ATLAS F1   Volume 7, Issue 8 Email to Friend   Printable Version

Atlas F1   The Atlas F1 2001 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. And at the season start, we 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 87 4 5 5 5 5 4 5 5 4 5 5 4 4 5 4 4 4 5 5
2 Hakkinen 75 3 4 4 4 4 3 4 4 5 4 2 2 5 4 5 5 5 4 4
3 Coulthard 58 5 3 1 3 3 5 3 3 3 3 4 5   3 3 3 3 2 3
4 Barrichello 33 2   3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 3   1 2 2 2 3 1
5 R.Schumacher 15 1 2   1 1   1     2     3       1 1 2
6 Villeneuve 13   1 2     1   1 1   3 1 1 2          
7 Trulli 2                         2            
= Montoya 2                             1 1      

The Atlas F1 Constructors' WC Gamble

1 McLaren 89 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 5 5 5 4 5 4 4
2 Ferrari 82 4 4 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 4 4 4 5 4 5 5
3 Williams 54 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
4 BAR 30 1 2 3   2 2 2 2 3 2 3 2   2 2       2
5 Jordan 23 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 1 1
6 Benetton 5                         1       2 2  
7 Prost 2       1                       1      

Timothy Collings (TC)

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

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

One of the oldest sayings in F1 circles is that 'when the going gets tough, the tough get going' and they don't come much tougher than Ron Dennis, McLaren and David Coulthard. Nor do circumstances get much more challenging than they are going to be for Coulthard on the eve of this season, as he pours his ambition into his driving after a torrid spell of private and personal decisions. Stung by that, and last year's difficulties, both he and McLaren look like men determined to overcome anything and, with Hakkinen still in the first afterglow of fatherhood and Michael Schumacher glorying in his third title and first with Ferrari, the timing is perfect. Williams will continue to improve and Ralf will be super-motivated (like Coulthard) to succeed against Juan Pablo Montoya.

Marcel Schot (MS)

1. M. Schumacher; 2. Hakkinen; 3. Coulthard; 4. R. Schumacher; 5. Villeneuve

With the three big guys in the Ferrari garage contracted until 2004, Schumacher will take profit from more stability within the team. Hakkinen will once again be his main rival, but I see fatherhood making him go a tad softer. Coulthard will make good use of the McLaren-Mercedes power and easily become number three again. Little Schumacher is on the rise and so is Williams. Montoya will do good too, but needs at least half a season to get used to Formula One. What goes for Ralf, goes for Villeneuve too. Jacques and BAR are in the elevator and the Canadian now has a teammate who can give him a positive vibe.

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

Is 2001 the last year of the McLaren/Ferrari domination? Probably. However, they definitely will dominate it. I think Coulthard will make the difference over Barrichello this year, with the Brazilian not living up to the expectation in Maranello. Williams will come closer with the strong package they have and so will BAR. Jordan will be a distant fifth, least worst of the rest. Benetton has been looking relatively weak in pre-season and at Jaguar the many personnel changes won't make a positive impact in my opinion.

Pablo Elizalde (PE)

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

I can't see anything changing this season: the two best drivers will fight for the title again. Michael Schumacher is my favourite to win his fourth crown, especially now that the weight of 'the-first-world-championship-in-21-years' is off his shoulders. Mika Hakkinen's performance will depend on how quick and reliable the new McLaren is, but I don't think he will be able to take revenge on Schumacher. Barrichello will be far from the top two, but hopefully he will prove he is a class driver. I believe Villeneuve will fight for some wins this season, and the sport will benefit from his return to the top. He deserves it, and having Panis as teammate will make him excel. And, finally, this will be Coulthard's year... to give up on his title hopes.

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

Ferrari will keep the momentum and will take an easy win in the constructors championship, courtesy of the best car, the best driver, and the best strategies. Obviously, if Ferrari win, McLaren will be second. No need to explain. The surprise will be the BAR-Honda team. I hope they can fight for wins and put an end to the two-horse race. They've got the potential to do it and Formula One needs it. Williams would be my choice for third place if they weren't using Michelin tyres, but I believe they will struggle with them in some places. Jordan will still be that bit off the pace.

David Wright (DW)

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

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

Similar to last year, I can't see the status quo at the top changing too much this year. The same four drivers will fill the top four places in the championship, it's just a matter of which order they finish in. All the action will take place further down the field, where there should be improvement from Jaguar, Benetton and most significantly Prost, while Jordan should find some reliability to go with the speed they had last year.

Don Capps (DC)

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

The top two positions could easily be switched and ditto for positions three and four. The real question sems to be who will be in the fifth position? It should be a real toss-up between R. Schumacher, Villeneuve, and Trulli, the slightest of nods going to Schumacher.

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

McLaren and Ferrari and then The Rest of The Field. Again, a real toss-up, but Williams seems to have a slight edge. However, if Honda and its two teams get the numbers correct, then who knows?

Ewan Tytler (ET)

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

I honestly don't have a clear idea who will win the 2001 drivers' championship. It could come down to which driver adapts best to the aerodynamic changes and traction control. The safe bet is that Michael Schumacher retains his title. David Coulthard is a longer shot but he could pull it off if a wind of change keeps blowing through McLaren. Mika Hakkinen will be somewhere in the top 3 but his current form is hard to judge. Rubens Barrichello will probably end up in 4th since Ferrari will be reluctant to let him win. Fifth place could be taken by any driver from Williams, BAR or Jordan. Jacques Villeneuve may stay at the head of this pack but Olivier Panis has other ideas. Once again, we will have a clearer picture of the championship after the chequered flag falls at Interlagos.

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

I think that the Constructors' Cup will again be very close, with the weather having a big influence on the outcome. The Michelin teams will probably start at a disadvantage but this could evaporate as the season progresses. If the 2001 season is dry and reliability isn't an issue, I'd bet on McLaren with Ferrari a close second. I think that Williams will again be the Best of the Rest and may pick up a victory. The Honda-powered teams will probably make up the top five with BAR having the edge over a regrouping Jordan.

Marcel Borsboom (MB)

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

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

Both championships' top 5 look very similar to the final standings of the 2000 season, but I expect that 2001 will pick up the season where 2000 left it, Ferrari and Mclaren being the main contenders with Williams a close third. Again Michael Schumacher and Hakkinen will fight for the championship, but if Coulthard can get his act together similarly to the mid-season of 2000, he could be close to the championship title as well. Coulhard is also the reason why I think Mclaren will take the constuctors' championship - he can do a better job than Barrichello if he gets the support from the team. Benetton will eventually get their act together in the latter part of the year but the damage done in the first half of the season will be too big to make it into the top 5.

Mark Glendenning (MG)

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

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

In 2001 we're going to find out whether the pressure to break the twenty-one year championship drought was a motivator or a millstone for Ferrari. Did it spur the team on, or was it extra weight that they didn't need? Ultimately, this year's title battle will again be fought out between Michael and Mika. I'm leaning slightly toward Michael purely because the wave of euphoria that the team has been surfing since Malaysia has to be worth a few extra horsepower on its own.

The Bridgestone teams will enter the first few races with an advantage over their Michelin-shod counterparts. Nevertheless, the paring of Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya (should the Columbian succeed in matching his talents with the demands of F1) will ultimately be enough to secure Williams' spot as the 'best of the rest'. The battle for supremacy between the two Honda-powered teams will be one of the year's highlights, however the Villeneuve/Panis combination should give BAR the edge over Jordan. Really, Benetton should be up there too, but with a limit of five teams someone had to miss out, so...

Bruce Thomson (BT)

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

I think that Hakkinen will be revitalised this season. In fact, I almost put Coulthard in front of Michael Schumacher for this year too, as I think that Schumacher may have a little bit more of a hard time defending the title this year than he did winning it last. Coulthard should run Schumacher close, as Schumacher will run Hakkinen - then there will be a gap to Barrichello, languishing in the shadow of his teammate and out of the true affections of the team. I'm tipping Villeneuve to be the best of the rest on the basis that you can't keep a good man down - especially with a Honda engine!

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

McLaren will not have taken the loss of the WDC and the CC in the same year with much aplomb and nor will Mercedes. On the basis that fear and anger may be slightly better motivators than satisfaction, I'm tipping McLaren to retake the CC. Ferrari should be a fighting second. If my drivers prediction holds true, than BAR - with the excellent OP helping out - should be a slightly distant third. JPM and RS will use their mutual antipathy to good effect to narrowly beat Jordan who are likely to suffer from patchy performances - good and bad - from both drivers.

Roger Horton (RH)

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

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

The front-runners in both the drivers' and constructors' standings pretty much pick themselves, although there won't be many points difference between first and second at the end of the year. Unlike many observers I wouldn't rule out David Coulthard's chances of being a close title challenger. I think over the whole season Ralf Schumacher will score more points than Juan Montoya, though Montoya will grab his share of the headlines, both drivers being aided by Williams's status as Michelin's number one team. BAR are emerging as a serious racing outfit, and despite all the background politics, they have maintained more technical stability than Jordan, hence my rating.

Karl Ludvigsen (KL)

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

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

Overall, I am granting a general edge to the Bridgestone-shod teams because it will still take some time for Michelin to get to grips with all the teams and circuits. 2002 could be another story. The strong momentum of Ferrari through the winter and their use of well-proven and successful car and engine elements should secure for them another title for both the team and their lead driver. Their second driver will score points too, bringing him into the top five on the table. At McLaren, I look to Coulthard to shake off his ill luck and to be this season's team leader, although still hampered by early-season reliability problems from making a real run at Schumacher. Mika will suffer more on reliability. BAR, with Honda's support, should make strong challenge in the championships this year. Villeneuve and Reynard are not going to sit back much longer, and neither is Honda. All will be determined to achieve results this year. With Panis in support BAR should be strong in 2001. A strong season often follows a troubled testing period, and this should hold true for BAR. Williams and Jordan will be in the fight and will place highly as teams but their drivers will take points from each other and thus will not figure in the top 5 driver rankings.

Thomas O'Keefe (TO)

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

McLaren has been chomping at the bit to capitalize on their perceived Traction Control edge and for Coulthard it will finally be a Season of No Excuses, coming out ahead of Michael in a year that will again go down to the wire and feature the characteristic Coulthard/Schumacher wheel bumping episodes. For all the puffery out of Maranello, it is almost impossible to pull off a back-to-back Championship and for Michael to do so twice in one lifetime is even more improbable. Focused father-to-be Barrichello will narrow the gap to Schumi Sr. and will be allowed to win races. Hakkinen will try too hard and this year it will be his reliability and not the McLaren's that puts him out; back-to-back Bad Seasons do happen to drivers and teams. Villeneuve again will start races well with Honda power and his lightening reflexes, and will finish higher this year and maybe even win a race because of retirements.

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

Ferrari will win the Constructors' Championship because Schumacher Sr. and Rubinho will together finish high up in lots of races. McLaren in second place on the strength of Coulthard's Season of Seasons. BMW-Williams will be the most consistent team next to Ferrari and a solid third place in the constructors' race because of several podiums by both drivers, including one win by Montoya. The Honda factory engines will dictate fourth and fifth place for BAR-Honda and Jordan, as Bennetton and Jaguar continue to scratch their way back to the top with the Prost-Ferrari's nipping at their heels for the Also Ran Honors.

Richard Barnes (RB)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M. Schumacher; 3. R. Schumacher; 4. Trulli; 5. Coulthard

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

Call it wishful thinking, but the Ferrari/McLaren dominance has to end sometime and this season, with the re-emergence of Michelin, is as good a time as any. Although McLaren and Ferrari will still take the lion's share of the spoils, at least four Grands Prix will go to other teams. Mika Hakkinen will be the hungriest driver on the grid, McLaren will have learnt from last season's mistakes, and the Finn will win the Championship by a nose from perennial Ferrari rival Michael Schumacher. Spurred on by the arrival of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, Ralf Schumacher will raise his game sufficiently to take third in the WDC. Jarno Trulli will finally realize his potential within the Jordan team, snatching an unexpected fourth. David Coulthard will round out the top five.

Biranit Goren (BG)

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

I don't expect the status quo at the top of the drivers' table to change - Michael Schumacher and Mika Hakkinen remain the benchmark of excellence in current Formula One, and will remain the eventual contenders to their fourth or third WC, respectively. I've selected Schumacher as the ultimate winner, however, by mere inertia - World Championships have gone in pairs over the past decade, and with the confidence and the lack of pressure Schumacher is now facing, having secured the 2000 title, I expect to see him prevail. Hakkinen, on the other hand, will have to face a teammate who gets stronger by the year. In fact, it won't surprise me at all if Coulthard will remain a WC contender throughout the season and 'spoil' it for his Finnish teammate. Unlike Coulthard, however, I don't see Barrichello getting stronger. He will face even stronger competition from behind, namely Jacques Villeneuve, who merely needs a reliable car to edge out the Brazilian driver.

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

I expect McLaren to end the Constructors' champions, due to their strong drivers pairing - the value of Hakkinen's and Coulthard's results combined may well prove higher than that of Schumacher's and Barrichello's, or any other team pairing for that matter. Further below, the competition is going to be as fierce as ever and my guess for spots 3-5 are just that: a guess. Williams, BAR, Jordan - even Benetton and Prost - can show up in those three spots. Williams may just edge out into third, due to their fantastic drivers pairing and vast experience in Doing Things Right. The 'Honda-Powered' teams, I believe, will be the next best thing, and may well take up the last couple of slots in the Top Five standings.

Paul Ryder (PR)

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

2001 will again be a Hakkinen versus Schumacher battle. Picking the winner, however, is difficult. Schumacher, finally World Champion for Ferrari, will be a tough person to beat as always, however, I believe the desire to recapture his crown will push Hakkinen. Spa 2000 showed the world that Mika has what it takes to beat Michael when it matters. The 2001 McLaren is showing promising signs, and this I believe may give Mika the edge he needs. David Coulthard will follow the main two, his search for glory going another year without success. Rubens Barrichello, unable to match the pace of his teammate or Coulthard's when it matters, may be the forth of the top four. Montoya will show why he was so sought after by Williams, beating his teammate Ralf Schumacher to 5th place.

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

The constructors' championship may be decided in McLaren's favour by the performance of Coulthard. As a teammate to Hakkinen, he may bring home valuable points. A more reliable McLaren, along with speed, will ensure glory is returned to McLaren. Will McLaren's 'make or break' risk for 2001 pay off? I think so. Ferrari will lose out, and may well regret opting for reliability in 2001. Williams will continue to show their increase in form, beating a surprise BAR to 3rd place. BAR, powered by the impressive Honda unit, will show a surprise increase in pace. Jordan, also powered by Honda will make up the top 5.

Tom Keeble (TK)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M. Schumacher; 3. Coulthard; 4. Barrichello; 4. Montoya

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

Expecting Ferrari and McLaren to continue their dominance, early season reliability will undoubtedly continue to plague the Woking team. Barrichello should close the gap to Schumacher, but it should be close between the four drivers. I anticipate Michelin getting their act together for mid-season, and Prost could well be the season's surprise Alesi has not been this hungry since Ferrari days. However, Williams, if they solve the BMW reliability problems, should confirm their place just behind the front runners. At least one Honda powered team should finish in the top five.

Mitch McCann (MM)

1. Hakkinen; 2. M. Schumacher; 3. Coulthard; 4. Barrichello; 4. R. Schumacher

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

As they say down in Florida, the championships this year are too close to call. But we're gonna call it anyway. I give it to Hakkinen more out of personal preference than any real conviction that the Hak/Mac combination will be better than the Schurrari. Coulthard and Barrichello will remain also rans although I would love them to prove me wrong. Williams should continue their return from the doldrums and I'll tip Ralf over the the latest incoming CART champion. Benetton should be getting organized in preparation for Renault's full blown return next season so I see them edging out Jordan for the fourth spot.

Mark Alan Jones (MJ)

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

The last three years has been a battle between two drivers, and I can't see that changing. The battle between Schumacher and Hakkinen has been highly entertaining on track, and unlike Hakkinen's two predecessors in the role, has largely stayed on track. Currently there are only two drivers with more than three world championships, come November there will be three. David Coulthard impressed a lot of people with his mettle, me included, and Rubens Barrichello was a little disappointing. Will having the number 1 plate free Ferrari's drive policy up a bit? Well, I'm an unashamed Rubinho fan so I'll stick my neck out and put him third. Picking fifth was the easiest of the lot: Ralf.

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

Simple math from my drivers pick puts Ferrari 1 and McLaren 2. Williams partnership with BMW was very impressive last year, much like their first season with Renault. However, the gap to the top two teams is larger now than it was in 1989. So Williams probably won't threaten for a win, except in extremes of weather and attrition. But they'll have enough to keep at bay a snarling pack of Benettons, Jordans & BARs. Benetton's revival last year was as impressive as it was surprising. With the might of Renault taking over the team I can see nothing but short term positives. Renault's commitment should see Benetton clear of the Honda duo, of which Jordan is the proven superior team, particularly since BAR's political problems are still to be conclusively cleared.

Will Gray (WG)

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

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

With Ferrari on a roll, I can't see McLaren stopping them taking a third team title in a row. Last year Schumacher took the drivers' title by a massive nineteen points, and it should be the German wearing the crown once more when 2001 draws to a close. Team orders should reign supreme at the Italian team, helping Schumacher but stealing vital points from Barrichello which could drop him below Williams' Ralf Schumacher if their Michelin tyre gamble succeeds. Williams have also taken a gamble with their fiery driver line-up, and providing the sparks don't ignite destructive fires, it should see them assured of a championship third, whilst Villeneuve may help BAR sink the Jordan shark to top the Honda runners.

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