Castrol #F1 GP Predictor Summary – Shanghai 2014

Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst: Adam Macdonald (@adamac39)


It wasn’t quite the exciting climax we saw in Bahrain, but you can’t win them all.  China provided us with yet another example of why Hamilton has every right to be confident he will be World Champion for a second time this year.  From the unhappiness of Friday’s setup, he changed it overnight after working with his engineers and effectively went into the race ‘blind’ due to the wet running on Saturday.  It really was a drive of Champions as he dominated and never even slightly looked in danger from others.

Some sections of the media could not wait to bleat on about how unlucky Rosberg was, but the fact of the matter was Hamilton was quicker – by almost a second a lap at some stages of the race.

Another issue I want to bang the drum about which frustrated me a great deal was the “Vettel cost Ricciardo a podium” line.  It was to be expected that people would jump on some kind of Vettel bashing bandwagon given his idiotic “tough luck” call, but Ricciardo was not held up all that much by the four time World Champion.   Lap 24 for Ricciardo was the slowest of his stint (a 1:44.94) which was roughly a second slower than his stint average, which would not have been enough for him to leapfrog the Ferrari of Alonso.  Factor in the poor straight line speed of the Red Bull and the fact the race ended two laps early, these claims are nonsense.

As for the predictor league, it was another strong showing for many retaining the high-scoring start to this year. Here are some of the highlight performances…

Follow the leader

We have a new leader in the TheJudge13 league as dbkil took over at top rising 80 places with the top 6 all predicted correctly as well as the pole, winner and fastest lap bonus.  Even with audacious choice of Kamui Kobayashi as most positions gained the team still managed 74% prediction accuracy.

Charging into the lead!

Charging into the lead!

Also a strong performance

Strong is really an understatement for this team, as Aetherym rose 129 places, breaking the 300 point barrier in the process.  Now sitting 4th in the league, just 32 points off the top this is one team to watch for in Barcelona.  Predicting a stunning 7 of the top 10 correctly contributed to the team amassing 181 points for the week.  Congratulations!

Week 4's most improved and one to watch...

Week 4’s most improved and one to watch…

The only way is up

Not an entirely bad weekend for Nederman F1, however, such is the strength of the league the team still dropped 43 places to 109th in the league. A little more luck would have seen it become a very successful weekend, so better luck next time in Spain.

In need of just a little more luck

In need of just a little more luck

Nobody saw it coming

It seems that once again Williams will be thanking Pastor Maldonado for the strong rear suspension, but this did them no favours when it came to the pit stop and the rear left wheel was slow coming off the car. Felipe Massa has been largely disappointing this year given his pre-season billing, could Barcelona finally be his podium opportunity?

Those with sharp memories will recall Felipe taking a third place there last year after a strong showing from the Ferraris.

Food for thought

Jenson talked after the race about how the McLaren would struggle on front limited circuits, which must come as a worry for their fans with development being slow from the Woking team in recent years.  It has been a much debated subject of late whether Jenson Button is actually any good at developing a car.  Assuming he is not, this puts a lot of pressure on his young Danish teammate…

Remember when…

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!

Tyre degradation has always been an issue at the UBS Chinese GP, with 45 pit stops at this year’s edition.  How many pit stops were there in total in the 2013 race? Can anyone name the driver who pitted on lap 1?

(Answer will be posted in the next Predictor summary)

Last question’s answer

The question was: 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: A staggering 8,265,000 hours of work went into completing the circuit which has received international acclaim and has potential to seat a 50,000 crowd.  This may not sound all that impressive compared to the bumper crowds in excess of 100,000 at Silverstone, Melbourne and others, but this is 7% of the country’s population.

20 responses to “Castrol #F1 GP Predictor Summary – Shanghai 2014

  1. True on DR – he likely lost the podium by falling behind Alonso and Vettel at the start. He could have tried to stay in front of the Ferrari, but passing it would have been harder.

    Good showing by the league leaders – for me, Massa’s pit stop blunder cost me, although I swapped Bottas for Button on his comments, along with thinking Alonso was slightly lighter fueled in practice than he was and changing him from 3rd to 5th. Apart from that, top 6 right, Lewis on pole and Pastor the high climber.. should have thought more about who would have needed to set the fastest lap!

    • Lewis would likely have had fastest lap were it not for the flag blunder Lestyn. He put in 3 slow laps to finish, although I’m sure the only thing he is concerned about is the 25 points in the bag!

      • True, that’s what I thought. Even if in the lead comfortably, as the fastest car he’ll get fastest lap. But he only wants the WDC, not even Grand Slams (now more risky to ‘do a Vettel’ and f.lap the last, given the reliability rules, although 20 finished), so Rosberg used some of the car pace to clear those guys behind him like Alonso after his last stop.

  2. Yah, poor start killed Danny (and me), but you’re right that early flag would’ve seen him relegated behind Alonso in any event, though we would’ve at least had that to argue about since it was a podium spot, LOL.

    I’m surprised more Seb fans aren’t bitching about his pit stop strategy, since I think they left him out way too long on his 2nd stint. Of course, could also be payback from Horner et al for being obstructionist, you never know.

    Great write up on the race, BTW!!

    • Surely they should be rejoicing. A 3 stop strategy only works if others around you are doing the same and there are gaps behind to drop into and pump fast laps in. Red Bull showed they weren’t rigid and probably got Seb at least 1 place higher because of it….

      • Yeah, went back and looked and they pitted him Lap 12 and lap 34. I just remember his lap times were so slow right before he boxed, but I’m guessing that he wiped his tyres out thinking 3 stop and when they switched him it was already to late to preserve them. It was just painful to watch.

  3. “Felipe Massa has been largely disappointing this year given his pre-season billing”

    How is he dissapointing? The only dissapointment is the bad luck is brings…
    Alot of his good results (during his entire career) seem to be wasted by misfortune rather than mistakes. And he has been on par with Bottas so far, who is considered a future WC by many. Massa has the edge in qualy, Bottas in the race.

    • It’s fair to say they are very even in the Williams, and probably the most exciting team battle this year, in terms of not knowing how they would fare pre-season. Nasr might have to wait a while yet until Massa is ready to retire (and Nasr is up to speed).

  4. Crappy internet on holiday in Wales means I didn’t get to change my guys before the race, so had to go with the placings I had chosen for Bahrain. I managed 57 points from China (I’m not sure I should be proud of this) but also managed 57 points from Bahrain too… I’m half tempted to leave it the same for Spain and see if it happens again, after all 1-2 seem pretty much sorted now!

    • Considering how many got the top 6 right, it could even be said we know that 1-6 will be sorted! Makes the prediction game even tighter!

  5. I moved up from 155th to 110th with an 84pt haul. The best I’ve had yet. Also moved up 6000 places in the global league, I’m now 12000 and a little bit.

  6. There I am, thinking 125 points (with top 3 correct, the pole, fastest lap and positions gained all correct, and with 4 drivers only one place away) is excellent, then come these people with 180+ points goddammit!!

    “Rant” aside, 3rd in the TJ13 league isn’t so bad, although it’ll be difficult to keep there with the competition out there, plus with big upgrade packages expected for Spain.

    PS bad luck Judge, that trust in Nico isn’t paying off

        • His P2 lap times were roughly the same as Rosberg and he had fast lap which meant he looked good for pole. And we all saw in Bahrain how that turns out, LOL.

          • But Rosberg’s FP2 lap time was under yellow flags in the final sector due to Pastor Maldonado “doing a Hamilton” in the gravel trap

          • Yeah but you have to look at the long run times to get an idea of race pace, an idea I stole entirely from Dr. Beck. Those were very similar and yeah, yellow but I’d generally give the nod to Lewis for Quali if they are close.

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