Debate: Predict the champion

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes, Montreal, 2007, 4We’ve just passed the halfway point in the championship and the battle for the title remains as finely poised as ever:

1. Lewis Hamilton 70
2. Fernando Alonso 58
3. Kimi Raikkonen 52
4. Felipe Massa 51

With eight races left, who will be champion this year?

Can Hamilton cling on and become the first ever rookie title winner? Is Raikkonen building up an irresistible momentum? Will Alonso make it three in a row? What about Massa?

The law of average strongly suggests that some sort of misfortune has to come Hamilton’s way sooner or later – but that was the kind of thing we used to say about Michael Schumacher in 2002 and 2004 and it seldom happened.

I do think Hamilton can win it – but if Ferrari maintain their current form he will be powerless to stop Raikkonen overhauling him.

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10 comments on Debate: Predict the champion

  1. M Smith said on 9th July 2007, 8:24

    I think that Hamilton won’t win the championship, not because I don’t think he can do it, but because I just can’t believe the fact that a rookie driver could do it. The battle will most probably be between Raikkonen and Hamilton (and possibly Alonso) near the end.

    Hamilton’s just got to keep cool and play the percentage game if the pace of the Ferraris is to continue.

  2. I have this funny feeling that Kimi may do it … But at the end, it is going to be down to cars and luck. So far Alonso had all the bad luck in McLaren, in Ferrari both Kimi and Massa had their own share … Any of these 4 can do it. I was kind of convinced that by this point of the season there will be clear no 1 drivers in both Ferrari and McLaren. It is not the case and it probably will not be for a while …

  3. Journeyer said on 9th July 2007, 10:06

    I think Hamilton will win it. Alonso and Massa are just too inconsistent right now. Kimi is coming back, but if Hamilton stays consistent, he’ll still be ahead in the standings after Interlagos. Kimi can’t win every race.

    Right?

  4. Jian said on 9th July 2007, 10:11

    I like to throw around the points just for fun, lets look at this not too unprobable scenario:

    Kimi wins seven races and his car breaks in one. Thats 70p+52p.
    Hamilton comes 2nd in two races, 3rd in the six others. That’s 52p+70p.

    Of course Massa and Alonso are going to take points from these guys as well. I do believe that if Hamilton’s car doesn’t brake (ooops) he will be the champion.

  5. Sigmund said on 9th July 2007, 10:46

    I don`t think Ferrari will be as strong as the last two races for the rest of the season. Who has the best form will continue to go back and forth between McLaren and Ferrari.

    So if Lewis don´t have any mishaps he can certainly win the title, but it takes just a bad timed safety car situation and a wet race to turn the whole championship on it´s head.

    I put my money on Alonso before the season and will stick to that. But he seriously need to be more consistent and confident if he is to beat his team mate.

  6. Knut said on 9th July 2007, 12:21

    I for one must say that Hamilton has done an impressive run so far this season. No matter what he does from now on and out will change the fact that he has done a superb job. Saying that, I believe Hamilton’s biggest enemy will, in the end, be him self. If he makes some mistakes in the following races I think he will take it very hard, and that, will effect his focus.

    Alonso has every means available to take this championship. If he brakes Hamilton down and pushes for the win he has a chance. He is brilliant driver, and smart psychologically, but need to get his focus back.

    As for Ferrari, I believe they may be able to take the championship, but only with the help of BMW or mistakes by mcLaren and their drivers. In Silverstone we saw a mistake done by the mcLaren strategists in tire choice. This is exactly what Ferrari needs to win the championship. Only thing left for Ferrari is to figure out why the car is being so inconsistent and keep on pushing.

    I truly hope, and believe, Kimi will shine and win the title. But unfortunately, he will need some help on the way.

  7. I think Alonso will do it. Hamilton has the points advantage at the moment but Fernando is beginning to look as though he’s overcome his difficulties and can now show us why he’s a double world champion. Kimi seems to have broken through as well – he looked unbeatable all weekend. But his problems do not end with his team mate. The gathering storm at Ferrari headquarters may well affect the car’s performance while McLaren will just continue in their super-efficient way regardless of what is happening elsewhere.

    Or is that all just wishful thinking…?

  8. Ferrari are in the ascendancy and Kimi is loving it. Hamilton has realised he needs to step up after his progress was interrupted in France and Britain, but he probably won’t be winning races again until the last three of the season. However, he and Alonso will probably be mighty there. Massa seems to be here, there and everywhere. None of them look likely to break down in the near future, so maybe they’ll all have one DNF each.

    My prediction for the last few races:

    Lewis: 32323122 =60pts
    Fernando: 13242213 = 61pts
    Kimi: 41114334 = 57pts
    Felipe: 24431441 = 54pts

    Added to their current totals, that leaves:

    Lewis: 60 + 78 = 138pts
    Fernando: 61 + 54 = 115pts
    Kimi: 57 + 52 = 112pts
    Felipe: 54 + 51 = 105pts

    However, I suspect the Stepney case will eventually have an influence (either in slowing Ferrari’s progress or docking McLaren points), and that at least one technical controversy will rear its ugly head between now and season’s end.

  9. Ali AydoÄŸan said on 9th July 2007, 18:04

    When we consider the current situation, “superhuman” Hamilton has every opportunity to achieve it. But I dont think that he will finish his career on podium and Silverstone has been a sign for that. He will have to face his own problem(s) sooner or later(other three all had it somewhat) and we will see how strong he will be after some sort of trouble.

    Unfortunately, I think Kimi will also suffer at least one mechanical problems(as he had in critical moments in the past, call it bad luck or not) but I hope that wont be the case for an even competition.

    For Massa, I dont believe he has the potential to be the world champion, at least this season, especially after failing to overtake Kubica in Silverstone with the red car, for that much laps. It would not take more than 2-3 laps for Kimi to do that. I would like to see Felipe overtaking Rosberg(made a mistake), Coulthard(made a mistake), Trulli(did not even defence)and Heidfeld (overtaken in pitstop) on circuit. Considering he will not start at pole position with the fastest car at every race, he wont do it this year.

    For Alonso, I think he has gained his psycological advantage over Lewis, after Lewis started to lose his speed (Lewis was distant far away from Ferraris in the last two races) Fernando also seems to have learned how vital to stay calm is, after his multiple rookie-errors in Canada. I dont think he will lose more points due to driving errors and dont think he will fail to match his teammate’s speed like in Bahrain. I am sure he will be even more focussed to defend his title and wont give up easily.

    At the end, I think it will be between Fernando and Kimi, the one who does not have a DNF will be the winner…with Hamilton close third and Massa fourth.

  10. Zig said on 29th July 2007, 11:11

    Being a Kimi fan I really hoped that he could win the title this year, but bad luck through reliability issues has once again changed those ideas. Kimi refuses to accept defeat with his typical never give up attitude, but I’m not convinced bad luck won’t strike again.

    Seems like he can never get rid of reliability issues and just takes it where-ever he goes. The McLarens which failed Kimi miserably during his time with the team appear to be somehow indestructible this year.

    One has to wonder (tongue in cheek); maybe Kimi should look for the answers on a spiritual level, because something that he has done or is doing is causing him continuous bad luck.

    All bets on Alonso to take it. I consider Kimi and him to be on racing par with each other. Fernando has the luck that evades Kimi. He has proven his quality as a double world champion, time and again.

    Lewis will probably be third or second, but not if you believe the ITV commentators. I doubt he will win it first year out. Not if Alonso has anything to do about it. Great feat if he can pull it off.

    Massa has an outside chance to win it in my view, and is the dark horse here.
    Kimi has caught up, and passed Massa with his regular 2 – 3 tenths “quicker-than-my-team-mate-with-more-fuel” regime.

    It is widely known that Michael Schumacher coaches Felipe, and helps him with setup etc, something that Kimi would definitely not accept from Schumie. He sees Michael as his rival, not his mentor. With Schumi’s help Felipe could do it, but only if he can iron out inconsistency.

    Felipe appears to be very sensitive and seems to be shaken easily. You only have to observe the post Nurburgring race scene, to notice how he was affected by Alonso’s comments.

    Another telling sign of mounting pressure is his visibly unhappy face in recent times when Kimi simply out-classed him.

    He is not entirely “a happy bunny” as Martin Brundle would say.

    Massa will win it, or take fourth.

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