It has become a custom for me to offer some predictions for the season ahead. Actually, it has become a source of much amusement and derision among my colleagues, who are never shy of reminding me how unreliable my predictions are. I will, however, continue the custom for those of you who enjoy a bit of harmless amusement.
So, here’s what may happen as we move through a new season of motor racing in 2011. In no particular order:
1. Sébastien Ogier will be a lot closer to Sébastien Loeb and will challenge for the World Rally Championship title.
2. Valentino Rossi will win a race on a Ducati.
3. Audi will win Le Mans.
4. Red Bull will start the season winning Grands Prix.
5. Paul di Resta will impress in the Force India (if he actually gets to drive one of the cars Rob… Ed).
6. Dario Franchitti will win the Indycar championship.
7. Felipe Massa will be replaced at Ferrari during the year.
8. Rubens Barrichello will retire at the end of 2011.
9. Dean Stoneman will be on the podium in GP2.
10. Ferrari will threaten to leave Grand Prix racing if the rules for 2013 are not changed to accommodate a V6 turbo engine.
All nonsense? Yes, probably, but let’s be bold this year. You will have your own thoughts on the season ahead, or you may decide to keep them to yourselves, which is probably more sensible. But remember, I did predict that Vettel would win the Formula 1 title in 2010
While we’re listing things, here’s 10 events not to miss in 2011. Again, in no particular order:
1. The Monaco Grand Prix – F1 cars are as exciting as ever they were on this circuit. Pure drama, with or without overtaking.
2. Indycars on any of the ovals. Still a thrilling spectacle.
3. IRC Ypres Rally. An easy drive from the UK and a lovely town with the service area in the main square.
4. The Goodwood Revival. Simply the best.
5. MotoGP at Mugello. Take a walk around the circuit and be amazed.
6. BTCC at Brands Hatch. Audi joins the fray this year. Great circuit.
7. WRC Rally New Zealand. Breathtaking scenery.
8. Algarve Historic Festival. Sunshine, beaches and mouth-watering cars.
9. The Brazilian Grand Prix. Crackling atmosphere, always a good race.
10. Midget cars on any dirt oval. You can combine this with the Indy 500.
Go on, treat yourself. It will only be more expensive next year. Whatever you do, wherever you are, let’s look forward to another great season.