Tag Archives: Force India

2012 Grand Prix of Monaco Results

What can I say? I tried to get cutesie with my pick and it came back to bite me as the Grand Prix of Monaco became just another parade lap with the pole sitter taking the victory. There was the threat of rain, but of course, the skies didn’t open up until about five minutes after the race was won. How exciting would that have been? If that downpour had happened just 10 minutes earlier… well, we would have had quite a different race on our hands. As it ended up though, we did get our sixth different winner from six races, and now both Vettel and Webber are tied on points, while Fernando’s third place finish has him out in front… just. Really though, the Grand Prix of Monaco has always been more about brokering deals and the spectacle of the town rather than the race. Honestly, when was the last truly epic race there? The last vivid memory I have of any race there was in 2009, and that was AFTER the race when Button parked in the wrong spot and had to run the entire length of the front straight to collect his trophy.

Either way, the season is shaping up to continue to be unpredictable. And with the next race usually being the undisputed best race of the season in Canada (Montreal is both an amazing city and provides some of the best on track action the entire year) we are going to be in for even more unpredictability. Can Hamilton shake off his funk and become the seventh winner in seven races? What about the turn of speed that Massa just showed. And how about Kimi or Schumacher or Grosjean (if the last two can stay out of trouble that is). All I know is that I wish I were back in Canada like last year, because it is always a spectacular time… even if it does rain for over two hours non-stop and I almost develop hypothermia and end up standing in a porta-potty just to retain warmth, wait out the rain and wring out my sopping clothes!

1. Mark Webber

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Felipe Massa

7. Paul di Resta

8. Nico Hulkenberg

9. Kimi Raikkonen

10. Bruno Senna

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2012 Bahrain Grand Prix Predictions

Well, it’s been a bit uneventful this weekend, and that’s a good thing. Off the track, there has been an incident involving the Force India team who decided to sit out of free practice two because they wanted to get an early jump on leaving the track early for fear of more problems with protesters after dark. They are committed to qualifying and the race though, so we will see what, if anything happens (both to the team and with the protesters).

The other news is that the Mercedes is once again very quick over a timed lap. If the team can repeat what they did in China, then good for them, but I don’t see it happening. I think that Nico probably got that huge monkey off his back though, just as Jenson did before him many years ago, and that winning will come more easily, but this weekend it won’t. This is due mainly to the weather here. I believe that the hotter temps will see the Mercedes team struggle once again with tire degredation and that the McLaren and Red Bull teams will once again rise to the top. However, I am not counting Nico out of the podium, but I feel that over a race distance, Jenson is going to be able to preserve his tires better and have the pace to take the top step. If, however, I am proven wrong (which, let’s be honest, isn’t all that far-fetched) and the Mercedes DO continue their winning ways, then the rest of the field is going to have to really be on their toes and bring some heavy updates in a few weeks. And with this season already being screwy with three different winners over three different races, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hamilton, Webber, Vettel or even Schumacher on that top step instead of a Button or Rosberg. In fact, based on my track record of predictions this year, it’s pretty likely you could count on everything I predict being completely wrong! Oh well, we’ll just have to see how the race unfolds. Hopefully things continue to run smoothly over there and we see a race that is as good as first three have been.

1. Jenson Button

2. Nico Rosberg

3. Mark Webber

4. Lewis Hamilton

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Sergio Perez

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Fernando Alonso

10. Kamui Kobayashi

 

2012 Australian Grand Prix Predictions

It’s been a long, grueling winter (well, not so much here in Minnesota, but it was cold a few times) but we are finally back to hearing those sweetly sonorous engine notes that vibrate your soul. The winter times that the teams laid down are not very indicative of what we will see in this race, and in fact, neither were the times in Friday practice, so nothing is really known at this point. What is suspected, is that the Red Bulls are still going to be dominant, with McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes edging ever closer to them. However, with Mercedes patented new F-duct system to help with top speed and Ferrari’s supposed problems with the car, I think that it will take longer than a single race to get it all sorted for everyone. There are now 20 races this year, so there is tons of time for a team to make a bad start and get it all gathered in, but it also very hard to actually do that. If a car is sorted at the start of the season, it will generally run well throughout.

We are also going to see that the midfield teams are much closer this year, so if they make some strides, we could see the likes of Force India, Lotus, Sauber, Williams and even Caterham edging into the points more often. I have my top ten below, but of course, all of this is total speculation as the slate is totally clean and there is very little data to go on. I think Vettel, despite not being happy with the car right now, will take this opening round, and that it will be a hard-fought battle through the rest of the pack for the remaining points. I don’t think he gets out to the huge start he normally does, but I do think that he takes the checkered flag in Melbourne. Finally! Let’s go racing!

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Mark Webber

5. Jenson Button

6. Michael Schumacher

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Paul di Resta

9. Felipe Massa

10. Heikki Kovalainen

The 2012 F1 Cars So Far

With one official test over, Lotus is extremely happy, Ferrari is underwhelmed and all of the cars look hideous. The only cars that don’t look horrible are the Mercedes, the Marussia and the HRT. However, all three of those teams were either running last year’s car, or didn’t show up to the test because their car wasn’t ready (Marussia in that case). Here then is how some of the cars look in action shots. Honestly, this season will be great for the F1 faithful who are blind, and horrible for those of us who have access to the HD feed. My eyes are already crying tears of blood from the pain!

caterham

caterham

ferrari

ferrari

force india

force india

lotus

lotus

mclaren

mclaren

red bull

red bull

sauber

sauber

toro rosso

toro rosso

williams

williams

Italian Grand Prix Predictions

Well, this is getting a little embarrassing now. In fact, this season is turning into such a domination by the German driver Sebastian Vettel, that you would think it was 2002 all over again and this is just a mini-Schumacher in the cockpit and the red car had held its breath too long and turned blue. But that was how he has been advertised, and he’s certainly living up to the hype. Sebastian Vettel once again grabbed pole position, his 10th of the season, ahead of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. His lap time was half a second quicker than the McLarens of Hamilton and Button. I find that astonishing. He is supernatural sometimes and I am pegging him for the win. At some point I am sure he will be passed, as there are two separate DRS zones this race, but in the end, his Red Bull will simply be too strong for all the other cars. As for the other runners, Ferrari is obviously now fully committed to their 2012 car and whatever points they can scrape together are just to be spoiling other racers days, but in the end, they will not be placing additional modifications on the cars come other races. The Renault of Petrov was surprisingly quick, beating out both Mercedes, but it’s a long race and I think that the Mercedes will move their way up the board. I also think that the Force India cars, which have always been known for being very fast in a straight line and not that quick on twisty circuits, will come up a bit and Sutil will get some points.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Fernando Alonso

4. Jenson Button

5. Mark Webber

6. Felipe Massa

7. Michael Schumacher

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Vitaly Petrov

 

Hungarian GP Predictions

All right, here’s what we know. We know that this weeks race takes place at the Hungaroring. We know that this track is similar in setup to Monaco, and we know that both the Red Bulls and the Ferraris were very quick there. We also know that there may be rain in the forecast. And finally, we know that the times show the Red Bulls and the Ferraris to be at the front of the pack on Sunday. I have a feeling about the top four spots in the points, but after that, its sort of a crapshoot. First off, you have Petrov super quick, while the McLarens and Williams and especially the Mercedes, are all off the outright pace. In fact, judging by the times, the Red Bulls and Ferraris are going to run away with this one! Those are the only two teams on track that have dipped into the 1:20 range. Everyone else is a lot farther back, and that is very surprising to see. Based on that information, here is what I think the points will look like.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Fernando Alonso

3. Felipe Massa

4. Mark Webber

5. Jenson Button

6. Robert Kubica

7. Lewis Hamilton

8. Vitaly Petrov

9. Nico Rosberg

10. Michael Schumacher

This is going to be an interesting race though because there are some other contenders that could get up into the points because of the nature of the twisty track. The Force India cars had a miserable week last week, and will probably bounce back, but they have never been really good on circuits that are not flat out, so I would tend to discount them. Also, the Williams cars could probably be put up in there (I think I could probably swap out a few names and put Rubens in there instead… I mean, he did go out and beat the lap time of The Stig!) but its just too tough to call, so I’m going with what I have. Stay tuned for Sunday.

European Grand Prix Predictions

I think this weekend’s race will see the normal batch of people heading to the top once again. Valencia is a track that doesn’t really put on a good show normally, and whoever qualifies at the front, usually remains there. For this reason, it is vital to put in a quality qualifying lap. I think that none of the front runners has showed their true pace, but Alonso always likes to perform well in front of his home Spaniards, and the raft of changes to the F10 seems to have made it work better for him. Whether or not he gets the win, I don’t know (though I am predicting him for it), but I think he will be up front at any rate. Here is my finishing order:

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Mark Webber

4. Felipe Massa

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Jenson Button

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Robert Kubica

9. Adrian Sutil

10. Michael Schumacher