Season Predictions Half Point

Well its about the halfway point and I thought I’d take a look at how my pre-season predictions have panned out, the good the bad and the ugly. Not too bad except for a couple of under and over achievers. In a season, which could be, the most unpredictable of all time, (at least at this stage) lets take a look back at what I thought, and what has actually happened.

 

Prediction Actual
1.     McLaren 1.     Red Bull  +1
2.     Red Bull 2.     Mclaren  -1
3.     Mercedes 3.     Lotus + 2
4.     Ferrari 4.     Ferrari
5.     Lotus 5.     Mercedes -2
6.     Force India 6.     Sauber +1
7.     Sauber 7.     Williams +1
8.     Williams 8.     Force India -2
9.     Toro Rosso 9.     Toro Rosso
10. Caterham 10. Caterham
11. Marussia 11. Marussia
12. HRT 12. HRT

 

What I said-

 

1.Mclaren

“I think that McLaren are really going to hit the ground rolling unlike the past few years, which is crucial to their campaign, overall the RB7 will still be the fastest car but if McLarens 1st ½ of last season had been like the last ½, the constructors title would have been a lot closer. The strongest driver line up on the grid is really going to serve them nicely and with the speed and reliability they have shown in pre season, along with some well thought out strategies they will just eek out a long time coming Constructors Title.”

 

I’m still holding firm on this one, if not for a loss of performance by Button and a couple of mishaps for Hamilton they would be in the no.1 spot right now. They did indeed come out swinging and it looks like they are back on track once again.

 

2.Red Bull

“I think with a stronger competitor in McLaren the Red Bull team will just fall a little short. Adrian Newey will as always bring out a fast and innovative car, but I think the ability to really be able to get both cars up front in qualifying and the races week after week as well as to the finish will prove difficult. Vettels dominance of last year cannot be sustained and opens a chance for point stealing rivals”.

 

I think this holds true (adjustable ride height aside) the competition has closed up. Both Vettel & Webber have been driving well but the dominance they once enjoyed is gone. Never underestimate Newey of course to come out with another game changer.

 

3.Mercedes

“With the moves over the winter in amassing an impressive pool of highly regarded engineers/designers seems to be paying off, some great innovations and well thought out approach to pre season appears to be paying dividends. You can’t keep Ross Brawn down for long, and I think the partnership with he and Mercedes has finally found its feet. I see them as a consistent podium team and a win or two is certainly on the cards. Who’s going to get them is another thing.”

 

Well they did get that win, and a podium or two, but I’m worried that the big corporation trying to operate a racing team can be more harmful than good sometimes, even with the resources it brings.

 

4.Ferrari

“Sad to say if you thought last year was a struggle this year is going to be worse. You never want to here the word ”complicated” in a description of any race car, they are complicated machines at the best of times so I think Ferrari will be scratching their heads and burning the midnight oil for quite a while to both get the car competitive, and try to figure out their systems and approach to car design in the future. Last year was a decent car but for the issues with the harder rubber and errors with the wind tunnel. Some heads may roll very quickly, but they would have to be replaced (hello Ross, can we borrow a couple of your guys for a min). Alonso may indeed pull Grace’s favourite up-do right out of his head.”

 

Couldn’t have been wrong here, even if I did get the position correct. Ferrari’s turnaround has even put McLaren to shame. The biggest winner from the mid-season test, and haven’t looked back since (well perhaps to see where Massa is)

If only they could have a strong number 2 car they would have been contenders to the Constructors as well. But Ferrari may just have to make do with a driver’s crown, but I think they’ll be ok with that don’t you?

 

5.Lotus

“Kimi’s back and so apparently is the team, after a tough 2011 that started off with so much promise, you just cannot disregard the pre season form of both drivers, and the teams ability to turn what could have been a disaster (chassis issues at Barcelona) around and stick the car back on top. Bigger question maybe that the problems with Lotus the road car arm (Proton) could affect the teams’ financial support, and all the other hundreds of Lotus branded race teams around the world for that matter.”

 

Seems along time since that chassis debacle in pre season doesn’t it? That pre season form did indeed show up in the real season, but what a splash the Ice Man and Big John have been making, possibly the most feared team on the grid right now, once they get that elusive 1st win there may be no stopping them.

 

6. Sahara Force India

“A team on the rise, if be it slowly but surely, in the extremely tight upper midfield pack, were it not for the Lotus teams pre season form I would have had them 5th place solid, the driver line up is strong and the speed of the car from the end of last year has got to be capitalized on, the Mercedes engine is probably the best out there and the collaboration with McLaren very effective.”

 

Well what can you say about Force India?  I actually don’t know, as soon as you see some top form they disappear into mediocrity. Both drivers are indeed very good and they have had a couple of good races, but unlike some of their other fellow mid packers they have never shown enough ultimate pace to give the big boys a worry at the sharpest end of the grid anywhere so far.

 

7.Sauber

“Once again another strong midpacker that perhaps punches over it’s weight sometimes. The resources are not as strong as it’s other rivals, and the loss of James Key is going to make things tougher as the season rolls on.

I don’t see engine partner Ferrari being much help this year. Drivers Perez & Kobayashi can work some magic sometimes, and with Pirelli softening up the rubber again, some good results could come their way, as tyre preservation was a strong point last year”

 

Some great drives from both drivers and fantastic strategies for the most part has seen this team have some really good results. Perez’s drive to second from Alonso was breathtaking, but they are not lucking into these results. This car is fast and is king of the mid packers and I’m sure Mercedes is very nervous right now for that 5th place slot

 

8.Williams

“Big change at Williams in driver line up and in management, so it’s a little hard to tell what will come of Williams this year, not exactly the driver line up to resurrect the glory days, but the Renault engine may help out a little as the once mighty Williams fights back against the steady decline in funding and speed.”

 

Well a win is a win and not sure anyone would have predicted this, what a turnaround this team has seen, and Pastor errors adjusted they could have been on the podium a couple of times outside that surprise victory. If Maldonado can get his focus and judgment under control I don’t see why they can’t continue this surge from obscurity in the second half. Great to see this team holding it’s head high again.

 

9.Toro Rosso

“The team that finally makes sense as it promotes it’s younger guns to a full F1 ride, this pick is my most worrisome as I think the car had some great potential last year, Buemi & Alguersauri may not have been veterans but they knew what they were doing, the wholesale change and lack of experience of the new driver line up will have some growing pains, but then again the 2 hungry youngsters could surprise. So I’m not betting the farm against them having some success either”

 

Not a good season so far at all, some points at the beginning showed hope but they have been left behind in the development race. As I had said, a tough program with 2 rookies and with some other inter-team issues, not much hope for a change of pace or results from here on out.

 

10. Caterham

“My favourite team on the grid may not get any higher in the standings this year but it will undoubtedly be more successful, the driver line up is strong with the ever more impressive Kovalainen leading the charge their first points are just around the corner. With the addition of KERS this year the qualifying pace will be stronger and as we saw even last year the car can perform well in race trim. Head and shoulders above the other newer teams they could even have a shot at 9th should one of the mainstay teams struggle just a little.”

 

Not too much different than expected but perhaps still a little far off to get in the points without a little help from attrition. Qualifying has indeed moved them closer, and even in the first half of the race the pace is competitive, but they’ve not been able to make that jump with the updates during the season. Some moving around in, and of, the office could help so fingers crossed. Heikki may be gone at the end of the season but I’m sure he’ll do all he can to leave a pleasant stamp on his time with the team.

 

11. Marussia

“Hope is all I have for the former Virgin crew, as with the HRT team the trials and tribulations with car designers and team ownership have stalled the progression they so sorely need at this early stage. Hopefully some firm ground can be laid and the very real talents of the team personnel can be utilized.”

 

Not very inspiring in any aspect, Timo seems to have lost a bit of drive, which is so easy to do with the start line so far away. Charles Pic seems to be making best of his F1 debut and has shown Timo his rear wing on more occasions than I’d have thought.

 

12. HRT

“Survivors in the most tenuous of situations, this team has been ridiculed and beaten down but somehow managed to turn out a car in what seems to be the back garage of a petrol station along the motorway. Does it have speed? Who knows, lets just hope they didn’t forget anything important in the move to Spain. At least they have maturity in the line up that can hopefully bring something to the table and point it in the right direction (they went that-a-way!)”

 

With Marussia as the only player in this teams sandbox they have been able to fight it out on occasion, from what I see I think they actually have more upside than Marussia, and could last long enough to see light at the end of a very long tunnel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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