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:
More detailed results
Inputs and random
The random involved predicting the cars which had made the biggest step forward since Catalunya (taking qualifying as the barometer). Toro Rosso, Williams and Ferrari pickers will be happy. Lotus were the weakest by a considerable distance with the adjusted times (see below).
The remaining questions each offered the opportunity for players to score two points (a total of 14).
If there was a tie, time of posting/emailing decided the positions. The Maldonado/Perez TB went up in flames after Maldonado's Lotus ground to halt before he could set a time.
Please join the discussion in the random thread if you have any suggestions for the random categories for the remaining races in the championship. I'll be discussing and working out the best categories for the mid-season round so expect details to be passed across in the next week or so to give people two good weeks to make their picks.
See you in Belgium for what promises to be a spectacular race - I'm really looking forward to seeing the cars drive around the Ardennes. Until then take care!