The 2008 Formula 1 season is being hailed by many as possibly the most exciting in recent history. F1 Racing went as far as to say that it is “the hottest title fight since Senna and Prost”. The Alonso vs Räikkönen vs Hamilton battle is certainly of interest but I just don’t see Renault being able to make up all the ground they lost last year with their R27 and being serious challengers for the title.
Ferrari are looking ominously fast in testing – Räikkönen taking almost 2 seconds of last year’s lap time in Bahrain and Massa not far off. The McLarens also look as though they have made a positive step forward since 2007’s nightmare.
If you find yourself flicking through the pages of Ladbrokes.com in the near future you’ll see that they have tipped Kimi to win the Championship on 11/8 while Hamilton is at 2/1. Other interesting odds to win the title… Massa 9/2, Alonso 7/1, Kovalainen 10/1, Button 80/1. Alonso to leave Renault? Apparently that’s a safe bet at evens.
Although I don’t completely agree I do think that Massa has more of a chance to win his first World Championship than Alonso does of taking home his third.
What many people seem to have overlooked is the Kovalainen/Hamilton battle. Lewis has been at McLaren for years, is settled, fast, determined and the only thing he has going against him is that there is more pressure than last year. Heikki on the other hand, has little to no pressure and is seemingly just as quick if not quicker – in recent tests he has frequently gone up to 1.5 seconds faster than his British team-mate. Obviously times in testing can be very misleading and as everyone is saying, you can’t tell how fast anyone is until the Australian Grand Prix.
Now the real difference between McLaren and Ferrari won’t be seen until that first qualifying session but if the Woking-based manufacturer is on the pace, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kovalainen was challenging for the title. He had a rocky start in 2007 but he has apparently changed his training schedule to make sure he is au point, come Melbourne. If I had less sense I may just be tempted putting a tenner on the Fin to win.
Sadly I was also the person that thought Scotland were the dark horses in the Six Nations and now we are 2 matches and 2 embarrassing losses in, I feel like a bit of an idiot. Never before (perhaps apart from Honda) have I seen a team remain so positive in the face of such mediocrity. Although they do have an alarming ability to lose the ball in any breakdown situation, they just don’t have the confidence to really threaten any other nation.
If Kovalainen shares the same fate as beloved Scotland, consider this blog deleted.