Formula One universe is right now enjoying it’s mid-season break. While it’s a much needed break for the drivers and team personnel, most F1 fans are showing withdrawal symptoms. We’re at the halfway mark with 11 races behind us and 9 more to go. Many fans and experts have given their predictions, and given the ambiguity of the results, most failed to predict it correctly.
Like many others, I also took the liberty of putting down my own predictions. You can find my predictions here.
The 2012 season is at the halfway mark, on a scale from 0 to Nostradamus, let’s see how good I am at predictions.
Prediciton: McLaren will lift the Constructors’ Trophy. Jenson Button is one of the two guys who has a fighting chance for the Driver’s Championship. Lewis Hamilton on the other hand will finish 4th or 5th fastest.
Current Scenario: They’re 2nd in Constructors’, behind RBR.Hamilton is right now 4th while Button is struggling in 7th.
Red Bull Racing
Prediciton: RB8 is not looking too good this time around and I’m expecting RBR to finish 2nd, at best, possibly 3rd. Christian Horner will require to fuel this time on Red Bulls (that shouldn’t be difficult) and put some extra hours if he wants to repeat last year’s success. Sebastian Vettel will be the third or fourth best driver this season, while Mark Webber will happily continue being the second driver in the team. He might also end up being Red Bull Racing’s Massa by the end of the season.
Current Scenario: It’s true that RBR have been their shadow in this season, however, they’re currently leading the Constructors’ standings. Vettel is 3rd in Drivers’, but I have been completely off the mark about Webber. He is right now 2nd, behind Alonso and only growing stronger. Moreover, he has signed a fresh contract and will be at Milton Keynes for 2013, as well.
Prediciton: Constructor’s Championship is a distant dream and it seems Ferrari will need to fight really hard just to hold on to their last year’s no. 3 position. Despite F2012 lacking the race pace, I believe Alonso is one of the two guys (other one being Button, as earlier stated) who has the potential to steal the World Champion crown from Vettel. However, his teammate Massa lies at the other end of the spectrum, who will fight for his survival in the team and he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t get replaced before the Brazilian GP.
Current Scenario: I have been spot on with Ferrari predictions. Ferrari are struggling in the Constructors, but somehow Alonso is able to extract 200% out of his F2012 and is leading the Drivers’ standings. Massa has showed some signs of improvement compared to 2011 but he’s no where close to his 2008 form where he came within 1 point of winning the championship.
Prediciton: Mercedes looks like the only team that can match McLarens pace and they should end the season pretty close at the top. Probably in second place. Michael Schumacher will rake in few wins and he may have a big say in deciding the World Champion. Nico won’t be able to outclass Schumi this time around but he will continue to be one of the best middle-pack drivers, notching up a podium or two along the way.
Current Scenario: I’ve been wrong about Mercedes. Somehow, they haven’t been able to convert their qualifying pace into race pace. Schumi has not raked a single win yet and has got just one podium finish alongwith multiple DNFs. Compared to him, Nico has one win to his name.
Prediciton: Lotus will be often seen fighting for the podium in the races to come and they may end the season in 5th place. The Iceman will surely leave his mark on the season with a podium or two. Grosjean will come of age and as he gains more experience, he’ll stop making rookie mistakes and we’ll see him crossing the finishing line in top 5, few times during the season.
Current Scenario: I have been spot on with Lotus’ prediction. The team has fought for podiums in majority of the race. Kimi has yet to win a race but he has already racked 5 podiums. Grosjean is talented but he has made plenty of rookie mistakes. However, he too has stepped on podium thrice, already.
Sahara Force India
Prediciton: Force India will find it exceedingly tough to hold on to their last year’s 6th place and may even slip to 7th. Their second half of the season will be much better compared to the first half. Nico will take few races to warm up but later on he will outperform his teammate. Paul may face pressure from within the team once Nico starts performing better.
Current Scenario: As expected, SFI has moved down and are currently in 8th place. Spot on with Nico & Paul’s prediction too. At the end of first 7 races, Di Resta outclassed Hulkenberg 6-1. But Nico made a comeback and finished ahead of his teammate in next 4 races and as of now, Paul is barely leading this head-to-head battle, with 6-5 from 11 races. However, neither driver is able to make any significant impact compared their mid-pack rivals in Williams & Sauber.
Prediciton: Sauber will give Force India a run for it’s money and will probably trump them by the end of the season. Kobayashi will come of age in this season and get the recognition he deserves while Perez may replace a shaken-up Brazilian in a bigger team.
Current Scenario: Sauber has certainly blown away Force India and now they have set their eyes on taking on the big boys. Both, Kobayashi & Perez are giving tough competition in Q3 and are not easy to overtake in the race, either.
Prediction: STR will spend the whole season fighting SFI & Williams. Sauber may prove a bit too strong for them. Ricciardo will show few flashes of brilliance and will concentrate on building a reputation of finishing in top 10 while his rookie teammate Verge will look to learn as much as possible and won’t prove too much of a scare to any of the top10 drivers.
Current Scenario: STR haven’t been much of a scare to SFI or Williams. Ricciardo & Verge have finished in points once so far, but nothing much apart from that.
Prediction: Williams & Sauber are going to lead the middle-pack for most part of the season. Maldonado & Senna are more or less equally matched and their friendly competition will benefit the team as whole. Maldonado may outpace the Brazilian 60-40.
Current Scenario: Williams & Sauber are ahead of SFI and looking good. In a head-to-head comparision, Senna is ahead 6-5, in terms of finishes. But the win at Catalunya means that Maldonado has more points. However, since then, Maldonado has been in the news for all the wrong reason. Since Spain, Maldonado has been nothing but pain. Almost making everyone realize that maybe that win was just a flash in the pan. Now, that rhymes!
Prediction: Technical issues will haunt the team for most part of the season and they’ll barely managed to stay ahead of Marussia & HRT. Petrov will outpace Kovalainen by some margin.
Current Scenario: Caterham, Marussia and HRT are the bottom most teams with 0 points but the only reason Caterham is ahead of the other two is because they have finished in higher position. But Petrov hasn’t been able to outpace Kovalainen.
Prediction: Marussia will battle it out with HRT to avoid last place finish and will pull it off with ease. Timo will finish higher than Pic most of the times but Pic’s flashes of brilliance will make everyone realize that the rookie is more talented.
Current Scenario: Marrusia has just managed to stay above HRT, as expected. Timo has outpaced Pic 7-4. However, we haven’t seen much from Pic. Let’s see if he can prove his worth in second half.
Prediction: HRT will race rest of the races. And fight Marussia to avoid last place finish but they’ll fail to do so at most times. Narain Karthikeyan will be in news for various reasons.
Current Scenario: “HRT will race rest of the races,” was stated in reference to HRT not able to quality in 107% time at the the Australian GP. Well, that prediction has come true. They have also stayed last throughout the season, as expected. And Karthikeyan was in news after he was handed 20 second penalty for his collision with Vettel that cost the double WC his 4th place. Adding insult to injury, Vettel called him “idiot backmarker.”