Predictions for the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix – Suzuka

Posted: October 5, 2012 by Valentin Khorounzhiy in 2012 Predictions

Hello, chaps, me again with the predictions post as both of the site’s founders were sadly unavailable… actually, no, I just beat them to it. This time it’s Suzuka in what sounds like sunny Japan, first Grand Prix after the massive amount of announcements over the previous week – Hamilton to Mercedes, Perez to McLaren, Schumacher to retire – you know it.

FP1 and FP2 have outlined mostly trends that seemed fairly predictable pre-weekend but also some peculiar ones. It seems fairly obvious that the main tossup in the “quickest car” category will be between McLaren and Red Bull. Button was quickest in FP1 ahead of Lewis while, in FP2, it was Mark who shined… also ahead of Lewis.

On the other side of the spectrum, Lotus and Ferrari looked okay-ish, with their usual faster drivers seemingly mixing it up with the leaders in FP2. However, both might have to expect a difficult weekend ahead of them – Ferrari is still going through the “windtunnel crisis” while Lotus is still reluctant to run the DDRS, probably because it doesn’t seem to work particularly well. Kimi’s no-run in FP2 after his KERS gave out is also more than a bit worrying.

Mercedes is looking decent even though the entirety of FP2 has pretty much gone to waste with Schumi binning his car and Rosberg doing a minimal amount of laps. Sauber, despite the hype, is seemingly nowhere, while Force India are looking pretty confident. With Williams, it seems really hard to tell, while the remaining four teams seem to be occupying their usual positions.

Got a bit distracted there with the massive amount of rumours going on on Twitter. I have a feeling those might amount to something even before I post this.😀

Onto the predictions. In qualifying, I fully expect there to be an accident of sorts, as FP sessions so far have been… eventful. Hopefully I am proven wrong.

Q3 should be a fun one, as lots of cars appear competitive. I personally expect to see both McLaren drivers, both Red Bull drivers, both Mercedes drivers, Alonso, Romain, Pastor and Nico to make it, but you never know. Your guess is obviously as good as mine.
For pole, I’d imagine it’s going to be Webber as this seems to be the track that suits him relatively well. Lewis alongside him on front row with, say, Romain in third. The three after that I’d expect to be spread out between Alonso, Vettel and Button. Shame about Jenson’s five-grid drop then.

Sources on Twitter start overwhelmingly suggesting that Hulkenberg will go to Ferrari and Alguersuari will go to Force India. I know a couple of people who will be overjoyed with that. Shame, really, I got a bit used to the idea of seeing Massa race in F1 for another year.

At this point, it is a touch hard to write up approximate expectations for the race, as team tactics are sure to come into play. If I expect Mark to outqualify Seb (and I do), then I might have to account for the fact that they will either ask him to move aside or favour Seb with strategy. Still, if Mark does get on pole, I don’t think he’s likely to lose that in the first lap of the race and, well, spoilers, I have him down as the winner of the race. In second, Grosjean, cause why not – the car seems reasonably faster than in Singapore and maybe Lotus will finally have at least part of a decent weekend. In third, Seb would mirror his finish last year that secured him the title.

Cucumber of the race – honestly don’t know. Something in my mind suggests it might be Paul di Resta – he didn’t exactly have the best week in terms of contracts and opportunities and already crashed in practice. Hopefully not.

Qualifying: 1. Webber 2. Hamilton 3. Grosjean

Race: 1. Webber 2. Grosjean 3. Vettel

 

Comments
  1. thevillainf1 says:

    Well, as usual you are totally wrong and I must insert some smartass comment as to why I think you are? Oh no, wait, that’s what you usually do when I post these😉

    Kidding aside, yes you are wrong, terribly. Mclaren is coming back with a vengeance after getting robbed of the Singapore win and Hammy, released from the pressures and probably relieved he’s leaving Mclaren (looks like it) for a new challenge will fucking rule this GP with a lights to flag victory. It’s like that feeling when you dumped an old, reliable, but ultimately boring girlfriend for this new promising bombshell, you’re not sure how that will pan out yet, but the sex is amazing (and thats it for my weird analogy of the week)

    Jenson has a 5 place drop but will qualify 2nd, a semi-home race for him and motivated knowing he is now de facto Mclaren team leader. Kobayashi will stun all and save his F1 seat with a p3 (becomes P2) in quali in front of the crazed Japanese fans who will twirl in excitement as if a tentacled monster was tickling their backsides from under the grandstand (dammit ok, now that is really the last weird analogy, promise)

    Vettel will make it p3 on the grid after Jensons’ penalty.

    On to the race, Lewis will cruise to an easy victory as Kobayashi holds up the pack behind in the first stint, losing out to Vettel in the process, and seeing Button come through in the final laps as well, robbing him of a well deserved podium. However Vettel won’t manage to hold up the pace and get repassed by both Kobayashi and Button, who will later take the Jap to complete a Mclaren 1-2. Grosjean will then push Kamui off the podium in the dying laps in a fine drive

    The Lotuses will stay ahead of the Ferraris, but Grosjean will be allowed to hold his podium spot as Kimi doesn’t manage to pass Vettel. With all these people in front a good chunk of Alonso’s lead will vanish, setting up the scene nicely for the season finale, where I hope to god that fingerboy won’t snatch it again.

    To wrap up:

    quali (post Button penalty)
    1. Hamilton
    2.Kobayashi
    3.Vettel

    Race:
    1.Hamilton
    2.Button
    3.Grosjean

    Cucumber of the race: Maldonado, no way he can keep this red mist under control for much longer..

  2. Here I am again,😉, let’s see, I just watched FP2 through live timing this morning, and saw Vettel doing his fastest time on the PRIMES. OMFG, that Red Bull is looking incredible, so I’m gonna be hoping for a Malaysia 2,010 repeat :PPP (Words from an Alonso fan increasingly frustrated with Ferrari. Honestly, being the best driver with a margin can only get you so far with a mediocre car).

    Qualifying:

    I expect Red Bull to lock out the front row, with McLaren locking out the second. SInce Button’s got that penalty, Alonso’ll be 4th. Boring I know, but hey… Oh, and Hulkenberg in 5th ;D

    POLE POSITION – Mark WEBBER
    2nd – Sebastian VETTEL
    3rd – Lewis HAMILTON

    Race

    Hoping for a MAL 2,010 repeat, ahaha, gotta go so I may expand this further later.

    WINNER – Fernando ALONSO
    2nd – Lewis HAMILTON
    3rd – Romain GROSJEAN

  3. animesports96 says:

    Quali:
    1. Hamilton
    2. Vettel
    3. Button
    Race:
    1.Hamilton
    2.Vettel
    3. Alonso
    cucumber will be senna

  4. TheThedde says:

    Well, juding from what i could see in FP2, Mark Webber looked strong but there are other drivers that might snatch a front row: Hamilton,Vettel, Alonso and Grosjean. The surprise was that Hulkenberg showed some good pace out there too, but not enough to go all the way i think.

    I belive that the quali will go down to the wire with Hamiltion snactiching pole just ahead of Mark Webber with Sebastian Vettel just edging ahead of Alonso in 2nd row. I predict that Kimi Raikkonen will have a though job even getting in to Q2 juding by how big his issues with kers overheating were.

    To the race: Hamiltion will egde ahead, but will lose out to tyre strategy allowing Red Bull to get a 1-2 with Hamiltion falling down to 3rd and his teammate in 4th.

    To sum up:

    Quali: 1. Hamiltion 2. Webber 3. Vettel

    Race: 1. Vettel 2. Webber 3. Hamiltion

    Gurkan (the cucumber in swedish): Mercedes.

    After a poor quali session, Rosberg will retire with engine failure and Schumacer will be a lap or two down because of a puncture in the start.

  5. TheThedde says:

    Schumacher# Sorry for misspelling that

  6. I fancy Webber for a front row spot in a battle probably with Hamilton. I wouldn’t count out Grosjean either. Come race day Button will have an inspired drive and get the better of Hamilton, who will get over excited and bin it somewhere…

    Qualy:

    1. Hamilton
    2. Webber
    3. Grosjean

    Race:

    1. Webber
    2. Button
    3. Raikkonen

  7. jan1710F1 says:

    Quali:

    Vettel
    Hamilton
    Webber

    Race:

    Vettel
    Webber
    Button

  8. cookie1995 says:

    qualifying

    Hamilton
    Vettel
    Webber

    Race
    Hamilton
    Button
    Vettel

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