Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst: Adam Macdonald
Once again, the Silver Arrows were light years ahead of the rest of the field as with every race it becomes ever more clear that – short of some incredible rate of development from another team – it will be either Rosberg or Hamilton who is the 2014 World Drivers Champion. The problems that afflicted the German in Malaysia both in qualifying and the race seemed long gone.
A first test for the 2014 Pirelli rubber under changed conditions left Button lacking in the desert. A double retirement for the Woking setup made it a weekend to forget. With so much expectation of the Williams team on a track that had a lower requirement on a high down force package, they did not disappoint. The qualifying of Valtteri Bottas had been disappointing before this weekend, but starting in 3rd (following Ricciardo’s grid penalty) he gave himself a great chance of a strong finish he deserved. A poor start and unfortunate safety car timing hurt Massa and Bottas, but there were many positives to take from the weekend.
As for the predictor league, the front 2 were easy to predict with the rest not so easy. Who would have thought a resurgent Checo Perez would take the final podium spot?
To give mention to a suggestion from BlackJackFan this weekend I really thought was sensible- why not punish the team for an unsafe release by taking away the constructors points instead of giving the driver a grid penalty? This would have been a much fairer happening for Ricciardo as he had done nothing wrong in Malaysia. What do you readers think?
On the Up
One of only a few people worldwide who predicted the podium correctly, Ron Dennis F1 showed an immense amount of trust in Sergio Perez who duly delivered. With 100 points and 52% accuracy, the team move up 49 places to 7th place just 14 points off Mattpt55 Racing.
One to Forget
PKR-Racing-2014 had somewhat of a shocker of a weekend picking up just 19 points. The team was not rewarded for making the bold prediction of Felipe Massa to finish 2nd, the safety car putting pay to that. Furthermore, the lack of pace in the Ferrari and double McLaren retirement made it one to forget. Better luck next time in China…
On the up
Charging through the midfield is TNTeam picking up 75 points as the team moved up a staggering 80 places! Nothing particularly stood out with the predictions, but picking 5 of the top 10 correctly was always going to stand the team in good stead. It’s pleasing to there is competition throughout the league.
Nobody saw it coming
A double retirement for the McLaren pair stunned many as the Woking team is known for being bulletproof. Throughout the league, many (including myself) had predicted the McLarens to do much better, however, they have been shown to be lacking pace compared to the other Mercedes powertrain runners. Whether they can out-develop the likes of Williams and Force India remains to be seen. It is important to remember this was a circuit that required high traction, as down force was not so important. China will be a completely different kettle of fish!
Food for thought
A resurgent Nico Roseberg this weekend threw a cat amongst the prediction pigeons with many having elected for Hamilton to take pole, fastest lap and the chequered flag. With Mercedes still the class of the field, will Nico be able to continue this form at the race where he first won a Grand Prix back in 2012. That day it would have been a 1-2 finish for the Silver Arrows had the team not botched the pit stop for Michael Schumacher.
The Red Bulls were a different beast on low fuel at the end of the race, especially that of Ricciardo. Without a grid penalty (yet) for China, can he repeat his heroics of Melbourne in 2 weeks?
In this section there will be a question each week to test your memory from GPs gone by. The idea is not to look it up but see if you can remember it first!
Over 3,000 men and women worked on the construction of the Bahrain circuit. How many work hours is it estimated to be in total?
(Answer will be posted in the next Predictor summary)
Last question’s answer
The question was: How much did the Sepang International Circuit cost to build at its completion in 1999?
Answer: Costing $120 million at its completion, the 5.542km circuit remains one of the most loved of the Hermann Tilke designed circuits.