Predictions for the 2012 European Grand Prix – Valencia

Posted: June 22, 2012 by thevillainf1 in 2012 Predictions

While Valencia is not exactly a track many people look forward to, with this year’s highly unpredictable championship and even less trustworthy Pirellis we may actually be in for an interesting race for once. The track itself is not bad but it just doesn’t feature any proper overtaking spots. Turn one is awkward as anyone sticking their nose in either bumps the other guy on the inside or gets squeezed out to lose his wing, and while there are fairly big braking zones, there are no real wide straights where someone can slipstream and easily pull alongside for a proper outbraking maneuver, even with DRS last year we saw little to no passing. Like I was saying in the podcast, on tracks like Valencia, DRS is probably a good thing. I just wish it wasn’t used on proper racetracks like Spa, where overtaking has never been an issue.

On to the race then, will it be the 8th different winner in a row or will  we see the first repeat winner of the year? Paul Hembery himself has thrown in his lot for once to tip off Schumacher for the win to continue the streak. True, in Monaco he showed that when everything comes together, he can still put together that blinder lap, and on a track almost equally notorious than Monaco for the difficulty to overtake, the person who’ll start on pole has to be in with a good chance to win it come Sunday afternoon. Anyone who stuffs up in quali will very likely also be suffering in the race, so I doubt we’d see a repeat of Perez and Grosjean’s recent performance – unlike in Montreal you can’t just rely on your overall race pace and not really worry about the cars around you, to do so you need to be fairly certain you will be able to pass when coming under the rear wing of a slower car. One or two laps stuck behind and your race is done for. Therefore I don’t see the Lotus or Sauber do particularly well this time around. Qualifying has been their weakness all year long, and like Monaco it’s on these sorts of tracks that really hurts you.

That’s why the Mercs would appear to be a fairly good prospect indeed, as qualifying pace has generally been their strong point this year, but despite Rosberg’s recent comments saying they got the fastest car of the lot I’m not buying it. He will be right up there for qualifying but with the very high track temperatures expected, I believe they will struggle in the race yet again and fall back . Of course Hamilton should not be forgotten, having gotten the first win of the year under his belt and because he has undeniably been the best qualifier on the grid this year, he will be in with a good shot at the top spot this year in Valencia.

However I am going a slightly different route and predict an Alonso victory. He came tantalizingly close again in Montreal, and this combined with Felipe finally finding some decent pace (until of course he threw it off the road on lap 6) shows the Ferrari is now at last capable of truly fighting for victory on raw pace alone. In addition it is also second home race for Alonso, and we know the Spaniard always gets some extra out of the car with a home-crowd behind him. Even though the car may still be lacking that final tenth in quali, another of his lightning starts could easily annul that disadvantage.

Having for once waited until after the first 2 practice sessions to post this we can also see that Force India might just be the dark horse for this race, with both drivers showing impressive pace. If all of a sudden force India comes out of nowhere to start challenging for the win this weekend I frickin’ dare you to say Pirelli is not making this into a lottery😉 But hey, good on The Hulk and Di Resta, I guess every team will get their place in the sun this year…

As for cucumber of the race I guess Grosjean is the prime candidate again, seeing he always alternates a good race with a first lap incident – mostly his fault too – but for this time I decided to go a little different except my usual suspects of Fat Joe, rapistface and springface, although they remain prime candidates at any race. Anyway for the cucumbers I reignite the my old love for Vitaly for no other reason really that he has been too much under my radar there in the back of the field.

Wrapping up the predictions, Im going for a more ‘traditional prediction with the three drivers expeced to fight for the WDC come the end of the year with Alonso being the 1st double winner of the year, while Matt is putting his money on Raikkonen to break his comeback cherry and continue the streak of different drivers on top this season.

 

qualifying

Steve’s Prediction                              Matt’s Prediction
1. Rosberg                                                     1. Hamilton
2. Vettel                                                         2. Grosjean
3. Hamilton                                                  3. Raikkonen
race:
Steve’s predictions                             Matt’s prediction

1. Alonso                                                       1. Raikkonen
2. Hamilton                                                  2. Hamilton
3. Vettel                                                         3. Perez

Cucumber of the race:

Vitaly Petrov                                              Pastor Maldonado

Share your predictions below and stand the chance to win #HornyHorner !

Comments
  1. Okay… I’m not giving up till I predict an Alonso victory… Came epicly close in Catalunya (Rear Tyres failed right at the end); Just 1s off in Monaco with the best pace out of the leading trio; and tyres at the end in Canada, so this time, he. must. win. already! xD

    Force India is looking mighty, and we don’t really know where Ferrari is or Mercedes, as Alonso had Karthikeyan in FP1 ruining his fastest lap; and the de la Rosa yellow flag on FP2 when he was further imprving that 1:39’7. Also, Mercs, Ferraris and every team who put on the softs early are hiding their true pace, as the track improved a lot for when Vettel&Company put in their fastest laps.

    Soooo, I see a nice battle for Pole, with Red Bulls, McLarens, Mercedes and Ferraris battling it out!

    QUALIFYING:

    Pole Position: Michael SCHUMACHER
    2nd: Lewis HAMILTON
    3rd: Fernando ALONSO

    And for the race… Alonso has to get rid of all the bad luck and win ^_^:

    RACE:

    Winner: Fernando ALONSO
    2nd: Mark WEBBER
    3rd: Kimi RAIKKONEN

    Cucumber of the Race: Felipe Massa, who said he could win, won’t even get to the points.

  2. KielF1 says:

    Maldonado will screw up.

    That is all.

  3. Sim Green says:

    Qualifying:

    1) Vettel

    2) Rosberg

    3) Hamilton

    Race:

    1) Alonso

    2) Hamilton

    3) Vettel

    Cucumber: Maldonado

  4. Zrgn says:

    Quali

    1 fingerboy
    2 The Kaiser
    3 Aussie grit

    Race

    1 fingerboy
    2 Aussie grit
    3 Nando

    Cucumber of the race: mercedes

    Youknowwho is going to lead from the front and dominate like a boss. Mercedes will find ways to blow up schumis (aka the kaiser) car.

  5. David says:

    Quali

    1st: Nico Rosberg
    2nd: Lewis Hamilton
    3rd: Fernando Alonso

    Race:

    1st: Lewis Hamilton
    2nd: Romain Grosjean
    3rd: Nico Rosberg

    Cucumber:

    Bruno Senna, not sure what but some crash, spin or just crap performance will make him the Cucumber…

  6. UTBowler0407 says:

    Quali:

    1. Webber
    2. Vettel
    3. Hamilton

    Race:

    1. Vettel
    2. Webbo
    3. Raikkonen

    Cucumber: Grosjean. He’ll bin the car after a decent/good quali session.

  7. TheThedde says:

    This is my first ever prediction here, but having seen the pratice sessions i belive that Sebastian Vettel will grab pole ahead of the mercs. The Mclarens looked fairley bleek and i think at least Button will struggle to get into Q3. I also predict that one of the Catherhams will grab a spot in to Q2.

    To the race then and i think that Vettel is going to streak away, but not enough to secure a victory and Rosberg or Schumacher will close in before the first stop and leap frog Vettel.

    To wrap it up.

    Quali

    1. Vettel
    2. Rosberg
    3. Schumacher

    Race

    1.Rosberg
    2. Schumacher
    3. Vettel

    Cucumber of the race: Jan-Eric Vergne: I predict he either will finish behind the Catherhams or crash out.

  8. thevillainf1 says:

    ha yea, Vergne is actually a good bet for cucumber the way he’s been driving , especially quali. Had not thought of him before. Well, that’s one extra guy on my radar thx to you🙂 Am suprised to see a good number of people mentioning Vettel in their top 3s…looks like we are all starting to b elieve the bulls are properly there again.

  9. Romano says:

    Qualy:

    1st – Vettel
    2nd – Alonso
    3rd – Grosjean

    Race:

    1st – Vettel
    2nd – Grosjean
    3rd – Alonso

    Cucumber – Hulkenberg to get owned by di Resta.

  10. Quali:
    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Raikkonen

    Race:
    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Perez

    Also: Heikki will drive one hell of a race and be in the top 10 at some point (preferably at the checkered flag)!

    Cucumber of the race: Grosjean. Last race was great. This time… Not so much I think.
    Plus some backmarkers (Narain, anyone?) for blocking in sector 3. Like every year there will be massive complaining by the guys in front about the backmarkers.

  11. Bit of a late one for me, currently watching FP3. As much as I hate to do so , I think we may see Vettel get pole and the win yet again at this track. Hope I’m proved wrong!

    Qualy:

    1. Vettel
    2. Rosberg
    3. Kobayashi

    Race:

    1. Vettel
    2. Raikkonen
    3. Rosberg

    Cucomber of the race: Petrov.

  12. jan1710F1 says:

    Quali:
    1.Vettel
    2.Grosjean
    3.Maldonado

    Race:
    1.Vettel
    2.Grosjean
    3.Webber

  13. JourneyTH says:

    Qualifying:

    1. Grosjean
    2. Schumacher
    3. Vettel

    Race:

    1. Grosjean
    2. Schumacher
    3. Vettel

    Cucumber: Raikkonen (don’t expect him to match the teammate in qualifying and the race in Valencia does not really matter)

  14. @CardsNat says:

    Q:
    1. Button
    2. Vet
    3. Gro

    R:
    1. Rai
    2. Button
    3. Sch

  15. Animesports96 says:

    Quali
    1. Vet
    2. Alo
    3.Gro

    Race
    1. Mas
    2. Rai
    3.Vet

  16. Marcus says:

    Q
    1.Hamilton
    2.Alonso
    3.Vettel

    R.
    1.Alonso
    2.Schumacher
    3.Hamilton

    Cucumber of the race
    Grosjean

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s