My own opinion is that the biggest problem McLaren-Merecedes had last year was being down on power rather significantly compared to BMW and Ferrari, by some reports as much 50 bhp, although 30 bhp was more likely. The fact that last year's car was competitive at all is a tribute to Adrian Newey and his design team. Newey simply is the best designer out there at the moment. His chassis are very efficient aerodynamically and handle extremely well. That this year's car is an evolution of last year's is nothing to take lightly. In fact, to call it a pure evolution would be something of an injustice. The general concept may remain the same, but there have been a lot of significant refinements, and even a few radical changes, the front suspension being the most apparent. Another thing to keep in mind is that Newey now has at his disposal arguably one of, if not the most sophisticated wind tunnel facility in the world. He and his team can, and will continue to perform tests and make improvements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week during the entire season. And don't expect Mercedes to have sat in a dark corner and cried over last year's poor engine performance. If the rumors are true - and they probably are - then the engineers at Ilmor have cooked up an engine that: 1) Revs significantly higher and will have closed the power output gap significantly. 2) Is lighter and more compact, which means more chassis design and packing options for Newey. 3) And has a 90 degree V-angle creating a lower center of gravity, which translate into better handling for an already great handling chassis. But before you jump on me saying that Ferrari and Williams-BMW will also have been making improvements, let me just say I already know that. Performance is a finite quantity. Within the rules of F1 (or any other formula) there is only so much performance obtainable. The question, then, is who comes closest to the limit. All I am saying, here, is that McLaren-Mercedes had more room to improve than Ferrari and Williams-BMW, and that I think hey have probably closed the gap. I will stick my neck out, though, and give my (very) early predictions on the season: Driver's Title: 1) Schumi 2) Juan 3) David Constructor's Title: 1) McLaren-Mercedes 2) Ferrari 3) Williams-BMW Comments: Ferrari will have the best driver (for one more year until Juan and Kimi fully mature in the series), second best chassis and second best engine, and third best driver line up (sorry, R.B., but I call them as I see them). McLaren-Mercedes will have the best chassis, second best driver line up, and third best engine. Williams-BMW will have the best driver line up, the best engine, and the third best chassis. Wild Card: Tires! Michelin and Bridgestone seem to have different design and development strategies. I personally think that Michelin will prevail with the better tires. Depending on how soon and by how much, Ferrari could actually find itself fighting for third. In any event, I will be up at 4:30am every race Saturday to watch qualifying live, and every race Sunday at 5:30am to watch the race live. - Troy P.S. Of course, the best F1 design of all time was the Tyrrell P34. All cars should have six wheels!