Atlas F1 The Atlas F1 2000 Gamble

At the end of every year, we ask the members of the Atlas F1 team to vote on who was the best driver of the passing season, and which Grand Prix was the most memorable. This year, we decided to do the brave thing, and put our bets down on who will be the World Champion and which team will win the Constructors Championship. Each member was asked to bet on the top 5 drivers, ranking them from first to fifth, and likewise for the top 5 teams. The Number One received 5 points, Number Two received four points, and so forth. Collecting together everyone's votes accumulated the list of what Atlas F1 predicts will be the WC and CC standings at the end of the season. Eight months from now, 17 GPs away, we'll know if we rule or just a bunch of fools...

The Atlas F1 Drivers' WC Gamble

1. M. Schumacher 57 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 4 4 5
2. M. Hakkinen 45 3 4   4 4 4 5 3 4 5 5 4
3. D. Coulthard 22 4   3 3   3 1 4   1 3  
= R. Barrichello 22 2 3   2 2 2 3   1 2 2 3
5. H.H. Frentzen 21 1   2 1 3 1 2 2 3 3 1 2
6. J. Herbert 4   2 1         1        
= J. Villeneuve 4     4                  
8. R. Schumacher 2                 2      
9. J. Trulli 1                       1
= J. Verstappen 1   1                    
= E. Irvine 1         1              

The Atlas F1 Constructors' WC Gamble

1. Ferrari 56 4 5 5 4 5 5 5 4 5 5 4 5
2. McLaren 52 5 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 4 4 5 4
3. Jordan 35 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
4. Jaguar 22 2 3 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2  
5. Williams 6       1 1 1       1   2
= BAR 6     2       1 1 1   1  
7. Arrows 2 1 1                    
8. Prost 1                       1

Ewan Tytler (ET)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Coulthard; 3. Hakkinen; 4. Barrichello; 5. Frentzen

The safe bet would be either Michael Schumacher or Mika Hakkinen. Schumacher could finally pull it off for Ferrari but his fitness must be a concern. Mika Hakkinen will have more competition than he had over the past two years. Neither Ayrton Senna nor Alain Prost could win three driver's championships in a row. Either David Coulthard or Rubens Barrichello could surprise their team leaders. Heinz-Harald Frenzten could complete the top five, finishing ahead of Jacques Villeneuve, Johnny Herbert and Eddie Irvine. We will have a better idea of who will be champion after the Brazilian Grand Prix.

1. McLaren; 2. Ferrari; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. Arrows

I think it will be very close but I'd bet on McLaren, if they are reliable, with Ferrari a close second. Jaguar could finish third but I'm giving the edge to Jordan - again this could be down to reliability. Initially I thought that BAR, with works Honda engines, could keep ahead of Benetton, Prost and Williams but Arrows may surprise all of us.

Michele Lupini (ML)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Barrichello; 4. Herbert; 5. Verstappen

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jaguar; 4. Jordan; 5. Arrows

Ferrari has to do it this year. Fate stole it last year and Michael can't wait any longer - he's getting old and the big record is getting further and further away - six world titles. Mika will be there, but I believe the 2000 Ferrari is the best ever and he will fight for second with Rubens. Johnny will star in the second half of Y2K and Jos Verstappen will be the shock of the year. My next five are Frentzen, Coulthard, Irvine, Fisichella and Ralf...

Thomas O'Keefe (TO)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Villeneuve; 3. Coulthard; 4. Frentzen; 5. Herbert

Michae Schumacher is my pick, Because he is the best. He's hungry, he's due and the car is readier than it has been since 1961. It's also back to the future - 1997. Villeneuve Sacrificing his car last year for his manager will pay off this year. Honda and Reynard will get it right enough of the time and JV will do the rest, for a spectacular team turnaround. This is likely to be Coulthard's best year, when he will keep it on the pavement, demonstrate that he has learned how to pass and trade his bad mechanical luck over to a hapless Mika H who will have the occasional victory amidst an otherwise frustrating season. Frentzen and the team have reached their maximum level of capability with the Baby Honda. Herbert, a true Brit, will outshine his flashier teamate with Irvine dazzling us with a bewildering array of excuses as to why he remains number 2. Eddie and Barrichello will form a support group for drivers who have been Schumachered.

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. BAR; 5. Jaguar

You could sense toward the end of last season that there was mild hysteria at Maranello as the best shot at the championship in years slipped away. This year Fiat is betting the ranch and for once Luca di Montezemolo's annual prediction will come true; the church bells will be ringing in Maranello, and the bell tolls for thee Ron. Coulthard's strong and consistent finishes and Hakkinen's episodic brilliance will eke out the number two spot. Frentzen and Trulli will finish in the top four so much that they will edge out the Senior Honda team. Villeneuve's car will finish but the neglect of the second car means Zonta's DNF's will mount up. Both Jaguar's cars will be in the points enough of the time to claim the last rung on the ladder. More Green, Less White in the livery next year will bring better luck.

Marcel Borsboom (MB)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Coulthard; 4. Barrichello; 5. Frentzen

1. McLaren; 2. Ferrari; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. Williams

I expect a close battle between Hakkinen and Schumacher this year, with Schumacher having the final edge. The other 3 in the top 5 will have a good fight but I think Coulthard will win that battle simply because I expect McLaren to produce the better car. Barrichello will have to get used to the way Ferrari works. It's also the reason why I believe McLaren will take the constructors championship because Coulthard will do better than Barrichello. Jordan and Jaquar will be best of the rest. The fight for 5th place could be very close because there are quite some teams who can take that position but with the support of BMW and the experience of Williams I expect them to take it.

Mark Alan Jones (MJ)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Frentzen; 4. Barrichello; 5. Irvine

This is finally the year. Michael will finally claim that third title and give Ferrari what it's waited 21 years for. At moments last year Schumacher showed the combination of himself and Ferrari were the equal of the silver Anglo-German juggernauts. The battle between the two Mike's will be close but Schumi will have the title before the final round. The battle for third between a highly motivated Frentzen, a reborn Barrichello, a fast but fragile Irvine, and perrennial bridesmaid Coulthard will be highly entertaining. I predict the Coulthard will loose this battle as almost every battle since the moment in Jerez when Ron Dennis made it apparent which driver he favoured. HHF will believe he can take the fight to the Mike's and now has the ability but the question mark is over how much development will the Mugen get with the BAR Honda behind on the grid. Rubinho, despite much protest to the contrary will be a number 2 driver (who actually believes number 1A?) and will have to give best on occassion. Irvine will be fast but might find the Cosworth slightly fragile as Jaguar lift their performance to the level of Jordan, Ferrari and McLaren. How Irvine copes with this fragility compared to the ultra reliability of the Ferrari could well be one of the stories of the season.

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan 4. Jaguar; 5. Williams

The story here will be the numbers 2 drivers. Barrichello will have it in spades over Coulthard. And that's assuming McLaren don't have the reliability problems that have pagued Coulthard on occassion. Similarly Jarno Trulli will be significantly better Johnny Herbert, nice guy and all but Trulli is a man on the move. Looking beyond this top four the picture becomes hazier. Bennetton show no signs of getting out of the downward spiral that has siezed the team since 1995. Sauber are consistently here about and should have early season power that other teams won't, particularly Williams and BAR who will struggle developing new engines. Prost, wellll... I've picked Williams because Ralf Schumacher has the talent over everyone else in this group (Jacques Villeneuve included) although whether Jenson Button can hold up his end will be a developing story this season.

Biranit Goren (BG)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen 3. Coulthard; 4. Barrichello; 5. Frenzten

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. Williams

I may be way off base; I'm probably thinking with my heart, but 2000 strikes me as the Year of Ferrari and Schumacher. While I don't foresee much difference coming in the constructors' status quo - at least not in the front end - I do think we're likely to see the ex-trio of Benetton - Rory, Ross and Michael - do the '1995 Revisited' drill at Ferrari. In any case, it will be mighty close...

Roger Horton (RH)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M. Schumacher; 3. Barrichelllo; 4. Frentzen; 5. Coulthard

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. BAR

Hakkinen may stumble and struggle a little along the way, but in the end his expected McLaren advantage should see him home for his third title. The reliability of the Ferraris, and stronger driver pairing this year, should be enough to see them retain their constructors' crown. The Honda influence should be enough to propel BAR up the standings to be at least 'best of the rest' status. Placing Jordan and Frentzen is a real gamble, as so much depends of their progress in relation to Jaguars.

Don Capps (DC)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Coulthard; 3. Hakkinen; 4. Frentzen 5. M. Herbert

What! Mad Mike as your pick for WDC!? At some point Schumacher will have it all come together and this just might be the year. Besides, I closed my eyes and this is where my finger landed... David Coulthard second - Stranger things have happened... Luck will play a role - Daring Dave could be 2nd or he could be 8th, it will be that kind of a season. Mika Hakkinen - Three in row is asking too much. Things will happen this season and Hakkinen will not have some of the breaks go his way. Hakkinen is very good, but he is bound to come a cropper at some point and unfortunately this will be the season. Frentzen Will finish behind the McLaren drivers by only the narrowest of margins. It will be an up and down season, but Heinz Harry will impress. With luck, he might even be 2nd or 3rd. For many and varied reasons, Johnny Herbert will end up this high in the WDC. In great part it will be that he keeps the car on the island and his wretched luck will move over to Irvine for this season. He will edge out Villeneuve by a razor thin margin.

1.McLaren; 2. Ferrari; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. BAR

McLaren - Some times it just works out this way. It won't be the best car or best team, but someday it is just your day... Ferrari - Barrichello will be snake-bit and not be able to help Schumacher that much, but it will be just enough to edge the next on the list... Jordan - Deserves to be second, but Trulli will have a few stubbed toes at the wrong moments and fall just a few points short of beating Ferrari. Jaguar will do well but will have to deal with the bad luck that will plague Irvine. BAR - Jacques will finally get a package he can work with and Honda takes this stuff seriously. They will seriously threaten at several races starting in mid-season and fight off the surprising Minardi and Prost teams in the stretch. Hard luck team of the season will be Williams and although Ralf will continue to impress, Bad Things will happen. In some camps the idea that perhaps getting rid of Zanardi wasn't such a great idea after will be voiced...

Tom Keeble (TK)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Frentzen; 4. R. Schumacher; 5. Barrichello

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. BAR

Better late than never, Schumacher will finally prevail in a Ferrari which continues to be reliabile, and very quick. McLaren will be fractionally quicker over the season, and with improved reliability against the '99 model, but Schumacher's form and competition from Jaguar and Jordan will conspire to prevent Hakkinen gaining three in a row. Revelations will be Johnny Herbert's surprise return to form, and Arrows, who will be more reliable than Williams and BAR, quicker than Benetton, and happy to score points at half the events. BAR will pip them at the post for fifth however, scoring their first podium early in the second half of the season... but probably not a race win!

Mark Glendenning (MG)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M. Schumacher; 3. Frentzen; 4. Barrichello; 5. Coulthard

There's going to be virtually nothing between Hakkinen and Schumacher this year, so I have relied on gut feeling more than anything else. Frentzen's confidence will be sky-high after a great season in 1999, which gives him some momentum for his 2000 campaign. Barrichello's consistency will probably give him the edge over Coulthard.

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. Williams

Ferrari arguably have their strongest driver pairing in years. If they can maintain their good reliability record, they should clean up the consructors title with a couple of races to spare. Jordan should have the edge over Jaguar in terms of both drivers and machinery, while Ralf Schumacher will again extract as much as possible from the Williams.

David Wright (DW)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M.Schumacher; 3. Coulthard; 4. Barrichello; 5. Frentzen

I Can't see the status quo changing too much this year... especially in the drivers' championship. The McLaren and Ferrari teams should fill the first four placings, while Frentzen will remain the best of the rest.

1. McLaren; 2. Ferrari; 3. Jordan; 4. Jaguar; 5. BAR

I see the McLaren team just nudging Ferrari out for the constructors' championship. Jordan and Jaguar (nee Stewart) will improve but remain in third and fourth respectively, while a more reliable BAR will take over from an unreliable Williams in fifth place.

Marcel Schot (MS)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Barrichello; 4. Frentzen; 5. Trulli

Michael Schumacher will be burning with desire to bring Ferrari the title and with Rubens Barrichello as a worthy teammate and possible successor, he'll have more peace of mind to concentrate on racing. Mika Hakkinen will be strong, riding on the waves of two titles, however the McLaren looks a little weaker at the start and it appears the internal struggle for the number one seat could cause trouble. Barrichello will prove Ferrari right in choosing him and will provide Schumacher with good backup, but not necessarily giving away his own chances to keep Schumacher in the saddle. Heinz-Harald Frentzen has shown last year what a performer he is and together with a motivated teammate and a good car, he will be the best of the rest. Williams and BMW will have to get used to eachother for a year, preventing Ralf Schumacher from entering the top 5.

1. Ferrari; 2. McLaren; 3. Jordan; 4. Williams; 5. Prost

Ferrari looks strong with their pair of drivers, while McLaren, as the main rival, could seriously suffer from the struggle between its drivers for the number one seat. Jordan will claim third easily with a good car and two good drivers. Williams is rebuilding, so no major upsets are to be expected in the first year with BMW. Prost with Alesi and Heidfeld could be the combination the team has been looking for, eventhough Alesi seems to have his best years behind him. The Frenchman could be the right person to teach Heidfeld the art of Formula One, though, booking a success here and there for himself. I only see Benetton dropping away further and further down the spiral, while BAR and Arrows look set to score more points than in the last three years combined. Sauber seems to be staying in the grey midfield with a fairly colourless car and line-up, while Minardi will do the same at the back, probably good for another 0 point season, which might be their last.

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