2014 Predictions – how did we do?

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Before the 2014 cars had even turned a wheel in pre-season testing, the F1B staff made some predictions about the first season with the new 1.6 litre turbo V6’s. The predictions can be found here:

McLaren (Laura) and Ferrari (Adam)
Marussia (Todd) and Red Bull (Grace & Adam)
Sauber (Tony) and Lotus (Dave)
Torro Rosso (Tom) and Caterham (Paul)
Mercedes (Dave) and Force India (Paul)

So just how good is the F1B crystal ball? Well on the evidence of the FIB Staff picks for the year, it looks like Jeanpierre currently has it. However if we go back 12 months, were any of our predictions correct. Taking the teams in the order they finished in the constructors championship we can see just how wildly optimistic the F1B staff were ahead of the season.

1st Mercedes
While Dave predicted that the constructors title would go to the Silver Arrows, his thinking that the drivers would take too many points off each other to enable either to become champion proved to be massively inaccurate. The importance of having both the chassis and the power unit under the teams control was accurately predicted, even if the hint that Ferrari would also see such an advantage proved to be wrong.

2nd Red Bull
Between them Grace and Adam were convinced of the Milton Keynes team retaining both titles despite the change in regulations. Their basis was the continued employment of Adrian Newey, and few could fault their logic. Correct predictions were that Daniel Ricciardo would win a race (even if it wasn’t expected until after the mid-season break), and that there was a chance of an illegal new car component.

3rd Williams
Williams’ 2013 season was so poor that not a single staff member even remembered to write a prediction for the team. However, once pre-season testing had started, the team did write some top 5 predictions, and here the crystal ball can be seen to function a little more clearly. Paul thought the team would win again, Mark thought they would be in the top 5 and Johnpierre predicted podiums and possible victories. So not entirely inaccurate, if a little late.

4th Ferrari
Adam’s prediction for Ferrari was for the team to finish a solid second, with first a definite possibility. Certainly the team would use 2014 to build a solid foundation for the second year of the new regulations. In reality the team started falling apart early in the season with more and more staff members falling by the wayside, culminating in a massive change of personnel at the end of the season. The team end up achieving the sort of self destructive effect that only McLaren have managed in the recent past. Unfortunately there is little in Adam’s prediction that proved correct.

5th McLaren
Laura predicted that 2014 would be better than 2013 for the Woking team and that Kevin Magnussen would give Jenson Button a hard time. Well certainly he did from the first race, and although out-qualified and comprehensively out-scored by his vastly more experienced team-mate, the young Dane did well enough to cause the McLaren management to think long and hard about which driver they wanted to keep in the car for 2015. A prediction of a strong start to the season was correct, certainly in Australia, but predictions for strong in-season development and a win or two wer less so. The throw away line at the end, that Vettel can’t win them all, was however an outstanding prediction.

6th Force India
Paul’s prediction that Force India would be the dark horse of the season with 5th or even 4th in the championship being possible proved slightly optimistic. However given everyone at F1B effectively ignored Williams in the predictions, this was a good prediction. That Force India could put McLaren under so much pressure for so long in the season was accurately predicted. However the prediction that Hulkenberg could turn out to be Button’s replacement at Woking didn’t come anywhere near happening.

7th Toro Rosso
Tom made some fairly specific predictions about the team, and unsurprisingly most proved to be inaccurate in some way (JEV scored more than the 14 points predicted, the highest position finished was 6th not the 7th predicted and it wasn’t Kvyat in Russia but Vergne in Singapore). Some were very wrong (Toro Rosso wasn’t really in a season long battle with Williams, Force India and Sauber, and they didn’t finish one place behind Williams). However some were spot on, they did finish in 7th place overall, any success the team had was overshadowed by Ricciardo’s performance at Red Bull, Kvyat’s success has made F1 teams look at GP3 instead of GP2 and commentary teams spent the first few races experimenting with how to pronounce Kvyat’s surname.

8th Lotus
A fall from the highs of 2013 was predicted by Dave, although not as far as the team actually achieved (5th or 6th was the prediction). More accurate were the drivers performance predictions (Grosjean to deliver the cars potential and Maldonado to struggle). However predictions that Eric Boullier would be able to help cure Maldonando’s wayward tendencies proved inaccurate as soon as the Frenchman left Lotus for McLaren.

9th Marussia
Todd’s prediction did mention the struggles the team were having with cash even 12 months ago, and in particular the money needed to finance their Ferrari engine habit. He also predicted that this Power Unit could see the team make a significant jump in 2014, but even Todd fell short of predicting points. Bianchi’s points at Monaco and the resulting 9th place finish exceeded all expectations. Unfortunately the prediction about the downside being the cash Ferrari required for the PU supply being key proved to be correct.

10th Sauber
Tony wasn’t too confident of Sauber’s chances pre-season, mentioning that it was five or six years ago that the team had been second and third in the constructors championship. Predicting consistent points finishes from Sutil and an improvement from Gutierrez (three to four points scoring finishes predicted), did prove wide of the mark. The end result that the team failed to achieve Tony’s (fairly low) prediction of 8th place.

11th Caterham
Paul’s assessment of Caterham was more a statement of what they needed to do (build a car that would excel at a few tracks to try and score points) rather than any prediction of performance. However his statement that Tony Fernandes was one of his favourite people on the grid may not have survived the season.

So, that is how the F1B staff predicted the season. Is there any predictions you made (right or wrong) that you would like to admit to? The links above will allow you to refresh your memory on any comments you may have made on the articles when originally published, or maybe you posted them elsewhere.

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