Sunday, 12 October 2014

Russia Results and Championship Standings (16/19)

Russia had Hamilton stamped all over it from FP1 (where he looked faster but failed to hook the sectors up). In FP2, FP3 and qualifying Hamilton excelled and the only moment of the weekend which shifted the balance towards Rosberg was on the run down to turn 2. Clinical from Hamilton who takes a 17 point lead into the rest of the championship - can Rosberg stop his momentum in one of Hamilton's best races?

Fine performances from Valtteri Bottas and Jenson Button led to significant points scored for Williams and McLaren in their respective championship battles with Ferrari and Force India.


In the prediction league  there has been a complete shift in the balance. Red Bull's poor weekend made this the second poorest scoring weekend of the whole championship (after Britain). There has been a change in first, second, third, fourth and fifth in the championship and Nat moves into the top nine after starting in China (Round 4 without season). Also there has been a change at the top of the Constructors Championship.

Championship standings


Podium facts
Scott's 5th win of the season (1st) and 8th overall (1st)
Nat's 4th podium finish of the season (tied 3rd)
Chris's 2nd podium finish of the season

Current streaks
Scott - 2 win streak
Nat - 8 points finishes (tied 2nd, personal best)
Scott - 6 points finishes
Kiszol - 5 points finishes

Marussia - 13 points finishes
McLaren - 10 points finishes
Ferrari - 7 points finishes
Red Bull - 5 points finishes

Streaks ended
Sangan - 8 points finishes (tied 2nd overall)

Sangan - 3 podium finishes (tied 1st)
Lotus - 26 points finishes

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Russia 2014 (Round 16) - F1 Prediction League

A cloud follows F1 to the inaugural Russian GP in Sochi after Bianchi's severe injuries at Suzuka. As stated before, everyone is routing for him to pull through and to recover from his diffuse axonal injury.

Russia had big celebrations planned but these will (rightfully) be toned down despite a Russian driving in F1 (Kvyat) who has just secured a place at the four-time constructors champions, Red Bull. 

The random this week will be based around Kvyat and a few other topical issues.

There are, as always, plenty of interesting threads to this weekend. Will Rosberg be able to stop Hamilton from achieving his second four-win streak of the season? Can Williams overcome Red Bull? Will Fernando actually finish a race? 

For updates on the team hiring situation see the previous post (results from Japan).

The current championship standings are:



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Random


Thanks to everyone who has helped so far on random this year - please feel free to post suggestions here for other races. 




Category 1 - The Russian

1) How far will Daniil Kvyat qualify behind his 2015 teammate Daniel Ricciardo timewise? 


2) Which of the following will Kvyat beat in qualifying (2 points for each correct answer)

Hulkenberg 
Vergne
Button
Raikkonen

3) Will Kvyat beat Vergne in the race? (both must finish) (4 points)

Category 2 - On the move?

4) How many positions will Alonso a) out-qualify Magnussen and b) out-race Button?



5) Will Vettel beat Raikkonen in at least four of the following five sessions - FP1, FP2, FP3, Qualifying and Race? (3 points, a bonus 2 points for getting the exact amount right). 


Tie-break

How many seconds will the leading Mercedes/Red Bull finish ahead of the leading Ferrari/McLaren in the race?

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Template


Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Qualifying: 
Race: 
Constructors: 
Random:

1) X.XXX seconds
2) Yes - [list choices)
3) Yes/No
4a) +/- X places
4b) +/- X places
5) Yes/No, 1/2/3/4/5

Tie-break: X.X seconds

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As always picks are due before Free Practice 1 which is 0700 GMT/1000 Sochi time.

Note: Due to Bianchi's accident teammate domination for the rest of the year will need to changed.

All Bianchi pickers (Joe, Brian and I) should replace Bianchi with anyone else in their budget range. Bianchi was worth 6m so a replacement needs to be picked at that value or below (e.g. Bottas for me).

Joe's current team: Massa (3m), Magnussen (3m)
Brian's current team: Sutil (4m)

All Chilton pickers (Kiszol, Paul Smith and MetalGatherer) should replace Chilton with another driver OR replace Chilton and another driver with two different options. Chilton was 2m and the other drivers remain the same.

Kiszol's current team: Alonso (7m), Vettel (3m)
Paul's current team: Alonso (7m), Massa (3m)
Metalgatherer's current team: Hamilton (5m), Ricciardo (5m)

Budget is 12m.



Japan Results and Championship Standings (15/19)


First off before anything else, I echo Jenson's tweet. The only positive news so far is that Jules is 'stable' - fingers crossed he can keep fighting and will come through this.

In the last few days Jean Todt reported that Michael Schumacher 'can live a relatively normal life within a short period of time' which is potentially promising news so I'll be hoping for Bianchi.

Apart from the incident the race was quite promising, a first wet race since Brazil 2012. It saw titanic performances from Hamilton and Button. Jenson was on the pace of the Mercedes early in the race and really showed his worth to the McLaren (Honda) team - once again braving the conditions and making his driving in the intermediate conditions pay-off. The Red Bull's also pushed hard and looked impressive throughout with Vettel critically scoring a rare victory over Ricciardo in the race.

Then there's the ongoing Alonso saga and Vettel's departure from Red Bull. Who knows what will happen from here? Alonso claims to hold all of the cards but the only options seem to be: (1) McLaren-Honda (2) somewhere like Lotus (3) a sabbatical (4) refusing to leave Ferrari and (5) three car teams. I look forward to seeing how this plays out.

In the prediction league Sangan extends their lead at the top to nine points, courtesy of a third podium in a row.

Championship standings




Podium facts

Scott's 4th win of the season (1st) and 7th overall (1st)
Sangan's 6th podium finish of the season (tied 1st) and 10th podium overall (2nd)
Kim's 2nd podium finish of the season and 7th overall (6th)

Current streaks
Sangan - 3 podium finishes (tied 1st, personal best)
Sangan - 8 points finishes (tied 2nd, personal best)
Nat - 7 points finishes (tied 6th, personal best)
Scott - 5 points finishes
Kiszol - 4 points finishes

Streaks ended
Michael - 8 points finishes (tied 2nd overall, third time this landmark has been reached by Michael)

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Japan 2014 (Round 15) - F1 Prediction League

Suzuka, Japan. One of the best tracks on the calendar - it's always a joy to watch cars attack here, around the S's, the Degners and the Spoon curbs.

For updates on the team hiring situation see the previous post (results from Singapore).

The battle for the championship will be intense here - Rosberg needs to stop Hamilton's momentum (just like at Monaco) but Suzuka has never been his best track. In 2013, he qualified 6th compared to Hamilton's 3rd and in 2012, he qualified 14th compared to Schumacher's 12th. Arguably he needs to be on pole to put doubts in Hamilton's mind but that's going to be very difficult to do.

There are many other thoughts - who will be second best...Red Bull? Williams? Ferrari? Any could feature around the technically demanding Suzuka.

The current championship standings are:



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Random


Thanks to everyone who has helped so far on random this year - please feel free to post suggestions here for other races. Nat helped with the random this time.

Category 1: Team matchups
In qualifying, which team in the following pairings will have the highest classified car (before any penalties)? 2 points for each correct answer
Red Bull vs Williams
Ferrari vs McLaren
Toro Rosso vs Force India
Lotus vs Sauber
Caterham v Marussia

Category 2: Teammate matchup accumulator
Pick a selection of drivers to beat their teammate in the race (points in brackets for each driver). This is an accumulator, so you need all your picks to win for the accumulator to come off. If any of your drivers does not beat their teammate, you score 0 points. In the event of a retirement, then if your driver was ahead (incorporating strategy) at the time of retirement then you score half the points for that driver.
Rosberg (2) vs Hamilton (2)
Ricciardo (1) vs Vettel (3)
Bottas (2) vs Massa (2)
Button (1) vs Magnussen (3)
Alonso (1) vs Kimi (3)
Vergne (2) vs Kvyat (2)
Hulkenberg (2) vs Perez (2)
Sutil (1) vs Gutierrez (3)
Grosjean (2) vs Maldonado (2)
Bianchi (1) vs Chilton (3)
Kobayashi (1) vs Ericsson (3)


Category 3: Points finishes
Pick one team to have both drivers finish in the top 10 - the following points will be scored for the team picks:
1 - Mercedes, Red Bull
2 - Ferrari, Williams
3 - McLaren
4 - Force India, Toro Rosso
5 - Other (Sauber, Lotus, Marussia, Caterham)

Question 4: Yes or No!
Answer yes or no for each of the following questions and receive 2 points for each correct answer.
a) Will Mercedes GP top every session (FP1, FP2, FP3, Q1, Q2, Q3, R)?
b) Will anyone find themselves in the gravel in the slipper Degner curves in either qualifying or the race



Tie-break

Which Samurai (Alonso or Kobayashi) will beat their teammate by the largest margin in qualifying and by how much?

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Template


Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Qualifying: 
Race: 
Constructors:
Random:

Category 1 - Choice 1, Choice 2, ...
Category 2 - Choice 1, Choice 2, ...
Category 3 - Constructor
Category 4 - Y/N, Y/N

Tie-break: Alonso/Kobayashi, time: X.XXX seconds

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Sukuza should be spectacular - I have a feeling there are plenty more twists left this season.

As always picks are due before Free Practice 1 which is 0200 GMT/1000 JST.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Singapore Results and Championship Standings (14/19)

Sorry for the delay! This has been an incredibly hectic week and I wanted to think on the most appropriate method of how teams will judge/hire drivers.

If you want to battle for a seat, please post here. See later on in the post for details of team responses and current progress.

Singapore was just the tonic Hamilton needed after a season of ill luck and qualifying mistakes. The qualifying mistake was almost there but he did enough to edge Rosberg and set up a tantalising race. Unfortunately Nico had to retire from mechanical problems. Aside from the luck becoming more equal (it's always great when the better driver wins the championship) the beginning of the race was dulled by the lack of Rosberg's presence.

Cue Perez and Sutil (two of F1's more likely crashers) and the safety car comes out. How Sutil didn't receive a penalty for putting another driver in the wall is beyond me - despite the initiative to let drivers race, in clear cut cases like this penalties should be applied. 

The safety car took 7 long laps (it felt like 100) to sort itself out (way too long and I agree it would be better to make lapped cars fall to the back of the pack - it could be done instantly and would solve so many problems). 

The race from that moment was exciting - Hamilton had to push, on reasonably old super softs, in an impressive display of driving. This was remniscent of Vettel last year at Singapore or some of Schumacher's race stints in the past.

So all-in-all we had another good race. There have been so few bad races this year which is positive for the sport!

Onto the prediction league, congratulations to Sangan (2nd win), ediglo (5th podium) and Aled Lewis (4th podium)!

This was one of the closest weekends in prediction league history with 8 drivers separated by one point at the top. There were multiple ways to get to that score with the relatively unfavoured Ricciardo winning qualifying and relatively unfavoured Vettel winning race.

Sangan's strong weekend extended their advantage out in front for both the championship standings and constructors.

Here are the championship standings:




  

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Singapore 2014 (Round 14) - F1 Prediction League

Welcome to the Singapore prediction league thread! Things are heating up at the top of the PL with only five points separating first and second. 

Singapore is always a spectacle, not always completely entertaining but there have been enough exciting races to merit its place on the calendar. The night lights and the intensity of driving the cars here adds something different to many other locations.

There are many questions: Can Hamilton keep up the pressure on Rosberg? Or will this be a decisive blow to his title hopes like 2010 and 2012? Also will Ferrari fare better on a track less dependent on engine power? Di Montezemolo has stepped down so they will be hoping their fortunes turn soon.

2015 Contracts

It's that time of the year again, it is time to claim your stake in your preferred Constructor next year. Please see the table below for team moods:


Either post in the comments below or in the speculation thread. This can be a re-iteration of your commitment to your current team (with potential wage increases) or an offer to drive for another team. Typically once an offer has been made to take another seat, there will be a battle between the current driver and the offerer over three or so races. Depending on the current situation within a team the incumbent driver sometimes will have a positive handicap so the offerer needs to do something special to take their seat.

Teams will often decline offers straight off if they are very happy with their current drivers (e.g. Lotus) so you'll need to balance how realistic the bid is (based on your constructors points and past year performances) versus how happy each team are with their drivers.

Note: it's possible to make a maximum of two offers at once, including your current team. Each team will only consider three offers at once.

Without further ado let’s introduce the championship standings:


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Random


Thanks to everyone who has helped so far on random this year - please feel free to post suggestions here for other races. Michael helped with the random this time.

Predict the order of the full qualifying grid by highest classified car (e.g. Williams will finish ahead of Red Bull if they qualify 3rd and 17th while Red Bull qualify 4th and 5th) per Constructor. For each Constructor predict the driver who will do better across the weekend and whether the Constructor will finish higher, lower or the same in the race. 

For example:

1. Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, Same
2. Red Bull, Sebastian Vettel, Same
3. Williams, Felipe Massa, Lower
4. Ferrari, Fernando Alonso, Higher
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

Scoring

Qualification order

3 points will be scored for predicting the position of a team exactly right, 2 points for being one away and 1 point for being two away.

Driver prediction

1 point for finishing higher in qualifying and 1 point for finishing higher in the race. Both cars must set a time in qualifying and finish the race for the respective points to count. 

Race prediction

2 points will be scored if correct, 1 point if the outcome is one away from succeeding e.g. if same is predicted but the Constructor gains one place.

Note: If neither driver sets a time in qualifying for a team or neither driver finishes in the race then they will be ignored in the calculation. For instance, in the example above if neither Mercedes driver sets a time in qualifying then anyone who stated Red Bull 2nd (with Mercedes 1st) will score maximum points.

Tie-break

What will the gap be between a) Hamilton and Rosberg and b) Alonso and Raikkonen in qualifying? 

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Template


Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Qualifying: 
Race: 
Constructors:
Random:

[Constructor, Driver, Higher/Same/Lower]
[Constructor, Driver, Higher/Same/Lower] etc.

Tie-break: HAM/ROS: X seconds, ALO/RAI: X seconds

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I'm looking forward to this weekend. As always with the title battle nicely poised (both around evens on most bookmakers) there is plenty of excitement left in this season.

As always picks are due before Free Practice 1.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Italy Results and Championship Standings (13/19)

Everyone should start thinking about what team they want to join next year. This is a rough guideline of team moods and comments (just for fun).


If you want to battle for a seat, please post here. Typically they'll be competition over a period of three or so races (the incumbent driver may have a positive handicap) or the request may not be accepted at all. For example, the Lotus drivers have been extremely loyal and lead the WC therefore Lotus won't hear anything about replacing their drivers.

Of course, you can sign for a different team and we'll try to find you a teammate next year.

Monza saw another mistake for Nico Rosberg - had he won that battle he'd have been significantly ahead. Hamilton would have been in big trouble and almost certainly needed a retirement to pull this gap back. 

The fighting down the field was incredible especially between 4th and 9th. This new Formula is serving up some really exciting races so plenty to be positive about! Another great charge through the field for Ricciardo, who looked completely out of it a third of the way through the race.

Onto the prediction league, congratulations to Kim, Sangan and Nat! Our deserving podium finishers - random proved to be critical again although Sangan's Massa pick almost proved to be the winning way to go.

Despite finishing 2nd the lead at the top of the championship narrows.

Here are the championship standings: