IdeFan wrote:- What if Bourdais hadn't stalled in Monza in 2008?
He would have finished 7th, ahead of Hamilton but behind Massa, ultimately denying Hamilton the single point he needed to clinch the title.
Toro Rosso reckoned, based on the sort of lap times that Bourdais was able to produce when running at the back, that Bourdais probably could have finished in 2nd place - don't forget that Bourdais set the second fastest lap of the race (1.3s faster than Vettel). Overall, had Bourdais not stalled, then it is probably more likely that he would have finished ahead of, not behind, Massa, and could well have given Toro Rosso a 1-2 finish in that race.
IdeFan wrote:- What if the 2008 entry was given to a team that is not full of fools (i.e. not Prodrive)?
Joining at the end of a long period of relative rules stability, the new team would have been embarrassingly slow in 2008, and would fold at the end of the year. The 107% rule would have been brought back for 2009 and Hispania would have failed to qualify for the first few races of 2010, going bust before starting a grand prix.
Prodrive would have got a 2010 spot ahead of USF1, doing a decent job, beating Virgin but losing out to Lotus. (I think you're a little harsh on calling Prodrive fools, their entire bid was based on buying chassis and engines from McLaren, so when the FIA did a U-Turn on customer chassis they were left up shite creek without a paddle.)
I agree that it's harsh calling Prodrive's bid foolish - the FIA had allowed Honda to sell their 2006 car to Super Aguri, and Red Bull was effectively giving Toro Rosso the same car as their works outfit (albeit with a few modifications to the car, because of the difference in drivetrans). So, at the time they made their bid in 2007, with the FIA's ruling from 2006 still allowing customer cars for 2008, and with no signs that the FIA would change their minds, Prodrive could be forgiven for assuming that they would be OK.
Remember, it wasn't until October that Williams, having previously made formal complaints against Toro Rosso and Super Aguri, began proceedings against Prodrive - even so, as late as early November, just before Prodrive pulled the plug, the FIA still had made no move against customer cars.
In some ways, it was a slightly dirty trick by Williams - they ensured that Prodrive would not be able to sort out the arguments before the start of the season, so David Richards would have to withdraw his entry. There would be no way he could prepare an independent design in the time available, and he could not afford to take the financial risk of going ahead with a customer car in case they were banned at the last minute.