for other changes, I worry about the halo. I hope I’m wrong but if a car gets upside down and they can’t get the driver out quickly because of that, then there could be a lot of egg on faces.
Mercedes car, Red Bull team boss Christian Horner, driver line-up Hamilton and Ricciardo