Alrighty then...2014 F1 is only days away! I'm getting pretty excited for the Thursday kickoff events for the season and the first practice in Australia. With this year's massive rule changes and pre-season testing showing results all over the place, it should be a really exciting season with a lot of unknowns, but here's my prediction for how it'll all go down...
4. Red Bull
8. Force India
9. Toro Rosso
1. Fernando Alonso
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Nico Rosberg
My thinking here is Mercedes and Ferrari are going to really be duking it out all season. McLaren is going to be strong this year, but will not quite be up to the top two. Red Bull is going to make a dramatic late-season comeback, and will be poised to dominate again for the next few years. Williams is really strong and will be ahead of Red Bull up until the very end. Sauber, Marussia, and Force India will all be battling out the mid-field and the occasional podiums. I might be a little biased and overly-optimistic here for Marussia, but who cares, GO MARUSSIA! Lotus is going to struggle with Caterham and they'll trade places but eventually sit at the bottom of the field.
The top 3 teams are going to trade a lot of podiums, though I can see reliability and the other usual factors coming in and we'll see a good number of other mid-range teams sharing the spotlight throughout the season. I see a lot of potential with Mercedes building on a really strong team they had last season with Lewis and Nico. Fernando is going to do really well and I could probably pick Kimi to take a strong 4th.
Seb is going to come close behind, but it's going to be a building year for the Red Bulls. Watch out for them next season again. Williams will be bringing a lot of fight during the first part of the season, but Red Bull will turn it around for the second half and edge them out. Sauber is going to stay strong with consistent points to hold that predicted position.
I have been watching Marussia steadily progress for the last few years and with the support of the Ferrari power units this year, I think they're really going to surprise a lot of people. They've been consistent in making progress and they're keeping on their driver lineup, who I think made great progress for rookies last season. I really admire the underdogs who do more with less and really work hard to build up the new drivers they've invested time in and continue to support their careers.
It's going to be really close in points between most of the teams in the bottom 2/3 of the field. As much as I like to see Marussia making improvements and out-doing their main rivals, Caterham, I do really like Kamui Kobayashi and I really would love to see them pick up some points this season.
I've downloaded the NBC Sports Live Extra and Official F1 apps for my iPhone, so I'm set to catch all the details starting this weekend while I'm on vacation and the rest of the season.