Formula 1 – Mid Season vs Season Preview

I started this blog on February 21, 2007 with my season preview of all the teams and drivers. Half the season is gone, it may be a good time to have a look 5 months back and see how my predictions compare with reality. All that was available in February were winter test reports and result and some rumours maybe…

McLaren

Prediction:

Fernando Alonso – Do not like him that much, but have to give it to him. Champ twice in the Schumi era. McLaren does not look too bad so far, so he may have a shot at the third one.
Lewis Hamilton – Rookie rookie rookie … Good to see young blood in the top team.
Car – Looks great and fast as always and reliable (unlike in recent years). Should be back in fight for both championships.

Reality:

Alonso – Well, pretty much on the mark. He is still well in the picture, and perhaps the better part of season is ahead of him. – CLOSE

Hamilton – Does not look like I expected him to do anywhere near as well as he does. With 12 points lead and 8 races to go the championship is now his to throw away. The tougher part of the season awaits with all the high expectations and rising pressure. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Car – Ha, right on the spot, looks great, it is fast and reliable. – SPOT ON

RenaultPrediction:

Giancarlo Fisichella – Won few races but never really matched Alonso. Will not be easy for him with a rookie as a team mate. This may be his last season if he does not pull off something big.
Heikki Kovalainen – Another rookie in a top team. I would not be surprised if he outperforms Fisi in the course of the season.
Car – Seems to be a bit behind the pace setters at the moment.

Reality:

Fisichella – So far the best he did was 4th in Monaco. Early on in the season he clearly outperformed Heikki. There were some questions already whether he is able to get the best out of the car. I do not think now that his seat for 2008 is in jeopardy, but with Flavio one never knows… – CLOSE

Kovalainen – He had very tough beginning with lots of mistakes in his first race. However he is picking up his game and managed to finish ahead of Fisi already. His second half of the season should be better than the first. – CLOSE

Car – The livery is not the nicest on the grid. The pace probably further behind the top 2 teams than they had expected. The switch from Michelins to Bridgestons clearly set them back quite a lot. – CLOSE

Ferrari

Prediction:

Kimi Raikkonen – He is quick, he is fun (after his post race interviews) and now he may get some reliable equipment finally …
Felipe Massa – He needs to beat Kimi early in the season to avoid No. 2 status. I think he is pretty equal with Kimi and may actually benefit from his Ferrari experience and beat him regularly.
Car – Pretty much out there at the top – fast and reliable.

Reality:

Raikkonen – Started with a win. For some reason did not perform too well next few races. But back to back wins in France and Britain put him back into the chamionship fight. Just ahead of Massa in standings. – CLOSE

Massa – He did beat Kimi few times early in the season and so far he avoided no. 2 status. He is pretty equal with Kimi. – CLOSE

Car – On the top, fast but not as reliable as Ferraris used to be – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Honda

Prediction:

Jenson Button – Finally broke his race-win duck in 2006 Hungarian GP, so no more pressure there. He may be thinking about fighting for the title, but that depends more on the car than on himself.
Rubens Barrichello – Move to Honda does not seem to be the lucky move for him…
Car – Seems slow but somehow I feel that it is better than it looks. I think it will be among the very close top 4.

Reality:

Button – No more pressure for the first race win. But he can now only hope to finish in the points few more times this season. – TOTALLY OFF THE MARK

Barrichello – Move to Honda was not lucky move for him … – SPOT ON

Car – This is much worse than it seemed. Took them 8 races for first point finish… Super Aguri in last year’s Honda car scored 4 times more points than Honda … – TOTALLY OFF THE MARK

BMW-Sauber

Prediction:

Nick Heidfeld – First win from the team may come from him.
Robert Kubica – Star of the future say many. He knows how the podium tastes already. If he can handle the pressure he should manage few more this year.
Car – Looks fast and reliable but also low on fuel. They will be much more competitive than 2006 but I think that at the end, they will finish season behind Honda and whoever is ahead of Honda.

Reality:

Heidfeld – He has very good season, best of his carreer. The win is possible but only if the circumstances help. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Kubica – Everybody knows him now after his Montreal crash. No podiums yet this season, but he is not too far away. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Car – OK, to finish behind Honda is probably impossible now … But they are much more competitive than in 2006. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Toyota

Prediction:

Ralf Schumacher – Top earner, not a top driver. This may be his last season, because to finish 10th and be happy does not have to cost Toyota this much $$$ … One of my candidates for early departure this season.
Jarno Trulli – He had good 2005 season, horrible 2006. Regular points will probably be his goal, anything else will be a bonus. But those bonuses may be needed to keep him in F1.
Car – Will this be the year ? Probably not, again …

Reality:

Schumacher – How close I was … But he is still there and the “sack” rumours fizzled out. – CLOSE

Trulli – He has contract for 2008 so no danger yet for him. Outqualified Schumacher 8 to 1, scored few points. – CLOSE

Car – This is not the year, yet, again … – SPOT ON

Red Bull

Prediction:

David Coulthard – Could be a good year for him. 3rd year I the team, car so far does not look too bad. And he may not even have to dress up like Superman this year.
Mark Webber – Maybe he is finally lucky and landed in the right team in the right time.
Car – Will not be fighting for the Championships but regular points and few podiums should be realistic. With some luck perhaps also an odd win.

Reality:

Coulthard – He did not have to dress up like Superman so far, but he almost decapitated fellow driver. He is doing solid job as long as the car lasts. Signed new contract already – CLOSE

Webber – He may be in the right team but not sure if this is the right time. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Car – Well, I was was too optimistic. Points far from regular due to poor reliability, podiums and wins out of reach unless some dark forces affect some races. – TOTALLY OFF THE MARK

Williams

Prediction:

Nico Rosberg – Started 2006 great, then lost his spark. Here comes the second chance.
Alex Wurz – Great as a test driver, back in race seat after long break. Wins may be out of reach for both Williams drivers, but podiums may be more likely from Alex then from Nico.
Car- Fast so far, will see how they manage to keep it competitive during the season. The team needs to reverse its slump or risks to go down the way of Jordan…

Reality:

Rosberg – He is having great season so far, getting the best from the car. Not sure myself what my prediction was, so no mark for me here :-)

Wurz – Podiums more likely for Alex, haha, he has got one already. Well he got a bit lucky during the Montreal carnage, but the podium is his. But otherwise he lacks the pace of Rosberg so far, especially on one lap. Not sure how safe his future is… – CLOSE

Car – Does not look like a slump anymore, their Toyota powered car is better than the Toyota proper. But they need a bit more to jump out of the strong midfield. Oh, I did not predict anything here …

Toro Rosso

Prediction:

Vitantonio Liuzzi – Finally he knows he has the seat. If he wants to keep for the whole season and beyond, he must start performing. Another candidate for early departure, same as his yet to be confirmed team mate Scott Speed ….
Car – So, it looks like it is a Red Bull proper only with Ferrari engine … This may lead up to some messy moments in Melbourne…

Reality:

Drivers
Ok, by the time I was writing the predictions the team selection was not finalized yet. Both drivers seem to be safe for the year but 2008 may see totally different line up … – CLOSE

Car – Red Bull proper with Ferrari engine much slower than Red Bull proper with Renault, why is that … They have the odd fast practice but in general this is a backmarker team, they felt behind Super Aguri – TOTALLY OFF THE MARK

Spyker

Prediction:

Christijan Albers – With the Ducth owners all the Dutch sponsors his seat is safe. He may find it tough racing along fired up rookie team mate.
Adrian Sutil – Rookie season, beating Albers will be the first target. This is his chance to showcase his talent to bosses of the top teams.
Car – Not too much can be expecetd. Not being beaten way too often by Super Aguris is probably the main goal for the first full F1 season for Spyker.

Reality:

Albers – Well with the sponsors his seat was safe, with the sponsors not paying up he lost it in a flash… He found it very tough racing again his team mate. Being beaten most of the time by rookie i e is not a nice feeling. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Sutil – He is doing well bar some rookie mistakes. If his managers do good job, it should not be long before he finds himself in a better team. – CLOSE

Car – Beaten always by everybody … Clearly off the pace. – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Super Aguri

Prediction:

Takuma Sato – I think he was great last year, especially his 10th place in Brazil. He made Schumi mad on at least one occasion in 2006, may make many mad this year. If he managed to get that close to points last season in such an inferior car, some point scoring finishes this year may be realistic target. Target number one however will still be beating Spykers.
Anthony Davidson – Finally he got his race seat after all those years of testing. It will be pretty even between him and Sato.
Car – Another sticky matter … Car looks fine, because it is Honda dressed as Super Aguri … If they survive all the attempts to stop them using it, they should be way ahead of Spyker.

Reality:

Sato – Scored 4 points already and Spykers are no longer the main target. Sato is great this year, 6th place finish must have been beyond his wildest dreams before the season began … – CLOSE

Davidson – Not tha even between him and Sato, he needs to lift his game if wants to keep this seat into the future … – A BIT OFF THE MARK

Car – They are way ahead of Spyker … – SPOT ON

How did I do:
4 – SPOT ON
11 – CLOSE
9 – A BIT OFF THE MARK
4 – TOTALLY OFF THE MARK

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2014 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
Sebastian VETTEL
Daniel RICCIARDO
Ferrari
Fernando ALONSO
Kimi RAIKKONEN
McLaren
Jenson BUTTON
Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Lotus
Romain GROSJEAN
Pastor MALDONADO
Mercedes
Nico ROSBERG
Lewis HAMILTON
Sauber
Adrian SUTIL
Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
Nico HULKENBERG
Sergio PEREZ
Williams
Felipe MASSA
Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
Daniil KVYAT
Jean Eric VERGNE
Caterham
Marcus ERICSSON
Kamui KOBAYASHI
Marussia
Jules BIANCHI
Max CHILTON

2014 F1 Calendar

14-16 March - Australia
28-30 March - Malaysia
4-6 April - Bahrain
18-20 April - China
9-11 May - Spain
22-25 May - Monaco
6-8 June - Canada
20-22 June - Austria
4-6 July - Great Britain
18-20 July - Germany
25-27 July - Hungary
22-24 August - Belgium
5-7 September - Italy
19-21 September - Singapore
3-5 October - Japan
10-12 October - Russia
31 October-2 November - USA
7-9 November - Brazil
21-23 November - Abu Dhabi

Archives

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