2009 F1 Predictions

Isuru Wakishta ArachchiCorrespondent INovember 9, 2008

Writing an article for BR is something that I always do when I am jobless. So here I go again in cold Sweden, where I am thousands of miles from my warm family and home in Sri Lanka.

It's just too early, and I have only been into F1 for one and a half years, so pardon me if my predictions end up being very wrong.

But so far, I have had a good record with my share of predictions, but I am not too confident on this one of mine.


First place...

I think because of the quality of their drivers, Ferrari will win both WDC and WCC, despite having the second best car. Following are the facts I wish to bring out.

  1. Most Ferrari customers are the kind that flourish during times of economic crisis. Unless the oil prices stay low, there is no doubt that Ferrari will be unaffected by the Global Financial Crisis. They, together with McLaren, have a strong financial clout to support development, and I have no doubt they have done their homework on 2009 very well. With or without KERS, they are going to make it to the top.
  2. Kimi has been philosophical about 2008. He is a man on a mission for 2009, and I am sure Felipe is the most motivated man on the grid for 2009. Either one of them will be WDC.
  3. Ferrari, after having made all those technical and strategic blunders, would want to play it very safe in 2009. I don't see the same mistakes made in 2008 to repeat themselves.

Second place...

I think McLaren will be the best car next year, but nevertheless will be second for the following reasons.

  1. With the huge financial clout they already have and being multiplied by charismatic Lewis Hamilton, they have had the most resources of any team in the grid to focus on 2008 and 2009 developments. I don't think they have done any less than what a team like BMW may have done by focusing solely on 2009 since mid-season 2008.
  2. You only have to look no further than 1998, where there were significant changes last time and they moved from fourth to first. So essentially McLaren adapt to changes well. The more changes there are, the better will they get.
  3. Lewis Hamilton is going to be more or less unstoppable now. I predicted soon after Japan 2008 that he has now become almost perfect. Click here for more information. He's definitely going to prove the worth of the car. His childhood dream of becoming WDC has now been realised, and he's now working on his manhood dream of that McLaren F1 LM.
  4. Nevertheless, I don't think Lewis Hamilton will become WDC because I think he's not ready to be champion in front of a motivated Felipe or a focused Kimi.
  5. Kovalainen will let McLaren down in 2009 too. He's just lost his heart over what's happened in 2008.

Third place...

BMW will be strong just as always. But crucially they'd not be quite as good as the top two. In my short period in touch with F1, I have never seen a team that chickens out make it to the top. BMW chickened out in 2008 and they'd pay the price for that with Renault charging down their neck in 2009.

It might sound silly, but the morale of the team has a HUGE impact on the final outcome. I think BMW lost it in the latter part of 2008.


Fourth place...

Renault is the most motivated team on the grid, but I think Carlos Ghosn was bit too late injecting desperately needed cash for 2009 development.

I also think that Renault made too much into 2008 in a desperate attempt to retain Fernando. Although Alonso might be challenging for podiums, Nelsinho might let the team down yet again.


Fifth place...

Toyota will have improved massively, but I think Fernando will make the difference for Renault. Nevertheless, I expect a very close fight among BMW, Renault and Toyota.

Sixth place...

With young Sebastian, RBR will be stronger than STR. Nevertheless, Mark Webber will let the team down against BMW, Renault and Toyota.


Seventh place...

Again, my "chicken out theory" plays out against Honda. They chickened out in 2007, look what happened and then they chickened out in 2008. What do you think will happen? Only an idiot does the same thing over and over and expects a different result.


Eighth place...

I think without young Sebastian, the magic of STR will be gone. I think RBR will also be more greedy on them.


Ninth Place...

Williams has been having problems with their development in 2008 & I expect them to stay where they are today.


Last place...

Surely, they'd improve under Mercedes, but they just have too much ground to catch.


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