Tag Archives: McLaren F1

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

 

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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 Chinese Grand Prix Results

Well, what an interesting race! In the early stages, I thought that it would just be a processional until the checkered flag, but the battle for second place (after Schumacher’s retirement) really heated up over the last 20 laps or so. In fact, so heated was the battle that in two laps, Kimi Raikkonen went from second spot to 12th! Such is the pace of all the cars this season that you can never count on one dominant team. However, I do still believe that the McLarens are the class of the field this season, and had it not been for poor qualifying, troubles in the pits for Jenson, the gearbox change for Lewis and the cooler temps, it would have been a very different outcome. But those are a lot of “ifs” in a race that saw Nico Rosberg finally record his first – and very convincing – win after taking his first pole position as well. The Mercedes benefitted from those cooler temps and the long straights where it could flex its top speed and walk away from the rest of the pack. Will the same prove true in Bahrain, if everything goes smoothly and no one gets brutally shot? I’m betting no. My money next week will still be on the McLarens, as they will be in warmer temps, and there isn’t as much opportunity to have the DRS activated as much as it was in China with those two tremendous straights. But my predictions for then will have to wait, although not very long. Bahrain is up next in what should be one of the more interesting races, both on and off the track, in a very long time.

1. Nico Rosberg

2. Jenson Button

3. Lewis Hamilton

4. Mark Webber

5. Sebastian Vettel

6. Romain Grosjean

7. Bruno Senna

8. Pastor Maldonado

9. Fernando Alonso

10. Kamui Kobayashi

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 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

Amazing Car Light Art

This was found on the Top Gear blog via their Twitter page and I have to say that I find it amazing that this stuff can be done. Whoever was the first person to leave their camera lens open for a long time and run around with a source of light to create wire frames and words and pictures is a genius. Here is what one artist created. I believe I have all the vehicles correctly identified, but the artist obviously loves the work from the boys over in Woking at McLaren. I sort of find it odd that he left out any sort of Ferrari or Lamborghini, but its amazing nonetheless. Check out the light show below.

BMW Z4

BMW Z4

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

Koenigsegg

Koenigsegg

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

Mini Cooper

Mini Cooper

McLaren MP4-12C

McLaren MP4-12C

Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

Mercedes McLaren SLR

Mercedes McLaren SLR

Mercedes AMG SLS

Mercedes AMG SLS

Clarkson, May, Hammond and gWhiz

Clarkson, May, Hammond and gWhiz

Volkswagen Microbus

Volkswagen Microbus

Pagani Zonda R

Pagani Zonda R

Absolutely spectacular don’t you think? And as a reminder, again, new Top Gear at the end of July!