Felipe Massa

Team: Ferrari
Age: 28
Debut: Australia '02
Starts: 115
Wins: 11
Poles: 15
Fastest laps: 12
'08 position: 2nd

Felipe Massa emerged as a champion last year, even though he was pipped to the actual world title by Lewis Hamilton. The manner in which he accepted defeat, and the way he drove for much of the season, showed he now has the class and composure to go all the way.

Ferrari rallied around the Brazilian as his championship campaign grew in earnest, so now his challenge is to maintain that momentum as the team starts afresh amid massive rule changes and a brand new technical platform, not to mention a Kimi Raikkonen stung by defeat in 2008.