The following is how I predicted the 2005 season somewhere else. I have not edited, despite the first two races being over and done with.
Last season I failed miserably, despite ?my? team being as dominant as any team have ever been before, but I had been fooled (like most) by the close battle in 2003. In 2005 I expect that the other teams will actually catch up with, and to some extent overtake Ferrari, and we could have a very good F1 season on our hands.
World Drivers Championship
The contenders in 2005 will be:
Juan Pablo Montoya
I will be VERY surprised if any other drivers make a real push for the championship, with the relative weakness that I suspect Ferrari will have in 2005, there is no way that Rubens Barichello will be able to (or allowed for that matter) to contend for the championship, and my personal opinion is that neither will Giancarlo Fisichella.
Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya will bring out the very best in each other, and my biggest question mark about McLaren is the engine, and to see if Kimi is a car-breaker or not.
The tire rules as such will not have too much of an impact, but the fact that Ferrari is the sole Bridgestone shod team will make the manufacturer of a cars tire important. Bridgestone have done very well laying all their eggs in the Ferrari basket, and they will take any and all benefits that this co-operation gives them, and Ferrari have a manufacturer dedicated to them, and only them.
The one-engine rule did not really have an impact last season, and of the front running teams I am sure that they will all be equally strong.
Williams is contending with a ?suspect? driver line-up, and the BMW is not what it used to be, the car is not special or different from the other top teams, so they will behind Ferrari, McLaren and Renault.
BAR Honda seem to be the team with the biggest engine problems, and they have yet to run a 2 weekend mileage during a test, and they will be the ?disappointment of the season?. Jenson Button will not win a race in 2005.
All other teams a re in various degrees of shambles, problems, upstart and will have no influence on the WDC battle.
I expect the following drivers to win races in 2005:
Juan Pablo Montoya
End of 2005 WDC standings will be:
1: Michael Schumacher
2: Kimi Raikkonen
3: Fernando Alonso
4: Juan Pablo Montoya
5: Rubens Barichello
6: Giancarlo Fisichella
7: Nick Heidfeld
8: Mark Webber
9: Jenson Button
10: David Coulthard
6: Red Bull
You heard it here first.