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Survey shows Tifosi fear Hamilton
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Survey shows Tifosi fear Hamilton
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jan 2010   |  7:05 pm GMT  |  142 comments

McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway to Newbury for the launch tomorrow. Meanwhile Ferrari have unveiled their car today and are preparing to drive it to Valencia for its first test on Monday. Both teams are hoping that 2010 will be their year after disappointing 2009 campaigns.

Much has been said today about the new Ferrari and the drivers have spoken about who they believe the main opposition will be for this season. But tonight a survey in Italy’s leading sports paper, La Gazzetta dello Sport, shows that Ferrari fans, known as the tifosi, emphatically believe that Lewis Hamilton is the danger man for this year’s championship.

Will it be Alonso vs Hamilton again? Photo: Ferrari

Will it be Alonso vs Hamilton again? Photo: Ferrari


At the time of writing around 4,000 tifosi have responded to the survey. Asked who they feared the most this season, 45 % of them voted Hamilton, ahead of Michael Schumacher on 37%. Sebastian Vettel polled just 14% of the votes. The survey does not make positive reading for reigning world champion Jenson Button, who polled a mere 4%.

Speaking at the Ferrari launch today, Fernando Alonso dismissed suggestions that this could be one of the most open championships in years, with Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull all in contention,

“This possibility is there, but I don’t agree with it. I think at the end of the day, two or three drivers will fight for the championship and two teams will fight for the constructors’ title, ” he said. “It would be nice to have four or five teams at the same level, but this is not reality. When you come to the first races you realize that there are one or two cars better than the rest. Hopefully we will be one of those cars.”

What do you think?

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142 Comments
    1. Robert Mason says:

      Looks like everyone will be driving a Red Bull clone.

      1. James Allen says:

        Starting to look that way..

      2. jacktors says:

        Of course..it was one of the most well thought out cars of ’09, thats how F1 has always worked…spy copy and spy some more

      3. Neil Williams says:

        Ah but what will the 2010 Red Bull be like…

      4. Steve Mc says:

        Vettel for the WDC then, don’t you think (bearing in mind Red Bull will have had a year on everyone else in developing the concept), James?

      5. Prakhar M. says:

        Everyone except for Red Bull. Just watch. I have faith in Adrian Newey to come up with something brilliant.

      6. John Kilmartin says:

        RB5 was more than a nose.

      7. James W says:

        I wonder what Newey has up his sleeve…

    2. Med says:

      Is it just me or does the Williams look more compact than the McLaren and Ferrari?

      It’s a bit hard to tell because of the angle, but the wheelbase looks shorter

  1. Steve J says:

    The man to beat will be determined by the performance of the car. That said, for me the battle is between Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel and Schumacher. As good as their team-mates are, they won’t trouble the big boys over the course of the season. As a big Fernando fan, my heart says Alonso will win the championship, but my head says Hamilton will have the edge – I have a feeling the new McLaren will be the class of the field.

    1. Briggy says:

      I’m the opposite – I’d love to see Hamilton or Button do it, but I think Alonso will quite comfortably win it. Look how good he was in the dog of a Renault last two seasons – in a halfway competitive car he’ll pull out something special. As much as I hate to say it, I’d back him to take the glory.
      It’s all academic for now though, of course – can’t wait for the tests to start sorting things out.

      1. Peter Freeman says:

        I think Alonso’s car was better than Hamilton’s at the beginning of the season and he did nothing like as well. Personally I expect everyone to get a big surprise from Massa vs Alonso.

      2. Ronnie Stone says:

        You are still forgetting that the car’s performance, no matter how good, is limited by the weight of the fuel and the driver’s ability to manage his tyres. Even if one team had half a second over the others, that can only come into play at the qualifying stage, and that advantage could be nulled out by drivers like Vettel and Button, who are better at lugging full tanks around and tyre conserving. Make’s for a different kind of season than we’ve seen since the 80′s. the prospect is facinating, but I hope the reality isn’t drivers tippy toeing about until the last 15 laps.

    2. Dale says:

      I hope you’re right as I’m a huge McLaren fan and to my eyes Hamilton is by far the most exciting driver currently in F1 8)

      1. Lilia says:

        Hamilton is currently the faster driver around.
        Simple as that. That’s why others fear him. If Mclaren has a good car then he will be a living nightmare for the guys fighting him in the track. Of course other good drivers can make his life difficult too but he really is annoyingly fast if you are a competitor.

  2. Pat says:

    Newey will build a stonker…. the others are following his lead from last year – this year his car will be designed and built from the out set with the Double Diffuser in mind – so not sure why Vettel has polled so low he’s in my top 3.

    1. Stephen Kellett JAF1 says:

      Not Mercedes.

      Brawn built a great car last year despite it being compromised because the gearbox/engine combination was bodged onto it, rather than designed into it. Consider also they stopped work on it before the end of the season and they still won.

      This year’s car has no such compromises. Based on that the Mercedes this year should be awesome.

      1. Felipe says:

        I’m starting to think that Mercedes will have a great car. I won’t be surprised if they trash the competition again… but i’m not too sure. Ross Brawn is a man to be afraid of.

    2. Dale says:

      Newey will build on his 2009 design but all the others have now had a chance to understand his 2009 design and will likely follow the same route and at the end of the day both McLaren and Ferrari have the best backroom team and will show their class this year.

  3. Kent Paul says:

    I would agree with that.

    If Hamilton’s car is within 3 points of downforce of the leading car, he will be challenging, for sure :P

    1. Gary Smith says:

      Me too – you can’t really disagree with Alonso’s comment about there being two, possibly three drivers realistically fighting for the World Driver’s Championship – it does happen most years, afterall!

      Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel in that order.

      1. smellyden says:

        We wont know how many teams are doing what until we have some proper testing. I think though for all the fanfare we have about McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes. Red Bull are the team to beat. Vettel will have the best package underneath him (we all know how important that is don’t we Jenson!!!) as long as he and the Renault engine is a little more reliable then the 13/2 on Vettel is looking very tasty! Fill your boots!

  4. Jacktors says:

    I think Alonso is right, one or two top teams. Its always been this way, no reason other than pre season hype for this year to be any different.

  5. truff says:

    why do people talk about the ‘tifosi’ like they are special or something. no one cares about them except they themselves.

    ferrari will not achieve anything this year because for the last 2 years their organisation is run by clowns.

    they are lucky they had to drivers like kimi and massa to make it look a bit better, but it seems every year their car gets worse and this year wont be different looking at how they just tried to copy paste the red bull of 2009.

    and i do hope ferrari fails miserably, so they wake up out of their nationalistic italian bubble. also i hope the cheater alonso (who of course knew what was happening at singapore) will be severely beaten by massa.

    1. AlexD says:

      remove Ferrari from the F1 championship and remove Tifosi from all grandstands….and see what happens to F1. Then you will understand why:-)

      1. truff says:

        remove ferrari from f1 and within 2 races no one will miss them nor their stuck up nationalistic ‘tifosi’.

      2. Lilia says:

        Emmm……Nothing really. You will just lose Italy and some TV ratings at the first two years but things will go back to business as usual afterwards.

    2. LC1971 says:

      A couple of points here:

      1) Which teams have decided to put drivers representing the manufacturers’ home nations in their cars AND talk about their team being Team Germany or Team Britain?

      2) “no one cares about them except they themselves.” – you seem to care!

      Hamilton to beat Schumacher. Hamilton talks about Senna being his hero, but I think he is more like the Schumacher in his younger days – ambitious, a wheel to wheel racer and disingenuous when he opens his mouth.

      1. truff says:

        1) no one except ferrari has a nationalistic following who branded themselves with a word and think they matter because of this.

        2) saying no one cares about them means i care for them? ok, nice reasoning chump :P

        hamilton and schumacher in exact same car, schumacher will drive circles around him.

      2. Lilia says:

        1) I didn’t knew the reporters where members of the teams. Thanks for clearing this for us.

        Yes, yes Hamilton reminds you of young Schumi while easily forgetting the more basic. DRIVING STYLE! His driving style is a lot closer to Senna that Schumi. Or are you blind?
        Senna was annoying and arrogant to many also when he opened his mouth.
        Schumi actually is a good diplomat avoiding dislikable comments. He got more hated more because of the stands he pulled and the free pass he was getting from the FIA.

    3. LT says:

      Agreed 100%!! Well written!!

    4. fausta says:

      Glad you know everything Truff?

    5. Tim Lamkin says:

      O-you are real brilliant there.

  6. Gemma says:

    I also believe the weather will have a say, if we get quite a few wet races, Alonso and Hammilton are in a different class.

    1. Alex says:

      you might want to add Vettel to that list. And don’t forget the Rainmaster himself is back…

    2. Robert Mason says:

      Vettle??

    3. Carl says:

      I certainly wouldn’t say that Hamilton is a different class in the wet. I distinctly remember one of the wet races in the 2008 season where he spun 4 times or more (nearly equalling Massa’s record). In fact Schumacher, Vettel, Weber, Barrichello and Alonso, are better or at least as good as in the wet.

      1. Kyle says:

        China 2009 is the race you’re thinking of… and for the record, despite spinning his aero-less McLaren 4 times, he still managed to finish 6th.

        Vettel and Hamilton (oh, and Schumacher too I suppose…!) for me are the wet-weather superstars.

        Button, Alonso, Webber, Barrichello, Sutil are all very good in the wet but not quite in the same jaw-dropping fashion as the first three.

      2. Lilia says:

        Yes but still he was going faster that the faster cars. He spun because he was overdoing it, not because he was slow and couldn’t control the car in the rain.

      3. Anthony says:

        it was china, the car was awful and still he got 6th place.

    4. Rui Vale says:

      You are forgetting Shummi! This doesnt pleases me, but Michael was in a league of his own! Appart from Michael I only knew one better than him, and for me, THE GREATEST “WET” DRIVER OF THE WORLD: Ayrton Senna.

      PS: and dont forget Vetel which also seems a very good driver in the wet!

    5. lip_iceman says:

      …and a certain Mr Schumacher.

  7. Matthew H says:

    For me, the man to beat is Schumacher, who doesn’t want to beat him?

    1. Just A Bloke (Martin) says:

      I agree totally. Schumi is the man to beat, he might not have the best chance, but he is the man they will ALL want to beat.

  8. Sossoliso says:

    Vettel will be the man to beat. We all know Vettel is going to have a good Car. As for McLaren/Ferrari/Mercedes, will will have to see the cars in action to believe it.

  9. Sossoliso says:

    All Vettel has to do is keep his head down and cut out the errors. The first 4 or 5 races will be used by the others to figure out where they went wrong. If Vettel can win say 4 of the first 5 races before the others have got a chance to carefully study the Spy photos of his car… he has a good chance.

  10. dean says:

    It’d be great if ferrari, mclaren, merc and rbr were at the same level but its not likely. I’m expecting mclaren and rbr to be the class of the field and maybe williams springing a few suprises.

  11. David says:

    “man to beat” could be taken one of two ways. Who will be “the best”, or who is the man everyone wants to beat?

    Going with the second option, it has to be Herr Schumacher. A lot of drivers haven’t had the chance to race him before, placing higher than MS will mean a lot to any driver be it Hamilton, Alonso or Buemi.
    For the former option, if McLaren have built a good car then my money goes on Hamilton. We can all see that he matured a lot last year. Learning that it isn’t always “easy” to be at the front and taking some humble pie at times.

    I can’t wait for the test next week!

  12. Abhi says:

    Quite simple put, it seems like Hamilton will cake walk this season. The new Mclaren seems promising enough to take him there, possibly a pinch ahead of Alonso and Schumi. I wouldn’t count Massa and Rosberg out, neither would I take Vettel off the bandwagon. I really am fond of Button (far more than Hamilton), but he stands little chance in front of Hamilton.

    Then again, we’ve all seen how it was last year, before the pre-season testing commenced, and my money will still remain safe in my pockets till I see the last of the cars (except the new entrants of course) running their might in the first round of tests.

    Alonso could pull a shocker in his first season with the Tifosi, but we’ll know when it happens.

    1. AlexD says:

      Easier said then done. Nothing is going to be easy this year….for anybody.

    2. Brace says:

      Oh great Nostradamus where in the world did you find out that “new McLaren seems promising enough to take him there”?

      1. Abhi says:

        A little premature on my part to judge a car on the basis of the buzz in the air, agreed. I’ll take that line back, and instead put a hunch on Mclaren going just that step ahead of the rest to start off.

        But as I said, my money remains in my pocket till i see the last of the cars in the tests.

  13. Paige says:

    I’ll go with Vettel. The RB5 was a monster, and this year’s car will only be a further development of it. If there are tricks to be found with the changes in technical regulations (bigger fuel tank, skinnier front tires), Newey will find them. Vettel, IMO, is one of the top-two drivers around right now and grew plenty over the course of last year, and I think he’s ready to win a title. Plus, if we believe reports that the Renault engine has a fuel mileage advantage, then RB will have a major advantage.

    Everything will depend on the car, though.

    1. Stephen Kellett JAF1 says:

      Top two?

      He only wins races he starts from pole.

      1. Paige says:

        How often do drivers win when they don’t start from pole if they don’t have the fastest car? Vettel has never been put in a position with a heavy fuel strategy and a superior car.

        We saw all we needed to see about Vettel’s talent in Monza 2008, when he won with a bloody STR in the wet.

  14. RON says:

    Alonso can’t beat Hamilton in equal machinary… so that puts Ferrari in a very difficult position. They have to create a vastly superior car to help Alonso get closer to Hamilton on performance.

    McLaren have a far large window of performance, where Hamilton can make the difference, and still fight for ones.

    I still believe Ferrari are entering a very dark era, with a distinct possiblity of no wins in the season.

    1. JF says:

      You live in an alternate reality. This is nonsense

      1. Dale says:

        Sorry but I too believe Alonso can’t beat Hamilton unless he has a clear car advantage.
        Last year Hamilton grew into the class of the field where as Alonso faded and I think Massa will at least match him in 2010.

    2. F1 Dave says:

      Woudn’t say Alonso can’t beat Hamilton in equali equipment, they were very evenly matched in 2007, both won 4 races & Both finished on equal points.

      Also Alonso beat Hamilton a couple times in inferior equipment in 2008.

      I’d still rate Alonso (As many within F1 do) as the best all round driver in F1 right now. Hamilton/Vettel Etc.. can all be just as quick but they are weaker in other areas.

      1. Dale says:

        Alonso better than Hamilton – rubbish, what’s he done since he was beaten by Hamilton in his rookie year :?:

      2. F1 Dave says:

        He wasn’t necisarily beaten by Lewis at Mclarem, they finished on equal points with 4 wins each, Both got 12 podiums, Alonso finished ahead of Lewis 10 times, Lewis finished ahead of Alonso 7 times.

        They were incredibly evenly matched, neither of them really blew-away the other.

        As to what has Alonso done since, Well he hasn’t exactly had the equipment to do anything with. The 2008 Renault started off a dog & ended fairly good & the 2009 renault started off a dog & ended a dog because they stopped development quite early on to focus on there 2010 car.

        As to the ‘Alonso been the best all round driver in F1′, Ask the race engineer’s & those in the F1 paddock that understand all the data about it as there the one’s that say it. That comment isn’t something cooked up by Alonso fans, it comes from the actual people within F1 who study everything in detail all year long in every since session where cars are on track.

    3. Jonathan Chan says:

      Good observation,

      However I do believe they’ll get wins this season…

    4. JL says:

      Alonso tied Hamilton in points at Mclaren, even though they didn’t share the same machinary, specially through the last half of the season. Some day (hopefully) we’ll get to know the FACTS about that season.

      1. Dale says:

        FACT Alonso WA beaten by Hamilton – FACT nothing you or anyone can say here will alter this fact.

      2. paul says:

        Can you just explain slowly where these FACTS are that you are using to explain your point? Because everyone else on this forum seems to have facts proving they were equal in every single way!?

      3. Lilia says:

        Alonso himself said that the machinery was the same. But you must know better.

      4. Lalit says:

        Yeah – can’t wait.

      5. rooks says:

        Facts, haha, in capital letters, while you have no qualms claiming that Alonso was running inferior machinery. Do you have anything to support that or it’s just the way you rationalize his completely unexpected defeat?

        Come on man, Hamilton was a rookie, there’s just no way “the most complete, best all round driver” can lose to a rookie in any freaking condition. Not to the rookie Ayrton Senna or Jesus of Nazareth, no one! You beat a rookie on three wheels, you don’t tie points with them.

      6. JL says:

        1. After the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix, Ron Dennis said “We weren’t racing Kimi, we were basically racing Fernando.” The Times said his comments “made a nonsense of his claims to be treating his drivers equitably in the World Championship run”.
        2. It is known that Fernando had to sign a “non-disclosure agreement before being allowed to leave Mclaren at the end of 2007. Does this agreement ever expire?

        I really have no need to argue over this, as I think Lewis is a very good driver, although I simply disagree when you state that HAM beat ALO with equal machinery in ’07.

        These guys haven’t retired… and I have the feeling that this year, unlike ’08 and ’09 they just might be able to fight for the Championship on cars with a similiar performance level.

        Let’s get ready to rumble….

    5. Jasper says:

      It’s a shame how some people completely distort the facts in their memory about ’07. The truth is I can’t remember a pair of team-mates more evenly matched, when was the last time that team-mates scored the same number of points and wins in a season?

      Hamilton was generally better in qualifying, but then Alonso was usually better in the races.

      I think he’s missed having a team-mate who could really push him like Alonso, let’s hope Button will!

      The reality is there’s very little between them…

      1. Dale says:

        FACT: 2nd in the championship was Hamilton and 3rd was Alonso.
        FACR: Hamilton beat Alonso (the world champion) in his rookie season.

        Can’t see what the debate’s about, the record books don’t lie :!: :)

      2. Jasper says:

        You’re right I can’t see what the debate is about either!

        FACT: Hamilton was 2nd in the Championship and Alonso was 3rd.
        FACT: Hamilton 109 points Alonso 109 points
        FACT: Hamilton 4 wins Alonso 4 wins
        FACT: Hamilton finished ahead of Alonso in 7 out of 17 races & Alonso finished ahead of Hamilton in 10 out of 17 races.

        There’s nothing between them!!! If Alonso needs a car advantage to beat Hamilton, then Hamilton needs a car advantage to beat Alonso!

        FACT: In 2008 Alonso finished ahead of Hamilton in 7 out of 18 races with a car disadvantage.

        The record books don’t lie! :)

  15. George says:

    Went for Vettel, what are the chances Cosworth will make Williams a good engine?

    1. Philip W says:

      I hope Williams return to near the top. they now have a top driver in Rubens, who in my opinion made the Brawn so good. So i just hope Cosworth power can do the business.

  16. Simon says:

    I agree that the Red Bull under Neweys guidance will be a front runner but my gut feeling is that they will be hampered with reliability issues again this year.
    If Ferrari have got their act together and can produce a competitive car, Alonso will just about have the edge on Hamilton in my opinion.

  17. Babur says:

    KIMI!!!!

  18. Monktonnik says:

    I agree that Newey and Vettel make a fearsome pairing.

    I have to admit that I suspect that Brawn and Schumacher will be better.

    I hope that Button is right up there though.

  19. Eric Weinraub says:

    Comical that Hamilton is so highly rated. Quick for sure. Schuey’s coming!

  20. Chris says:

    I still think Kimi is better than Alonso in a Ferrari, even though he’s not racing this year.

    :)

    1. dejabrew says:

      Agree! I really have trouble understanding why Alonso’s rated so highly while he hasn’t shown anything remotely heroic since his last WDC. His results have dropped significantly each year and I find the ‘he’s in a poor car’ defense quite tedious. As a double world champ he’s supposed to be able to iron out the kinks in his Renaults with his engineers and make them shine. It’s not like Renault were on a shoestring budget for cryin’ out loud! :)

  21. Danny says:

    Mere conjecture

  22. Dieter says:

    Ferrari and the Tifosi for decades, they have always knew McLaren was their main challenger.

    In the late 90s and 2000, the most feared man at Ferrari and the Tifosi was always Hakkinen, if that man began a lap, your heart rate would always shoot up and I dont know how many times I have switched off the TV after seeing Hakkinen sticks the car on pole and worse to see him do over a second per lap over Ferrari’s.

    Hamilton has took where Hakkinen left off, he is a mixture of Hakkinen and Senna, when Hamilton is out there, he is there to do damage and nothing else, i have so much respect for him and the competition that he brings to the sport.

    Schumacher has raced against the greatest like Senna and Prost, but when asked about a man who was most challenging to him, he said it was Hakkinen.

    McLaren has had the most iconic drivers than any other team, Ferrari may do that with Alonso and build on that.

    I have no doubt McLaren will be out there to beat Ferrari and also to beat Schumacher and Mercedes.

    McLaren has a history of making their cars quicker and the season unfolds and fast upgrades.

    I just wish one thing that we not have politics in F1 and let the cars to the action on the track, like a religion, i always wanted to convert to being a rally fanatic, had it not been that friend who introduced Me to F1 for Ferrari and the early 90s sega F1 games of Mansell in a Ferrari.

    As the red blooded Italians would say “Forza Ferrari”

    1. Crom says:

      Great comment Dieter, a lot of insight and history from a fan of the sport

  23. ginnerchris says:

    There are two of Alonso’s comments which I really hope (and think) are wrong.

    The first is the one above about 2-3 drivers fighting for the championship. We had 4 drivers in with a chance until the last 3 races at the end of last year

    The second, and more worrying in my opinion, is his suggestion that without qualifying in the top 3 it will be impossible to win. I know overtaking hasn’t been the easiest thing in recent years, but with so many competitive drivers in what should be competitive cars, I really can’t see where he’s coming from.

    1. DistraChi says:

      Having so many competitive drivers in competitive cars does not mean anything. If all the competitive cars are lapping within 0.2 seconds of each other, it will still be difficult to overtake.

      The only way we’ll see more overtaking is if each car’s performance differs by a large margin as the weight of the fuel burns off. I really hope this is the case, but I think Alonso’s suggestion will be correct.

  24. NickF says:

    I wish people would say “I don’t know” more. So much depends on the car in Formula 1. Everyone likes to make predictions, but life is actually about uncertainty. Nobody thought last year would be like it was and so how can we predict this year?

    Everybody at car launches thinks somehow they can see if the car is fast or not based on its shape, when in fact they can’t. A formula 1 car changes to look fast or slow depending on if its winning or losing races.

    1. NickF says:

      Sorry that sounded a bit negative.

      Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, Schumacher and Vettel have the talent to win the championship. It’s always hard to compare the relative merits of different drivers unless they are in the same team. I feel that this year will be important for giving us a lot of data that lets us unpick who is best.

      I think people are excited about this season because they are all good and its really hard to pick who will win. If i was forced to pick one i would go for Hamilton, but i have to admit that i have a bias for British drivers.

      1. Dale says:

        Well we4 all know Hamilton IS better than Alonso :!:

    2. lip_iceman says:

      Some may have an intuition about how fast a car will be… based on having CFD experience.

  25. Azos says:

    Everything will depend upon the cars.

    Given the right car, any of the Merc, McL, RB and Ferrari drivers could win this year. I expect RB, Ferrari and Merc to be strong, McL I’m not as sure about.

    This year experience and a cool head will probably make the final difference, with so many good drivers and the potential for 4 good teams.

    It would be nice to see Williams do well this year especially with Bari there, and it will be interesting to see if Force India can stay on the road long enough to build upon the 09 season.

  26. yos says:

    I think Hamilton is at the pic of his talent, you can see what he did at the last GP quaifying, he literaly dominated the field even though he had brake problems in the race. If Mclaren give him the right car right from the start noone will stop him… except himself.

    1. rossetto says:

      Well, sometimes we had alonso, massa or even kimi doing the exact same thing.
      Oh! I forgot about Schumacher…. he did that a few times.

  27. Kav says:

    Unfortunately I think Alonso is right, we are expecting Merc/Red Bull/McLaren/Ferrari to be at the front but I think only 2 or 3 of those teams will be able to fight for the championship and I have a feeling Ferrari will not be one of those teams. Personally I think if Ferrari design a good car then Massa is the man to watch. He is still being underestimated unfairly.

    If not then Vettel.

  28. piotr says:

    Hi James
    Why is your poll limited down to only eight drivers? Last season was quite close therefore I would expect similar scenario this year. I’ll risk an opinion that Kubica’s Renault will be a dark horse in 2010. Even if it sounds like a wishful thinking to some of your readers, I am still of opinion that if the new R30 will be only as quick as 2008′ BMW Sauber, we can see Kubica shaking hands with the likes of Hamilton, Alonso and Schumacher from the top step of the podium quite regularly. Lets wait and see ;)

  29. Pablo Rossi says:

    The men to beat are the top men in the top teams. Lewis, Alonso, Schuey and Vettel.

    Out of these four, Lewis and Vettel have the advantage of consistency with their respective teams.

    Alonso is a proven championship winner under pressure.

    Schuey – despite his 3 year absence I need say nothing to big-up the great man.

    Vettel is astonishingly quick, however I have yet to see him as I call it, a ‘racer’ – his overtaking prowess. This will be essential this year and thus my list is reduced to three men; Lewis, Alonso and Schuey.

    And so it comes down to little details to establish the one man to beat.

    And the winner is…Lewis…in my eyes, as he will undoubtedly be in extremely competitive machinery and is just getting better and better and closer to his absolute prime, whereas Schuey will have unmatched experience and nous but clearly be on the other side of his prime. As for Fernando I feel his teammate will be his downfall in so much as Massa will occupy a huge amount of his attention and focus within the team and therefore his most prominent challenge will be to secure number one status, a challenge which I feel will take the majority of the season – similar to Kimi.

    Can’t wait any longer though, absolutely hyped for this season!!!

  30. Anomander says:

    So all people voting in a Gazetta poll are tifosi you think?

    Just like all Italians like pizza or are mafia.

    1. James Allen says:

      Nice generalisation. But tifosi simply means “fans”, just like you are fans here. In Italy the opinion of the fans is important to Ferrari

      1. Ronnie Stone says:

        Hiya James. You could do with reminding all the fans of the difference with the way the 2010 season will be run. They won’t just be blasting around like in previous years will they? They’ll all be conserving tyres and planning live strategey’s as the races unfold. Vettel & Button are kind to their tyres and not ‘skidders & sliders’ like some of the previous greats & that will make a differece.

    2. John Carter says:

      Good luck finding an Italian who doesn’t like pizza ;)

  31. lip_iceman says:

    I’m surprised frankly that Hamilton’s been rated so highly. Granted he is a great talent, but really, what evidence of a good car does anyone here have to go on? The macca was fast at some tracks _with_ kers.

    The key people at macca are better than the ones at ferrari, but I think the best key people have been organised under Ross Brawn. The best engine, best team principle (and technical director), one of the best infrastructures, and world champions after stopping 2009 car development early on. I don’t see how that translates to Hamilton being the threat.

    Unless of course the tifosi have sour grapes for Schumacher. But why would that be the case?

    1. Anthony says:

      errr… Lewis was fast.. where was kovalainen in those tracks you say?

  32. Jasper says:

    It seems like no one can agree on who the man to beat for the 2010 Championship is, but I think everyone can agree that it’s likely to be fought out between Alonso-v-Hamilton-v-Schumacher-v-Vettel assuming their cars are good enough!

    Vettel and Red Bull are the form team and driver going into 2010 after winning the last 3 races of ’09 with Vettel winning 2 of them. But has he got all the mistakes out of his system and if it all came down to a title decider can he handle the pressure? On the evidence of qualifying in Brazil last year you have to wonder…

    Schumacher, I have no doubt he will win races and be as quick as he was before, but I suspect it will take him a few races to get up to speed and be fighting for wins. You have to remember before he retired first time around it was only really Alonso he was fighting for the title and Alonso won. Now there are many more potential Championship contenders than when Schumacher last raced. Unless he’s got a car advantage he’s unlikely to be racking up wins like he did in his Ferrari days.

    Hamilton showed he was as quick as ever last year, although I still think his most impressive and consistent year was ’07 when he barely put a foot wrong until those last two races. Also I wonder how having to look after the tyres with a full tank of fuel will affect his style, as he’s known to be quite aggressive on his tyres. He’ll definately be in the fight this year, but I do wonder after making such hard work of the ’07 and ’08 title deciders if he can really handle the pressure when it comes down to it at the end for the World Title?

    Alonso, if you think back to ’05 when the cars had to make one set of tyres last the whole race, I think the fact that Alonso was so successful and won that year’s World title is a good indicator that he will be able to get the best out of this years tyres with no refueling. Will he be able to get the better of team-mate Massa over the course of the season? Well of course there’s gonna be days when Massa will beat him, but when you consider that Alonso with Hamilton as his team-mate they won 4 races a piece and scored the same number of points, you would think he would shade Massa over the course of the season. When it comes down to Title deciders we should remember that he’s very good under pressure and generally doesn’t make mistakes, I’d put him ahead of the others on that score. So my tip is Alonso, remember where you heard it ;)

    By the way I’m a Bruno Senna fan…

  33. Steven says:

    Why is Jenson rated so low? He’s not THAT bad! With the new regulations I think he’s a good bet for the title next year :)

    1. Dale says:

      Because those in the know know he lucked his championship last year, hardly top draw.

    2. Robert says:

      I agree………..maybe. It will be interesting to see how he translates the tyre strategies to his smooth driving style. Some of the others may run their tyres ragged. Remember Alonso in the championship Renault turning into corners like a go kart? That will not fly with full tanks. Hamy is pretty hard on tyres too. Maybe a season for the hare and the tortois.

  34. Vic says:

    I can’t help but feel Schumacher will be very strong this year. If Ross Brawn can make a car as reliable as last year, combined with Schumachers consistency and the fact that there are no tyre blankets allowed now, so starting on cold tyres will be an issue, not to mention the no re-fueling as well as Ross Brawn & Schumachers ability to think on the spot tactically. People seem to be really under-rating this scenario.

    My money is on Schumacher

    1. yer says:

      yup, ur right, im a ferrari fan during the days of the the big 3 MS, JT and RB but now it seems the scuderia is being handled by incompetent people so i guess they will still finished 4th or 5th place this year

  35. jese says:

    My money is in my pocket but if i was a betting man, i would bet on hammy. This boy with the right car is a wonder to behold.

  36. Coops says:

    I think Mr Newey will build a monster & the championship will be between Red Bull & McLaren.

    Vettel will be the top German driver & he will be champion, McLaren will win constructers…

    Flop of the year will be Michael Schumacher

  37. Dale says:

    Ferrari fans are right to be wary of Hamilton, if McLaren give him a car that’s at least equal then he will be champion in 2010.

  38. michael grievson says:

    I wonder if the rear suspension is going tonbe copied as well

  39. Peter says:

    Given a good car, Hamilton might be fearing his team mate Jenson Button.

  40. szmal says:

    it is very clear to me:

    still the same
    Schuey vs Newey
    or
    new Schumi vs real Schumi :)

  41. Mick says:

    “McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway”

    Now that would be a sight (and sound) to behold.

  42. Otto Link says:

    “McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway to Newbury for the launch tomorrow.”
    Early hours of the morning or not. That has to be illegal. Will be hard to avoid the temptation to go over 70mph.

  43. Abhi says:

    Which is why my money stays in my pocket

  44. timem1 says:

    I think this survey says more about who frequents this site than it does about who is the better driver. English speaking site = British fan base = Hamilton top choice. The bottom line is, this is a critical year for Lewis. He’s got to prove he can live up to the constant hype about how great a driver he is. There is little in the way of consistent data thus far to prove him in the league of Schumi, Senna etc. Best of luck to him.

    1. Tom Johnson says:

      If you bother to read the article you will find that the survey was conducted in an Italian newspaper.

  45. mick says:

    Jenson impressed me a lot last year,and I believe he may well get the better of Lewis this year.I think he is very underestimated talent.

  46. Buck61 says:

    Let’s not forget the season that Massa had in 2008 and the season he was having last year before suffered some bad luck. He is my #1 but I do think that Hamilton, Alonso and MS will be there fighting him the whole season.

  47. Carlos says:

    I’m an Alonso fan, but voting for Hamilton. Overtaking doesn’t seem to be getting easier, and Alonso is not among the best qualifiers.

    In 2005 and 2006 he had a car that could get great starts and that helped a lot – along with his skill at getting through crowds without touching anybody. I think the change away from strategy-based racing may hurt him too, because consistently good laptimes won’t be enough to get you past someone in front of you.

  48. Raz says:

    Hi James, interesting poll there, however it can be interpreted in a another way.. it could also mean that the Tifosi know that Michael has nothing else left to prove, he’s out there to have fun, where as lewis hamilton and co, have got a fair bit to prove. if anything they’ll all be hungry to have a shot at beating the 7x World beater.

  49. djs says:

    Sorry the only ‘Man to beat’ has to be the reigning champion surely?

  50. Chris Snell says:

    “McLaren are putting the finishing touches to their new MP4/25 car in Woking this evening and in the early hours of the morning will be driving it down the motorway to Newbury for the launch tomorrow. Meanwhile Ferrari have unveiled their car today and are preparing to drive it to Valencia for its first test on Monday.”

    I know that there’s costs to be cut but do the teams no longer have transporters?

  51. Stevie P says:

    “… will be driving it down the motorway …”

    I did wonder what that silver and grey flash was that shot past me this morning! I didn’t notice any reg plates, the rear windsreen wiper wasn’t working and nor was the offside brake light… how did it pass it’s MOT!?! No tax disk either… tsk, tsk. ;-)

    [Sorry - couldn't resist!]

  52. Paul Mc says:

    James, i remember back in Spa 2005 when you were commenting about Schumi sort of handing over the baton to Alonso in Formula 1. Alonso’s WDCs were given some credibility because he raced against Schumacher and beat him.

    Im sure Lewis would want a WDC racing against Schumacher just to solidify his status more than anything. Lewis has the capacity to extract more out of the McLaren ,a trait that Schumacher possessed througout his career. My money is 100% on Lewis this year, with Alonso finishing second.

    Schumacher as much as i want him to win it, i can see this year as a bit of a struggle. He’s no longer the Red Baron in a lot of the younger drivers eyes, he’s an old legend coming back to try and prove something.

  53. alex m says:

    2010 hangs on Brawn and how good their car is. 2009 was compromised by the very late engine change, then halfway through the season it fell back into a very tight midfield.

    Yes, they had an advantage with the Diffuser, but it was clearly also a very good car. If they have taken that momentum and carried it sucessfully into 2010, I am not sure anybody can catch MS and NR.

    Hamilton is still the most talented and exciting driver out there by some distance, the Tifosi saw what he did to Kimi and know what they are looking at. Some other drivers fans are still in denial it seems, even if their heroes have been shown to have feet of clay.

  54. Mac says:

    Why fear Hamilton when they haven’t seen what the Macca is capable of this season?

  55. tobi-wan says:

    I’m waiting until testing is complete before I put my hand in my pocket for a wager. IMO Hamilton is the true “racer” out there, but who knows? That’s what’s good about the pre-season hype! McLaren launch today on-line at 11.00!

  56. Olivier says:

    It will be the battle of the Champions:

    Alonso vs Hamilton vs Schumacher

    1. Richard Dreyer says:

      If it’s the battle of the Champions wouldn’t Jenson be in with a shout?

      1. Olivier says:

        Jenson will be the underdog :)

  57. Shakedown says:

    I would have said Hamilton….but now that Schuey and Brawn are back together, it fills this Ferrari fan with dread and anticipation and it feels fantastic.

    I do hope the F10 is F’Fast.

    My heart say’s Felipe…my head say’s Hamilton…but my gut say’s Schuey.

  58. Jim says:

    Dont right button off, the new rules will suit him. Plus he is under no presure and confident

  59. Road of Bones says:

    Heart says Jenson, head says Lewis. I’ll go with head for now…

    Can’t wait for Lew vs Schu!

    Ferrari aren’t in it these days, IMO

  60. Alex says:

    My gut feeling is that it will be a year of domination of Merc and McMerc with Jenson and Michael fighting for the WDC.

  61. R/T says:

    I don’t like hamilton, don’t like his attitude, he’s quick but only in a good car, he might even show something in a not too good car like he did last season when McLaren was struggling to keep up with the front runner, though I think there are better drivers than him, let’s not forget he won that 2008 championship thanks to the well known italian incompetence at the Scuderia, their broken engines and bizarre errors cost 23 points to Massa, that’s why hamilton won that season

    And if I were in the grid, I would probably “fear” Alonso, Kimi (if he were there) Vettel and others instead of hamilton, that’s for sure

    1. CHIUNDA says:

      And do not forget he nearly lost the 2008 championship because of FIA bias – not to mention FIA intimidating him in 2007 with stewards in the McLaren garage (Brazil) after a $100 million penalty earlier in the season!

  62. The Limit says:

    Interesting article. The flip side to that coin is that if you polled most McLaren fans they would probably all claim that Alonso and Ferrari are the biggest threats for 2010. Drivers who will fight for the title.

    Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel, Massa.

    2010 World Champion. Sebastien Vettel

    2. Fernando Alonso 3. Lewis Hamilton 4. Felipe Massa.

    Vettel to win by a point, Alonso and Hamilton within a point of each other. Massa one or two points behind Hamilton.

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