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A look at the inner team battles for 2010-First up is Ferrari

January 16, 2010
Hard to tell if they are going to get on or arm wrestle

Hard to tell if they are going to get on or arm wrestle

For the next few days I will be going through each team that has confirmed their two drivers and see how I expect the 2010 season to unfold.  If you think I’m way off the mark then please leave a comment it would also be good to know who you will be supporting this coming season.

The first team up for examination is Ferrari.

Fernando vs Felipe, will it all go wrong?

There’s been a lot of talk about these two the past few days thanks to Ferrari’s annual Wroom event.

Whenever Alonso is partnered with a competitive teammate then people start talking especially since the disaster of 2007. Massa has also been eager to show he can take the fight to Fernando. But so far things have got off to a good start; Felipe has commented that he has already spoke more with Fernando now than he did with Raikkonen in three years, they appear to be working closely on this year’s car and Alonso says he expects ‘no problems’ with the Brazilian.

I sincerely doubt these two will have a major fall out; it is Alonso’s last chance at a top team, Massa will want to stay with the team for 2011, this is a very different situation to that Mclaren faced three years ago and I’m sure Fernando has learnt from past mistakes.

The battle on track will involve a lot of unknown quantities so it will be fascinating to watch and they are certain to push each other to the limit in an attempt to better one another. Alonso hasn’t been in a title-challenging car since 2007 so it’ll be good to see just how the past two years at Renault have developed his driving. He once claimed to have improved on his qualifying performances which are generally the weaker point for him in the race weekend.

Most people’s money would be on Alonso-he’s already a favourite for the crown-and many people are reluctant to give Felipe that much praise. He’s earned a lot of respect but never really considered in the ‘elite’ level of drivers. But people expected Raikkonen to blow him away and this simply didn’t happen. In 2007 Raikkonen did have a huge edge over Felipe but 2008 showed the Brazilian had matured into a fine race driver.

It’s hard to call just where Alonso and Massa will be. When Massa was up against Raikkonen, Kimi could be brutally quick but he was also inconsistent. Alonso is an entirely different driver, perhaps not as quick as the Finn but a lot more consistent and that will prove tough to cope with particular if Massa reverts back to his accident prone ways. In 2009 he was able to stay out of trouble and collect the points which suggest he has shrugged off his wild days but he did only race for half of the season.

Massa has learned to dominate tracks and really be able to put in excellent stints; Smedley has even compared his driver to Schumacher. Felipe may have a tenth over Alonso at times but it is really just a guess.

The other factor which makes this so hard to judge is Felipe’s accident. His karting outings may have given a confidence boost but F1 is a world away. We won’t know if Felipe is back to his old elf until Bahrain and it may take him some time to settle back in but then Alonso has to adapt to his new surroundings too.

Ninety five percent of me suspects that Alonso will end up on top and possibly even becoming champion again but I can’t rule out Felipe. No-one would have backed him at the beginning of 2008 and look what happened-he mounted a pretty strong challenge against Hamilton and came as close as he could possibly get to winning the championship. Massa has the added pressure that his contract is up this season so he’ll be desperate to cling onto his seat and show his worth. Alonso may be the better all-round driver but that was the case in 2007 when he lost to Kimi. F1 is never simple.

Check out Felipe’s thoughts about returning to the cockpit and how he is finding fatherhood.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 16, 2010 6:19 pm

    Iam really looking forward to massa’s return. i hope he does well and beats alonso next season.he improved so much in 08 and 09 and hopefully when he returns he will be just as quick.alonso also an excellent driver and its going to be an exceiting battle between these two
    excellent article steph

  2. January 17, 2010 2:18 pm

    Great series Steph! Looking forward to the inner team battles this year, so many close team mates. 4 World Champions on the grid, 8 drivers could win the title. 2010 should be a classic! :D

  3. wasiF1 permalink
    January 18, 2010 3:03 am

    I think that Massa & Alonso is not good,but if they can work together they will be the strongest pair in 2010.
    I too think that Alonso will be on top,even scoring his third title.

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