With Winter testing behind us, I think it is an excellent time to lay out my predictions on what the standings will be at the end of the season for the drivers’ championship.
20. Nicholas Latifi
This is not a surprise to most fans as Latifi will be the only rookie on the grid this season. He also did not have a stellar career so far in the lesser leagues and has taken some time to make his F1 debut. He will also be racing for Williams this season in a car that did not look so great the past few seasons.
I do believe the Williams team will make ground on its competitors this, but I also think it won’t be enough to save this rookie from falling to last place at the end of the season.
19. Antonio Giovinazzi
Giovinazzi clearly struggled last season within the Alfa Romeo car and only scored 4 points as a result. This season will be a continuation of his struggles from last season, but will ultimately be worse because of new pressure from the team to perform.
It’s not a secret among analysts that Ferrari is trying to get Mick Schumaker into F1 and a Ferrari seat as soon as possible, and with Giovinazzi currently holding the “Ferrari seat” it seems as though it will the pressure that becomes his downfall with him. Expect him to leave the team at the end of the season and Schumaker taking the seat as long as he has enough super license points.
18. Romain Grojean
I think the Haas car will be fast next season, but with that being said, Romain seems not to be able to put together a good season. He is a real head case within the sport and seems to either shine or fail horribly when placing under the spotlight.
With him and teammate Kevin Magnessun being pitted against each other with the pressure from the team to perform, I don’t think Romain will be able to handle it and will fall to the wayside of the grid and struggle to score points consistently.
17. George Russell
This is no knock on George Russell because I think he is a superb driver, but I fail to see him being able to drag the Williams car above most of the midfield teams and will struggle to claim points in races.
I see him scoring points in wet weather races like Germany last season and a few late points towards the end of the season, but besides that, he will struggle with the underperforming Williams car.
16. Kevin Magnussen
Kevin is a mediocre at best driver for the Haas team, and I think he will struggle to win points this season, especially with the dumpster fire still burning within the team’s management.
It makes me wonder how much more Gene Haas can take, and we might see him look to sell the team if it cannot turn around their downward momentum.
15. Kimi Raikonnen
Sorry, but Kimi seems to be past his prime within the racing world. Also, recent statements indicate Kimi could walk away from the sport altogether as it looks like he is not in the same mindset that brought him all the way up to his Ferrari seat.
I think he will never be the same after being sacked and replaced with Charles Leclerc.
14. Esteban Ocon
Ok, I understand the amount of hype surrounding Ocon ever since his departure from Racing Point, but I do not think he is as strong as a driver that everyone makes him out to be.
I also think the rust will get to him, and he will not be able to make the most of the car until midway through the season, and I think he will find it challenging to catch up.
13. Lance Stroll
As much as I would like to put Stroll lower on the list because I do not believe he is that great of a driver and the only reason he is in his seat currently is because his dad led the consortium; I cannot bring myself to putting him any lower.
The Racing Point seems extremely strong this year, and I can see them challenging for podiums.
12. Daniil Kvyat
Daniil has a lot to prove this year in the new Alpha Tauri car, and he will do everything he can to score points for the team and bring that car home.
He is also entering the final year of his contract, so he has everything to prove, and the longtime veteran of the sport will show all the experience on the track this season.
11. Pierre Gasly
Gasly is in the same boat as Kvyat, but I think he can just edge out his teammate in the championship because he is still young into his career and will give it everything he has got to keep his spot.
Also, I believe Danny Tictum will take the place of the loser between the Gasly Kvyat battle as Red Bull looks to bring new blood into the team.
Check the website on Friday for the second half of my list before race weekend in Melbourne.