Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Why Honda will win the 2007 F1 Constructor Title

The FIA just released the 2007 line-up. Here is my take on the competitive teams. Honda will win not necessarily because it has the best team, but because it has the least weaknesses.

McLaren Mercedes
1 Fernando Alonso (E)
2 Lewis Hamilton (GB)
One season is not going to make that much of a difference with respect to the McLarens' reliability. Remember, it took Hyundai over a decade to turn their shitboxes into respectable, reliable, automobiles. Look for "DNFs" to be sprinkled through McLarens' final results next season.

Though Alonso will do his best, his unfamiliarity with a new team and new car will hurt him. A big reason Alonso won so often and consistently was because his Renault was nearly bullet-proof.

Hamilton has potential, but as a rookie, he's not going to score too many points. Less than a dozen, probably.

3 Giancarlo Fisichella (I)
4 Heikki Kovalained (FIN)
This is going to be the season for Fisichella to shine. He was a good driver, forever eclipsed by his Spanish teammate. He'll stand on the podium a few times in 2007, but that's about it.

Kovalained is a non-factor.

5 Felipe Massa (BR)
6 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN)

Raikkonen will be in the hunt for the driver's championship to the end of the season. However, he will be inconsistent in performance over the course of the season. Not because he's slow. Not because his Ferrari is slow. It's because of chemistry. His aloofness will definitely cause morale problems with his engineers, crew, and bosses. This is, ultimately, a team sport. And no matter how much I admire Kimi as a driver, he is not a team player, in the Ferrari sense. Just as a team with Shaq and Kobe does not necessarily equal championship, the same is true for the Kimi-Ferrari duo.

Massa will continue playing second fiddle, consistently scoring a few points here and there. Ferrari will come second in the constructor title, just a few points behind Honda.

7 Jenson Button (GB)
8 Rubens Barrichello (BR)
As a disclaimer, I think Button is a pompous twit and Barrichello as the loveable loser. Arguably, they both have the potential of being champion. I do not think this will happen in 2007, but I do believe they will finish in the top 4. This will be enough to win the constructor championship. I predict Button and Barrichello will finish 2-3 for the season (respectively).

9 Nick Heidfeld (D)
10 Robert Kubica (PL)
Kubica the boy wonder will continue with his successful ways in 2007. However, he and Heidfeld are still a few years away from being truly competitive. They'll be fun to watch.

11 Ralf Schumacher (D)
12 Jarno Trulli (I)
This is the only aspect of Toyota's worldwide powerhouse that is burning down, slowly. Don't hold your breath for any kind of win, fellas.


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