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Who will be the surprise of the season ?  

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What others are saying

We can safely assume that one of the top 3 teams (Ferrari, McLaren or Williams) will win the Constructors' Title and we can be almost certain that the Drivers' Title will go to Michael Schumacher, David Coulthard, Ralf Schumacher or Juan Pablo Montoya.
It is much harder though to predict which team and/or driver will surprise everyone by their unexpected form. 
Last year, Sauber finished in 4th place which was a major improvement over the previous year when they finished 8th. In terms of drivers, both Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya surprised us, each in their own way.

This season, there are a number of potential candidates; can Sauber mix it with the top 3, will Renault manage to move into the top 4, could Arrows beat Jaguar with the Cosworth engine or will it be Jaguar finally delivering, will Toyota get very far in the first year, will Minardi be leaving the last spot for some other team ?
On the driver side, would Kimi Raikkonen continue his impressive form and beat David Coulthard, would Trulli or Fisichella finally get their first win, would any of the new drivers prove a future champion.
And of course there are others as well.

Who do you think will be the biggest surprise of 2002 and why ?  - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

I believe this years surprise will be Raikkonen, as we will see Coulthard is no threat to the championship, and I will go as far as to say he (Coulthard) will never win a championship.
Montoya will do very well, but this should not be a surprise to any one - Cooky - Australia

I think that Juan Pablo will give us a big surprise this year, but I don't think that he'll win the season. - Andres - B - Columbia

Firstly, I wanted to express my disgust at the first corner incident on Sunday's Fosters Grand Prix...I definitely think Ralf was a bit too ambitious and I thought what he said in the interview after the race suggested that he was at fault. No sign of agitation from his side whilst Rubens was evidently furious at the incident. The onboard picture seemed to show Ralf was still upshifting gears as he was homing in on Rubens rear wing and if he really had all that speed, then he should have used his skills and tactics to cover the outside of Rubens and maybe nail him at the exit of that corner, its a great shame coz eight cars got cleaned up in that corner. On the brighter side however, I think Renault F1 team will be the biggest surprise of 2002, word is that they have worked on a revolutionary new v10 engine and have gone with the 111 degrees angle for more downforce and grip like Ferrari and Mclaren. The engine was built under the surveillance of Renault French director Jean Jacques, and if anyone watched Jarno Trulli before he unfortunately spun and lost control, you will bare witness to this. Ferrari claimed to be running a lot of wing, but didnt they all ? I thought the Renault was quick in a straight line and will show more promise once the aero-package for qualifying has been up-dated and modified. Also Renault have a championship winning history in F1 but as a supplier, but just watch the Renaults this season and I am sure you will all be pleasantly surprised!!!! - Godwin - United Kingdom

I think Mark Webber will do at least as well as Fernando Alonso did last year, and I thought Fernando was the rookie of the year considering the car he had. Out of the teams Toyota looked slow in testing but should surprise a few teams, Renault I think will be the most improved by a long way - Clint M - Australia

Who will be the surprise of '02? I see three potential recipients of the crown. Jenson Button, brilliant one year - abysmal the next. Was it a fluke in 2000 or a car he couldn't come to terms with last year, I suspect the latter. The talent he showed two years ago is still there and a year of touring at the back of the pack has given him the chance to develop a greater understanding of the technical and psychological elements of racing. With a year of development the new Renault motor must be getting close to delivering on it's promise and if they can get it to work the chassis benefits accruing from a lower centre of mass should be significant. Jenson will surprise either by being at the front or not lasting the season.
Raikkonen will be faster than Coulthard by the middle of the season (or even the middle of Albert Park?) or he will never be champion. He has the car, he appears to have the talent and the racecraft. What odds on a Hakkinen / Raikkonen pairing in 2003? 
Minardi won't win a race in 2002 (or 2003) but I believe that Mark Webber will outperform Yoong to the point where the sponsorship dollars will put pressure on the team to give Yoong some 'assistance' in showing his stuff. 
Irrespective of the surprises, I think 2003 will be wide open (assuming parity of tyres) and it would be a brave man who predicted a definitive winner (MS - He's the only player who doesn't have a team-mate to compete with) in this years title fight. The real surprise will be the number of faces that appear on the centre step of the podium (my guess is 6 - and Rubens won't be one of them) in 2002. - Geoff H - Australia

Here's what will be a surprise: David Coulthard actually winning the Driver's Championship. After all, this is HIS YEAR (again)... The surprise of the season will be Fisi's first win in the Jordan. He's got the experience, he can be fast at times, and the car is well developed. Given a few retirements, he can do it. Maybe even Sunday! - Rus E - USA

Well... Sauber will be strong. Although they don't have a proper designer since Willi Rampf (actually that is Sergio Rinland - Ed.) has left, they have been able to produce a good stable and stiff car with Leo Ress for 2002. They will be using 2001 Ferrari engines: light and fast with a 90 degree and of course they have Osamu Gotu, one of the best Engine Engineers in the world. Nick Heidfeld is fast, focused and wants to show his stuff after what McLaren did to him and Massa has done exceptionally well in testing even though I have a feeling he won't be as fast as Raikkonen. 
Arrows - New Engines, they are light and very fast. Sergio Rinland on the design board and Frentzen. I believe Heinz is a great underdog and driving in a small-budget team will motivate him much more (Just think of Spa 2001) 
British American Racing - They are fighting the politics and if they achieve that then they are in for a great year. The car looks great and the Honda Engine has been greatly improved. It's lighter, smaller, with a wider degree and sits very low. Jacques is still a very fast driver and if the car will be reliable and easy to drive he'll do well. Panis has never impressed me to say the truth and even though the press never says it I think 2001 was a disastrous year for the Frenchman - Rob - Australia

I think Kimi Raikkonen will be, again, the big surprise for the year! Moreover, I think he will exceed every expectation coming from McLaren as well as other teams. His driving skills are at the top of the list along with MS, JV, JPM, and others drivers of the same caliber. Considering he's young and have no experience compared to the other driver, he still can show signs of maturity in his driving. Therefore, he's the man who best fit the profile to surprise us with some good manoeuvres, speed, and grace - Dan A - Brazil

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