JA on F1 readers vote Hamilton as favourite for championship
Mercedes
JA on F1 readers vote Hamilton as favourite for championship
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Jan 2010   |  11:48 pm GMT  |  131 comments

It’s only early days and we have yet to see how fast the new cars are from each team. We have seen only the new Ferrari and McLaren cars, inert on a stage.

On Monday in Valencia, when most of the serious teams hit the track, we will start to see the picture forming of who is where and that picture will become clearer over the following three tests.

But the readers of JA on F1 have been voting on who they think is the man to beat at this stage of the game.

Picture 44
Just under 5,000 votes have been cast in the last 48 hours and Lewis Hamilton is the overwhelming favourite with 41% of the vote.

It’s a tight battle between Michael Schumacher and Fernando Alonso for second favourite; Schumacher has 20% of the vote, with Alonso on 18%.

Sebastian Vettel on 8% and Jenson Button on 6% are next up, with Mark Webber on 3%.

Hamilton said at yesterday’s McLaren launch that he felt Alonso was a more significant championship threat than Schumacher. There are plenty of worrying rumours this weekend about the aero figures of the Ferrari, but Ferrari themselves seem to be laughing the stories off.

No-one is talking about Vettel at this stage. The new Red Bull car will not be seen until the second test at Jerez.

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1

I really hope the Ferrari aero figures aren’t as bad as they’re being made to be, they have, alongside McLaren in 2007, the most exciting driver line-up since Prost and Senna. It’d be a shame if it was wasted.

Hamilton has to be favourite though. In recent history, McLaren have often been hit and miss…but the year after a miss, it’s always been a hit. McLaren don’t fail twice, and good though Jenson is, Hamilton’s raw speed is too good.

2

Well I am Brirish and I voted for MSC.

3

James,

Sod the aero, can you tell us what is the output of the Cosworth? That, I think, is the elephant in the room, the great unknown.

It was planned under the guiding hand of Mosley and I have to say that, given his attitude to the factory teams, I have my doubts as to fairness.

In a Williams it could be class of the field. Good as we might think the various drivers are, against raw bhp they are powerless.

FW and PH are amongst the shrewdest of team managers. If they’ve gone for the Cossie it has to be either carrot or stick.

Gon one, James. Tell us all which it is.

Please.

4

James i know you were there at the launch of the Mp4-25, Lewis seemed to get quite angry at some of the questions he was being asked and didn’t seem himself at the launch. Did you notice anything different about Lewis? One question was about Lewis always getting parts before Kovi did. I actually thought some of the questions were stupid like Lewis being paid more than Jenson.

5

Not at all. He seemed very calm and normal. Button was asked a provocative question about not being paid as much as Hamilton and he tried to deal with it, Hamilton effectively told the questioner to have more respect for the world champion, but neither of them were angry.

6

Have to say I voted for Hamilton but quite surprised that Vettel was well behind. For me he is quite comfortably 2nd favourite and should have been within a couple % of Hamilton!

7

Does someone know what song was playing right before the launch of the McLaren on Friday?

It was a very subdued song with a heartbroken beat. Very nice and emotional intro to a stunning car.

8

Subdued and heartbroken? Coldplay??!

9

Something from the playlist of McLaren press officer Steve Cooper, a real muso

10

I was very much intrigued by the music. Modern, yet elegant. Not the usual flashy house music. It feels like the car is the warriors armory. A broken hearted warrior who is going back to the battlefield … it’s very poetic.

If this car were to be a movie, it definitely would be “the House of Flying daggers”. Such a sharpness & precision:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWZg0Pb7KKM

11

Lots of people on these post are shouting about vettel and red bull….. 1st, webber done an outstanding job bearing in mind he wasn’t totally fit for most of the season, and didn’t really loose touch with his team mate. We haven’t seen vettel ‘race’ yet. By that I mean fight wheel to wheel and overtake. His best races have been from pole with little pressure from anyone. 2nd, why is it everyone seems to think the red bull will be any good. Newey done a very good job on last years car, but let’s face it, he made some mistakes at mclaren and designed cars that were too clever and just didn’t work. With all the rumours going around on areo figures, it’s just as likely they aren’t happy with something and that’s why the delayed their launch? Anything in f1 is possible, that’s one of the reasons we all love it.

12

Voted for Lewis thinking he’s the man to beat by the other drivers but I’m really going for Alonso, Massa and Schumy.

That said I’m a bit pessimistic about Ferrari. From the looks of it it might be bad but we might be able to tell tomorrow there are still chances of catching up after a couple races anyway. The thing is, a team knows it will do good and from this point they can say we know 100% we’ll have a competitive car but Ferrari has been saying “we’ll see” and “we’ll try our best”.

13

What are your thoughts on McLaren cooling James? and others. Looking at the small side pods makes me wonder how they will cope. Add that to the strain of extra fuel and perhaps having to run lean in the race. Lets hope they don’t fall to pieces in the hot weather like some teams did last year.

14

The sidepods are certainly being worn tight this season!

15

I read your article in the early hours of this morning, in Spain, when there were no replies.

I nearly put a remark but didn’t. Having read all the above, I will post the same comment I was going to make many hours ago!

I voted M. Shumacher, not Hamilton. I would however state that I need to see how the cars perform before a balanced judgement can be made. Which is what amuses me about many of these posts. Yes- I am not an expert, but I have followed F1 since 1950.

16

I’m surprised that Hamilton is favored so much over Button, who looked awfully confident at the launch the other day. I wouldn’t mind placing a bet on a couple of drivers – does anyone know where an American like me can place a bet online?

17

Give the guy a break. He is only going into his 3rd full season afterall and his peak performances last year was the highest from anybody

18

McLaren have already taken their new “megafuser” and had it approved by the FIA. They had a cover over it at the launch, this may just be gamesmanship, but it seems to be having the desired effect on the media.

We are about due for another radical media grabbing pronouncement by Bernie. (He has time to think one up, now that he has let Saab off the hook)

However any speculation as to the championships is meaningless until all teams have shown their mettle. As we know, even the very best driver cannot win in a mediocre car, thus all bets are off untill all the testing is done and even then Campos may turn up on the dat and blow everyone away. (Admittedly unlikely, but a lot of premature chicken counting is above)

19

Show good wishe of most British fans , anyway, in this coming race, the result is more dependent on the cars teams would provide. Those drivers have nothing needs to prove, only their cars.

20

I voted for Lewis, personally i hope that Felipe will win the title but Lewis and Mclaren seems to be the safest bet.

Vettel would be a safe choice also but the Red Bull ,Renault engine on the Red Bull,reliability it´s a question mark.

Can´t wait for the teams to start showing there diffusers!!!

21

I would love to see Felipe win it too, by beating Schumacher in Brazil. That would be the fairytale of fairytales. I think even Michael himself might shed a tear at his protege doing that…

22

I think although Vettel is certainly a very mature driver, a very professional driver and able to extract a great deal of speed in his car, people are all to aware he has only won from pole (except Abu Dhabi where Pole had to retire) Even Monza 08, for all the ‘Minardi DNA’ was a rapidly improving Newey chassis/aero package with a Ferrari engine. Until we see him take a take a win that had had another driver’s name on it, or do a critical overtake to secure a vital position he will not have demonstrated he is the complete package.

Don’t get me wrong – what he does does well, he excels at; but if he was a top trump card he would be full of 95% – 100% stats in a lot of categories with some 50% – 60% results in areas he has still yet to shine in.

People are all to aware of this, and whilst the probability is that RB6 will be the car of the field, their faith in Vettel has a big question mark over the gaps in his skillset that he has failed to demonstrate to people that he is truly great in.

Also, depending on which Mark Webber shows up this season could be most significant of all. Red Bull potentially have the closest driver pairing after Ferrari (although both Massa and Webber have question marks over them)

Vettel should certainly be favourite for Bahrain though, assuming he has a car that can qualify on pole.

23

Can’t count Hamilton out, but based on their speed in the latter half of last season, it’s clear Red Bull gives you wins. Vettel should be the favorite.

24

But in the latter half of last season, who scored the most points? Hamilton. So maybe he should be favourite?

25

Don’t forget that Vettel had engine problems, forcing him to nurse the last remaining ones. And speaking of engines, I think James wrote sometime last year that the Renault engine was the most efficient on the grid last year, which could be a big advantage without refuelling. Anyways, like I said you can’t count Hamilton (or McLaren) out, but based solely on their overall speed from last year, I think Red Bull has the edge. Po-tay-toe, Poe-tah-toe, time will tell.

26

The Lewis Hamilton this season will be the finished article. Added maturity and that drive to beat a fellow world champion in Jenson Button. He needs to improve when the pressure is on, make less mistakes and not crash. He could be in for a vintage season, a one where he wins about 8 races.

27

Regardless – there is not as much national bias amongst British fans as you might think. During the Hill/Schumacher era in the mid nineties I encountered as many Schumi fans as Hill fans.

These days Raikkonen has a huge fan base – Hamilton has a lot if detractors in the Uk because he doesn’t fill the typical British sports star, which usually involves bring over modest and with a gap in their talent that has to be made up by pure hard work (see Tim Henman the tennis player)

Hamilton is more in the ‘bred to win’ category of sportsperson; ie he has been groomed for his success since day one (a concept in F1 that was pioneered by the way Schumacher started out although Schumacher’s path was not as deliberate) – it is more akin to how the great tennis players get to be so great.

I meet many British people who are put off by him because the perceive him as being arrogant (or because they are British members of the Tifosi) – however even most of the detractors I have spoken to (including those outside the UK) usually end up their tirade detailing why they dislike him by adding the comment: “but boy can he drive”

28
Petition2DChicaneTamburello

There was a time in the distant past when English footballers didn’t dive either. The times are a-changing and so are the paragons of sportsmanship.

29

I think Vettel still imrpoving faster and more than any other driver. So, he can make bigger step that many would think.

30

I think its too soon to predict who is going to be fast.

Nobody expected McLaren to be so far off the pace in the first half of last year, or indeed that Brawn would deliver so emphatically

I’m no expert, but usually when Adrian Newey releases a car late he has done so to get it absolutely right before release, meaning he is confident its a good one.

The McLaren paint job looks as brilliant as ever!

James,

I for one cant wait for the first tests! Its been a long winter, but made all the better by your dailly articles. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Any movement on appearing on BBC TV next year again?

31

I am gobsmacked Michael is not favourite in the poll. He’s driving for a team which last year won both the world titles and.. HE’S MICHAEL SCHUMACHER!

32

3 years out is a lot. It may take him a few races to get back into it, and that could be crucial. Or he could blitz the field. Or he could find out he’s lost it.

He’s a bit of an unknown quanity. That’s why people didn’t pick him.

33

Secret of most traders:

“The majority is normally wrong.”

34
Petition2DChicaneTamburello

Of course the poll results have nothing to do with the fact that the readership of this site is composed primarily of Brits of the McLaren supporting, Hamilton worshiping type. 🙂

35

The majority of people reading this forum are not British!

Over on the Autosport.com forum, a British organization, 28% of those voting declared themselves British in the favourite drivers poll.

36

I’m British and I went for Schumacher. It’s not who you WANT to win, it’s who you think WILL. Oh, maybe I went for Schumacher because my great-great-great-great grandfather was German. Why do some people think nationalism comes into a question like this? If it did then why is Button not right up there with Hamilton, he’s British as well.

37
Petition2DChicaneTamburello

-Why do some people think nationalism comes into a question like this?

Because it does. If you think everyone F1 fan (or of any sport for that matter) is objective and unbiased in their views you are immensely naïve.

38

I just thought on a simple, hypothetical question on who do you THINK will win, people wouldn’t just plump for their nationality every time. Is my swiss friend really going to put Buemi as someone he THINKS will win the title next year? NO, because that’s unrealistic. But he would say that he WANTS Buemi to win, and thats fair enough.

You didn’t answer why Button didn’t recieve loads of votes as well? He’s British too. Not all fans are blinded by nationality I actually wanted Vettel to beat Button last year and again, I’m British not German.

Obviously following teams, players, drivers of your nationality above others is normal, but I don’t see why it should totally colour results in this particular question.

Did the mass of Americans who read this site not vote because they don’t have a top driver to go for? No, they went for an educated guess and I expect there was a range of answers, which is why the preamble to this season is so exciting, because it could potentially be any one of 8 drivers from 4 teams who walks away with the 2010 crown.

39

Fair enough. I agree – assuming his car is up to
it, Lewis is the benchmark. And I also agree with Hamilton that his stalking horse is Fernando Alonso. All apendages crossed in the hope that the key players have cars that do them
justice. Schumacher will certainly be in the mix, but Alonso/Hamilton is the defining rivalry of this era and we need to see them both in competitive cars at their absolute limit. Let us pray…

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