Maybe picking Hamilton wasn’t a bad idea after all

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Picking a winner in 2012 is serious business. It requires some suspension of disbelief like admitting that Williams F1 can win, Red Bull can run mid-field, Ferrari can win with a pig of a car and McLaren can invent ways to lose. Yes, the 2012 season has all the earmarks of Pirelli-bashing, regulation-bashing, aerodynamic foibles, holes-in-floors and more.

I’ll be honest, Mercedes AMG Petronas could do well here but I chose McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton for the win because I think he’s driving better than he has in a long time in 2012 and he is motivated without the emotional challenges he faced last year. If Friday’s FP1 has any indication, things are looking good for both me and Lewis:

Pos Driver Team Time Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes        1m15.564            30
 2.  Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault        1m15.682s  + 0.118  29
 3.  Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                1m15.782s  + 0.218  30
 4.  Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                 1m15.842s  + 0.278  34
 5.  Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault        1m15.897s  + 0.333  28
 6.  Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes    1m15.986s  + 0.422  29
 7.  Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari          1m16.000s  + 0.436  31
 8.  Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari          1m16.249s  + 0.685  32
 9.  Michael Schumacher    Mercedes                1m16.264s  + 0.700  28
10.  Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes        1m16.347s  + 0.783  12
11.  Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes    1m16.460s  + 0.896  32
12.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari                 1m16.619s  + 1.055  17
13.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault        1m16.859s  + 1.295  25
14.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault           1m16.890s  + 1.326  36
15.  Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault           1m17.014s  + 1.450  41
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m17.352s  + 1.788  28
17.  Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari      1m17.580s  + 2.016  31
18.  Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault        1m17.935s  + 2.371  23
19.  Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault        1m18.177s  + 2.613  16
20.  Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth            1m18.182s  + 2.618  26
21.  Bruno Senna           Williams-Renault        1m18.762s  + 3.198  36
22.  Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth            1m19.354s  + 3.790  23
23.  Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth       1m20.004s  + 4.440  21
24.  Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth       1m20.067s  + 4.503  23
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