Monday, 18 August 2014

Belgium - F1 Prediction League 2014

Welcome all - this is going to be a shortened post, to give people time to consider the hugely pivotal mid-season categories.

Please post your mid-season and Belgium picks by Free Practice 1 (0900 GMT Friday 22nd August).

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Random


Pick two drivers for each of the three sectors - they must be from different teams. The idea is to score the lowest combined time across all six picks.



 
You will score the lowest time for the team you pick (for example a Ricciardo pick will be Red Bull) but will receive a 0.050s bonus if you pick the quickest teammate in that sector.

For example:

I pick Ricciardo and Hulkenberg in S1. Say the following quickest sector times are set during qualifying:

Ricciardo (31.0), Vettel (30.9), Hulkenberg (31.3), Perez (31.7)

The best RB driver (Vettel) scored a 30.9 second so use this. Hulkenberg scored a 31.3 but a 0.05 second bonus will be applied because Hulkenberg was picked as the best teammate, so use 31.25 for Hulkenberg. The combined score from sector 1 would therefore be 30.9 + 31.25 = 62.15 seconds. 

Note: if neither driver from your team sets a time in a sector, you will score equal to the slowest driver (time-wise) through that sector. 

Thursday, 14 August 2014

F1 2014 Mid-Season Categories

It's with great pleasure that I introduce this year's F1 Prediction League mid-season categories. As always we take the opportunity created by the mid-summer break to spice up the Prediction League.

What's on offer? 
A huge total of 25 points towards your final season score and £30 in Amazon vouchers for the player who scores the most points in the second part of the season (mid-season categories + last 8 races).

Why get involved?
As a current player this season in the Prediction League, that’s an easy one; it’s an opportunity to boost your final season score (and position in the table), and there’s the £30 of vouchers available if you get on a hot streak in the second half of the season.

But the mid-season categories are also an ideal entry point for new players. Perhaps you’ve been perusing the Prediction League, and wondering about pitting your mighty F1 wits against the rest of us, or you know someone who would relish the challenge. For new players, there's also an opportunity to win the £30 and to get used to the current format before next year. 

There are also a number of vacancies open down the grid so you can fight for a team of your choice to win the Constructors Championship!  It's a perfect time to get involved especially as every player fights for individual race glory each race weekend. We keep a record of individual driver stats and records so make your mark on Prediction League history by getting involved!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sebastian vs. the Cucumbers (Pt 1 - Hungary) - The Sekret Racing Diary of a four time World Champion (and counting)


Here at Formula One Analysis we’re always interested in the latest happenings in the sport, and so we were delighted when none other than four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel approached us, informed us he was a great fan of our work, and that he’d like to write a regular column for us. He even was keen to take part in our Prediction League, however in a close vote we decided against, citing Vettel’s inside knowledge of the sport as giving him an unfair advantage.


We were so ecstatic about this opportunity that we completely forgot to ask our lawyer to draw up a contractual agreement with Mr Vettel, and so we have no idea how long he’ll be writing for us, how often, or even what the content will be. All we know is that he has promised a ‘window in to the inner workings of a four time World Champion’. And so reader, it’s time to er...read on.*


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Dear Diary.

I had a really good heart to heart with Christian during the week in his Jacuzzi over a bottle of wine. I told him how hard it was this year, what with having only the second best car, and he gave me such a great piece of advice. He said that back when Red Bull were only targeting podiums (before The Finger came along), he used to get quite sad and so he used to write a diary and it helped. I don’t really know where to start, but here goes.

I was a bit surprised when I arrived at the Hungaroring, as for some reason Dan turned up with a new slogan on his car saying, ‘cool as a cucumber’. I was a bit confused but then Rocky explained that it was to do with me, and I was so angry. He’s so unoriginal – can’t he come up with his own vegetable? He has to steal mine! I was the one who called that Hormone Replacement Therapy driver a cucumber first... 

Everyone seems to love Dan in the team and I don’t understand why they don’t find his smiles annoying all the time. I’ve always held true to my beliefs, and one of my biggest beliefs is that you can only have fun in Formula One when you are winning races by thirty seconds in a dominant car (for the record Dan only won by 5.2 seconds in Hungary, so he shouldn’t be happy). I’m really proud that this year I’ve been able to show people how miserable a driver should be when their car is a cucumber – and it’s a terrific motivator for the team.

The other day a journalist asked me who was more miserable this year, me or Fernando? Well, obviously I’m better at him than that, just as I am better at driving. It’s so strange that people keep discussing who is better – me or him. Well, I’ve won four championships and he’s won two, so I’m twice as good as he is. And he won his titles when I wasn’t even driving, so that wasn’t really fair. Plus he’s old.

I had this really great idea the other day for a new exhaust blown diffuser – it came to me in a dream. I drew it up and showed it to Lord Adrian. It was pretty weird, he sat and looked at me and then said, “Look Seb, I’m afraid I don’t have the time to be patient with people as much anymore because I’ve decided to design boats than can do 300mph, so I’ll be honest. All your drawings last year were nice, but you don’t actually know anything about aerodynamics, so I had to throw them away. Plus for some reason this year, you’ve drawn the diffuser on the back of a cucumber rather than a Formula One car.” He then started to get really angry and I was quite scared. He said the car was great this year and it wasn’t a cucumber, it wasn’t his fault that the engine was 5000bhp slower than everyone else’s and broke all the time and that he was never going to work with the French again. He then went off to look at pictures of boats and I left.

Hungary was one of those weekends where you leave asking yourself, ‘what if?’. It all started so well, and I destroyed Dan in practice and qualifying, but things didn't go my way in the race. I was keeping Lewis and his ubercar (according to Rocky the Mercedes was 3.2 seconds per lap quicker than us at Hungary) behind me, but then something happened (I think Lewis hit me) and my tyres were flatspotted and I had to pit again and everything was ruined.

It was a shame, because in Hungary I had a new strategy to beat Dan (in Germany I pushed him off at Turn One but thought it would look strange if I did it again); I bribed Pastor Maldonado. I knew Dan would probably get lucky (I still can’t believe Canada. The Fingers’ itch nearly ended there) so I told Pastor to crash into Dan and make it look like an accident; I knew Pastor’s driving is so bad (how is he still in F1!?) that no one would guess anyway. Sadly it didn’t quite work out, as Pastor got bored of waiting for Dan to lap him so he just drove into Jules Bianchi instead.

Alas, Hungary remains one of just a few tracks in the world where I haven’t destroyed everyone yet. I was going to do it last year, but Lewis had a much better car than me (again) and made a deal with his friend Jenson that he would stay out for ages and not let me get past. It was so obvious! Jenson always pits early. I was quite frustrated, because The Finger was cocked and ready to go that weekend, but it never got the chance. It’s ok though because after the race I drove around on F1 2013 on the Playstation and crashed in to Lewis and then I won and The Finger came out and we showed everyone.

Although it’s been a tough season so far, the one thing you can count on with Sebastian Vettel is that he will keep fighting until ze end. As I’ve already said, it would be foolish to give up on the title at this point, despite being over 100 points down, and driving a car which is a long way off the Mercedes, powered by a Renault engine that gives away a second down the straights and which can’t be updated until the end of the season. And even if the title eludes me this year, you can be sure that The Finger will score some amazing fastest laps (check out my one in Spain, it was really good).



Yours faithfully,

Sebastian Vettel (4 X WDC)

*Disclaimer: We hope that no fans of Vettel are offended (too much) by this piece. We rate Vettel as one of the top drivers in the sport, but for reasons unbeknownst to us, he found himself to be the focus of this latest column. We hope Mr Vettel himself wouldn’t be offended, as he generally seems to have a good sense of humour – except on occasion when his car keeps breaking.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Hungary 2014 Results and Championship Standings (11/19)


First off, expect more analysis and other F1 articles in the coming weeks (including the prediction league midseason categories, a mid-year review and an intimate look into the inner workings of one F1's leading drivers!) 

Reflecting on the year, it's been a season of exciting races - the general quality of racing far exceeds 2013. Classics such as Bahrain, Canada and Hungary will live on long in the memory. The prediction league has been equally intense although partially marred by a string of mechanical problems experienced by both Mercedes drivers (particularly Hamilton). A vote was passed to ban both Hamilton and Rosberg (11-2) from every category which opens up the number of options and quite frankly makes the league more exciting as the Mercedes are easily the best cars.

Hungary brought about another intense battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, this time over team orders. It was a difficult weekend for the Brit as he probably would have won it without the fire in qualifying. Lauda said there was "no doubt at all" that Hamilton would have been on pole and subsequently taken the win this weekend. So all-in-all it was a weekend of mixed luck for both drivers. Rosberg was harmed by the timing of the safety car - but so were Bottas, Vettel and the incredible Alonso, who stormed to (make that gripped onto) a phenomenal second place.

Deservedly three incredible drivers made the podium after excellently executed races.

The chase for the lead - all four drivers were significantly harmed by the timing of the safety car which eventually gifted Ricciardo the win.

Onto the prediction league, Sangan and Michael continue their lock at the top. Michael scored the one difference (except random TB - which defaulted in the end due to Maldonado's problems) this weekend so pulled back two points. The two of them are stretching out their lead and others need to take a giant step forward starting in Spa with both the race weekend and the mid-season picking category! (more details to follow within the next week)

Lotus retain their decisive lead at the top of the Constructors standings but three teams - Mercedes, McLaren and er...Marussia (the 3 M's) - wait in the wings. There's still plenty to play for. The other thing to consider is whether people on their own wish to move to another team (that applies to Paul Smith, Brian, Joe and Kiszol - given Paul's belief in Alonso he may wish to join Joe in Ferrari and Brian could be promoted to the Red Bull team as he's been picking Ricciardo a lot!)

Here are the championship standings:

 
 

Monday, 21 July 2014

Hungary 2014 (Round 11) - F1 Prediction League



Note: Hamilton and Rosberg are banned as picks from all categories (except random where stipulated). I've created a poll in the right-hand corner of the site - vote whether you're are in favour of the ban. If not (and a majority post no), it won't go ahead. See the post further down for an explanation.

Welcome to the Lewisring! Or if you want the more formal and technical name – the Hungaroring, located in Mogyoród, Hungary. This has been the happy hunting ground for Lewis Hamilton in years gone by, winner in 2007, 2009, 2012 and 2013. Interestingly Kimi Räikkönen finished second in every single race where Hamilton won. I think if Hamilton is reliant on Kimi finishing second to win, he has little chance.

This race track is one which some of the best drivers love and have excelled at including Schumacher, Senna, Mansell and Alonso. The race has seen a lot of F1 history down the years including Hill’s crazy almost race winning effort in the…Arrows!? It has also seen the maiden wins of Button and Alonso in recent years.

There are a number of interesting questions this weekend. Can Williams hang on to the title of the second best car with its traction and recent success? Can Hamilton and Räikkönen repeat earlier successes? Can another German finally win here after the previous dominance of Schumacher – Vettel would break his Hungary duct and Rosberg would strengthen his position in the championship.

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.

Random will be split into two categories - most team improvement and random questions.

Who is catching the Kraken?



Which team has made the most qualifying progress since Catalunya, Spain? 

This is an ideal track to choose as Hungary is (one of) the closest comparisons on the F1 circuit to Catalunya so progress can be fairly accurately measured.

The fastest time from the Spanish GP qualifying 2014 has been taken for each constructor. This time has been represented as a % of the Mercedes car (see below).

Mercedes 100%
Red Bull 101.23%
Williams 101.64%
Lotus 102.03% 
Ferrari 102.20%
McLaren 102.47%
Force India 102.88%
Toro Rosso 103.29%
Sauber 103.58%
Marussia 105.11%
Caterham 105.96% 

Choose the TWO teams you feel have made the most progress since Round 5 – Spain. And the team who has made the LEAST progress.

Mechanics 

The best time from Hungary 2014 qualifying for each constructor will be divided by the % to give a new ordering.

For example, using last year’s times from Hungary the following would happen:

Mercedes 79.388/1 = 79.388
Red Bull 79.426/1.0123 = 78.461
Ferrari 1.19.791/1.0220 = 78.073
Williams 1.21.133/1.0164 = 79.824
Order: Ferrari (78.073), Red Bull (78.461), Mercedes (79.388), Williams (79.824).

Scoring
As there are eleven teams there is an opportunity to score 21 points – 11 points for the best choice and 10 points for the second best choice, 9 for third etc. An additional two bonus points will be scored for correctly guessing the team which has declined the most since Spain 2014. 

Who’s the most hungry?


Q1: Massa will finish in the top five in the race? (Yes/No)
Q2: Kobayashi will beat Chilton in the race? (Yes/No)
Q3: Rosberg will beat Hamilton in the race? (Yes/No)
Q4: Hulkenberg will reach Q3? (Yes/No)
Q5: A Lotus car will finish in the points? (Yes/No)
Q6: Mercedes will finish one-two in every session which includes P1, P2, P3, Qualifying and Race? (Yes/No)
Q7: Both Ferraris will score points? (Yes/No)

Two points will be scored for each correct answer answered above.

Tie-break 

What is the time difference in qualifying between Sergio Perez (car no.11) and Pastor Maldonado (car no.13)? (best times in whole session).

A random generator listed numbers between 1 and 99.  I took the driver numbers; It took a while to find the two drivers but we got there in the end.

Reasons for banning Hamilton and Rosberg


I think there are a few reasons for this. Anyone who has any issues with this please vote no in the poll (top-right corner of the site). My reasonings are as follows:

  • Rosberg and Hamilton are both 70 points + ahead of the nearest competitors in the Drivers Championship
  • The majority of picks have been Rosberg and Hamilton this year with very few exceptions so banning them should increase the diversity of picks made. There are several options open with Bottas, Ricciardo, Vettel, Alonso, Massa etc. Even the McLarens, Kimi, the Lotus' and Force India may be viable picks given a bit of development and unique circumstances.
  • Three of the last four races have been decided by mechanical issues which I find dissatisfying regardless of the outcome (Canada - Hamilton retires, Britain - Rosberg retires and Germany - Hamilton has a huge brake failure which ruled out any Q points and made the race a foregone conclusion). It's true that the same problem can occur if you choose other drivers but increasingly with the hot summer the Mercs will continue to run into problems
  • The Merc trend will continue throughout the whole year as their car is significantly better than the others making other drivers implausible choices

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Please pick with and without Hamilton and Rosberg in case the ban doesn't go ahead.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Qualifying: 
Race: 
Constructors: [Not Mercedes as they are banned]
Random:

Teams with most improvement: X, Y
Team with least improvement: X
Q1: Yes/No
Q2: Yes/No
Q3: Yes/No
Q4: Yes/No
Q5: Yes/No
Q6: Yes/No
Q7: Yes/No

Tie-break
Time difference in qualifying between Maldonado and Perez:

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I'm looking forward to this weekend. As always picks are due before Free Practice 1. Will Hamilton become a five-time winner?