Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Austria 2014 (Round 8) - F1 Prediction League

Austria promises to be an interesting race. For one, it's nice to return to an old track especially as there were a number of entertaining races at the old A1 ring. Unfortunately the event is still heavily linked with the Ferrari team order debacle in 2002. The debate was even more intense as Schumacher, with four wins out of five, was already in a commanding position in the championship. The decision was made by Todt which had wide ranging repercussions including a ban of team orders for eight years. Schumacher was so embarrassed by the situation that he gifted Barrichello a win at Indianapolis later in the year.

Despite this I'm looking forward to the race, safe in the knowledge that Mercedes won't give similar team orders. I feel like the Red Bull Ring will offer up another tense battle in the race for the championship. 

For those of who you never watched/don't remember, here is a video of the pole lap from the last race here in 2003. It's a fairly high speed circuit with plenty of aggressive corners, really showing off the power/noise and downforce performance of the early 2000 cars.

Due to my slowness in posting the results thread (apologies, things will get back to normal now that I've returned from holiday - see link for results thread), I should congratulate Keba, Dragan and Joe for their places on the podium.

Canada was a great race and Ricciardo's victory was very popular throughout the paddock. Red Bull were ultimately strong but were pushed hard by both Williams and the Force India cars. Hopefully we'll see similar battles this weekend throughout the field. Also will we see Rosberg win a third race in a row? 

Just to confirm Mercedes are still banned (Hamilton and Rosberg still eligible). However the increasing dominance of Mercedes and Red Bull has led me towards a unique idea for random.

Here is the current championship standings:



Thanks to Michael for his help in creating this random.
This time the random is similar to the usual qualifying, race and constructors picks. However for each you must make two picks (in addition to your usual picks). Given the dominance of the Mercedes and Red Bull packages Hamilton, Rosberg, Mercedes, Ricciardo, Vettel and Red Bull are all banned.

So you must choose two drivers for qualifying and two drivers for race. These can be repeated between category e.g. you could choose Hulkenberg in both qualifying and race. The driver you feel has the best chance of winning without Mercedes and Red Bull should be placed first as this will affect the amount of points you score. The same is true for the two constructors picks you make. See the scoring table below.

The player with the highest overall point score will win the random. 


Of the four drivers who have raced at the Spielberg track in F1 - Raikkonen, Button, Alonso and Massa - which driver will gain the most positions from their starting position? How many places? If a tie still exists after this, time of posting will be the decider. 



Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Constructors: [Not Mercedes as they are banned]

Driver 1 -
Driver 2 -
Driver 1 -
Driver 2 -
Team 1 -
Team 2 -
Driver to gain most places and quantity: Raikkonen/Button/Alonso/Massa

Last time the race was held in Austria Ferrari and McLaren were both in the running for the World Championship (along with Williams). F1 has changed significantly since then with the emergence of Red Bull and the Mercedes team (obviously both were in F1 under different names, Jaguar and BAR respectively). 

Both Ferrari and McLaren have stated their commitment to bringing new parts to the car in Austria. Will this be enough to see them challenge for an unlikely podium?

As always picks are due before Free Practice 1 (Friday 20th June 09:00 GMT). See you soon!

Canada 2014 Results and Championship Standings (7/19)

Thanks for everyone's patience. I've been away so haven't been able to give the prediction league the full attention it deserves - things will be back on track from now on. However I'll keep this one short so I can get the Austria thread up and running!

Suffice to say, well done to Daniel Ricciardo! He had some luck along the way but maximised his performance during the race. Vettel's not used to this situation but fair play that he genuinely seemed happy for his teammate.

In the prediction league it's really heating up at the top. We have another new leader (4 different championship leaders in as many races). The excellent Lotus constructors team of Sangan and Dragan continue to perform well.

Big congratulations to Keba who scored their first win so far. This is an excellent reward for impressive consistency (13 points scores out of 14 races). Dragan and Joe also finished on the podium, their ninth and fifth podiums respectively.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Canada 2014 (Round 7) - F1 Prediction League

Welcome to Canada - one of the strongholds of Lewis Hamilton. The Brit is odds on favourite to take the pole and the victory here so Rosberg must aim to spring a surprise as a victory in Canada will be a major blow to Hamilton's championship credentials.

There promises to be a lot of excitement throughout the field as well as a different looking grid. Canada is a very different circuit to Spain or Monaco so expect to see a different pecking order to either of these races.

Mercedes are obviously still banned for Constructors but any other team is an option. I would love to make this a longer post but I'm heading abroad for a week in a couple of hours, expect the results thread on Tuesday/Wednesday. After this everything will get back to normal!

As always here is a re-cap of the current standings:



Thanks to Michael, Nat and Joe for their help in creating this random.
This time the random involves a number of random questions:

How many cars will finish on the same lap as the race winner?
Correct – 3 points
1-3 away – 2 points
4-6 away – 1 point

Will both Force India drivers score points? Yes/No (2 points for correct answer)

Which driver will beat their teammate in the most sessions throughout the weekend?* (Raikkonen/Chilton/Maldonado/Ericsson) (3 points for best guess, 2 points for 2nd etc.)

Which driver will beat their teammate in the most sessions throughout the weekend?*
(Ricciardo/Bottas/Kvyat/Rosberg) (3 points for best guess, 2 points for 2nd etc.)

Will there be a safety car? Yes/No (2 points for correct answer)

Pole qualifying margin over/under 0.2 seconds? Over/Under (2 points for correct answer)

Winning margin over/under 7 seconds? Over/Under (2 points for correct answer)

The tie-break question is what will be the time difference between the fastest Mercedes driver and the fastest non-Mercedes driver in qualifying?

Good luck!

* Note: there are six opportunities to score points - practice 1, practice 2, practice 3, qualifying, race finish and fastest lap. Points will be scored for qualifying, race and fastest lap if a teammate DNS, DNF, DNQ or DSQ however this is not true for practice e.g. if the selected driver's teammate sets no laps then a point is not scored.


Feel free to post picks in the following format:

Constructors: [Not Mercedes as they are banned]

Cars on same lap as race winner - 0-21
FI drivers both in points - Yes/No
Teammate A - Raikkonen/Chilton/Maldonado/Ericsson
Teammate B - Ricciardo/Bottas/Kvyat/Rosberg
Safety Car - Yes/No
Pole Margin - Over/Under 0.2 seconds
Race Margin - Over/Under 7 seconds
Tie-break - X seconds

Last year Vettel swept home to take an easy victory, at that point his third of the season. Alonso charged through the field to finish second while Hamilton had to settle for third - although 54 seconds up the road from his teammate. Unfortunately after this race Vettel also went on to capture 10 of the next 12 race victories.

A flashback to the prediction league last year shows a MetalGatherer win (they'd dearly like to repeat this to make it consecutive wins, both in 2014 and at the Canada venue). Kim and Wander were also on the podium last year.

Good luck all!

Monaco 2014 Results and Championship Standings (6/19)

First off, apologies for the delay in posting the results - I always aim to get the results out fairly quickly which I obviously didn't do this time.

All I can say is wow! Monaco qualifying was one of the most explosive issues we've seen in a long time. Many are convinced that Rosberg would never 'cheat' and that his error was genuine. Others have pointed out the odd steering inputs and the context of the situation as proof of Rosberg's guilt.

Regardless of how, it was important for Rosberg to break Hamilton's momentum here and he certainly did. Had he lost pole and almost certainly the race, he'd be running into the Canada, Austria, Britain leg with his teammate lining up to win eight in a row. Now Nico has seized back the championship lead and got inside his teammates head. 

The Monaco weekend always creates surprises - and this seemed to confuse most of the title contenders with the top three all not scoring points and having consecutive point streaks of 9 (current longest streak), 8 and 7 races ended.

Others throughout the field read the situation far better with MetalGatherer and Juan Medina excelling in particular. Well done to both especially as this is Juan Medina's third race. Congratulations. Another victory takes MetalGatherer's win count to 3 from 21 (third in the all-time list).

After De Montezemolo's insistence that Ferrari bring their season back on track, Joe took a podium for the Prancing Horse, capturing the fourth of his prediction league career. One thing is clear that Ferrari are still not happy with seventh in the Constructors Championship (see below).

The top four in the championship still remain exceedingly close although a new leader has emerged! Plus the top four is now a top five/six.

Championship Standings

Constructors Championship

Read on for more detail.