The F1 2012 season so far: BBC F1 TV and 5 live pundits' view

Lewis Hamilton wins the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1 is having the season of its 62-year life. After a record-breaking seven different winners in the first seven races, fans and pundits alike are trying to take stock of a sport that seems to change on an almost daily basis.

So who better to ask about what is arguably one of the greatest seasons in motorsport history than the very team who travel around the world with the F1 circus?

We put six key questions to the BBC F1 TV and BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 teams to try to fathom where this season is going - and, most crucially, who will win out in the end.

Best team?

BBC F1 chief analyst Eddie Jordan: "Lotus. They have come back from near extinction to fight for wins - arguably they should have had some - and they have both cars fighting for the wins."

Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel and Lotus's Kimi Raikkonen
Red Bull have had four poles in eight races

BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson: "Williams. They have improved the most on their dismal 2011 performance and with a couple of stronger drivers to back up the team they would be right at the front."

BBC F1 presenter Jake Humphrey: "I think Lotus. They have designed a car that is quick everywhere, they've had the foresight to bring Kimi Raikkonen back to F1, and rightly saw that Romain Grosjean was deserving of a second crack at F1. All they lack is a win!"

BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards: "All the teams have dropped the ball at some point, but perhaps Red Bull less so than others. The car continues to improve, and four pole positions in eight races is impressive."

BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "As they were on course to win their third race at the weekend, I will say Red Bull."

BBC Radio 5 live F1 commentator James Allen: "A tough one to start with! Red Bull is the car to beat now; it was McLaren early in the season, but they didn't take full advantage. Lotus has really impressed me this year too."

BBC Radio 5 live F1 pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow: "Lotus. They are the most improved this season. You feel as if they are not too far away from making a huge impact on the sport and, in Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, they have two very talented and exciting drivers."

Best driver?

Gary Anderson: "Fernando Alonso. This year has confirmed his talent at being able to grab a situation that would be out of most drivers' reach and bring home a result that the car does not deserve."

Ben Edwards: "Alonso. Both of his wins in Malaysia and Valencia have depended on talent, skill, judgement and self-discipline. Brilliant."

James Allen: "No doubt about this one. It has to be Alonso. He's leading the championship in a car that has no right to be there. It's getting better, but at the start of the year no-one would have given you tuppence for his chances of leading at this stage. He's really raised his game this year."

Jake Humphrey: "No question. Alonso. The only thing I'm unsure about with Fernando is whether he's the best currently, or the best ever. He is aggressive, smart, brave and incredibly consistent. The other 23 on the grid could all learn something from him."

Jennie Gow: "I never expected to say this but again, Fernando Alonso. I thought his drive in Malaysia (where he won) was a lot to do with luck and good fortune but actually, having seen him win in Valencia he is the most skilful driver I think I have ever seen with my own eyes on a track."

Best race?

Eddie Jordan: "Valencia - it had everything. Mark Webber's drive from 19th to fourth; Sebastian Vettel retiring from the lead after an imperious drive; Pastor Maldonado taking Lewis Hamilton out right at the end of the race, Michael Schumacher's first podium after his comeback. Entertaining and surprising."

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso celebrates in front of the Spanish fans

Ben Edwards: "Difficult to call but I'll go for Valencia as it had a bit of everything - great overtakes, the drama of breakdowns, spectacular accidents and Michael Schumacher's podium."

Jake Humphrey: "Remarkably, Valencia. I never thought I'd say that, but I've had many texts and emails from people saying it was the best race they'd ever seen. Cars retiring, Webber's remarkable drive through the field, Lewis's late crash and Fernando's emotional win... an amazing afternoon."

Lee McKenzie: "Who would imagine Valencia would be considered along with Malaysia? But I will say Valencia for the drama."

Jennie Gow: "Valencia. For what has become a notoriously 'boring' circuit with almost no overtaking chances, we saw ducking, diving, highs and lows. It had it all. Even team personnel who have been in the paddock for 30-plus years said it was one of the best ever."

Best single moment?

Eddie Jordan: "Maldonado being caught by Alonso in the closing stages of the race in Barcelona but pulling away from him to win Williams's first victory for eight years."

Lee McKenzie: "Maldonado winning in Barcelona but closely followed by Schumacher's pole that never was in Monaco."

Jake Humphrey: "The moment Maldonado crossed the line in Barcelona to, finally, give Williams another win. I spent time on the Saturday chatting to Frank Williams and he was hopeful, if not confident, that Pastor could turn pole to a win. However, it was sheer domination from a much-loved team."

James Allen: "Probably Barcelona and Williams winning a race again after seven years. It was great to see the team back on form, even if the celebration was spoiled by a pit fire after the race."

Who's been a disappointment?

Eddie Jordan: "Jenson Button, Felipe Massa, and all three of the back teams - Caterham, HRT and Marussia."

Gary Anderson: "Button and Massa. If you look at their best time of each race weekend and average it over the first eight races for each of these drivers compared with their respective team mates, they are both over 0.5 seconds slower, not good enough if you are to challenge for the constructors' championship."

Jake Humphrey: "Button. If he hadn't won in Australia his season would look utterly dreadful at this point. It's not good enough, and his McLaren team and the fans need him to pick it up. I really like him and would love to see him win his first British GP this weekend."

Ben Edwards: "Jean Eric Vergne. A very gifted driver who made himself look like an amateur in Valencia."

Lee McKenzie: "Button should be challenging for the title. At the moment that looks unlikely."

James Allen: "Button, clearly. Tipped by many for champion this year, he's scored only six points in the last five races - only 13% of the points scored by team-mate Hamilton and only 8% of Alonso's tally from those five."

Jennie Gow: "Massa. He has had a torrid time ever since his crash in Hungary 2009 and I feel it's a real shame that he can't seem to compete at the same level these days. His results in Monaco and Canada were great to see but I fear this could be his last season in F1. I hope he can turn it around and at least finish the year on a high."

Who will win drivers' and team titles?

Gary Anderson: "Vettel and Red Bull. After a slow start, I am afraid to say that Vettel and Red Bull are now finding their feet and unfortunately that is not good news for the other teams."

Jake Humphrey: "Hamilton. He would be the outright leader if the team were better at rewarding his efforts and talent. I have huge confidence in McLaren's ability to develop the car, and Lewis should exploit that."

Ben Edwards: "I'm sticking with my pre-season tip of Hamilton, but McLaren need to up their game. Red Bull for constructors."

Lee MacKenzie: "Alonso and Red Bull."

James Allen: "Vettel will win the drivers' championship and McLaren will win the constructors."

Jennie Gow: "Red Bull Racing. I fear their development will be too good for any of the other teams to keep up with. However, Alonso seems the man most likely to win the drivers' championship to me. He has been phenomenal this season and the only driver to finish in the points in all the races so far this year."

Read Andrew Benson's view on the season so far.

See video highlights of the season so far on the Formula 1 front page.

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