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Pondering the past, forecasting the future - your opinions revealed 04 Jan 2008

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren and Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Renault.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Brazilian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Interlagos, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Friday, 19 October 2007 Nick Heidfeld (GER) BMW Sauber F1.07 on slick tyres. Formula One Testing, Day Two, Jerez, Spain, Wednesday, 5 December 2007. World © Hartley/Sutton FIA Formula One World Championship - Jean Todt and Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari FIA Gala Awards Ceremony, Monte Carlo, Monaco, 7 December 2007. © FIA BMW motorsport director Dr Mario Theissen Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2007 Formula One Testing, Day Three, Jerez, Spain, 06 December 2007. World © Patching/Sutton

With fresh faces, an epic title battle and an abundance of controversy, Formula One racing has been one of the most talked about topics over the last 12 months - and things are already shaping up to be just as exciting and fiercely-contested in 2008.

Naturally, everyone had an opinion and if you’ve been participating in our recent homepage votes, now is your chance to find out if your views tallied with those of your fellow Formula One fans. Be they your predictions for 2008, or your thoughts on past events, the results make for interesting reading…

Which of these drivers would you most like to see as Lewis Hamilton's 2008 McLaren team mate?
With Fernando Alonso out of the picture, the majority had their fingers crossed for a new Finnish era at McLaren, with former Renault driver Heikki Kovalainen garnering over seventy percent of the vote. Testers Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett proved much less popular, mustering just 21 and six percent of the votes respectively. McLaren must have been thinking along the same lines - in December they announced Kovalainen would partner Hamilton for the 2008 season.

Which McLaren driver will finish higher in the 2008 driver standings?
Your predictions for Kovalainen once he had stepped into the McLaren cockpit, however, proved much bleaker. Only a fifth of voters backed the Finn to be the dominant ’08 team mate, while almost two-thirds (63 percent) lent their support to Hamilton.

Would you like to see slick tyres return to Formula One racing?
Slick tyres made a return to Formula One cars for the first time in ten years in December, during a multi-team test in Jerez. With speculation mounting that this evaluation could herald their return in 2009, a massive 83 percent voiced their support for the move, with just 10 percent not in favour.

Put them head to head in identical Ferrari F2007s and who would be quickest over a single lap?
With Michael Schumacher’s triumphant return to testing for Ferrari making headlines around the world, we asked you to decide who would prove fastest in a hypothetical contest - Schumacher, former team mate Felipe Massa or replacement Kimi Raikkonen. It was the retired seven-time world champion who eventually came out on top, earning 65 percent of the vote. Thirty percent believed recent title-winner Raikkonen would have the edge, while just five percent backed Brazilian Massa.

Has Fernando Alonso made the right career move in leaving McLaren?
With Alonso’s relationship with McLaren souring towards the end of the 2007 season, it came as little surprise when a split was announced in November. But with his chances of securing another winning driver looking limited, had the Spaniard done the right thing? According to you the answer was overwhelmingly yes - over 65 percent of voters backed his decision, while only 19 opposed the move.

Which of these teams would you most like to see Fernando Alonso racing for in 2008?
Following his widely-predicted exit from McLaren, the question of where Alonso would find his new home arose. More than half of all votes cast hoped the Spaniard would return to Renault, the team with which he won two world tiles in 2005 and ’06. Red Bull was your second favourite option for Alonso, with 23 percent backing a move to the Austrian team, while just over a fifth of you were hoping the 26 year-old would set up camp at the struggling Toyota squad. The Spaniard’s first choice, of course, also proved to be Renault.

Do you think BMW Sauber will win a race during the 2008 season?
After scoring in all 17 rounds of the 2007 championship and finishing second in the standings, albeit after the exclusion of McLaren, BMW Sauber were easily the season’s ‘best of the rest’. The German-Swiss team are increasingly confident that they can maintain this upward swing in 2008, with team principal Dr Mario Theissen recently staking his claim on a maiden win for this season. And it seems you agree with the team’s optimism - well over a third of voters (37 percent) felt certain of top-step podium success in ’08, with a further 51 percent considering it a genuine possibility.

Do you think Raikkonen will retain his drivers' title next year?
After one of the closest driver title contests of recent years, it was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who eventually emerged victorious at the season finale in Brazil. A one-off? Apparently not - 43 percent felt the Finn certain to clinch a second consecutive championship in ‘08, with another 42 percent agreeing that Raikkonen successfully defending his crown was a real possibility.

Do you think Renault will retain Giancarlo Fisichella for 2008?
Just over 60 percent correctly predicted Fisichella would be dropped by Renault for the 2008 season, with the team re-signing Fernando Alonso and promoting tester Nelson Piquet Jr in December. Just 11 percent felt Fisichella, who scored just 21 points last season, a certainty to stay on with the French squad.

The McLaren MP4-22 scored eight wins in 2007. How many will the MP4-23 achieve in '08?
After the trials and tribulations of their 2007 season, McLaren are no doubt hoping that they will have a much smoother ride this year. But with the British team promising to curtail the development of quickshift and fast-fill systems, and the use of CO2 as a tyre gas - in order to ensure that there is no possibility that stolen Ferrari information has been used as inspiration - it seems your outlook for the squad’s new challenger is less than optimistic. Indeed just 19 percent of you believe that McLaren’s MP4-23 will exceed the eight-win tally of its predecessor, with over 70 percent convinced that the new car will score fewer victories in 2008.