In all my time I've been watching F1, I've never seen so much talk pre-season before a new season of grand prix. Many pundits suggest the 2010 season is going to be a classic – up there with the best of F1's '80s heydays.
Look at the stats. No fewer than eight drivers – maybe more if you include Renault and Suaber – could be in contention for the F1 crown this year.
But all the chat is about a certain German returning to the field after three years' absence. Can Michael Schumacher win the championship again? On paper, I don't think so. Schumi might win the odd race or two, but surely the championship will be too much for a man of 41 whose race craft won't be up to speed like the others'.
What about Team GB?
There has also been much talk about McLaren's British combo Hamilton and Button, and that Lewis will destroy the reining champ. Barrichello certainly kept Schumacher honest more than a few times in his career. And didn't Button beat Barrichello last year?
Then there's Alonso in a Ferrari, something that I can't wait to see. I feel if there was a prototype Ferrari driver, Alonso would fit the bill. Again, it's predicted that he will walk all over Massa, but didn't Massa outpace Kimi and give Hamilton a run for his money in 2008? And this was the same Hamilton that beat Alonso in 2007, don't forget.
The acid question: who will win the 2010 F1 world championship?
There is only going to be one champ and in my view people are backing the wrong horse. CAR has a fine habit of backing the wrong horse in F1, but if I had to place a wager today I'd predict that Sebastian Vettel will be the world champion in 2010.
Never underestimate Adrian Newey. He did it for Williams and McLaren, and this year he will do the same. Red Bull had the best car last year and Vettel will be stronger and faster this time in the improved 2010 racer. The only thing that could let him down is the Renault engine.
One thing is for certain: whatever the outcome, the 2010 F1 season is bound to be a classic.
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