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What others are saying

The 2004 season is about to start so lets see what your predictions are!

As usual we'll keep it to a free format but here are a few suggestions:

Last year was close but in the end Michael Schumacher and Ferrari still managed to win both titles. Do you think they'll be able to do it again this year ?
Williams look impressive in testing and unlike the start of last season, they seem to be well prepared. Will they be the team to beat ?
McLaren were the first to test their 2004 car and broke a few records in testing. Did they get it right ?
Renault abandoned their wide angle engine for a traditional one. Will that hamper their progress or will they be up their with the top 3 ?
BAR have been setting quick lap times in testing. Will that translate to results in races ?
Sauber are starting the season with the same specification engine as Ferrari. Will that make a difference ?
Jaguar appear to be off the pace in testing. Will they be able to improve ?
Toyota start their 3rd season in Formula 1. How will they shape ?
Jordan and Minardi, can they survive ? 
Who will be the dark horse of the season (team/driver) ?  Who will be the rookie of the year ?
Can Bridgestone close the gap to Michelin ?
Will the new regulations have much of an impact ? Most significant are the single engine rule per weekend, the single session qualifying and the banning of launch control and automatic gearboxes. 

Your thoughts ? - Have Your Say (What others are saying)

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What others are saying:

Ferrari and Michael Schumacher champions! once more!!! Too bad for the rest they have too many internal problems! 
Montoya leaving... Ralf thinking if he will stay or not... DC without a car and team next year... Kimi is not at Michael level yet!! and now the team with problems... 
I know...I know! time will tell!!! we'll see!! Malaysia 1-2 again!! - Yuri - USA

Hey Ed, what's with this 'significant change' to qualifying? Apart from killing Friday off almost totally for the top teams, at circuits where tyre choice data is available, I see it as nothing more than yet another arrangement of deck chairs on a wannabe icebreaker. We will however get a lot of participation on Friday from the smaller teams 3rd car, if they can afford the fuel. 
Actually, I think the new pit-lane speed limits will be more significant to race strategy than qualifying format changes - The Quali-flyer
(Perhaps - as you indicated early last year - they got convinced that the Friday qualifying didn't mean much but to save face they have now made the 1 session look like 2.
I suspect though that they have changed the rules forcing the teams to choose their tyres before Saturday practice to ensure that all the teams participate on Friday. This will also help as teams will try to minimise engine use due to the single engine rule!
Certainly changing the pit lane speed will have a much more significant impact. The teams have already reduced their fuel tanks as they anticipate an extra stop at most races - Ed)

I think that Williams will walk away with the championship provided Ralf and Montoya do not fight to establish individual supremacy. 
Just watch for Sauber -- with last year's Ferrari Chassis and this year's Ferrari engine --- could just spring a surprise at the beginning of the season. 
I am a Kimi Fan--surely it is. If the engine lasts for all races, he will walk away with the championship. For all Schumi fans, I have a question ? What is the greatness u find in a driver who wins races with a car that is superior than others? Please start supporting drivers looking at their individual talent - Sridhar - India

It's so hard to say what could happen. But right now I think Williams seems to be the team to beat, and Michael Schumacher is the driver to beat. The Renault is sure a good looking machine, and I expect them to play into the top 3. 
I know BAR is testing well, but I don't trust that group. Honda doesn't always seem to be reliable. Jaguar seems like they're always a mess. That team hasn't done much since it started. Ford should have left Jackie Stewart alone. 
I think Toyota, Sauber, Jaguar, and BAR will battle for 5th, much like last year. The team that proves to be more reliable, will win that battle. 
With this new engine rule, I think we will see who makes the strongest engines through-out the field. I still see McLaren in the top 4, even though they haven't tested well. I also think Coulthard will be better this year, as he is essentially auditioning for a drive for next year. 
I wish Jordan could be more competitive, because Eddie Jordan seems like a pretty funny guy. I like personalities in this game. Their car looks good, but the times aren't too good. 
And Minardi is Minardi. The good thing is they can't get worse. 
As far as Toyota is concerned, I think Gascoyne Joined the team too late to have any immediate effect. And I don't see much difference in their new car over last years car. But I have a feeling you'll see a change in the car as the year progresses. Again, I think it's going to come down to reliability, which could play into Toyota's hands. 
Hope It's an exciting season! - John N - USA

First of all, Michael Schumacher is definitely not gonna do it again this year. I think that RB will fight for the title till the end of the season. For the first time ever, MS's teammate is talking about his chances in winning. That never happened before and I think Rubens will prove every one wrong about how good he is. McLaren's will be as strong as possible. Kimi will continue and as Jim said DC will make every one wonder why the hell he became so good all of the sudden. 
Williams will never make it though their car is the fastest. they just don't have a real good drivers. Renault will be much better and Alonso will win a couple of races as well as Trulli in Monaco. 
I'm impressed with BAR good job. I think they will be the dark horse this year. 
Jaguar and Jordan will be very weak. Sauber will improve and I think Minardi will take over the Jordan place which will decline to 10th. That's all - Al - Syria

This will definitely be the year of Michael Schumacher's defeat. 
Juan Pablo Montoya has the greatest potential to win the championship, if the BMW engine won't blow up too often. 
Ralf lacks the knowledge of the dirty tricks that his brother has, so let's not count him in. 
Rubens will be Michael's slave once again. 
David Coulthard will be pitied once again that he's got no luck, but let's face it - he's the Ricardo Patrese type of driver - lots of races, just a few wins. 
And then there's Kimi. He's older and more experienced this year, but I think he won't be match for the born racer JP Montoya! 
Renault will be more dangerous to Williams that all might think. I guess they'll be second after Williams at the end of the season!!! 
But most important thing is that all the races will be dramatic and not boring!!! - Daniel K - Slovenia

I am a Ferrari lover since I was 4. They again will win this year. Last year everybody saw Ferrari falter a very very very very small bit. Now everybody thinks the down fall of the Ferrari empire. Which is NOT going to happen. Remember Ferrari comfortably won the constructors award, and Schumi still won the drivers award even with the new point system. 
Remember Ferrari has taken teamwork to the next level, which no other team has reached. It will be another year for Schumi and Ferrari and they are not going anywhere!!! - Bharat A - USA

Michael will win the championship this year, but it will be a close race. McLaren seem to be losing their pace, so Renault and Williams pose a threat to Ferrari - Vishnu Prasad - India

The new FW-26 for BMW-Williams has proven it's worth in the practice sessions leading up to the 2004 season. If it proves as reliable as the FW-25, BMW will have the constructors championship. Juan Pablo will fight Kimi to probably the last race, but will come out ahead in the end. This is BMW's year! - Shawn - Canada

Michael Schumacher and Ferrari will win both titles... Senthilnathan M - India

Raikkonen. McLaren. The consistency. The skill. The ability to start a race and not drive into a bunch of other cars. The understanding that running another car off the track is not a good idea. The comprehension to keep his car on the track while leading with a few laps left. The luck that keeps his name from being Montoya.. or Ralph. Time for a change. Time is now - Tom H - USA

Williams, Renault and McLaren will be breathing over Ferrari's neck as the season moves along. I see Montoya proving his worth to land ahead of Michael Schumacher in the standings. But Raikkonen cannot be far behind given the skill he has. Given the breaks, I predict Raikkonen by a breath - Enzo - USA

It's barely mid-February, but I can't wait! 
Wish I could fly away down under and be there for the fun. But... 
This won't be Michael's Seventh Title; it may not even be Ferarri's Year. Which means the Red Machines will be even more fun to watch. R.B. will be scheming like the genius he is. Expect odd pit strategies, weird tyre choices, and mysterious press releases. It will be mind games from Maranello all year long and nobody is better at mind games than Ross Braun and M.S! 
McLaren is the team and Kimi is the driver to beat this year. Everyone will be wondering why D.C. is suddenly so good. 
Williams will be struggling with a truly weird drivers situation. I expect JPM to get used to Kimi's tail lights this year. I also look forward to his litany of excuses. 
Renault is where Toyota wants to be. But Toyota's going to eat a lot of B.A.R. dust this year, too. 
It's too early for Sauber's wind machine to make a difference, so I expect Peter's face to get longer this year. 
I never count Eddie J. out, but I wish he had some grunt in the engine compartment! 
The Jags are going to live up to their driver selection. Which means Toyota will have more than just Sauber to shoot at. 
I hope Minardi stays in business... maybe they could offer subscriptions? I'd put up a little cash to keep the back, I mean the black, markers moving up. 
I've already picked my pole n' 8, but I'm not putting it in here yet. Don't want to give anything away too soon! 
It's too soon for dark horses and rookies. I'm not even sure of all the line-ups. But we're going to have some real racing this year. Look for lots of lane changing and door slamming at the apex. Some drivers are going to be their own worst enemies this year. 
How come you didn't ask about the "single" engine block? That wouldn't be because the lawyers are outside somewhere debating the meaning of "single" and "engine" would it? - Jim W - USA

Ferrari and Schuey can do it again but will need a few wet races at least. 
Williams will be strong but will their drivers be also? 
Raikkonen can win and Coulthard will once again wonder why Ron Dennis keeps him on. 
Renault will improve with proper engine but will inevitably fall short due to budget. 
BAR have shown that the Michelins are clearly the better dry weather tyres but, like Jaguar, will show that they can handle the odd fast lap but have no chance to sustain it in race conditions with their respective, comparatively pitiful budgets. 
Toyota are a dark horse and the people running the show had better start getting close to the front by seasons end at least. 
Forget the rest. 
It will be interesting to see the tyre war play out. Michelin must surely be the favourite with all the teams on Michelins but if they don't get their wets up to scratch and it's a wet season then............... New regs will matter not - cream rises - Byron F - Australia

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