Laura had the unenviable task of arguing for 2010 before it had even happened.
It may not turn out that she was right, but with a handful of races left, can we start arguing this point:
2010: Great F1 season or greatest?
Now, we’ve come to expect in the post-Michael Schumacher dominated years that we’ll have battles for both F1 titles. We’ve had the amazing, singular moment of Brazil two years ago. That has to rank pretty high on the greatest F1 moments ever.
But have we had such a wide open, anything-is-possible scenario last this long?
While Ferrari may be a long shot for the constructors’ title, it is still lurking, which leaves us three teams, with McLaren and Red Bull, battling for that prize. Ferrari clearly upped its game this past weekend, in part because it was home at Monza, but also the signs were all clear: It was then or never.
We have five drivers — all winners this year — still in the hunt for the drivers championship. Sebastian Vettel, who has had the most highs and most lows of any driver this year, is the guy in fifth place.
But it isn’t just these still “pic ’em” battles that make this so exciting. It’s also the teams and drivers involved.
Obvious above all else: Ferrari vs. McLaren. With Williams having fallen on difficult years, this is now the marque match-up in F1 and, along with Audi vs. Peugeot, is the head-to-head fight that matters most in motorsports.
And which team completes the three-team battle? The rising star — thank you Adrian Newey — of Red Bull. The team that used to be the upstart, used to have the attitude, but now is having to take itself seriously. So it can win.
That’s as classic a trio of teams as you’ll find, all still doing everything possible to claim the title in just five more races.
And then we have the drivers’ hunt.
McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button are both there, and they are both past champions. Over at Ferrari, two-time champ (and Monza winner) Fernando Alonso is doing what he can. Oh, and his team mate, Felipe Massa, is in sixth place… but he seems just a bit too far back and a bit too slow. But who knows? Finally, Red Bull has veteran Mark Webber — who always now seems to be described as in the midst of his best, and maybe last, chance to win it all — and Vettel.
Enough talent to keep you watching, no?
And if you peel the layers back a bit further, there’s that Schumacher guy who is underwhelming us all; there’s Robert Kubica, who may be the driver of the season; Nico Rosberg is staking a claim as a future champ; Adrian Sutil is giving Force India some cred; and Rubens Barrichello is proving he still deserves to be on the grid.
If all that isn’t enough, did you watch Monza? Did you see the battle between Button and Alonso? Put it forth as Exhibit No. 1 that passing does not an exciting race make.
Add it all up, and you have what’s arguably the best F1 season ever. And it isn’t over yet.