I know I will be way out, but worth a try
Ferrari – Alonso wins them the 2017 title, before hanging up his helmet
0. Jules Bianchi – After being Alonso’s team mate since 2016 after Raikkonen got fed up and quit the sport again, Bianchi has progressed to a title contender in 2018
2. Rafaelle Marciello – having been placed at Marussia in 2016 after winning the 2015 GP2 Series and Sauber 2017 with the promise of a Ferrari seat this year, Marciello has risen through the ranks to become a major player in F1.
Mercedes – Have been as good as this since 2014 – winning the 2016 title with Hamilton and coming oh so close last year with Rosberg.
3. Lewis Hamilton – 4th last year after a disappointing 2017
4. Nico Rosberg – very nearly robbed Alonso of his glorious exit from F1, but will be one of the favourites this year.
McLaren-Honda – doing well with the new engines, but not quite at the top level
5. Nico Hulkenberg – been close to the front since his arrival in 2016 from Lotus, he hopes this year is his year.
6. Sergio Perez – Been overtaken by Hulkenberg as number one, but hopes he can get some good results.
Williams-Mercedes – after a tricky few years, Williams re emerge as a strong force, with multiple podiums and points in every race last year.
7. Daniel Juncadella – the man who took Williams back to the sharp end, not only with his driving, but with funding from Astana as well
8. Pastor Maldonado – remains with the team, providing substantial finance, but actually remains due to form that evokes more memories of the 2012 Spanish Grand Prix than anything else
Red Bull-Renault – after a difficult season last year, the power house return with renewed vigour due to the hiring of many of the best technical minds from up and down the grid.
9. Sebastian Vettel – took a sabbatical in 2017 to pursue a win of the 24 Hours of Le Mans with Porsche alongside Mark Webber (!) – which they duly won, but now returns, ousting Daniel Kvyat from his big opportunity in which he was totally outclassed by Ricciardo.
10. Daniel Ricciardo – no stranger to a shootout to earn a drive from his Toro Rosso days, he shows his worth to the Red Bull team through a tough spell.
Marussia-Honda – after the 2016 season in which a budget cap was finally introduced, Marussia got technical support from McLaren and engines from Honda, and started running drivers for them in return, effectively became the McLaren junior team, and became solid midfield runners.
11. Stoffel Vandoorne – driving for Marussia in 2014 and 2015 anyway, was overlooked for Hulkenberg but retained his ties with the team, and was rewarded by getting Marussia their first win in an amazing 2017 Belgian Grand Prix.
12. Kevin Magnussen – raced for Honda in the World Endurance Championship in 2015, joined up with Vandoorne when the McLaren support became more widespread, came 3rd in the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix.
Russian Airways Grand Prix Team-Renault – After a buyout of Toro Rosso in 2016, they have run Russian drivers exclusively in the series, including Vitaly Petrov in 2016 and 2017, before settling on their current line up
14. Daniel Kvyat – after being ousted from Red Bull, he signed for this team, and big things are expected.
15. Sergey Sirotkin – after solid points, he looks like a future champion.
Sauber-Ferrari – their championship position doesn’t tell the whole story. A massively quick car was ruined by reliability, with both their drivers failing to finish 12 of the 25 events, and the closeness of the field meant they slipped rapidly down the order.
16. Esteban Gutierrez – still there, was desperately unlucky not to win the Belgian Grand Prix after driveshaft failure on the final lap, but looks good if they can sort out reliability.
17. Robin Frijns – the first driver to suffer a retirement after the mandatory hybrid system ceased in Monaco while in P3, is another to watch for podiums in the closest F1 field ever.
Enstone-Renault – after Lotus pulled their backing, they were totally bought out by Boullier and his management firm, and he gave the team their rightful name after many changes.
18. Romain Grosjean – despite winning 2 races in 2016, failed to get a podium in 2017, but will be hoping his Total liveried car will be faster this year
19. Jean-Eric Vergne – the Total sponsorship meant another fast Frenchman remained on the grid after he was ousted in 2016 from Caterham.
Caterham-Alpine-Renault – after Toro Rosso was bought, a more informal relationship was formed between Red Bull and Caterham, running two junior drivers.
20. Carlos Sainz Jr. – after being a part of the Porsche Le Mans squad since 2015, winning with Vettel and Webber last year, he finally gets his F1 break
21. Tom Blomqvist – a runner in the GP2 Series for 3 years, gets his move to F1 due to a move by Christian Horner to get a British Red Bull F1 champion.
Force India-Mercedes – difficult times meant Mallya refocused the F1 team to find the best talent from Asia, and has been quite successful
22. Jazeman Jaafar – Still carries significant Petronas backing, and has the pace with it.
23. Kazuki Nakajima – a familiar name, with Petronas backing too, was a condition for the funding, but there could have been worse options for the grid.
The cars are really closely matched, and the racing is better than ever due to lower downforce, and there are no gimmicks like DRS. The cars are powered by 1.6 turbos still, but now with full blown hybrid systems that mean the cars produce a peak output of 1500bhp.