Welcome to the penultimate edition of the 2008 Formula 1 season countdown. Yes, there is only one more to go, and no, I will not start counting down day by day after we hit the 10 days mark .
For the past month I have been running a poll here. You voted for the 2008 F1 Driver Champ. It looks like Kimi Raikkonen is the overwhelming favourite, at least among the F1Wolf readers. (click on the thumbnail to see the votes). There is a new poll running now, I expect the results to be closer .
We are only 20 days from the start of the season and there are still 2 unconfirmed seats – although both Takuma Sato and Anthony Davidson testes when the team last time made it to the test track, none of them has been officially confirmed yet. The team itself is in troubles. They cancelled their plans to test in Barcelona last week and Aguri Suzuki is in Japan as we speak talking his team’s future with the Honda brass. A year ago this time the only empty seat was in Toro Rosso, where the team waited till the last moment to confirm Scott Speed, only to let him go few months later. By the way, when talking about a year ago this time – check my 2007 Formula 1 predictions and please do not laugh too much .
In Singapore the tickets for the first F1 night race went up for sale with a bang… perhaps with a crash is more accurate. At about the same time the Singaporean public got the first taste of an F1 car on the streets. Red Bull car show was a part of the annual Chingay parade. It was driven by Robert Wickens, a young driver racing A1 this weekend in Durban.
The winter testing season is coming to a close. Since the last summary the teams tested in Jerez, in Barcelona and in Valencia. Valencia was pretty much a private test for BMW Sauber. We were all hoping to see where Ferrari and McLaren stand, unfortunately the Barcelona test was affected by wet weather and it is rather difficult to make anything from the times. Still, the general view of the situation is Ferrari on top of the game right now, with McLaren behind them. After that it is anybody’s guess. Some see Renault much stronger than they are willing to show (Gene). Fernando Alonso has totally different opinion and sees BMW Sauber in very strong position. Jarno Trulli is quite upbeat about the Toyota car. And surprisingly even boys, despite the poor winter performances, seem to be feeling quite good about their package… It looks like the only guarantee we have for this year is 11th for Super Aguri, that is if they make it to Melbourne.
Unfortunately the racism issues are not going away. Last 10 days the talk was about reactions of Bernie Ecclestone and Fernando Alonso. I am quite willing to believe that Bernie meant what he is said to have said. But as far as Fernando Alonso goes, I would like to see the full interview or speach where his remarks were taken from before making any opninion on that. All I had chance to read were excerpts only.
Outside of F1 there were some interesting developments too. Ralf Schumacher found his ride in DTM with Mercedes. He also admitted that he made up his earlier claims about being sure to remain in Formula 1 after leaving Toyota. Jacques Villeneuve lost his drive in NASCAR after his crash at qualifying race for Daytona 500.
And finally the over a decade long rift in North America is over. Champ Car and IRL series are merging:
“Indy Racing League founder and CEO Tony George and owners of the Champ Car World Series have completed an agreement in principle that will unify the sport for 2008. Gerald Forsythe, co-owner of Champ Car, signed an agreement in principle Feb. 22 in Chicago, joining his partner, Kevin Kalkhoven. George signed the agreement Feb. 21. Details of a news conference about the agreement will be forthcoming.”
The 2008 Formula 1 Season Countdown will be back for one more time in 10 days.