Sunday, 20 April 2014

China 2014 Results and Championship Standings (4/19)

After the excitement of the Bahrain race, this race wasn't quite as fun. Still there were some incredible performances (Alonso and Ricciardo) and some tension between Vettel and the Red Bull team which helped to create interest. 

Hamilton's third win in a row solidifies his position as the championship favourite although Rosberg still holds the points advantage. Spain will be fairly pivotal - Rosberg was very strong there last year comparatively so he'll hope that he can produce a strong performance like in Bahrain but this time take a second win of the season.

In the prediction league Ross Brawn has accepted a place at Marussia as Team Principal. He made a very vocal and bullish speech on race day, claiming the minimum target for the team this season was 3rd in the Constructors Championship. Marussia will have an uphill battle given their lack of preparation for the season however some interesting innovations seem to have helped. Adrian Newey was caught breaking into the teams garage with his notebook after the race causing Marussia to sue Red Bull - another incident in a long list of court cases Red Bull have lined up. 

McLaren to take Formula 1 rival Red Bull to court over Dan Fallows

Red Bull made to pay for Formula 1 appeal hearing costs

Ross Brawn publically stated Marussia's number one driver Nat was an "exciting talent - back stronger than ever after a bout of rallying" - and that he planned to give him full support in his quest for points. He did temper expectations in general and warned against expecting big things from Scott, stating he was "lucky and overrated".

Despite initial positively the Marussia team is lacking funds with a 1 Euro budget for salaries each race, all of which has been given to Nat. One leading engineer in the team has emphasised that both drivers could bag up to 5 extra Euros should they win though so there was reason for optimism!

Big congratulations to Dragan (on his record equalling 8th podium - equal with current championship leader Kiszol) and Rose31 on their first podium after only 4 races in the prediction league. Dragan's performance has lifted Lotus even further ahead securing a 27 point lead going into the European season. 

At the top of the Drivers Championship there is a huge clustering between four players (with Dragan close behind). With the increased competitiveness of the Red Bulls and potential bans for Mercedes and their drivers things could get very interesting (I'll keep you informed).

On to the results and the standings...

Championship Standings

Constructors Championship

Read on for more detail.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

China 2014 (Round 4) - F1 Prediction League

Two weeks after an incredible Bahrain race and we're arriving into China for round 4 of the F1 prediction league 2014!

Big changes at the top with Stefano Domenicali leaving Ferrari and Bob Bell leaving Mercedes. Meanwhile McLaren are in the background poaching staff everywhere. Did someone mention a possible Ross Brawn Ferrari return too?

Who would have thought that Ferrari dominated China just a year ago. The change in Pirelli tyres and the RB resurgence put an end to that and Ferrari have really struggled since.

China is the last round before substantial upgrades/changes will be brought to Europe. This could be Mercedes' last race with a clear advantage with the pursuing group looking to close that gap. I however feel Mercedes are almost uncatchable this year. Unless a team can gain 1-2 seconds over a very short space of time, this championship looks like it's heading to the Brackley based team.

As always here is a re-cap from the standings:



Thanks to Kiszol, Michael and Sangan for their help in creating this random and taking part in the random discussion.
Random contains five distinct questions. The emphasis is mainly on risk vs. rewards. The choice of what to pick is entirely you're own but if you fail and pick an incorrect answer you'll obviously come away with 0 points.

The winner of the random will be the player who scores the most points overall. Tie-breaks will be decided on the highest lowest round (which scored points) and continue up until a winner is decided. The second tie-break is decided on posting time (the earlier the better).

Just to illustrate the above. If one player scores 1, 2, 3, 5, 0 and another scores 2, 3, 3, 2, 1 then the second player wins. The 0 is discounted from the analysis, then we look at the highest lowest round 1 v 1, tie. Move on, 2 v 2. Tie, move on. 3 v 2. Player 2 wins. This is to stop players from picking too conservatively and to remove the element of perhaps one extremely lucky pick giving a complete edge to a player (e.g. Chilton being third after a safety car).

Q1: Name a driver who will finish at least one lap in the top 3 positions in the race.
Hamilton / Rosberg - 1 point
Vettel - 2 points
Ricciardo / Alonso - 3 points
Hulkenberg / Raikkonen / Button / Perez / Bottas / Massa - 4 points
Magnussen - 5 points
Vergne / Kvyat - 6 points
Sutil / Gutierrez / Maldonado / Grosjean - 7 points
Chilton / Bianchi / Ericsson / Kobayashi - 10 points

Q2: Name a team which qualifies at least one car in the top eight positions
(an extra bonus point will be given if both drivers qualify top eight, two extra bonus points if both drivers qualify top six (excluding Mercedes)).
Mercedes: 1 point
Red Bull: 2 points
Force India/Ferrari/Williams: 3 points
McLaren: 4 points
Toro Rosso: 6 points
Sauber/Lotus: 7 points
Caterham/Marussia: 10 points

Q3: Which driver will qualify the most positions in front of his own teammate? (Penalties do not count - result based on provisional grid before penalties. A team with a disqualified driver counts as 0 points regardless of which driver is disqualified. Tie-breaks decided by highest position).
Best answer - 5 points
2nd, 3rd - 4 points
4th, 5th - 3 points
6th, 7th, 8th - 2 points
9th, 10th, 11th - 1 point
Driver picked out-qualified - 0 points

Q4: Pick one Driver A (e.g. Sutil) to beat their Driver B (e.g. Maldonado) in the race.  A retirement in your pairing results in 0 points being scored. I've used a random generator to generate 12 random options - I've assigned points to each of these options. A bonus point goes to the result which has the greatest margin of victory/lowest margin of defeat (based on time, not position).

Sutil - Maldonado 1 point
Bottas - Massa 1 point
Massa - Räikkönen 2 points
Button - Vettel 3 points
Magnussen - Vettel 4 points
Vergne - Bottas 4 points
Vergne - Button 5 points
Kvyat - Ricciardo 5 points
Grosjean - Hulkenberg 6 points
Bottas - Hamilton 7 points
Bianchi - Button 8 points
Ericsson - Ricciardo 8 points

Q5: Predict the finishing position of Kimi Räikkönen in the race.

Correct: 4 points
One away: 3 points
Two away: 2 points
Within three: 1 point
Outside: 0 points

Kimi retires/isn't classified: 0 points



Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Q1 -
Q2 -
Q3 -
Q4 -
Q5 -

Alonso will be hoping that lightning strikes again. So will a charger by the name of ediglo, hoping to repeat the form which took him to an unprecedented debut win. I for one will be supporting this (this has nothing to do with us being teammates... Vamos Williams!... I mean may the best team win).

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Bahrain 2014 Results and Championship Standings (3/19)

Wow! What a race. So many different battles all throughout the field. Namely the Mercedes' of Rosberg and Hamilton who tussled back and forth - changing positions almost double digits number of times. I also enjoyed the battles of the Williams, Force India and Red Bull drivers, especially a very talented four time world champion meeting his match on the day. Very rare to see the Red Bull team asking Vettel to obey team orders (even temporarily).

"Daniel is faster than you. Do not hold him up"
- Guillaume 'Rocky' Rocquelin, Vettel's engineer

Overall that was one of the most entertaining races in a while so hopefully we can have more of those this year. Mercedes should really be congratulated on letting their drivers fight eachother to the bitter end. However despite all of the excitment, perhaps we could do without a certain driver flipping other cars over though.

Onto the prediction league, its been a long journey to that first win but heartily congratulations to Michael (the winner of the 'Mark Webber' bad luck award last year, soon to be renamed the 'Daniel Ricciardo award' if Malaysia was anything to go by). I have no doubt in my mind that Michael is able to launch a full scale championship assault after finishing in the top 5 last year.

MetalGatherer also jumped on the podium for the second time in the last three races (three top four finishes). Sangan narrowly missed out on the podium, after claiming they were going to achieve a 19 podium streak however fantastic performances this year (three top four finishes as well) see Sangan level on points with Kiszol at the head of the table.

Finally well done to everyone else. I'm pretty confident that this was the highest scoring race of all-time, last year the field scored a maximum of 239 points at Korea however a massive 311 points was scored in the race. Part of this is due to the change in the random points, part of this due to a small increase in competitors. Regardless this was easily the highest average score in PL history. Fantastic.

On to the results and the standings...

Championship Standings

Constructors Championship


Read on for more detail.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Bahrain 2014 (Round 3) - F1 Prediction League

Welcome to round 3 of the F1 prediction league 2014! After two completely different tracks we're beginning to see how each of the cars operate. The one truth in F1 at the moment is that the Mercedes has a large advantage. On a dry circuit they appeared to be quicker in every sector (when the engine was turned up) and did this using less fuel.

So the key stats so far.

Hamilton 1 - 1 Rosberg
Hamilton 25 - 43 Rosberg
Alonso 24
Vettel 15

Bahrain raises more questions. Can Red Bull and Ferrari keep up their performances as the second and third best teams at the moment or will Bahrain shake up the order, propelling the other Mercedes cars (McLaren, Williams, Force India) ahead? Can Ricciardo recover from his 10-place grid penalty? Will Massa sabotage Bottas' car after "Valtteri is faster than you" Gate? That and many more questions will be answered this weekend.

As always here is a re-cap from the standings from the first race:



As this is likely to be the first dry qualifying session. I thought the comparison of drivers (including teammates) throughout qualifying and the race was the most exciting thing for this race weekend. The +/- X Seconds below in qualifying represents handicaps. So Alonso has a 0.15 second penalty on his best timed lap during qualifying, so if his best lap is 1:32.179 and Raikkonen's is 1:32.300 then Alonso's time would effectively be 1:32.329 so he would lose.


Alonso +0.15 seconds vs. Raikkonen -0.15 seconds
Vettel +0.2 seconds vs. Ricciardo -0.2 seconds
Sutil +0.3 seconds vs. Gutierrez -0.3 seconds
Kvyat +0.1 seconds vs. Vergne -0.1 seconds
Massa +0.05 seconds vs. Bottas -0.05 seconds


Hulkenberg vs. Alonso
Perez vs. Ricciardo
Kvyat vs. Grosjean
Magnussen vs. Bottas
Chilton vs. Ericsson


What will be the fastest lap time in the race? (e.g. 1:40.424)


Each correct pick will score 1 point. TB's will be decided by which player predicts the closest fastest lap time.



Feel free to post picks in the following format:





Fastest lap time:
Good luck everyone! Vettel will be hoping for a repeat and so will last years' winner Aled Lewis. Kim and Dragan also featured on the podium.