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:

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:

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)