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F1 Blog’s Monaco Predictions

Posted by Carrot on May 25, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Kimi Raikkonen
  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

The McLaren should still be the class of the field, hence why I’m picking Hamilton for pole and fastest lap. However, the idealist in me is hoping for a sixth different driver and team to take a win this year. Raikkonen’s won at Monaco before and the Lotus isn’t lacking in ability to have a go at the front.

Mark’s Predictions

Mark’s predictions to follow

Euan’s Predictions

  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Fernando Alonso
  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Fernando Alonso
  • Monaco Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

I’m plumping for Fernando Alonso to break the streak of different winners and secure his third win at Monaco.  I believe McLaren and Lotus will not be far behind though.


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Spain makes five

Posted by Carrot on May 15, 2012 | No Comments

I have watched Formula 1 religiously for nearly two decades now, and I cannot remember a season as mixed up or unpredictable as 2012. We have had five races this year, five different teams have supplied the winning car and five different drivers have stood on the top step of the podium. Three former world champions and two first time winners have received the laurels for victory. What can be said about such a season? Well, I can certainly say this is only a quarter of the races we have scheduled for this year.

It is a popular win for Williams, the team has been years without a victory, but the team is well liked by both the paddock and the fans. It wasn’t a fluke win either, there was no rain in the race or in qualifying to mix up the order, Pastor Maldonado drove a race that you’d expect from a champion rather than someone in his second season who’s been tagged, on occasion, with the label of pay driver. If Williams will part with him, this week’s performance combined with his massive sponsorship portfolio will undoubtedly put him in the frame for the second Ferrari seat assuming Sergio Perez hasn’t already signed a contract. In the other car the race for Bruno Senna didn’t go so well, being punted off be Michael Schumacher. Michael can complain as much as he wants, I (as well as the stewards) saw it as Schumacher’s fault, for which he will receive a five place penalty. In truth it seemed like a carbon copy of the Mark Webber/Heikki Kovalainen incident in Valencia, slower car braking early for corner, you’d think the best drivers in the world would have realised that cars that are slower or on older tyres would need to brake earlier, wouldn’t you? The first year back with Renault and Williams are winning, and in the dry, it’ll certainly be interesting to see if they can continue to unlock the pace in this year’s design and challenge for the top step some more.

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F1 Blog’s Spanish Predictions

Posted by Carrot on May 11, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Fernando Alonso
  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Fernando Alonso

After the return of in-season testing Ferrari have certainly upped their game, and Alonso will want to impress in front of his home crowd. However when they get their set-up fixed I expect McLaren to return to their form of having the fastest car which will pay dividends at this track… provided their new and improved pit stop procedure works.

Mark’s Predictions

Mark’s predictions to follow

Euan’s Predictions

  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Fernando Alonso
  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Michael Schumacher
  • Spanish Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Kimi Raikkonen

It’s definitely going to be an interesting race weekend. This season has been so open thus far almost any of the front pack could take the first win in Europe. It was really hard to predict, but I’m going to say that Ferrari’s improvements will be enough and Fernando Alonso will win his home Grand Prix with Michael Schumacher dropping back from pole. This season is already shaping up to be one of the most closely fought ever.

 

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Bahrain gives us more questions than answers

Posted by Carrot on April 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

Four races. Four winners. Four different teams. 2012 is nothing like the runaway dominance we had last year. Bahrain was the last of the early flyaway races, so where are we as the European season begins to dawn? Well, your guess is as good as mine. If you asked me to remake my full season predictions right now I’d still be none the wiser than I was after pre-season testing, and that caused the season predictions to be delayed until after Australia.

Last year we wouldn’t have been shocked that Sebastian Vettel took a pole position and then went off to win the race with only minimal threat. If you’d have said in China that the same thing would happen a week later I’m more than certain you’d have been laughed at. This Sunday, Vettel taking off and disappearing seemed to be a replay of an old race, such was his ability to set the overall pace when he got free air. His team mate, Mark Webber, is now the most consist finisher of 2010. While all these other drivers have been trading wins and assorted podium spots, Webber’s been fourth in four races. Hardly something to call a failure with the car’s early season pace, but 240 points (fourth place in 20 races) won’t be enough for him to win the championship, and if his future is as under threat as the rumours suggest then he needs to be going back a race and consistently beating Vettel to keep his seat.

Now the energy drink company is out of the way, I can get on to what I thought was the real story of the race, Lotus. Their pace was phenomenal. Every time they came to overtake someone (Raikkonen on Vettel excepted) it was like they had another gear or three to take advantage of. They were breezing past cars that don’t get overtaken easily due to raw traction. It’s not a case of engine power, the Renault engine is often named as one of the weaker examples in the field, but the ability of the Lotus car to make use of the power and put it down on the track paid absolute dividends with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean taking the other two podium positions.

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F1 Blog’s Bahrain Predictions

Posted by Carrot on April 20, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Nico Rosberg
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

I’m going for a bit of a mixed spread this weekend. Rosberg’s been producing excellent one lap pace in free practice, but the heat of the desert combined with Button’s ability to look after his tyres mean I’m giving him a nod for the win. I wouldn’t overlook Michael Schumacher either this weekend, after a disappointing China and the raw pace of the Mercedes AMG, I expect him to feature in the race.

Mark’s Predictions

  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Lewis Hamilton
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Nico Rosberg
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg’s one lap pace has been untouchable so far in free practice so I am giving him the nod for pole. I have opted for Hamilton to take the win. McLaren’s race pace has been good all season and Hamilton has gone well in Bahrain in the past.

Euan’s Predictions

  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Nico Rosberg
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Nico Rosberg
  • Bahrain Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Nico Rosberg

I’m predicting Nico Rosberg to repeat his performance in China with a win from pole in Bahrain. I think his team-mate Michael Schumacher will run him a little harder than in China but the McLarens of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will be quick in the race as well.

 

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China 2012 – The Modern Classic

Posted by Carrot on April 17, 2012 | No Comments

This was a race that will be remembered. It had something for every fan, the first half was for the armchair tacticians working out degradation and pit stop strategy in their heads and the second half is for the fans of raw ontrack overtaking. Add in a first time winner and no ontrack controversy and we’ve had a fair and memorable race that will be watched again and again by fans for years.

I have to start with Nico Rosberg. There’s been talk about his potential for years, but finally when he’s in a car that can deliver he brings home the top haul of points. That wasn’t what impressed me the most over the weekend though, the really impressive thing was his qualifying lap. Given the mistakes he’s made this year in qualifying have meant he’s started much further down that he should have, this weekend he not only made no mistakes but blew the rest of the field away. In the race of course, everyone was expecting the McLarens, the Red Bulls, Kimi Raikkonen and maybe the Saubers to run him down and overtake him. However intelligent use of strategy meant he was able to run the race in commanding style, responding to any pressure before maintaining a healthy gap. On the other side of the garage, Michael Schumacher had a less successful race. A mistake at the first round of stops left him with a loose wheel that caused his retirement.

Making up the rest of the podium were the McLaren pairing, Jenson Button ahead of Lewis Hamilton, so the question is are the Woking team back on track for this season. After a forgettable weekend in Malaysia, both drivers improved on their starting positions and scored good points, outscoring every other team this weekend. It’s a pub argument as to whether or not Jenson Button would have been able to hunt down and pass Nico Rosberg had it not been for the delay in his last stop, but what isn’t is the fact that McLaren now lead both championship tables and their rivals are taking points off each other. In the season so far they’ve had two of the three poles and of the six possible podiums they’ve taken five, including one win. Hamilton hasn’t been off the podium in all three races, a standard Sebastian Vettel used to great effect when he won his second crown. The season looks bright for McLaren.

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F1 Blog’s Chinese Predictions

Posted by Carrot on April 13, 2012 | No Comments

Carrot’s Predictions

  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Jenson Button
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

It’s not very imaginative, I admit, to go for the current front running car but it’ll probably be accurate. With Hamilton due to take a five place penalty it’s Button’s best chance to take a pole in his McLaren tenure, but if his one lap woes come back to haunt him I expect Mercedes AMG to pounce. They may not have race pace, but both Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg have looked extremely fast on low fuel runs.

Mark’s Predictions

  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Michael Schumacher
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Michael Schumacher

With Hamilton due to take a five place penalty, a win is unlikely this weekend for him. I have gone for Jenson Button to be the eventually victor but I am going with Schumacher and Mercedes AMG who have looked in great shape on low fuel in practice to take pole and the fastest lap.

Euan’s Predictions

  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Michael Schumacher
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Jenson Button
  • Chinese Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

With the pole-sitter for the first two grand prix, Lewis Hamilton, picking up a five place grid penalty qualifying has been thrown wide open. However, it still seems that McLaren are the fastest team over one lap so I’m predicting that Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button will post the fastest time on Saturday. There’s a decent chance of rain in China and as a result anything could happen but of course both Schumacher and Button have a good record in the wet. This time I’ll go with Schumacher to take the win.

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The rain mixes things up in Malaysia

Posted by Carrot on March 25, 2012 | No Comments

Just when most of us had written off Ferrari for the year, Fernando capitalises on the conditions and reminds us why many consider him the best single driver on the grid. The pace of the McLarens couldn’t handle the changeable conditions and the Red Bulls couldn’t come good so it was left for the the Scuderia and Sauber to contest the victory in Malaysia. Who could have predicted the podium finish we saw on Sunday?

While the rest of the field were squabbling in the wet conditions, Alonso’s opening section of the race was fairly quiet. When everything equalled out he was leading the field and then went about extending his advantage. Everyone was expecting them to fall backwards in a dry race, and to be swallowed up by the frontrunners after he emerged as leader. The Spaniard capitalised on the flaws of his car to keep his tyres working in the cool conditions and left Lewis Hamilton behind. It’s not really a surprise though when you consider that he’s made a habit of winning races he wasn’t expected to throughout his career, much to the detriment of his rivals. After the opening sessions in Australia his chances for this year had been written off, just over a week later he leads the championship standings. In the sister car Felipe Massa went to his now standard form in a race, engaged reverse gear and went backwards in the order. Chances of him retaining his drive in 2013? Nil. However we said the same thing about Ferrari’s win chances in Australia and we saw what happened there. Massa will need a similar miraculous drive to hope to stay in red.

Sergio Perez in a Sauber, now if you told me I’d be speaking about him second in a post-race reaction piece before the season I’d have laughed at you, or at least expected a start like the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix. I’m not laughing now and there weren’t a great deal of retirements. He managed the very impressive finished based on pace and ability. Indeed if not for running wide I think he’d have caught and passed Alonso based on his outright speed. It’s an excellent result for the team, especially given Kamui Kobayashi’s retirement due to brake issues, but I think we’ll all look back at it as the victory that got away rather than the impressive fight to second.

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F1 Blog’s 2012 Season and Malaysia Predictions

Posted by Carrot on March 23, 2012 | No Comments

 

With the reduction in pre-season testing, due to the return of an in-season test, we here at F1 Blog decided to wait until after the first race to put ourselves out there and predict the season results. With Malaysia this weekend we’ve decided to combine our prediction. Let’s see how much we know.

Carrot’s Predictions

  • 2012 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion – Jenson Button
  • 2012 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Champion – McLaren
  • Number of teams to win a race in 2012 – 3

It’s an oft-quoted maxim that the man who wins the first race of the year wins the championship. When you combine that with the seeming dominance the current McLaren seems to have makes this a simple choice for me. I’m going for three teams to win this year, McLaren (obviously), Red Bull and either Ferrari, if other falter and Fernando Alonso can pounce, or Mercedes AMG, if their new gadget is as good as some expect.

  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Lewis Hamilton

I’m going for a repeat of last week. Lewis Hamilton is undoubtedly fast, but I don’t think he’s fully confident yet and Jenson Button can take advantage over the race distance. Combined with the high possibility of rain, I’ll always bet on Button.

Mark’s Predictions

  • 2012 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion – Lewis Hamilton
  • 2012 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Champion – McLaren
  • Number of teams to win a race in 2012 – 4  (McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes)


Euan’s Predictions

  • 2012 Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion – Sebastian Vettel
  • 2012 Formula 1 Constructors’ World Champion – McLaren
  • Number of teams to win a race in 2012 – 4

McLaren have started the season well but I think we will see a much closer world championship this season. With two very strong drivers in Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, McLaren are in a good position to win the constructors’ championship. Red Bull seem to be off the pace of McLaren at the moment but I can’t see that lasting all season and that’s why I believe Sebastian Vettel will win a third strait drivers’ world championship. I can see Ferrari and Mercedes also reaching the top step of the podium, although with the state of Ferrari right now that won’t be happening any time soon.

  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Winner – Jenson Button
  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Pole Position – Lewis Hamilton
  • Malaysia Grand Prix 2012 Fastest Lap – Sebastian Vettel

McLaren look to be in good form again in Sepang, so I’m tipping the more race reliable Jenson Button to finish in first with Lewis Hamilton falling back from poll once again. Fernando Alonso will manage to reach Q3 this race weekend but the HRTs will still be unable to make the starting grid.

 

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What Australia tells us

Posted by Carrot on March 19, 2012 | No Comments

The long wait is over! We are back in the season of Formula 1. It’s a massive season this year, 20 races in total, the longest season ever. Jenson Button staked a firm claim to final glory at the opening race of the season today. However it’s far too early to be naming presumptive champions, we have had a single race, that is all. So we’ll look at each team’s race weekend and their prospects before the European season kicks off.

McLaren

They locked out the front row and achieved the win with Button today, if Lewis Hamilton could have overcome Sebastian Vettel then the weekend would have perfect for them. As it is the weekend was highly encouraging for the team. Their car is the class of the field, without the safety car causing havoc around the second stops, I don’t think anyone believes that Vettel could have hunted down Hamilton and taken him in a racing pass. They don’t have a fancy gizmo like Mercedes AMG, their form is based on pure pace due the car being stable in all areas. If they can maintain their advantage they should rack up victory after victory in the early flyaway races.

Red Bull Racing

Last year’s highly dominant champions have undoubtedly slipped. They capitalised brilliantly on the off-throttle blown diffuser concept last year but this year’s design is lacking in comparison to their rivals. The car was looking a handful throughout Friday and Saturday, making them lucky to take second and fourth with Vettel and Mark Webber respectively. They couldn’t stay with the early pace of the McLaren pairing in the opening stint on full tanks, but when they settled towards the end they were much closer. One plus the team can take away is that there are no signs of their infamous fragility this year so far. There were no reports of mechanical problems, even with Webber’s car that took two hefty knocks in the first corner. Without having to chase reliability you have to fancy that Adrian Newey has more than half a chance to get his car into a position to beat the McLarens. If they can consistently come second to McLaren, and even steal points like Vettel did today, they’ll still be close enough to mount a formidable charge in the main part of the season.

Ferrari

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« go backkeep looking »
  • Drivers Championship 2013

    1 Kimi Raikkonen 25
    2 Fernando Alonso 18
    3 Sebastian Vettel 15
    4 Felipe Massa 12
    5 Lewis Hamilton 10
    6 Mark Webber 8
    7 Adrian Sutil 6
    8 Paul Di Resta 4
    9 Jenson Button 2
    10 Romain Grosjean 1

  • Constructors Championship 2013

    1 Ferrari 30
    2 Lotus 26
    3 Red Bull 23
    4 Mercedes 10
    5 Force India 10
    6 McLaren 2
    7 Toro Rosso 0
    8 Sauber 0
    9 Williams 0
    10 Marussia 0
    11 Caterham 0