The Formula 1 season is nearly halfway through, time has come to bet on the driver’s championship, and it takes no more than a quick glance at the results to note that this year has been the most competitive one in a very long time. The post Schumacher era had experienced a thrilling season finale last year which has been followed by a sensational mid season standing. Never have 3 teams including four drivers been billed as possible contenders for the divers championships.
The gap between current leader Felipe Massa and the fourth placed British sensation Lewis Hamilton is a mere 10 points. Robert Kubica in his BMW Sauber has been the surprise package this season. Considering their achievements so far, it can be safe to say that Ferrari once again look like the team to beat. They have won 5 of the 8 races, the other 3 going to Lewis Hamilton(2) and Robert Kubica(1). Heikki Kovalainen has been disappointing this season , partly due to his bad luck. He has only a singe podium finish, and his 4th place finish yesterday at Magny-Cours might be his much needed revival.
At this stage, when most teams would have chosen their numero uno, it is the toughest to predict for the Ferraris. Both the drivers are in a favorable situation to win the championship. This continuing dominance might be good news for the team championships, but is a disaster in the driver’s championship. You will only need to look back at the Mclaren duo of the last season to understand what i am referring to. For the second placed team BMW Sauber, it is clearly Robert Kubica, while for the Mclaren, it has to be Hamilton.
At the other end of the grid, Team Force India has been a failure to say the very least. Vijay Mallya must input a considerable amount of money into his R&D program for the car to be race contenders in 2010, when the Indian GP is likely to take place. His hope of being mid field runners at he end of the season is nowhere near being realized. He will have to go in for fresh blood next year. I know you will argue about the drive by Adrian Sutil in Monaco, but it was largely a race strategy combined with an extraordinary amount of luck which made them go so far.
Personally, i hope Kimi wins this year. I have my gmail id named after him(have been his fan since he came into F1 nearly 5 years ago!) and i also hope that he will cast aside his plans of retirement. Otherwise i hope Massa to win, because of his very determination to succeed after a dismal start to the season. Experts were talking of a possible Massa replacement at the end of this season. He has certainly made them to eat their words.