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The Formula One Champion in 2012 Will Be … ? – Fan’s Analysis
The Formula One (F1) season is finally upon us and everyone starts with a clean slate; also, hope springs eternal for a dozen teams and 24 drivers as they head down-under for the first race of the year in Melbourne, Australia.
Last year Red Bull dominated and specifically, Sebastian Vettel ran away with the championship. Will that happen again in 2012? Here's a look at the top seven primary favorites to win the world championship in F1.
7. Michael Schumacher - Anytime the greatest champion in F1 history is suiting up for another season, he should be considered for the championship. Mercedes seems to be a notch under the other manufacturers but if they hit on a solid design and performance that works better than advertised, then all bets are off - especially if Schumacher gets a sniff of another championship.
6. Kimi Raikkonen - The 'Iceman' is back. The 2007 champ will be in a Lotus-prepared Renault-powered car that didn't do particularly well last season after a promising start. Raikkonen looks good so far in practice (source - Pitpass) and seems to have something to prove so don't be taken aback if a podium finish doesn't happen sooner rather than later and maybe even a win or two is possible.
5. Mark Webber - Last I had checked, Webber was still driving for Red Bull. Why then is he so far down this list? For one, McLaren looks good this year and the guys from Woking just may have the car to beat in 2012. And of course, will Webber continue to be #2 on his own team? If he improves on his starts and can grab an early win or two, then he has a chance at the championship.
4. Fernando Alonso - There's no way that this extremely gifted driver can't win a championship in 2012. But there might be issues at Ferrari that don't allow them to catch the Red Bull and McLaren cars. Alonso is talking a good game and will most certainly be in the thick of it but a championship? Hmmm.
3. Jenson Button - The only reason Button probably doesn't win a second world championship will be because of the top two guys. He has all the talent and performance he needs so it could come down to will and desire. Does Button have it in 2012?
2. Lewis Hamilton - He will not finish fifth in the points this year - that's almost a given. McLaren just may have the car to challenge Red Bull this season and if Hamilton's determination and resolve is what it seems to look like in 2012, then a championship is his for the taking.
1. Sebastian Vettel - Will he join the great Schumacher and Fangio and become the only driver to win three championships in-a-row? (Source - ESPN) If so, he would be the youngest three-time champ but there are a lot of dogged drivers who want the championship too. Vettel is who everyone will be gunning for but in the end, he will win a hard-fought championship for the 2012 season.
It shouldn't be surprising that any one of these seven would win the championship. The only darkhorse/longshot I could come up with is Felipe Massa - yeah, not much of a longshot when you're sitting in a Ferrari.
So let Australia begin another great racing year in F1. As Melbourne born sports writer Greg Baum said: "Winning needs no explanation, losing has no alibi."
Sources - Formula One
Daryle has been involved in motorsports most of his life and has three decades of experience inside racemarketing, plus blogged about every type of racing for several years.
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