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Forumula1.com lays bare its predictions for 2009 and asks the questions no-one daren t.

No one could have predicted just how close the 2008 F1 World Championship was going to be. By the penultimate Grand Prix of the season in China no fewer than five different drivers had climbed onto the top step of the podium, and a mere handful of points separated three potential title candidates.

Eventual victor Lewis Hamilton may have seemed like a safe bet at the start of the season, but several high-profile mistakes not to mention season-ticket at the stewards office meant he was forced to wait until the last lap of the final race to be crowned the youngest ever champion.

It was a season fraught with inconsistency from all of the main players, not just Lewis, with Ferrari s mistakes in the pit-lane at Valencia and Singapore eventually costing them title.

Above all the season stimulated a vibrant betting market that provided punters with more options than there are at an online casino.

This year Hamilton is odds-on favourite to repeat his title success. If 2008 is anything to go buy, you wonder how long that will last…

Ten Predictions and Ten Questions for 2009
By Hugh Podmore

Predictions:

  1. There will be loads of broken front wings. Not my words the words of Nick ‘Quick Nick Heidfeld.
  2. An Adrian Newey-designed car will break down because of gearbox trouble.
  3. Fernando Alonso will outclass Nelson Piquet Jr.
  4. Both Grands Prix in Spain will be dull, processional affairs.
  5. Everyone, everywhere, will miss the Canadian GP.
  6. Someone, somewhere, will miss James Allen.
  7. This year s Toro Rosso will be less impressive than last year s.
  8. Somebody will cut a chicane. Sort it out, FIA boys. Put fire there or something.
  9. The fathers of Felipe and Lewis will be shown on TV when there s nothing else going on.
  10. Nicole Scherzinger, of the Pussycat Dolls, will be the main attraction for most cameramen.

Questions:

  1. Why are Giancarlo Fisichella and Rubens Barrichello still with us?
  2. Can Vijay Mallya s trousers ever match his mouth?
  3. Will putting a snow plough on the front, and a 110m hurdle on the back, of F1 cars actually improve the spectacle, or just make them look a bit silly?
  4. Does Kimi actually care, or is he thinking about something else?
  5. Is Mark Webber better than Sebastian Vettel?
  6. Does Jenson care more about this new contract with Honda than he did about some previous contracts he signed?
  7. Have Ferrari worked out what to do with their throttle if it rains?
  8. Will Nick Fry still be smiling in March?
  9. Can Heikki avoid becoming the next DC?
  10. Is Bernie going mad?