Formula One can be a cruel and tough place for new, undeveloped teams as we saw in 2010 with many of the new teams. There was an unusual amount of new teams applying for entry in 2010 and with only 4 places available, money was always going to be a priority.
The four teams that fulfilled their dreams of reaching the greatest motor racing stage were Lotus Racing, Virgin Racing, Sauber and Hispania Racing. Sauber were a quick redesign of the previous BMW Sauber team and didn’t struggle to find their pace and challenge for points. But it was a different story for the others.
Lotus and Virgin improved throughout the season but Hispania didn’t improve at all. Their driver line up was constantly being changed and they were clearly strapped for cash. Surprisingly, Hispania have survived but will they be one of the teams to watch out for in 2011?
Here are my top 6 teams to watch in 2011.
No.6 Mercedes GP
Mercedes GP under performed in 2010 with Rosberg and Schumacher finishing 7th and 9th in the Championship respectively and the team failing to win a race. The team claims they have a strong car for 2011 and that they have the right people for the job. Schumacher says he can win a record 8th World Title but he will need a great car if he wants to be challenging the top teams.
Team Name: Mercedes GP Petronas.
Drivers: Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.
2010 Driver’s Finish: Nico Rosberg:7th Michael Schumacher:9th.
2010 Constructor’s finish: 4th, 214 points.
No.5 Lotus Renault GP
The new look Renault team had a very comfortable 2010 after the horrors of the previous season. A new owner and new drivers including the first Russian in F1 worked well and Renault were back competing at the top end of the Championship. 2011 has brought another new livery and possibly the Financial backing they need to push them that little bit further.
Team Name: Lotus Renault GP
Drivers: Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov
2010 Driver’s Finish: Robert Kubica:8th Vitaly Petrov:13th
2010 Constructor’s Finish:5th, 163 points.
No.4 Team Lotus
Yet another new team and after a steady first season, many think they are capable of scoring points in 2011. Lotus have kept Trulli and Kovalainen for 2011 and both drivers have competed at the top before and have the experience to bring Lotus in the right direction. Their Off-Season has been marred by a lengthy legal battle over which Lotus team holds the right to being called Team-Lotus. The case is still ongoing but Lotus Racing say they are confident that they hold the right to being the real Team Lotus .Lotus have also switched to Renault engines.
Team Name: Lotus Racing
Drivers: Jarno Trulli and Heikki Kovalainen
2010 Driver’s Finish: Jarno Trulli:21st Heikki Kovalainen:20th
2010 Constructor’s Finish: 10th , 0 points
No.3 Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
McLaren had a very topsy turvey season in 2010 but still had Hamilton fighting for the Title in the final race in Abu Dhabi. The all Briton line up of Hamilton and Button worked extremely well and with both drivers knowing their team mates exact car setup, there was no public arguments between the pair. After McLaren’s terrible 2009 car, 2010 was a much better season but they were still soundly beat by Red Bull. McLaaren always have the same level of expectation going into every season but they last won a drivers title in 2008 with Hamilton, and believe it or not, last won a constructors title way back in 1998.
Team Name: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Drivers: Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton
2010 Driver’s Finish: Jenson Button: 5th, Lewis Hamilton: 4th.
2010 Constructor’s Finish: 2nd, 454 points
Ferrari went into 2010 with great expectations after a very poor 2009. Raikkonen was out and Fernando Alonso was in. Their season started perfectly with Alonso winning on his Debut and Massa coming home in 2nd. Ferrari’s start wasn’t to last though and reliability issues hampered their early season success and they dramatically dropped down both Championship’s dramatically. After Ferrari’s worst result of the season at Silverstone, Alonso claimed that Ferrari would win the title and they very nearly did but there season was marred by a race fixing case due to team orders. 2011 is looking promising for the Tifosi who haven’t seen a Ferrari winner since 2007 with Raikkonen. The two drivers remain and so do Ferrari’s hopes of becoming World Champions.
Team Name: Scuderia Ferrari
Drivers: Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa
2010 Driver’s finish: Fernando Alonso: 2nd, Felipe Massa: 6th.
2010 Constructor’s finish: 3rd, 396 points.
No.1 Red Bull Racing
Red Bull were the stand out team in 2010 and after only being in the sport since 2005, to win both Championships with in 5 years really shows what potential they still have to give. The past 2 seasons were great for Red Bull as they finally showed what they could do and with Adrian Newey designing nearly unbeatable cars, 2011 is looking no different. Vettel sealed 2010 with their first Drivers Championship and even Webber has showed his potential. There were some bad moments for Red Bull including a rift between the 2 drivers and the unforgetable coming together in Turkey and lets not forget Webber’s amazing incident in Valencia. Overall 2010 belonged to Red Bull but hopefully for F1 fans as a whole, they won’t dominate Qualifying too much in 2011 !
Team Name: Red Bull Racing
Drivers: Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber
2010 Driver’s Finish: Sebastian Vettel: 1st, Mark Webber: 3rd.
2010 Constructor’s Finish: 1st, 498 points.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog, and I hope you enjoy 2011 just as much.