Wednesday, 29 October 2014

United States GP 2014 - F1 Prediction League

Sorry for the delay (I've been travelling on business), thanks to Nat for his contribution to this thread.

Welcome to the US of A for the 17th Grand Prix of a terrific 2014 season. With the title fight going down to the wire and Nico Rosberg desperately needing a win to grab the momentum back off the hard-charging Lewis Hamilton, this weekend could be huge – like everything else in the USA, particularly their burgers.

Less huge will be the Formula One grid this weekend, with both the financially troubled minnows of the sport, Marussia and Caterham, missing the Grand Prix. The news about Marussia was something of a surprise, although Caterham’s cash problems (and ownership issues) have been well-documented in recent months, including an astonishing story that all kinds of key equipment (simulators, development parts and so forth) was to be auctioned off. It prompted this amusing article on the satirical site Sniff Petrol suggesting that Kamui Kobayashi may be the next to be auctioned off.                                                  

It will be a shame to see just 18 cars on the grid this weekend – the lowest since 2005 – and the latest development in what has been a tough month for the sport with Bianchi’s accident in Japan. Bianchi is now a in stable condition, but there’s still a long way to go – our thoughts and wishes are with him.

On the Prediction League front last weekend proved fairly dramatic, with changes at the top of both the Constructors and main Prediction League following Red Bull’s disastrous performance around the Sochi Autodrom. There’s still plenty to play for with both titles remaining closely fought, as they have done all season, and people fighting to retain their seat – or grab a nice shiny new one. Marussia's plunge into administration has huge implications for the PL but Ross Brawn (Team Principal) has convinced Bernie to support him for three more races, before he goes fishing again. Who will come out on top this weekend?

The current championship standings are:



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

Back in the fight

A win for Hamilton this weekend means that, barring retirements (oooh errr), Rosberg could win the final two weekends and it still wouldn’t be enough to take the title from the Brit. Hamilton has never been outqualified or outraced by a teammate here in Austin, giving Rosberg a trouncing last year. How well will he fight back this weekend?

How many sessions will Rosberg beat Hamilton in this weekend (FP1, FP2, FP3, Q, R)?
Correct 3 pts
1-2 away 2 pts
3-4 away 1 pt

Pick a combination of statements from the following (note that all statements you choose have to be correct in order to gain points):
Hamilton to beat Rosberg in two of the three practice sessions 1 pt
Hamilton to beat Rosberg in every free practice session 2 pts
Rosberg to beat Hamilton in two of the three practice sessions 2 pts
Rosberg to beat Hamilton in every free practice session 4 pts
Hamilton will outqualify Rosberg 1 pt
Hamilton will outqualify Rosberg by at least 0.2s 2pts
Rosberg will outqualify Hamilton 3 pts
Hamilton will beat Rosberg in the race 1 pt
Hamilton will beat Rosberg in the race by 5+ seconds 2pts
Rosberg will beat Hamilton in the race 3pts
 (In the event of a race retirement that is clearly not the fault of the driver, statements will be taken to be correct at time of retirement as long as at least half laps have been completed e.g. if Hamilton is ahead of Rosberg by over 8 seconds and Hamilton retires  on lap 40 then the statement that Hamilton will beat Rosberg by 5+ seconds in the race will be deemed correct. If the driver takes themselves out of the race/qualifying then they will be deemed to have been beaten by their teammate by the maximum margin. A retirement issue in qualifying will not invalidate race result and vice versa. Bit convoluted but hopefully you trust our judgement!)

Note: stacking statements will not receive extra points. For example in the case of Hamilton will outqualify Rosberg by at least 0.2s, you will receive two points for predicting this correct. Picking Hamilton will outqualify Rosberg will not earn you any additional points. The more extreme pick will always take precedent so if it's incorrect you'll score 0 points in the whole category.

Super Sebastian

This time last year Vettel was heading into the Austin Grand Prix about to win his 8th consecutive race. This year he finds himself starting from the pitlane, over 50 points down on his teammate and daydreaming about driving a red car.
What can he salvage from this weekend? We’re going to have some fun guessing how far he can charge through the depleted field. Pick two statements from the following (points if correct in brackets)
Super Seb will beat both Lotus and Sauber cars (1)
Super Seb will beat both Toro Rossos (2)
Super Seb will beat both Force Indias (3)
Super Seb will beat at least one McLaren and at least one Ferrari (4)
Super Seb will beat a Williams on merit i.e. not because of the Williams’ problems (5)
(Retirement rules are as follows: If Vettel retires in the first half of the reason no points awarded. If he retires in the second half then half points are awarded for the statements correct at the time of retirement. Retirements for the other cars mean Seb 'beats' them (except for the Williams pick) unless Seb is behind them with over 75% race distance complete.)

How many positions will Seb finish behind Dan in the race?
0-1 away from being correct (5)
2-3 away (4)
4-5 away (3)
6-7 away (2)
8-9 away (1)

Bringing up the rear
The depleted grid means that Lotus and Sauber find themselves in the unfamiliar position of fighting not to finish last. For some perspective, last year Lotus last year managed to get a 2nd (Grosjean) and Sauber 6th (Hulkenberg).

Who will qualify last?
Maldonado 1 pt
Grosjean 2 pts
Sutil 2 pts
Gutierrez 3 pts
Any other 5 pts
(Note that it has to be a classified time, not taking part in qualifying does not count towards this)

Who will finish last in the race? (the lowest driver not to retire)
Maldonado 1 pt
Grosjean 2 pts
Sutil 2 pts
Gutierrez 2 pts
Other 3 pts

How many seconds will the highest finishing Lotus or Sauber finish behind the next car? (This will also act as a tie-break, closest guess first).
0-5 seconds away 3 pts
5-15 seconds away 2 pts
15-25 1 pt
(if there’s a safety car in the last 10 laps then it will be the time gap taken on the final lap before the safety car came out)



Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:


Hamilton/Rosberg (Back in the fight)
1) X/5 sessions
2) [list out all statements thought to be true]
Vettel (Super Sebastian)
1) [Pick two statements]
2) X number of places behind Dan
Bringing up the rear
1) X will qualify last
2) X will finish the race last
3) X seconds (also a TB)


As always picks are due before Free Practice 1 which is 1600 GMT/1000 Local time.

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:



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)


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). 


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



Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:


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


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:



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


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



Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:


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


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:



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


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.


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



Hamilton, Rosberg and Mercedes banned.

Feel free to post picks in the following format:


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

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


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.