Random Discussion

I just want to post brief guidelines for creating a random category. I usually follow these rules:
  1. Random events cannot be conditional on events in the race (e.g. you cannot ask a question like "which driver will hit the barriers first?" at Monaco because this may not happen).
  2. Try to make the random category finely balanced - not too easy to pick e.g. "which car will qualify on pole?" and not incredibly random e.g. "which driver will be first onto track in Q2?". Much of this selection comes from thinking, who would I pick and whether this is an obvious decision to you.
  3. Make the category complex enough so there is a less chance of players drawing by picking the same option.
  4. Make the category interesting.
There are a few more potential rules but I'm happy to discuss and refine if anyone has any ideas.

Some random category ideas to be used in the future

"I had one idea for China. Could we do something where we predict who finishes the highest and lowest out of a set of drivers (maybe 4)? We could do this for Q, R and maybe one for P1, P2, P3 and FL!" - Sangan

"Which team will improve most in qualifying compared to their pace off the lead (% terms) from race X? This only takes account of the fastest car." - Scott

"Another random category could be to do with beating, equaling or missing a drivers average practice, qualifying and race. For example Hamilton's average practice position is 2.4, qualifying is 1.25 and race is 1 (In this case I have excluded missed session, retirements and non finishes). Jim predicts Lewis as one of the drivers will not beat his practice position, beat his qualifying average and fail to beat his race position. Lewis averages 1st in practice qualifies on pole and wins. Jim would get 1 point for being right about qualifying and no points for being wrong about the other two. This could be done for select drivers throughout the field or the scoring could be changed to reflect the likelihood a driver has of beating these averages." - Michael


  1. I had one idea for China. Could we do something where we predict who finishes the highest and lowest out of a set of drivers (maybe 4)? We could do this for Q, R and maybe one for P1, P2, P3 and FL! What do you think?

    So for Q we could make people choose between Button, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Massa etc.

    Not sure how scoring would work but I'm sure this idea could work!

  2. Hi Sangan, this is definitely a great idea. This could work. For points 3 points could be scored for the best choice, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd and 0 for 4th.

    So for each you pick fastest and slowest. So in your example with BUT, RAI, HUL and MAS. If I pick MAS as quickest and BUT as the slowest and they finish BUT, MAS, HUL and RAI then I'll score 2 points for Massa and 0 points for Button.

    Any thoughts on what other driver categories you'd like? I'm happy to have a think and create as balanced a random as possible. I do like your Q choice.

    Also it might be an idea to give more points to Q and R picks (double the points of the practice categories and maybe a few more like two for Q, two for R); practice is more random as well as fastest lap. If someone retires in the race they could score an automatic average score/points for where they were before they retired although that can get subjective.

  3. I've got another idea. The above is great but very similar to an idea last year. My thoughts are that each player could choose who they'd like to predict the positions for but you'd get different points depending on who you pick. For example, one category could be qualifying.

    You have the following options:


    You could choose any one (or two) of those drivers to predict their position in that group of 7. You'd score different points depending on who it is though.

    Hamilton - entirely correct 3pts, one away 1pt
    Rosberg - entirely correct 3 pts, one away 1pt
    Vettel - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Ricciardo - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Alonso - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Raikkonen - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Kobayashi - entirely correct 1 pt, one away 0 pts

    Obviously this requires a lot of thought about what reasonable values could be etc. but could be exciting. I just like to add new ideas in, feel free to give feedback. Definitely happy to go with the random idea you propose though as that would be just as challenging.

  4. That's a fantastic idea. A few bits might need to be improved like the points. Do you mind coming up with a full random and then I could suggest changes?


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  6. My idea(s):

    There should be three questions, with possibly several good answers to each of them. But every player can only choose one answer per question. The funny bit: not all possible answers worth the same. One can decide what risk he would take, but in the end, only the players with the most points get real points.

    Here is one sample question with the possible answers:

    Q: Name a driver who will finish at least one lap in the best 3.
    Hamilton / Rosberg - 1 point
    (you get 1 point if you choose Rosberg and he indeed will be in the top 3 at a point)
    Vettel / Hulkenberg / Massa / Bottas - 2 points
    Ricciardo / Perez / Alonso / Button - 3 points
    Raikkonen / Magnussen - 4 points
    Vergne / Kvyat / Sutil / Gutierrez / Maldonado / Grosjean - 7 points
    Chilton / Binachi / Ericsson / Kobayashi - 12 points

    There should be 3 (or 4) questions, and in the end the scoring will go as usual (4/3/3/2/...).

  7. Hi Kiszol. Just to clarify - do you mean that if I choose Hamilton and score 1 point and you choose Alonso and score 3 points. You're the only one to take those 3 points into consideration at the end?

    I'm just trying to understand the "only the players with the most points get real points" line.

    I'll have a think over the next 24 hours, Sangan ;)

  8. Hi Scott. No, in that case you would score 1 point, and I would score 3.
    Let's assume, that during the race the following drivers finished at least one lap amongst the best 3:
    Hamilton, Rosberg, Alonso, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Magnussen. This would mean that every player gets points who chose one of these drivers. The best pick was Magnussen, everyone who picked him gets 4 points. But the Alonso, Vettel, Hulkenberg, Hamilton and Rosberg pickers also gets 3/2/2/1/1 points respectively. If someone chose another driver, he/she won't get points for this question.
    The random would have 3 or 4 questions like this. In the end, you sum each players points. The 4/3/3/2/... random category points goes to the players with the best sums. Sorry if I was equivocal.

    Here is two other questions for my random:

    Q2: Name a team with less than two cars reaching the checquered flag.
    Mercedes, Williams, Ferrari: 1 point
    Force India, Red Bull, Marussia: 2 points
    McLaren, Toro Rosso, Sauber: 3 points
    Lotus, Caterham: 4 points

    Q3: Name a team with at least one car to drop out in Q1.
    Marussia, Caterham: 1 point
    Sauber: 2 points
    Lotus, Toro Rosso: 3 points
    Ferrari, McLaren, Force India: 5 points
    Red Bull, Williams: 6 points
    Mercedes: 8 points

  9. With Regards to Kiszol's idea,I think potentially instead of different points values you could place handicaps on those who have the greatest advantage for example instead of who will finish the first lap who will finish in the top 10 but with Mercedes have say a 6 place handicap. So that fewer points can be awarded and then everything can be dealt with in single points.The only other problem I have is retirements are hard to make work in the context of random as we may have a race with 0 retirements and then how do we determine the points. Alternatively we have a startline crash or crash in the first lap do we then allocate the retirement points by the amount of the first lap completed or just on the fact they retired in the first lap.

    To Sangan and Scott's idea I don't think there is any real problem having low point values as the overall points for that random determines who wins the 4 points. To make it more complex I would suggest having a catergory like qualifying for both race and fastest lap. For example for race

    Button, Hulkenburg, Raikonnen, Bottas, Kyvat with who will finish in which position
    Button- entirely correct 3 pts, one away 1pt
    Hulkenburg- entirely correct 3 pts, one away 1pt
    Raikonnnen - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Bottas - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts
    Kyvat - entirely correct 5 pts, one away 2 pts

    For fastest lap the selection could be
    Grosjean, Sutil, Kobayashi and Bianchi

    with similar points values and you predict where there fastest lap is in relation to everybody elses. By doing this you can award more points and involve the entire field.

  10. Another potential random could be to do with loss of position. For example the first question would be which driver is going to lose the most positions off the start?

    4 points- Driver picked loses most positions
    3 points- Driver picked loses the 2nd most positions
    2 points- Driver picked loses the 3rd most positions
    1 point- Driver picked loses the 4th most positons

    To help with differences you also have to choose the number of positions you think they will lose

    The second question would then be which driver will loses the most positions in the pitstops. Taking the position they came in and then seeing if anybody overtakes via a pistop via the undercut or by running longer and pulling enough of a gap to come out in front. The scoring would be as before or whatever Scott decides is appropriate.

    The final question would be all encompassing. Which driver will lose the most grid positions from starting place to their finishing postion?

    As before simply repeat the scoring and have the picker give an estimate of the positions lost to allow differences and a means of working out who out of two similar pickers finishes ahead.

  11. Michael, thanks for your comment. I like my random idea much better in the way that I wrote it originally though. Handicap is a useful tool, but in my opinion my suggestion is more interesting and unique without it. Not to mention that it would be hard to find a balanced handicap system for the second and the third questions.
    Of course if Scott thinks the idea needs refining then it shall be refined. :)
    As for the second question: yes, if there are no retirements, scoring is hard. But during 50+ years there weren't more than 3-4 such races if I'm not mistaken.

    Another random idea (a much simpler one this time):
    Q1: Which team will have the greatest lap tally by the end of the weekend? (I suggest that only P1, P2, P3 and the Race should be counted.)
    Q2: Which driver will have the largest gap in the starting grid in front of his own teammate? (Penalties should or should not count.)
    Q3: What will be the time difference between the winner's first lap and his fastest lap?
    Q1 & Q2: 11, 10, 9, 8, ..., 1
    Q3: 11, 10, 9, 8, ..., 1 (11 for the player with the closest answer, 10 for the second best guess, etc.)

  12. I think Scott should go with one of Kiszol's ideas this weekend. I've got a few extra ideas for my random which I'd like to talk about soon.

  13. Point taken Kiszol, I understand you were trying to get people to take risks on other drivers. Subjectively I just felt awarding too many points may make people inclined more to one option equally like handicaps it requires balance. Also basing retirements off the past 50 years is not representative of the current formula as in the earlier years cars were both harder to control and less reliable. In the last 10 years would of given you are more representative idea of retirements. Otherwise you are incorrectly sampling with data that may bias you. The major problem is retirements are hard to quantify and whilst it is for the whole race plus they are entirely too random like the weather.

    Sorry if I seem ultra critical I just felt out of all your questions it was the weakest. Otherwise I quite liked your random felt it needed some adjustments as it seems on the surface there may be some obvious picks like Lotus for Q1 being the best pick in that category.

    For your second random for Q2 penalties shouldn't count as headline lap time is more important. Also in the rules for qualifying picks penalties are not counted.

    Again apologies if you think I am being ultra critical. This is merely me being thorough and making you sure you have thought of every angle.

  14. No, you are not ultra critical, just critical, and that isn't a bad thing. Thanks for all of the remarks, seriously! As for the retirements, you are right. It's a bit weak question, and contradicts with Scott's first rule. However I have to add, that there were only 4 races with no reitrements in the Formula One history, which of one was the 2005 Indianapolis GP with only 6 starters. The three others were in 1961, 2005 and 2011 respectively. Anyway, if this question has to go, let it be, I won't be offended.

    As for the scoring I agree with you, it may need refining here and here, I but it isn't bad at all I think. Of course Scott is free to change it if he wants.

    The second Q2 is better without penalties, I agree with that as well.

    Finally a(n) replacement/additional question for my first random:
    Q4: Name a team with a car finishing any lap in the last position.
    Marussia, Caterham: 1 point
    Sauber, Lotus: 2 points
    Toro Rosso: 4 points
    Ferrari, Force India, McLaren: 5 points
    Williams, Red Bull: 6 points
    Mercedes: 9 points

  15. First off, thanks for everyone's input - it's much appreciated. In the interest of getting a random decided I'm going to pull a completed idea together.

    I think 5 questions offers plenty of depth so:

    Q1: Name a driver who will finish at least one lap in the best 3.
    Hamilton / Rosberg - 1 point
    Vettel - 2 points
    Ricciardo / Alonso - 3 points
    Hulkenberg / Raikkonen / Button / Perez / Bottas / Massa - 4 points
    Magnussen - 5 points
    Vergne / Kvyat / Sutil / Gutierrez / Maldonado / Grosjean - 7 points
    Chilton / Binachi / Ericsson / Kobayashi - 12 points

    Q2: Name a team with at least one car to qualify in the top eight (an extra bonus point 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: 3 points
    McLaren/Williams: 4 points
    Toro Rosso: 6 points
    Sauber/Lotus: 7 points
    Caterham/Marussia: 10 points

    Q3: Which driver will have the largest gap in the starting grid in front of his own teammate? (Penalties do not count - provisional grid before penalties. A team with a DQ'ing driver counts as 0 points regardless of which driver is disqualified).

    Best answer - 5 points
    2nd, 3rd - 4 points
    4th, 5th - 3 points
    6th, 7th, 8th - 2 points
    9th, 10th, 11th - 1 point
    Driver outqualified - 0 points

    Q4: Pick one driver A to beat driver B in the race - retirements don't count instant 0 points. I've used a random generator for 12 random options - I've assigned points. Obviously this is conditional on results in the race however as there are four other categories, this offsets this rule somewhat. A bonus point goes to the result which has the greatest margin of victory/lowest margin of defeat.

    Sutil - Maldonado 1 point
    Bottas - Massa 1 point
    Massa - Raikkonen 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 position Raikkonen will finish in the race.

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

    Let me know what you think - happy to change any of the above. While I was happy with the Q1 idea, I decided to adapt this to Q3 as I like the idea of the bonus points. Could also do the same with Q1 too and remove the random race idea.

    Thoughts? We can confirm later this afternoon.

    1. For Q4 - time difference would be applicable (not position).

      For Q2 - I'm thinking McLaren and Williams should both be 3 points like FI and Ferrari.

    2. Q3 - grid position, decided by time if equal. Could do a comparison of the fastest laps or the last session they competed in together? I vote the latter if grid position is the primary factor.

      I vote fastest overall lap if time difference is the ultimate decider.

      Sorry for the multiple posts, just trying to clear up any ambiguity.

    3. The other easy decider for Q3 is who qualifies the highest if tie in position. 6th over 13th is far more impressive than 12th over 19th (in general).

      Any thoughts - Kiszol, Michael, Sangan? I think highest position should be the decider if we're going with grid position before penalties.

  16. Hi Scott, my remarks:

    Q1: Vergne and Kvyat should worth 6 points instead of 7 in my opinion.
    Q2: Williams is definitely 3 points but I'm not sure about McLaren (maybe 4 is better).
    Q3: The better starting position should be the decider I think.
    Q4: Time difference is good.

  17. I agree with the Mclaren and Williams being 3 points as with China having long straights the Mercedes engined Mclaren and Williams are likely to be sniffing around the top 6. I have a couple of suggestions.For Q2 maybe knockdown Toro Rosso a point to 5 points and for Q1 Chilton/Kobayashi/Bianchi/Ericsson change it to 10 points to maintain symmetry of points in Q1 and Q2. Also for Q3 in the event of ties I assume the time difference in qualifying is taken into account. I am happy if you ignore the suggestion but I feel that with the other suggestions made we can easily adapt or combine elements for future randoms and I am impressed by the quality and originality of the random suggestions made by Kiszol and Sangan. Hopefully, others will be encouraged and lessen the burden on Scott of creating randoms which I am sure is taxing at points.

  18. Thanks for the replies.

    I agree that Vergne/Kvyat should be 6. Williams to 3. McLaren stay at 4. I think a Toro Rosso in the top eight would be a hugely ambitious pick and would deserve 6 points. Q1 M/C all should change to 10 from 12.

    Thanks, I think we've got a random worked out ;) I'll post the thread later today.

  19. So on to Spain! I have a few suggestions for random. Rough outlines at these point but will hopefully get the creative juices flowing and we can work out the details.

    I really liked the multiple categories in China and am suggesting something similar again. So:

    Random 1: The flying Spaniard
    Alonso's starts at Catalunya are something else, even by his lofty standards. Who can forget him jumping in to 1st at the start of 2011!? Shame he fell back in the race thanks to having a pretty sh*t car. Question is:
    How many places will Alonso have gained by the end of the first lap compared to his starting position?
    You guess the number, and then are awarded points based on how close you are e.g.
    Spot on: 5 points
    1 away: 4 points
    2 away: 3 points
    3 away: 2 points
    4 away: 1 point
    5 or more away: 0 points
    (Note: You could of course suggest that he will lose places, or remain in the same position.)

    Random 2: The Mighty Update Package
    Spain is famous for the arrival of enormous new upgrades and the potential for shaking up the competitive order. I for one remember 2010 fondly when McLaren and Ferrari made plenty of noise about the considerable might of their upgrades and closing the gap on that drinks company, only to be outqualified by a whole second come Saturday.

    For the question, I'm thinking it should be about guessing whether a team will score more, less or equal points in Spain compared to their average over the first four races. 1 point for each team you're correct, 0 points if you're wrong. We'll ignore Marussia and Caterham as they er...well they don't really score points. Might be a bit easy with them.

    So as an example just using the top 3 teams in the constructors (numbers have been rounded to nearest whole)
    Merc average over first four races: 39
    RB average: 14
    FI average: 14

    Jenson predicts Merc to score more, RB to score more, FI to score less. In the race Merc score 40 points, RB score 30, FI score 14. Jenson gets 1 point for Merc, 1 for RB, 0 for FI.

    As that but extrapolate for all 9 teams (excluding Marussia and Caterham).

    Optional: An extra bonus point is on offer for each team (bringing it up to possible 2 points for each team) if you guess the EXACT number of points they score in the race.

    This score then gets added to the Alonso score and random points are awarded according to this.

    Not sure about tie breaker. Last option is that it is given to who posted earliest but we need some other tie breaker rules before this.

    What do you all think? Go crazy, be critical, make it better.

  20. I love the flying spaniard idea!

    For the 2nd random idea, I definitely like the concept. My only is concern is with the hugely unpredictable nature of F1 and possible retirements, it might be good to offer a points range within your guess which scores a point e.g. 2/3.

    The only issue I see is manipulation at the top end of the scale. I believe every points score is possible up to 31 points (32 is the first exception) - correct me if I'm wrong. It is therefore possible to manipulate the Mercedes pick. For example if the correct score range is 2, pick 41 points (it covers off a 1-2 and 1-3) opposed to someone who picks 43 points (1-2). For 3 points range 40 would be more logical covering off a 1-2, 1-3 and 1-4.

    I think we could set the allowance at 2 points and make only pickable scores possible. Either that or say Mercedes only scores exact correct, raise the rest to 3.

    I feel like there's room for one more random. I suggest pick a driver for each sector in qualifying (restrictions: you can only use one driver from each team and no driver repeats). The lowest score wins. The only issue from that perspective is scoring. It's very difficult to set good objective limits e.g. if you score under 1:24.500 3 points etc.

    I'd suggest giving the lowest time 10 points, 2nd lowest 9 points etc. all the way down to 10th.


    1. Scott these are outrageous suggestions, what were you thinking!?

      But yes, all good points. I think for constructors points we make the allowance 2 points and make only achievable scores available. So to my mind the only scores we couldn't have are: 42, 41, 39, 38, 36, 34, 32. Good to make this clear in the random description.

      So just to clarify you score 1 point for guessing correctly whether the constructor will score more or less points than their average so far over the season, and an extra 1 if your constructor's score prediction is within 2 points if their actual score in the race. That right?

      Happy to have the qualifying sector score as well. Although I'm not convinced it's needed as there's already quite a bit to go on, I guess there's no harm in it as we can always reuse this for other races when we're struggling for ideas.

      How about tie breaker to be whoever was closest on their constructor score predictions? i.e. fewest number of points away across all of them. And then it comes down to whoever posted their picks earliest.

      Nice :-)

    2. I agree with all the above. It is 1 point for lower/same/higher and 1 point if you're within 2 of the actual score. The only other question is, are you limited with your point guess? For example could I pick Merc lower but then predict 43 points to hedge my bets?

      Also the tie-break seems the fairest and most awesome way to decide.

      I don't think the extra category is needed, however if we wanted one extra category we could have something more upgrade/package related e.g.

      Which team will improve most in qualifying compared to their pace off the lead (% terms) in Bahrain? (The only dry qualifying session). This only takes account of the fastest car.

      Mercedes 93.185
      Red Bull 94.051 0.93%
      Williams 94.247 1.14%
      Force India 94.346 1.25%
      Ferrari 94.368 1.27%
      McLaren 94.387 1.29%
      Toro Rosso 95.145 2.10%
      Lotus 95.908 2.92%
      Caterham 97.085 4.19%
      Marussia 97.875 5.03%

      Three main issues with this include a) the category is only a fair comparison if it’s dry, b) Bahrain is a different circuit to Catalunya and c) Bahrain wasn’t the last race.

      Overall I like this and it ensures qualifying gets coverage too. I’m on the fence but would appreciate other people’s thoughts on a) whether it’s needed and b) whether it’s a good idea?

      We do have two very nice random categories regardless so I'm happy.

    3. I think you need to pick a constructors score that is commensurate with your suggesting whether they will score higher or lower. So if you picked 43 for Merc than you would have to go with equal rather than more or less.

      I like that qualifying percentage idea. My suggestion though, given the emphasis on qualifying in Monaco, is that we use both this and the sector times one in Monaco for the random. Not always easy to come up with good new random ideas so I'm being cautious on spreading them out.

      That said, if others wanted to have one (or both) of these additional options for Spain random then I wouldn't make a strong argument against! They're both fun.

  21. I like the flying Spaniard and agree with Scott on the points of Constructors. For that though people should only choose possible combinations and have a point for getting it right I do feel people shouldn't hedge there bets particularly if they said Mercedes will improve they can only pick 43 or 40 points.

    Another random category could be to do with beating, equaling or missing a drivers average practice, qualifying and race. For example Hamilton's average practice position is 2.4, qualifying is 1.25 and race is 1 (In this case I have excluded missed session, retirements and non finishes). Jim predicts Lewis as one of the drivers will not beat his practice position, beat his qualifying average and fail to beat his race position. Lewis averages 1st in practice qualifies on pole and wins. Jim would get 1 point for being right about qualifying and no points for being wrong about the other two. This could be done for select drivers throughout the field or the scoring could be changed to reflect the likelihood a driver has of beating these averages.

    1. I like this too. As Monaco is very much a driver's track (more so than Spain), my inclination is to use this for Monaco.

      I'm beginning to feel like a third category would be nice and am leaning towards one of Scott's quali suggestions. I like the quali sector times one for Spain because the sectors are very different in Spain and not so much in Monaco so would be more interesting to guess them. However, Scott's other suggestion is more relevant to teams and upgrades! So I'm a bit undecided. We've got 3 great optional categories and 2 definites.

    2. I prefer the quali sectors times out of the two as I think Bahrain isn't the best comparison with Catalunya as the track characteristics are very different. There are also some very obvious answers - I know I can instantly limit my answer to three options without any research at all.

      The other option on the quali sectors time is to limit picks further, for example you can only pick one sector from Mercedes/RB/Ferrari. I feel happy with the normal or alternative versions.

      The way we could possibly make this better, if we feel at risk of overloading the random category, is by reducing the amount of teams we are required to pick on during random 2. For example pick 5-6 instead of 9-11. The question then becomes which teams, I think Mercedes, Sauber, Caterham and Marussia are all very boring ones to predict personally. Not sure about others but I'd go - higher 43, same 0, same 0, same 0.

      I definitely like Michael's idea, perhaps something to use in the future. Either in Monaco or at one of the other European races. I'll merge this and Sangan's suggestions into the opening post above later today so we don't forget and start building up a store of good ideas ;)

    3. Good point on the percentage times - I agree that there are three standouts, if not only two (RB, Lotus). Let's go with sector times. To be honest I'd be happy to have all picks available given that the top 3 cars are pretty different in their main strengths/weaknesses.

      I think just drop Caterham and Marussia. With a track suiting them more and a big upgrade package coming RB nabbing one of the top 2 positions isn't out of the question so there will still be some thinking for Merc. Sauber remember were 11th and 12th in Aus so again I don't think it would be a gimme for everyone, but I may be wrong.

      So how about Flying Spaniard, the Mighty Upgrade Package (w/o Marussia and Caterham) and then sector times? I'm happy with our suggested points allocation and tie breaker for each.

      And then we can make use of Michael's suggestion and your quali improvement suggestion for future races. Your one in particular may be better once we've had a dry Spain quali as a comparison point.

    4. My three standouts were Lotus, Marussia and Caterham. I'm convinced Lotus have gained more than RB but always difficult to know with the backmarkers. They were a long way back on % so could easily gain 1% and still be a long, long way back. My initial thoughts were definitely Lotus.

      I'm happy and ready to seal the deal (in my head) - unless anyone else has any ideas/inputs/objections.

  22. Silverstone next! Well, it would seem unjust not to have a category involving British drivers for their glorious home GP.

    How about we reprise the random category from a few races ago about average finishing position across sessions, and just have the Brits? So will Button, Ham and Max beat/equal/lose against their average finishing position in practice/quali/race. Same deal with how the points are distributed for this.

    I'd like to bring in the category you mentioned a little while ago. It was about comparing their quali time off pole (as a percentage) in this race against a prior race. I think we should use Spain as the barometer for a couple of reasons: 1) It was the start of the European leg (who has improved/lost the most during this part of the season) 2) Silverstone and Catalunya are two tracks which require a really well balanced car with good aero. As you said, it would be just the leading car that in each race that we are looking at. I think a couple of points on offer for each team if you guess correct (higher or lower percentage), with a few bonus points/tie break on offer for guessing which team has improved the most and least.

    And finally so we have something just for the race, a betting style-accumulator between teammates. So there are points on offer for each head to head, which multiply. You can pick up to 3 head to heads, but you don't have to make use of all 3. I've based the points off their race h2h results (inc retirement as a result - we'll have to count this in the race):

    Alonso (1 point if correct) vs Kimi (3 points if correct)
    Hamilton (2 points) vs Nico (2 points)
    Massa (2) vs Bottas (2)
    JB (1) vs K-mag (3)
    Hulk (2) vs Perez (2)
    Grosjean (1) vs Pastor (3)

    So a bit of risk/reward judgement involved. I think in the case of retirements then that counts as a loss (it would be unfair to void someone's pick), and if both cars retire then the one who survives the longest wins.

    What do you think?

  23. Taken some inspiration here from China random categories for Monza - see what you think! There are a couple that probably need some adjustment. For example, given Force India's difficulties in qualifying and the uncertainty of the other 3 Merc-powered teams getting quali spot-on, maybe it should be 6 Merc-powered cars in top 10 of q.

    Risk vs reward (taking inspiration from China random)
    Q1: Name a driver who will qualify in the top 4
    Hamilton/Rosberg – 1 points
    Bottas/Ricciardo – 2 points
    Massa/Vettel – 3 points
    Alonso/Magnussen – 4 points
    Any other – 5 points

    Q2: 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 - 4 points
    2nd, 3rd - 3 points
    4th, 5th - 2 points
    6th or lower – 1 point
    Driver picked out-qualified - 0 points

    Q3: Pick one Driver A (e.g. Hulkenberg) to beat their Driver B (e.g. Sutil) 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.
    Hulkenberg – Sutil 1 point
    Gutierrez – Kvyat 3 points
    Hamilton – Bottas 1 point
    Massa – Magnussen 2 points
    Alonso – Vettel 2 points
    Perez – Vergne 1 point
    Button – Raikonnen 2 points

    Q4: Name a team which has both cars in the top six at any point in the race at the same time (must be at the end of a classified lap)
    Mercedes 1 point
    Williams/Red Bull/Ferrari 2 points
    Force India/McLaren 3 points
    Toro Rosso 4 points
    Any other 5 points

    Yes or No?
    Self-explanatory! 2 points for each correct answer
    Q1: Will Mercedes AMG get two cars on the podium?
    Q2: Will Alonso finish ahead of Vettel in the race?
    Q3: Will at least five Renault-powered cars finish the race? (Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Lotus, Caterham)
    Q4: Will at least seven Mercedes-powered cars qualify in the top ten? (Mercedes AMG, Williams, Force India, McLaren)

  24. Here's a proposal for Japan random category. Inspired by the Ryder Cup, it's all about matchups!

    Question 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

    Question 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 (2) vs Ericsson (3)

    Question 3: 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?
    c) Will both Ferrari drivers score points?

  25. Thought I'd float a few random ideas for the US of A. Could be some combination of the following options:
    Super sector (3 quite different sectors in USA)
    Risk vs reward
    Driver groupings for race - so you pick which driver out of a group will finish first. Could group the Caterhams and Marussia, Sauber and Lotus, Force India and Toro Rosso, Macca and Ferrari, RB and Williams. Rules as we discussed regarding retirements e.g. if your driver is leading the group and he retires through no fault of his own then 25-75% race distance half points, above 75% full points or similar.

    To make the driver groupings more interesting, we might combine this with teammate domination in a manner you mentioned Scott for the Deloitte league next year. So you have a total budget, and each driver is assigned a price according to their strength within that group. So for example Bottas would be expensive in the Williams/RB group, Alonso/Button in the McLaren/Ferrari group and so on. All priced so that you have to compromise the strength of your picks.

    If we wanted to expand this even further (!) your picks could be for the whole weekend, with points awarded for topping their group also in qualifying and fastest lap classification - although race should have the highest weighting.