Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

The ones we will all be watching // An analysis of the 2010 F1 teammates

Published by KerbRider

I want to attempt a psycho analysis of this year's major driver pairings. The ones we will all be watching.

Ferrari

This for me will be one of the most intense and exciting battles of the year, and years to come. Alonso and Massa have a history. Remember the Nürburgring in 2007?

There was some rather close racing which eventually ended up in some argy bargy on and off the track.

Fernando was much quicker and trying to get past Felipe on a drying track. They had a moment at turn 5 with some banging of wheels, and the post race weigh in, and press conference, was a lot of fun to watch.

We have two Latino temperaments in the most emotionally charged outfit in the pit lane. Expect the sky at Maranello to rain fire. Gazetta de la Sport shares would be a great investment this year, as their readership will quadruple.

Fernando is a quiet genius in my eyes, and easily the best driver out there.

Fernando is a quiet genius in my eyes, and easily the best driver out there. Although the return of Voldemort will certainly make that more arguable. Lewis still has plenty of room to grow, as brilliant as he is already.

Felipe has been very impressive the past two years, and has grown enormously as a competitor with the benefit of Voldemort as a mentor. Unsurprisingly enough, this didn’t occur until the 7 time WC retired.

We should expect to see plenty of fireworks between FA and FM coming into the last half of the year. They will be media savvy and play it all down until it is obvious their despise for one another cannot be played down anymore.

Both are fiercely competitive and Massa will be territorial as Alonso will be intruding on Massa's home. Fernando wont get the measure of Massa consistently until probably 2011 as the first year with a new team is usually testing the waters. This was evident with Fernando's stint at McLaren. Besides, Massa won't allow Alonso to get the best of him.

Last year's accident is in the past, and I don’t think it will affect his overall approach to a race weekend. He certainly wont be frightened of driving the car, and he wont be slower as a result of the accident. Neither will win the title.

McLaren

McLaren have utilised the press superbly with the fact they have the two reigning WCs in their cars. It makes me wonder if that was a major factor in them hiring Button in the first place.

Lets make no mistake though, Button is quick. Well duh! I hear you say, and rightly so. But let me retort and say that there are still some question marks over Button's ability. Mainly due to the fact that he was not able to optimise his performances relative to Rubens in the latter half of 2009.

He may have been playing it safe, he may not have been as comfortable in the car as he was in the first 7 races of the year. Either way, it tarnished his championship victory.

Jenson is on the record as saying he moved to McLaren to prove he can race against the best, and there is no reason to not believe that, as he would be well aware of his reputation in the F1 community due to his tail off in performance post Turkey.

I think as people, Lewis and Jenson will get along as team mates more than friends. The reason being is that there is a slight age gap, which subsequently makes both have differing interests outside of F1.

Overall, I don’t think the team dynamic will ruffle too many feathers as both are gentlemen, but again fiercely competitive. The anger will be on track, rather than in the garage.

I expect Lewis to win the year for several reasons. One being is that Lewis is ultimately quicker in an ill handling car, and copes when the car doesn’t suit him better than Jenson does. 2009 proves that resoundingly. And with heavy cars and low(ish) grip tyres, this should fit into Lewis's domain more than Jenson's.

Also Lewis will qualify consistently better, and create his own luck whereas Jenson will require the luck to fall upon him. Another reason is that Lewis is part of the McLaren furniture, and Jenson was in the right place at the right time. Again!

Red Bull

Sebby V in his third full year of F1 will push hard for the championship. I'd expect him to be top 3 at minimum. Where does that leave Mark? He surprised a bit last year with how close he pushed Sebastian. Especially once the circus got back to Europe, and the leg was healing better.

If it wasn’t for a string of 5 unlucky races for Mark from Valencia to Singapore, the end result might have been quite different. A mistake from the pit crew in Spa cost him a podium. The car was not suited to both Monza and Valencia. Vettel only scored 1 point from these two races. In Singapore he had brake fade, which was probably his own causing, and Japan he made a critical mistake in practice which cost him a Q3 run. He set the fastest lap.

Sebastian created his own bad luck last year which cost him a chance to win the championship

Sebastian created his own bad luck last year which I think cost him a chance to win the championship in Abu Dhabi. He lost 6 points in Australia, which I saw up close and personal. That led to a bad qualifying position in Malaysia. He made a big error of judgement in Monaco with tyres, which he will have no doubt learned from for this year.

This pairing will be the one to watch for purely sporting reasons I think. RBR will stick to their equal opportunity philosophy until the last minute, as will McLaren. Ferrari will have no choice.

Sebastian is driven to win. He has a genuine need to win like Schumacher does. It bodes well for a future champion. Whereas Mark, has more of a point to prove. He is as determined as anyone out there, and his fitness is unquestionable. Tony Purnell once commented that he was amazed that Ferrari were not looking to Mark to replace Schumacher once he retired. A big rap, I believe.

Sebastian may be more prone to errors than Mark, but Mark, as is his nature, will be more prone to catching bad luck. So again I expect a close battle between the two, but ultimately, Sebastian should end up on top in what again will be the car of the year.

Mercedes

Voldemort V Rosberg. This will be interesting to see how this dynamic reacts to the media bewilderment. Will it be a master and apprentice situation like Schumacher and Massa? Or will Schumacher do what he always has done, and hide his telemetry from his internal rival. I, for one, hope he doesn’t. I, for one, hope Ross doesn’t allow it.

His testing point of view alone should see Mercedes develop a strong car. It remains to be seen whether it will be up the pecking order in Bahrain.

Make no mistake, Schuey will be quick, and the pressure is really on Nico now to deliver. I hope he does, because I think he has matured well under Williams and last year he had some impressive races. Singapore was one until he blew it exiting the pit lane.

I'm predicting Schumacher to win this battle, but I cant wait to be proven wrong. This could ruin Nico's career. I don’t think either way it will propel him to superstardom. He lacks the charisma and personality. Fernando, Lewis and Sebby V have it all in spades. Nico has the Finnish persona that Kimi carries so well.

The questions at this point pre-season will be, if Nico beats Schumacher, will he fulfil the three year term at Mercedes. If Schumacher beats Nico, will he go the way of Heidfeld as an also ran that never reached a peak anyone noticed?

This is the team that will define careers. Schumacher could go the way of Alan Jones as a former world champion that never got back in the game, or he could launch an even greater legend in f1 folklore. I doubt he will go the way of Alan Jones.

Nico could be made to be a great number 2, or the man who beat the statistically greatest driver F1 will ever see, and create his own legend.