Formula One Driver Profiles For The New Season

by : Thomas Pretty

This year sees a crop of drivers in Formula 1 that are making huge sums of money for their sponsors and merchandise producers. This season promises to be one of the most exciting for years as the drivers involved are exuberant, energetic and all have a great determination to win.

The next season should provide even more profits for the merchandise companies and sponsors as the title race is blown open with one of the most radical law changes for almost a decade. The loss of traction control systems will ensure that driver skill is paramount and the advantage of having a larger team behind you ca be somewhat negated.

One driver who will not have to worry about having a small team behind him is current champion Kimi Raikkonen. Backed by Ferrari, both his technology and driving skill have a proven track record; something that merchandise suppliers and sponsors will be gleeful about. After a thrilling end to the last Formula 1 season it is clear that Kimi will once again be a contender in the championship race.

Another driver who will not have to worry about the financial support structures throughout the Formula 1 season will be Lewis Hamilton. As the most exciting rookie for generations his skill and bravery behind the wheel are doubtless; something that sponsors and merchandise companies are fully aware of. The rush to sign merchandise and sponsorship deals with Hamilton was frenetic and the end of last season, apart from the obvious Vodafone and Satander deals he has also secured a lucrative watch deal.

A Formula 1 driver who is taking a step backwards in terms of the team he is racing for is Fernando Alonso. After his disputes with McLaren chiefs last season about the preferential treatment he thought deserved as a senior driver, this is unsurprising. Going back to Renault however will mean a car with less performance. Alonso has single-handedly made Formula 1 popular in Spain and subsequently his domestic profits through sponsorship and merchandise are huge.

Jenson button is one driver that many will have their eyes on throughout the Formula 1 season. Despite his popularity with the British public, success has been long coming. His greatest challenge is to find a car that will enable him to win a world championship. At the moment Honda have not lived up to their side of the bargain; the car routinely has mechanical problems during racing and qualifying. If Button; who has proved his racing pedigree numerous times, does not have a car that is reliable, he will never gain a Formula 1 world championship title.

Nick Heidfeld, who was the best of the rest behind the Ferraris and McLarens last season, will also be hoping for some glory; not least because it will bring large revenues in merchandise and sponsorship deals. But with 61 points last year, he could be in with a decent chance of success. Although he has downplayed his chances as it all depends upon the car, with the loss of traction control, his obvious driving skill should shine through.

Heikki Kovalainen is an exciting prospect in Formula 1 that makes the decision for McLaren to sign him quite clear. Sponsors and merchandise producers may however be dubious; by signing Kovalainen the team has committed themselves to drivers who only have two years of Formula 1 experience between them. This should make for some interesting racing as McLaren have abandoned the past wisdom of having one experienced and one new driver. After last year's controversy with Alonso the move is unsurprising however.

With so much talent in the pack for the new season it promises to be enthralling. Merchandise companies and sponsors will be hotly anticipating what could be a brilliant contest; not to mention the hoards of Formula 1 fans out there. With rule changes to enhance the necessity for driver skill, every race should be thrilling to the chequered flag.