>While I have made my leanings towards Ferrari pretty evident, I would like to see a good fight this season- on the track, not off it. 2007 was abominable for all the ruckus caused by the spying allegations. While the whole episode did spice up the season, F1 could have done without such negative publicity. The season, the first after seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher’s retirement, was pathbreaking in that there was a rookie driver in the shape of British Lewis Hamilton competing for the championship. Accusations flew back and forth within the McLaren garage as defending champion Fernando Alonso found himself struggling to keep pace with his young teammate. There might have been some British pride overruling the demands of decorum, and I don’t think I really blame Alonso for feeling left out. Yes, perhaps he was jealous of his often more successful teammate; but there must have been a pressing reason to force him to move back to Renault despite his having earned himself a most coveted berth at the British team.
The spying saga also grabbed a lot of space as Ferrari accused McLaren-Mercedes of having stolen confidential information. McLaren was disqualified, a rather disgraceful result for a team with a rich racing tradition. Ironically, Renault, accused of spying by McLaren, was let off due to lack of evidence. Coming into the new season, there will hopefully not be any more of such nonsense. The teams must compete with integrity; of course there is big money involved, but what is sport without fair play?
There is one comeback I’d like to see this season. I want Valentino Rossi to win the MotoGP championship. He has gone two seasons without a championship victory, losing out in 2006 to Nicky Hayden, and to Casey Stoner in 2007. Now I have always been a little partial to Ducati and Loris Capirossi (Stoner’s teammate), because I’ve seen them spend a lot of time with the Ferrari team and Luca Badoer, Michael Schumacer and Rubens Barrichello. But when it comes to pure racing skill, I think Rossi is the biking equivalent of Schumacher. A treat to watch in the rain, with incredible overtaking skills, Rossi really deserves to win more championships. He is not getting any younger, and faces stiff competition from Stoner and Dani Pedrosa. The last season was pretty exciting, and hopefully this one will be the same, or even better.
As March approaches, I’m looking forward to all the action in motorsporting. As of now, I have nothing other than A1 GP and GP2 to follow, but soon, my weekends of ‘motorsporting-nothingness’ will come to an end.