27th Feb 12, 15:05 #1
There was supposed to be an F1 2012 team by tea preview by rjbetty here...
Oh wow I just wrote a long team by team preview and reached the final team when internet exlorer disappeared abruptly and - it's gone! That's a shame as I was in the flow today - no writer's block here!
I'll do it in Notepad next time and copy and paste - if I can find it in me to do it again!
(also I can see the typo in the title. I blame the keyboard)SPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
27th Feb 12, 16:22 #2
Ok, here we go again. This time I'll do a few teams a a time.
RED BULL RACING - RENAULT
Well, Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull look like the favourites again. I think Vettel will win it again. If he qualifies on pole for the majority of the races, he should be fine. If not, it's a chance for him to conquer another area which has been suspect in the past - his ability to race in the pack, and drag the car to victories when it isn't the best. I'm very confident that for his next trick, he will master this area too.
Mark Webber I suspect, should close the gap to Vettel slightly, but with other teams catching up, he could be left vulnerable. We'll see how many years he has left. I think he could retire in 2013 or even 2014, so Jean Eric Vergne has a chance to develop more at Toro Rosso first.
Webber: 5th (or 4th)
MCLAREN - MERCEDES
Fair play to them for having a good looking car without a 2012 nose. It certainly looks like McLaren are in a better place to close the gap this year. The only trouble is, as much as the double-diffuser ban will affect Red Bull, it might affect McLaren even more! Remember Silverstone last year. They seemed to struggle more than anyone else with the loss. I do believe they will close on Red Bull though. Maybe they can even take the constructors' championship this time.
Jenson Button will not get any slower this year. Even if Hamilton finds his form, I don't think Jenson will be much fazed and should score more good wins. But I can't see a Button/McLaren combination, excellent as it is, toppling the Vettel/Red Bull partnership.
I just don't know what to expect from Lewis Hamilton this season, but I will say it should be better than 2011 and I expect him to finish higher this year. In his favour, I believe if a McLaren driver were to take the title this year, it would be Hamilton. But again Hamilton+McLaren < Vettel+Red Bull this year I think, however close it is. I expect both drivers to take top 3 placings this year. I have no idea if he will outscore Button this time.
Button: 2nd or 3rd
Hamilton: 2nd or 3rdSPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
27th Feb 12, 16:45 #3
Well their car looks pretty **** and doesn't perform much better just now. But Ferrari are too big a team to slip down and struggle. They will recover and be winners this year. Considering they would have finished 3rd even in 2009 if Massa had been around for all the races, I think 3rd once again is their likely result.
It will be interesting to see how Fernando Alonso copes. He had shown in 2008 this situation of machinery being sub-standard but not showing IMPROVEMENT can wear even him down. I'm thinking Hockenheim 2008 though I wasn't watching F1 then, I just heard about that race. If the car has a hope of a win, he will of course take it.
I feel that Felipe Massa will reduce the gap to Alonso this year and show improvement, but it will be too little too late and I expect his exit to be announced before the end of the season.
Alonso: 4th (or 5th)
Massa: 7th (6th-8th too close to call)
This is one of the most interesting prospects for me this year. I've been disappointed too many times over the years so I will say Mercedes will close the gap to Ferrari and maybe even challenge them for 3rd in the constructors. I believe this team will come good and be champions eventually. If that seems impossible, think of Red Bull 10 years ago and the hopeless mess they were in (as Jaguar), or even how they were in 2008.
The signs look good, and the gap will surely close this time. But I won't get too excited. Instead I predict a season more like 2010, as the team surely returns to the podium.
This is crunch time for Michael Schumacher. I will predict that he will make the podium this time, and it will be one of the most popular and feel-good moments of the season. A win looks out of reach, but with a better car (like the 2012 Mercedes may be) he could have done it in Canada last year. It was only Schumacher's rustiness that caused so many mistakes last year. The really encouraging thing is that without these mistakes, he would have scored several strong results which would have been enough to give him more points than Rosberg (and be close to Massa even!). The errors were not Sato like, but rather he kept being just a few percent out. So with the errors ironed out by another year under his belt, surely Michael can outscore Rosberg this time round.
As for Nico, he will again outqualify Michael I'm sure, but the improvements that Mercedes look set to make will return him to the podium and relight his fire. It looks good.
Schumacher: 6th (now THAT is sticking my neck out! I think 8th is more likely though...)
Rosberg: 8th (6th-8th)SPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
27th Feb 12, 20:25 #4
Oh wow, I've got to do my Renault and Force India for a third time now. Might just jack it in for the night.
*sighs and grits teeth slightly at all the wasted time...*SPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
28th Feb 12, 10:05 #5
I think this year is going to pivot on what McLaren can produce.
The RB is going to be the best car out there IMHO but the gap will be closed and IF McLaren turn out a car that can challenge the Bull, then I see a battle royal between Seb and Lewis and it's no secret that I think when under real pressure, Vettel will crack. Then we will have Jenson in the mix. He's getting stronger and stronger with his natural talent, fast style and maturity combining to offer a very real challenge for the title.
Webber will close the gap but will be fighting for the 3rd step most of the time.
Behind these 2 teams, the story gets a little muddled. Where re Ferrari? I suspect a battle royal this year between Nico and Alonso with Webber dropping into the melee and schumacher sometimes being fast enough to challenge / take some of them out.
As for the rest, I have no idea. Have Williams turned it around with all the changes at Grove recently? The car shows some promise. What about FI? Can they get in the Ferrari and Mercedes mix? Lotus suggest they have a car that could produce a surprise and then we have the perenial midfielders Torro.
If I have to nail my colours to the mast, my heart says it's going to be Lewis's title this year. I'm not listening to my head
28th Feb 12, 14:56 #6
I think Vettel is still favourite for the WDC especially as if going by testing RBR still has got a marginal advantage. But the fight for WCC could be interesting, being more like what we had in 2010 rather than 2011. So Webber really has to stop underperforming, because McLaren has two very good drivers and even if Vettel is too much for them to beat, Webber has to work hard not to lose ground in WCC.
Behind them we have another potentially interesting battle - Mercedes and Ferrari. We may discuss whether in the opening races Ferrari may get outraced by Force India or someone else (like in the beginning of 2011 Ferrari was outraced by Renault), but I think over a full season one would certainly expect them to be at least in Top4. But can Mercedes perform well enough to capitalize on Ferrari's troubles and beat them even over a full season? One area of concern for Ferrari and hope for Mercedes is the continued underperformance of Massa. Even if Alonso is too hard to beat for Merc drivers, they can both hope to keep Massa behind and hence capitalize in WCC.
28th Feb 12, 15:13 #7
I think last year Lewis was OTT and expected people to jump out of the way. With the changes in his personal life, and another year under his belt, I hope he will be aggressive with a bit more maturity.
28th Feb 12, 20:14 #8
29th Feb 12, 08:42 #9
I'd love to see Mark Webber back challenging for the title again, but while he may be a factor I suspect it will come down to Vettel, Button and Hamilton. Vettel had the car and ability to pull out a gap at the very start last year which tended to set the pattern for the races. If he's prevented from doing that this year he'll find he has a real fight on his hands.Riccardo Patrese - 256GPs 1977-1993
29th Feb 12, 14:25 #10
@Knock-on: I like the last line of your post! But I'm cautious about it happening sadly...
@Jens: That is so right! Yeah I do think Lewis would be the one to crack. I think Vettel will now improve in this weak area of fighting in the pack or under pressure - because he seems to be passionate about his craft. For him it's not just one passion amongst others...
I hope Mercedes can get WCC 3rd, but I'm not getting my hopes up...SPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
1st Mar 12, 20:00 #11Michael Schumacher The Best Ever F1 Driver
Everything I post is my own opinion and I\'ll always try to back it up!
They need us: www.ursusarctos.ro
2nd Mar 12, 14:32 #12
2nd Mar 12, 14:51 #13
Lewis self confidence isnīt what is was once upon a time.
2nd Mar 12, 14:55 #14
5th Mar 12, 18:07 #15
I think it should be a great season this year, i have a feeling that while Red Bull will have the better pace in Quali, I reckon the races will be neck and neck. Mclaren and Red Bull should be almost tied by the end of the year.
I think Ferrari will be a way off those two, but will still battle Mercedes for 3rd.
As for the drivers: A wild go at Jenson to pip Lewis and Seb at the final Round."In F1 too many things overshadow the Racing" by Kimi
"Like DRS, soft tyres and "The Show"." by Me
6th Mar 12, 15:29 #16
Ferrari still struggling to manage their tyres. Last year, they couldn't get them up to temp but it seems like this year they're ok for a few laps straigt away but then lose grip going in and coming out of the corners. Qualifying should be OK but they will go backwards in the race unless they get it sorted.
Being a little cruel, you hve to say that Kimi delivered a championship during his tenure and the man that replaced him has not.
6th Mar 12, 15:40 #17
6th Mar 12, 19:27 #18
Ok I'm gonna take a guess that the average qualifying times this year could be something like this. I've only done it to 1 decimal place cos it's only a guesstimate. This is based on the recent testing times too, and we know how unreliable those are!
12.di Resta +1.4
23.de la Rosa +5.7
Really hope I'm right about Caterham.
This doesn't take into account 'race pace' (love how Coulthard says that), just what I think qualifying may be. And it doesn't take into account team developments through the year.
What do you think? You think it's something like this?SPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
6th Mar 12, 20:18 #19
LOTUS - RENAULT (Yes they are actually called Lotus now!)
Well whatever anyone says, it's never good to lose 4 days with a chassis problem. But they've been topping the times so expectations are high. Thing is, we all know that topping the times means the square root of exactly stuff-all. So did Williams last year (I hear). That's why the teams are all repeating the cliche that "we will only know in qualifying in Melbourne in two weeks time... (blah blah blah!)
Well you know what? There are reasons to believe this could be a good year for Benetton, er I mean LOTUS. Consider that this time last year they were looking in mightily good form. It's true that they fell away badly and only finished 4 points ahead of Force India. But the thing is, that was only because of losing star driver Kubica. He would probably have finished 2nd in Melbourne (I bet Vettel might have found more if Robert had challenged him) and 3rd in Malaysia. From that platform and with that leadership, where would they have ended?
I believe Lotus/Renault's true potential was quite a lot higher than it looked last year. So taking that as the platform for 2012 it looks pretty good. Even more so when the team and drivers have praise for the new car and look happy so they can't be in too bad a shape.
The big question is what Kimi is going to be like. It would be fantastic to have the McLaren-spec Raikkonen, and thankfully there are signs the real Raikkonen (who really left the sport around 2006-07) could be the one who returns. I reckon Lotus and their drivers could be similar to Sauber and Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa in 2005, where Raikkonen situation might be similar to Villeneuve's (though I can't believe there's any way Kimi will be remotely that bad!) I mean he could actually be outperformed by Grosjean at first before asserting himself. I can picture Kimi missing out on quite a few points due to rusty racecraft, a little like with Schumacher. I can actually see him maybe struggling a bit, but he should still get one or two good results this year.
As for Grosjean, I feel he may do better than many expect. He could even have the measure of Kimi (somewhat), especially at first. Romain had no chance in '09 - it wasn't representative and needs to be discounted. I don't know what kind of points he can bank though, which could make him vulnerable to the Force India drivers i the championship.
Grosjean: 11thSPAM - Going off topic to give you the deals you don't want. - (I'll change my avatar back soon)
6th Mar 12, 21:59 #20
2. Hamilton +0.2
3. Webber +0.4
4. Button +0.4
5. Alonso +0.5
6. Rosberg +0.7
7. Raikkonen +0.75
8. Massa +0.8
10. Di Resta +1.1
12. Perez +1.2
13. Hulkenberg +1.4
14. Ricciardo +1.7
15. Senna +1.8
16. Kobayashi +1.9
17. Maldonado +2.1
18. Vergne +2.2
19. Kovalainen +2.4
20. Petrov +2.7
21. Glock +4.8
22. Pic +5.3
23. De La Rosa +5.3
24. Karthikeyan +5.9"In F1 too many things overshadow the Racing" by Kimi
"Like DRS, soft tyres and "The Show"." by Me