The 2008 season was indeed extraordinary in Formula1. There were controversies, spying amongst arch-rival teams, nail biting finishes, emotions and what drama!! Amongst the drivers themselves there was fierce competition and lot of them performed really well and couple of new faces showed up on the podium. But for me the pick of the lot were Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. Apart from host of other reasons, F1 requires drivers to be crowd pullers, 'cause its big bucks that drive the sport. Bigger the sponsorships, easier it becomes for the team to pump in money for development. Both of them showed that knack of pulling in crowds thus bringing in fresh lease of life to F1 after Schumi's retirement.
Sebastian Vettel - Vettel impressed like anything. It was amazing to see the guy race. With all the traction control and electronics out from the sport, it was drivers talent that came to the fore front, and he fully impressed in that area. Even showing glimpes of a probable future champion!! He even modestly shunned the tag of ‘the next Michael Schumacher' which some circles propogated. His 2008 F1 campaign began in a torrid fashion though, failing to go beyond even the opening lap in three of the first four grands prix. Though not all of the retirements were of his own making – suffering an engine failure in Bahrain – the young German did not actually see a chequered flag until Turkey in May…and even then it was in a lowly 17th and last position.
Then, however, came Monaco, the arrival of Scuderia Toro Rosso's new STR3 – and a dramatic turnaround. From the very back row of the grid, Vettel kept his head on race day around the narrow, tortuous streets of the Principality and produced a fast, composed and error-free performance to move his way up into fifth spot at the close, registering the small Faenza-based outfit's first points of the season in the process.
Out of the remaining twelve grands prix, only four times did the man from Heppenheim fail to...