Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
Location: Los Angeles / Hannover Germany
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
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Who is in pole position for a great season
Who is in pole position for a great season and who looks destined to spend 2008 at the back of the pack?
More Stories2008 rule changes
Team by team prospects for the Formula One season starting in Australia on March 16 (listed in 2007 championship order):
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Kimi Raikkonen (Finland), Felipe Massa (Brazil)
Impressive in pre-season testing, particularly in long runs, and looking very much the team to beat. Reliability is still a concern. Raikkonen is the early favourite as champion but Massa, who starts on equal terms, will be a big rival and will undoubtedly win races.
Nick Heidfeld (Germany), Robert Kubica (Poland)
BMW have targeted a first grand prix win as their major ambition for the season, and may get it later in the year. A title challenge looks to be beyond them still. Testing times have been mixed, with the new F1.08 car slower than expected at first but steadily improving since. Double world champion Fernando Alonso singled them out as a team to watch.
Fernando Alonso (Spain), Nelson Piquet Jr (Brazil)
Alonso's return is a boost for the former champions after a disappointing and winless 2007 season, but he may be frustrated in the first few races with a car that has plenty of ground to make up. The Spaniard will be very much the main man, with 22-year-old Piquet in support. Piquet follows his triple-champion and namesake father into the sport.
Nico Rosberg (Germany), Kazuki Nakajima (Japan)
The fact that McLaren wanted Rosberg as a replacement for Alonso speaks volumes about his talent. Williams' success in retaining him shows they still mean business and the new car has been quick and reliable. Fourth place overall looks a realistic aim. Nakajima starts his first full season but has already shown that he has the speed.
David Coulthard (Britain), Mark Webber (Australia)
The oldest line-up on the starting grid may seem strange for a team that projects a youthful and irreverent image but Renault-powered Red Bull want results and see experience as the best way to get them. Reliability should be much-improved after a shocking 2007 and the Adrian Newey-designed car has shown a fair turn of speed. Can hope for the occasional podium and a shot at fourth place overall.
Jarno Trulli (Italy), Timo Glock (Germany)
Regular under-achievers emerging from a highly disappointing 2007 with a new car that represents a radical break from the past. They should certainly do better than last year and could even challenge teams such as Renault, Williams and Red Bull. Trulli is notably quick over a single lap, so they should be able to qualify well. Rookie Glock is still finding his way.
Sebastien Bourdais (France), Sebastian Vettel (Germany)
The two fresh driver talents could make this the most-improved team of the year. Bourdais is a four-times Champ Car champion but a Formula One rookie, Vettel is starting his first full season after already becoming a hot property on the basis of last year's results. The new Ferrari-powered car does not arrive until after the first few long-haul races.
Jenson Button (Britain), Rubens Barrichello (Brazil)
Honda must do better than last year and that should not be difficult. But the car has still looked slow in testing and they may decide to cut their losses and focus on 2009 earlier than most. The arrival of Ross Brawn as team principal has galvanised the staff. Barrichello will set a record of 257 race starts later in the year but he may not have much else to celebrate.
Drivers still to be confirmed but are expected to be Japan's Takuma Sato and Britain's Anthony Davidson. Negotiations to secure the team's future continue with little more than a week to go before first practice in Melbourne. If all goes to plan, they will be racing but with a huge disadvantage after taking part in just one test since December. Expect them to be lapped and last.
Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy), Adrian Sutil (Germany)
One point last year as Spyker but now much more serious challengers under new ownership. Indian billionaire Vijay Mallya has provided a far bigger budget and hired Fisichella from Renault. His experience will be invaluable. The new car looks
far more competitive and could embarrass some of the bigger teams.
Lewis Hamilton (Britain), Heikki Kovalainen (Finland)
Last in the pecking order after being stripped of all their constructors' points and fined $100 million for a spying controversy. McLaren are still an elite team along with Ferrari and will be the Italians' biggest rivals. Hamilton looks a good bet for the title while Kovalainen will be pushing him hard to show his worth after his debut with Renault in 2007. The two drivers have started just 34 races between them.