My 2014 predictions #f1

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I got so carried away with the great contributors I’ve managed to persuade to take part, I omitted to mention my predictions for the 2014 season.

World drivers champion – Jenson Button

Before I get accused of favouritism towards Jenson (not for the first time), I think the ’29 is a very solid baseline.

This season is going to have a huge learning curve in terms of thinking your way through a race, and Jenson has consistently proved strong in that area. I also think e performs better when a really quick drive is pushing him (like Lewis etc). Wag he lacks in one lap pace he makes up in racecraft and guile.

I also think that with McLaren will out develop Mercedes through the season on the aero side.

As a reserve choice, I’d go for Nico R.

Constructors – Mercedes

Only by virtue of the fact I’d imagine Kevin Magnussen will need a bit of time to settle in and Nico and Lewis should stay relatively consistently in the points.

Surprise – Marussia & Williams

I think Marussia and Williams will outperform everyone’s expectations of them.

For me that will start with points and a win respectively.

I would say Nico Hulkenberg to shine, but would that be a surprise? Is he still to tall or some other (totally non sponsorship related reason) not to be in a top drive?!

Dissapointment – Ferrari & Redbull

I just get the feeling that this will be another year when the red peril promises much and does not deliver. Despite having an under performing team (budget versus achievement wise), I’m sure Luca DM will have a raft of suitable rants ready for the Horsewhisperer. 😉

Which will play right into McLaren and Hondas hands when trying to dislodge that man Alonso.

I also think for the record that Lewis will be beaten by Nico Rosberg over the season.

On Redbull, the challenges around the Renault unit, the packaging issues and some senior exits lead me to feel this is going to be a bit of an underwhelming year. Until Dietrich lobbies Bernie. Ahem.

That’s it from me. Lights the blue touch paper and stands back.

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2014 Predictions – Geoff Collins

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Pic credit: LAT/Marussia

Next up in the predictions hotseat is none other than Geoff Collins (@geoffcollinsF1)

Many of you will know of Geoff because of his involvement with Marussia (and it’s previous incarnation Virgin), handling their social media during their early days in F1.

He’s currently also working on some really interesting stuff, including researching F1s lost tracks (you can follow that on Badger GP) and producing a movie – http://www.murkwoodfilm.com/index.en.php

I had the pleasure of meeting Geoff at Jerez and I know that he’s a great advocate of fan interaction in the sport – something many F1 teams fail to capitalise upon (unless you join the membership scheme guvnor).

We took a trip down to the end of the Pitlane exit where I nearly got my haircut by Kevin Magnussen in the MP4-29 before wandering through the paddock. There was an added element of fun to that trip which I won’t share here but all good fun. Very checkpoint Charlie….

Anyway, onto Geoffs predictions !!!

Drivers champion – Nico Rosberg
Constructors champion – Mercedes Surprise (rather unsurprisingly 🙂 – Marussia to get points before caterham.
Dissapointment – Maldonado or Sutil

Three sets of predictions in and it’s a clean sweep so far for Nico Rosberg and Mercedes.

2014 Predictions – Alexander Sims

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In the second blog entry we’ve called upon Alexander Sims, resident racing driver on the If I Was Bernie team.

Those of you that follow F1 will doubtless of seen Simsy in GP3 last year subbing for Status GP driver Adderley Fong and doing brilliantly well before driving for Carlin as well.

Alex has been pursuing a career in GTs and for 2014 has signed for BMW. You’ll be able to read more about that during the season on the blog.

We look forward to watching his progress with a great deal of anticipation. And the imminent arrival of our BMW staff car (I think that’s what he said)….

Onto Sims predictions then…..

World Drivers Champion – Nico Rosberg
Constructors champion – Mercedes
Surprise – Dany Kvyat
Dissapointment – Sergio Perez

Alex is expecting a Mercedes led charge and interestingly has picked Nico Rosberg over his much hyped teammate on the basis of him possibly being less aggressive with the car and not far away in terms of ultimate pace.

So far, two predictions down and both going for a Nico and Mercedes double.

Add your own predictions and I’ll keep a track of then for later in the season.

2014 F1 Predictions – Mark Gallagher

This is the first in a series running all the way up to the first grand prix of the 2014 season.

With the leadup to the season bringing more unknowns than we’ve seen for many years, I thought it might be good fun to ask some of my twitter buddies in and around top level Motorsport on their predictions for the 2014 season.

I will collate all of the predictions, and the overall winner will buy the rest of us all dinner. Joking.

As well as the usual predictions on WDC and WCC, I’m also interested in peoples views prior to the season start on who they think will surprise and disappoint in the season.

So broadly the categories are as follows
* Drivers Champion
* Constructors champion
* surprise of the season
* disappointment of the season – who promises to but does not deliver.

I’m included each contributors twitter username just in case you’ve not come across them already.

Mark Gallagher

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First up is Mark Gallagher, formerly of Jordan, RBR and head of Cosworths engine division on their return to F1 with the three new teams – twitter tag is @_markgallagher.

Having spent a long career in and around top level motorsport – from journalism, to sponsor relations, to executive positions. He’s a good place to start if you want to get a balanced view on the issues of the day.

And to top that off you’d be hard pushed to find a more engaging person to have a coffee with and shoot the breeze. Top bloke…

Now we’ve all seen how impressive the Mercedes power unit has been, so it comes as no surprise to see Marks predictions consider that positive start.

* Drivers Champion – Nico Rosberg
* Constructors champion – Mercedes
* Surprise – Bottas/Williams
* Disappointment – Kimi/Ferrari

Feel free to add your thoughts and comments as we go along. Many more views to come over the coming days.

Who would you have picked?

Williams Martini Racing – daring to dream of wins?

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Like many F1 fans who grew up watching Williams dominating F1 it’s been a long long dry period.

False dawn after false dawn we’ve seen.

It is a long time since Williams have put so many pieces of the Jigsaw together.

Best Livery in F1? Martini another piece of the jigsaw towards the big comeback many have hoped for? The Martini brand has used Motorsport sponsorship very effectively over the years, and it’s brilliant to see F1 finally get a big “new” sponsor back to the table.

Valtteri Bottas is a very very big talent, and in the same way as his countrymen who’ve gone before him, as cool as you like.

Felipe Massa looks like the change of scenery has given him his drive back. Let’s not forget that he really should have won the wdc in 2008 but for the last lap in Brazil.

Mercedes Power – those chaps and ladies at HPE seem to have done it again. Looks the class of the field at the moment. Let’s see how fuel consumption turns out in race trim.

Rob Smedley – fantastic signing for Williams and he’s a top operator. When he’s not trying to strangle Felipe.

And the icing on the cake is the huge tech signing of Pat Symonds as Chief Technical officer. This guy knows how to get everyone pointing in the right direction. Very process driven hd will help the team get the most out of the undoubted talent in the aero section.

We’ve seen optimism before, but I’m pretty confident this is the start of something positive for Sir Franks team. It’s too long since Williams battled at the front.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Williams winning one of the first 5 races, and I won’t be the only long term fan celebrating with them if they do……

2014 F1 car launches – Ferrari F14-T

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Ferrari have been working pretty damn hard in the background throughout 2013 to bolster their team in preparation for 2014.

Two world class signings I’m Kimi and James Allison have really provided a big boost. If 2014 is not successful it will not because their drivers or their tech staff are not good enough.

The car certainly isn’t a looker with that big bird nose (Sesame Street). I’m no aero expert but the pilots connecting the wing look very short to me. I’m sure Pat Fry and the aero team know what they’re doing but the airflow under the car must be lessened.

It is always great to see footage from inside Maranello, which is unlike any modern F1 facility. It still has a very original look and feel to it.

Interestingly Ferrari have stuck with pull-rod front suspension which might explain such a large drop of the nose just after the mounting points.

The MP4-29 has a much more gradual drop (and looks much more like the mclarens of old).

It will be very interesting to see how the different chassis do against each other with Ferrari power. I would not be surprised at all to see Toro Rosso and Sauber to be surprise packages.

But for now, I leave you with the Ferrari front nose section.

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2014 F1 car launches – McLaren MP4-29

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There is a mood of change and a renewed drive over in Woking at the moment. Senior management changes and impending new technical arrivals.

After a nightmare year in 2013, changes were inevitable, and many McLaren fans have been awaiting today’s launch with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. This year needs to be all about a statement of intent for the impending arrival of Honda works power in 2015. And in the meantime, the likely hood is the Mercedes power unit will be the match of its rivals.

I have to say, I quite like the thought of McLaren running no big sponsor this year. It might actually help the brand strengthen.

Equally the MP4-29 I think looks like a really purposeful car. Business like and despite the ridiculous nose tips, the lower swoop looks much more like a McLaren to me. I’d have preferred to see an orange livery at least for testing (reinstating a McLaren tradition for testing from years past).

I have to say, having grown up in the era of Williams and McLaren, I’d love to see a strong performance from “Team Ron”. I’ll post some pictures and video from the Jerez test next week.

For those rattling the cage of McLaren next year, we might just see the fightback starting in Tuesday.

McLaren Infographic on the MP04-29
McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 Infographic
Source: McLaren.com

If you’d like technical evaluations of today’s launch car there are many great resources online (you can’t go wrong with Craig Scarborough and Matt Somerfields blogs for quality explanations).