Tag Archives: Lotus

2012 Canadian Grand Prix Preview

That time of year is upon us. I can’t believe it’s been one full year since I was sitting in a grandstand in the Senna S curve watching Formula One cars and getting a great tan. This weekend, despite the protesters wishes, the whole of Montreal will be reverberating to the sounds of 2.4 liter V8 engines as the best drivers take to the Circuit Gilles Villenueve. I am actually glad not to be there this year because of those hoodlums, but I still always wish I could be anywhere that sweet, sweet sound is being made. Anyway, let’s get right to it. As always, Lewis Hamilton looks quick, and we know he generally likes this track (he took his maiden win here). Over one lap, both he and the two (surprisingly enough) Ferraris looks to be the front runners for this race. However, the Mercedes has been decidedly slow all weekend and may have something up its sleeve for qualifying and the race. I also wouldn’t count out Vettel, who seems to be liking the Red Bull, despite its lack of straight line speed.

We also know that Montreal is probably going to give us the best racing of the year, so enjoy it while you can. With multiple spots to pass (the Senna curves, the hairpin, into the final corner, etc), the ever present threat of unpredictable weather – remember the two hour rain delay because of the torrential downpour last year when I almost developed hypothermia? Well I certainly do – a possible one-stop strategy, crashes and safety cars, this is going to be a great race.

1. Fernando Alonso

2. Lewis Hamilton

3. Felipe Massa

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Nico Rosberg

6. Jenson Button

7. Roman Grosjean

8. Kimi Raikkonen

9. Michael Schumacher

10. Kamui Kobayashi

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2012 Spanish Grand Prix Predictions

It feels like the season is going to start to become predictable now. The timesheets from practice play almost exactly as I would expect them too, with Lotus now moving up the ranks and Ferrari still in the back, but in the top 10. On the longer runs, it sounded like the McLaren and Lotus cars have it figured out, but for some reason I feel that Vettel got a bunch of confidence from that last race and that he the Red Bulls were sandbagging it a bit. If they have gotten their stuff together finally, look for Vettel to come under fire, but hold on for the victory. Thus follow my predictions.

1. Sebastian Vettel

2. Kimi Raikkonen

3. Jenson Button

4. Romain Grosjean

5. Lewis Hamilton

6. Mark Webber

7. Nico Rosberg

8. Fernando Alonso

9. Michael Schumacher

10. Felipe Massa

 

2012 Chinese Grand Prix Predictions

The McLarens have something up their sleeves. If Hamilton can be as fast as he is in practice with a gearbox that is about to be changed, then Button is going to be having a very good race and I’m picking him for the win. Wherever Hamilton qualifies, he will get that five grid-spot penalty, but he is very determined to come through the field, but I don’t see him getting past Mark Webber in the Red Bull. Vettel is running an old exhaust configuration for this race, and maybe that will actually help him, but I don’t think it will. The duo to watch in qualifying will be the Mercedes of Schumacher and Rosberg, as there are a couple of hugely long straights for them to power down, but I think they will continue to eat their tires and won’t have the race pace, even if they do storm through qualifying. I’m interested to see if the Lotus team can actually make their cars last an entire race (especially Grosjean) and the Ferrari pair will continue to struggle, but Felipe will get at least one point – he had better anyway! Also, it was announced that the Bahrain Grand Prix will go ahead as planned this year. I’m hoping that Bernie can spend some of the exorbitant amounts of cash he makes on the GP to pump up security details all weekend. If anyone gets hurt – anyone from any of the teams at all – it is on his, and FIA President Jean Todt’s heads.

1. Jenson Button

2. Mark Webber

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Sebastian Vettel

5. Michael Schumacher

6. Kimi Raikkonen

7. Fernando Alonso

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Romain Grosjean

10. Felipe Massa

2012 Malaysian Grand Prix Predictions

After the McLaren of Jenson Button dominated the field in Australia, they are clearly the class of the field. The Red Bulls are slightly behind, but will begin to show their true pace on the sweeping curves of the Sepang Circuit. Unless something truly screws up the starting order (RAIN) or something happens during the race (ALSO RAIN) I don’t see any way that a McLaren doesn’t win this race. But which one? This time out, I’m picking Lewis to have a flying start and run away from the field. If it rains, then I would still pick him, as he has proven in the past to be very good at feeling his way around a wet track. The only thing that could slow him down this weekend would be the abrasive track surface, as we all know that Hamilton is not the gentlest driver when it comes to preserving tires. That accolade would go to his teammate Button, but I just don’t see Lewis losing this one, but I think it will be a close fight between him and Vettel. Farther down the field is going to be much harder to call this year. The Mercedes are fast, but eat their tires up. The Ferraris are slow, but Fernando punches above his weight. And both of the Lotus cars could be well represented, but Kimi has a grid spot penalty and Grosjean is an unknown after not finishing in Australia. Regardless, it’s going to be a good race, and will be an absolute stormer should the rain start to fall.

1. Lewis Hamilton

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Jenson Button

4. Mark Webber

5. Michael Schumacher

6. Fernando Alonso

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Nico Rosberg

9. Felipe Massa

10. Romain Grosjean

2012 Australian Grand Prix Results

Well, well, well. It seems as though it won’t be a Red Bull runaway this season. However, we may just see McLaren go on a tear. After locking out the front row, the duo from Woking went straight to work on the rest of the field and romped out to a huge lead. This would prove to be insurmountable in the case of Jenson Button, who had an absolute serene day at the front of the pack, only being closed in on during the safety car period. Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, came under pressure midway through the contest from Sebastian Vettel, starting from sixth, and was passed in the pit stop rotation resulting from that safety car. Mark Webber put up a good fight for fourth, which is his best finishing position ever in his home race, but was never really close enough to challenge for a podium.

The biggest movers of the day had to have been the Ferraris at the start, with both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa jumping right up into points positions. However, while Alonso was able to keep a reasonable pace with the front runners for awhile, it all proved too much for his car and he eventually fell off the pace and claimed a “best of the rest” fifth. Massa meanwhile ended up being swallowed up by backmarkers and was run into in the closing stages, having to retire the car. Other big movers were both Kimi Raikkonen, coming up to claim seventh from 18th on the grid after some closing lap incidents in front of him, and Sergio Perez, who started dead last in 22nd and finished eighth. He probably could have made up more positions but his one-stop strategy made for some dodgy tires at the end of the race.

The biggest losers from this race were undoubtedly Mercedes and Williams. Both of the Mercedes team were expecting to run faster, with Nico Rosberg even saying that he thought he had a car that could challenge for the win, and Michael Schumacher starting in fourth. Neither of the cars finished in the points, as Schumacher damaged the gearbox and Rosberg obtained a punctured rear tire from Perez on the last lap. The Williams team also came away disappointed as their main man Pastor Maldonado started in eighth and had a great fight going with the Ferrari of Alonso for most of the race. They had the pace in their car and it was a shame that Maldonado ended up smacking the wall on the final lap.

All in all, I would say that this was one of the better opening rounds of any season I’ve watched. It was incident filled, but not to the extent that it caused too many stops with safety cars. There were some good fights on track and there are some great stories that are about to burst forth. For instance, the battle between the midfield teams is amazingly tight this year, with both Saubers scoring points and the Lotus and Williams looking mighty respectable. In fact, if you look at the Constructor’s points, Sauber is ahead of Ferrari right now! Whether that will last is to be seen, but if both of their drivers continue to end up in the points and Ferrari has to continue relying on Alonso to secure all of their points, there are a few teams that will eventually garner more points than the squad from Maranello. As a bonus, we won’t even have to wait that long to see how this season continues to shape up, as the Malaysian Grand Prix is next weekend already! Mark your calendars, it’s going to be spectacular!

1. Jenson Button

2. Sebastian Vettel

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Fernando Alonso

6. Kamui Kobayashi

7. Kimi Raikkonen

8. Sergio Perez

9. Daniel Ricciardo

10. Paul di Resta

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