#25 – Sergio Hernandez #26 – Stefano D'Aste
How many independent teams can say they have an outright WTCC race winner in their ranks? Sergio Hernandez won for BMW Italy-Spain at Brno last year, and following BMW’s restructuring has rejoined the team he won the Yokohama Independents Trophy with in 2008, replacing Felix Porteiro, who took previously Hernandez's Proteam drive.
For D'Aste, he rejoins the team after a year at Wiechers Sport where he took 5 Independent wins en route to fourth place overall, along with a single points scoring finish which left him eighteenth overall.
Hernandez took his first WTCC win at Brno, which would be his only visit to the podium all season, as he would finish the campaign down in eleventh place, just beating former team mate Alex Zanardi.
Out of the Independent BMW teams, Proteam appear to have the strongest – but how will Hernandez fair back in the Independent category after a year as a works driver?
Season Prediction: The benchmark independent BMW outfit will fancy their chances of being the 2010 Yokohama Independent Drivers and Teams Champions. Anything but one or other titles would be a disappointment for the team.
TCF Driver predictions:
- Hernandez – outside bet for overall top 10, should be a safe top 3 in Independents Class. Outright win could happen, in the right circumstances or at a BMW track. Having a year's worth of works experience will prove invaluable.
- D'Aste – would love to better his best WTCC result from 2005, overall a couple of top 8 positions and Independent wins the aim, should be top 4 or 5 in Independent Trophy, will benefit from having an ex works driver in the team.