Coming out of my malaria haze just in time for the German Grand Prix I figured to slap up a quick backmarkersf1 predictions post up as I would not want to rob you of your chances to win your very own HornyHorner on the off chance that anybody would get their predictions right for once.
Going by their form in Silverstone, one would tend to favor either the Ferrari or the Red Bulls. Ferrari now has two competitive drivers again with Massa showing he does remember how to drive an f1 car moderately quick, and the Red Bulls 1-3 in Britain made many believe the team would get back to its dominant form of previous years.
Even the weather seems to replicate the previous GPs conditions, with torrential rains limiting running and giving the teams very little to work with to evaluate their upgrades. As in Britain, aside from the weather the key talking point will be the effectiveness of the various upgrade packages brought by the team. While in Silverstone McLaren seemed to be lagging behind a bit in the development race – and it showed during the race- here they have come out with all guns blazing and a thoroughly revised car to Germany.
Lotus have surprised many in the paddock by launching their version of the ‘double’ DRS pioneered by Mercedes although only Raikkonen’s car has been fitted with it and details on how exactly it works are yet to emerge. It will be interesting to see whether Lotus’ decision to pursue this area of development – whereas most if not all other teams appear to have shelved the idea long ago – will bring them the increase in qualifying performance they desperately need to grab their first win of the season. However, all the time and effort in getting their DDRS to work may set them back in the development race elsewhere, making this bite them in the ass in the long run.
When the Mercedes system was ruled legal, most teams seemed to abandon the idea of developing their own version on the grounds that it would not be cost effective for the limited performance gains it brought, and then pretty much only in qualifying with very little benefits on race day. It is another gamble by the Lotus F1 team, and while nobody foresees a drop in performance like last year with their front facing exhausts gone bust, they did expose themselves a bit here if this system does not bring significant game, because all that time spent on R%D for this is lost, and other teams have maybe applied it to more important areas, like the exhaust setup.
Having painted the picture, let’s move on to the meat and bones of this post: our predictions for the GP! With at least parts of the race and quail expected to be wet it makes the task again very difficult but nonetheless we will fearlessly plunge ahead and take a stab at it. In what may be a shock horror prediction for many of you out there, Hockenheim has traditionally been quite a good track for Felipe Massa, and his upturn in form combined with the Ferrari now being a genuine frontrunner may actually see him do well.
It begs the question whether Massa is only as good as the car at any given time but aside from that I’m actually tempted to give him a podium position. However the weather may play games on him again, and anyway I think either he’ll find a way to bin it in the race or he will get screwed over by the team. That said I’m putting him on p3 for qualifying, ahead of Alonso in probably the most shocking of my predictions this year to date. Against my best judgment I’m believing in the Mclaren upgrades which will put Hamilton in p2. Since we’re going down the ‘batshit crazy’ route anyway with this GP, I’m putting down Raikkonen for pole. As you read above I have my misgivings about their DDRS, but hey, the team definitely seem focused on improving quail first and foremost, and with Romain’s grid penalty Kimi will have to deliver the goods. The Red Bulls will look strong throughout quail but fail to clinch a top 3 spot.
On to the race I think the Ferrari of Alonso and the Red Bulls will come charging through shaking up the order quite a bit in the top 3. Raikkonen will be hit with some kind of bad luck to see that win slip away again, while Hamilton will still struggle with tyres at the end of stint but survive to bring it home in third. Alonso will have jumped his teammate either on track or with the help of his team (or both) to drive on to second, leaving Vettel finally shaking off the demons of his home GP woes to take the win after a commanding drive. Button will be close but just adrift of the top around p5 but I do believe his issues are getting sorted. Further down back Caterham will score points if the race is wet. Last time out I said I’m done believing in their overly optimistic pre-race statements about their upgrades but I’m willing to give them one last chance.
The final prediction for this GP is of course the one for cucumber of the race. Pastor Maldonado. Nuff said.
Pastor “PastorCrash” Maldonator
You’re very welcome to share your predictions below and win #HornyHorner!