2014 F1 Season Predictions.

12 Mar

It’s as if i’ve never been away……….

So F1 is very almost back! Hooray I hear you cry. F1 is just a few days away, and now that we have some indication of where everyone may or may not be going, here’s my attempt at being Eddie Jordan and doing some predictions.

Now, this being me, I doubt most of you will agree with where i’ve put some people. Or most of them. Or all of them for that matter. Oh well, here goes…….

Red Bull Racing

Predicted Constructor finish: 4th

Red Bull, it would be fair to say, have not had the greatest of Pre-Seasons. In fact, you could probably sum it up in one word answers- dreadful, awful, useless, frustrating, pathetic etc etc. What could go wrong has gone wrong, from faulty Renault engines to god knows what else. They have only managed 884Km of testing, the third lowest of all the teams. Now, there’s no doubt the Red Bull has the potential to be quick, but with all the problems they’ve had they’ll be a fair bit behind everyone else at the start, and that could have huge consequences. Mercedes, Mclaren and Ferrari all seem to have decent cars, so I reckon Red Bull will only make it up as far as 4th in the table.

Sebastian Vettel: Predicted driver finish: 6th

The first driver I do and it’s already a controversial one. You may call me mad for predicting the 4-time world champion to 6th, but believe me, it’s entirely plausible. Vettel is used to having a very good car underneath him, and for the past 4 seasons he has had a title winning car, so it will come as a shock to him when the car suddenly doesn’t behave how he wants it to. The question is, how well will he be able to adjust? And I just don’t think he’ll be able to get to grips well enough to make any form of title challenge.

Daniel Ricciardo: Predicted driver finish: 9th

As you can tell, I really don’t hold much help for the Red Bull boys. I almost see this going down like Mclaren last season, where Perez, Mclaren’s new boy, was placed straight into an uncompetitive car and failed to do anywhere near as well as the more established man, JB. Ricciardo, the new man at Red Bull, will unfortunately struggle to do anything substantial, although he’ll do nowhere near as bad as last year’s Mclaren.

Mercedes: Predicted Constructor finish: 1st

I really like the look of Mercedes this year. The car looks quick, it looks reliable, and Rosberg and Hamilton look like a very good partnership. They’ve done really well during pre-season, and look like they could be a force. What more is there to say?

Nico Rosberg: Predicted driver finish: 1st

This could really be the year for Nico Rosberg. He’s worked his way up through the ranks, and every year he looks like a better and better driver. With Mercedes looking like they have a very good car, this could really be Nico’s opportunity to take the championship by storm. He has a pretty kick-ass helmet too.

Lewis Hamilton: Predicted driver finish: 5th

Now I know this may surprise you, with Nico being placed first and everything, but I don’t think Lewis is going to be able to take a winning car and push it all the way to the end. Recently, especially last season, he seems to have let F1 almost slip down his list of priorities, with his Pop Star lifestyle taking over. That and the fact that something will inevitably go wrong during the season that LewLew can’t handle without a major PR cover-up, and I reckon 5th is as good as it’ll get.

Ferrari: Predicted Constructor finish: 3rd

Ferrari seem to have a solid car underneath them. Their Pre-Season has been unassuming and rather laid back, and nothing has gone drastically wrong, even if Kimi Raikkonen did ditch it into the wall at one point. Solid car they may have then, but fantastic it is not. At the end of the day, I just think the Mercedes powered cars will have a slight edge over them, although there’s no doubt they’ll still put up one hell of a fight.

Fernando Alonso: Predicted driver finish: 3rd

Fernando Alonso seems to have a habit of pulling the best out of an average car. He did it last year, and i’m sure that he’ll be competing at the top once again this year. You can’t really compare how good cars will be this year with last due to the drastic regulation changes, but I don’t think Ferrari will give Fernando a car good enough to sustain a title challenge

Kimi Raikkonen: Predicted driver finish: 7th

Kimi made headlines when he announced he was returning to Ferrari. Kimi makes headlines wherever he goes. It was always going to be interesting  to see Kimi back in red, but somehow I doubt he’ll have a fantastic return. For some reason, he just doesn’t seem like he has the fire to really push on, and coupled with the fact he’s up against Alonso I just don’t think it’s going to work out.

Lotus: Predicted Constructor finish: 7th

Lotus are yet another team that will suffer from the Renault curse. They look like they’ll follow the same path as Red Bull, but even worse. Pre-Season has been a car crash, and they even sat out the Jerez test altogether. The car can hardly be described as fast in it’s current state, and it suffers from the same poor reliability issues. Add to that a lack of money and Pastor Maldonado and this could become a very long season for Lotus.

Romain Grosjean: Predicted driver finish: 11th

Now i’m being nice here. Quite frankly, Lotus look like the worst team on the grid at the moment, but seeing as this is a full season prediction I very much doubt they’ll remain at the back forever, and Romian Grosjean is no slow driver either. He matured a lot last season, and this season he’s going to need that maturity if he wants to bring the Lotus anywhere near the top 10.

Pastor Maldonado: Predicted driver finish: 13th

Let’s face it, literally nobody wanted Pastor Maldonado (or Pasta Marinara as he’s so lovingly referred to in my house). The man so chastised for his rather crashy behaviour, not least his pretty awful temper (I mean, he accused his team of sabotage), plus the fact he scored just 1 point last season, getting outdone by his rookie teammate) does not bode well for the Venezuelan. On his day, however, he can be very quick, but he’ll need to be on his day practically all the time this season if he wants to score any decent points.

Mclaren Mercedes: Predicted Constructor finish: 2nd

Mclaren had a pretty terrible year last year, if not one of the worst I think i’ve ever seen. This year, however, things look different- Ron Dennis is back and has shook up the management structure to bring in one of my favourite Team Principals Eric Boullier, the car looked reliable during pre-season testing (And quick, don’t forget quick), and the driver line-up of JB and K-Mag looks very exciting indeed. I sense good time ahead for Mclaren.

Jenson Button: Predicted driver finish: 2nd

Jenson, along with Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso, is one of the only drivers to be predicted in the same position as their team. This season will represent Button with what is probably his best chance at winning another title, especially if the car is as good as it first looks. Last year Jenson drove faster than the Mclaren, which was awful, was capable of, and now he has a real chance to show everyone he still has the speed of 2012, when he finished 2nd in the championship. Maybe he won’t be able to eclipse the Mercedes’ speed, but he’ll be up there

Kevin Magnussen: Predicted driver finish: 4th

I’ve been impressed with Kevin Magnussen’s ability to step up tot he world of Formula 1 so quickly, especially as he’s driving for Mclaren. He’s been very quick during pre-season testing, even managing to get to the top of the time sheets on more than one occasion. If he can keep up this impressive start,t hen I see no reason why he can’t win a race this season. I do think the experience of Jenson Button will give JB the edge, but 4th would be a very reasonable finish for K-Mag in his first season.

Force India: Predicted Constructor finish: 6th

Ah Force India, the team that is really, really average. In all honesty, they did quite well at the start of last season, and it looked as if they may even leapfrog Mclaren in the standings, but eventually they faded back into the crowd. This year they’ve once again looked quite good, but out of the 4 Mercedes powered teams i’d say they’re the weakest, but don’t rule out some early podium finishes before they once again fade back into the darkness

Nico Hulkenberg: Predicted driver finish: 10th

Nico Hulkenberg it would seem is a man destined never to get a top drive. He’s been at Williams, Force India, Sauber and now back to Force India, each and every time showing great promise, but never really having a car underneath him to show that promise off. He was so close to a Ferrari drive this year, but even at Force India he can still be a force to be reckoned with.

Sergio Perez: Predicted driver finish: 12th

Sergio Perez will certainly be looking to put his failed year at Mclaren behind him by taking Force India high up the grid, but unfortunately I just don’t see it happening. No doubt the Mexican has talent behind the wheel of an F1 car, but I just don’t think he’ll be able to fully utilise it, especially not if he stays in the shadow of Nico Hulkenberg for most of the season. Points, yes, but bear in mind here i’m putting him behind Romian Grosjean’s Lotus……….

Sauber Ferrari: Predicted Constructor finish: 9th (And that’s being generous)

I’m going to start off by saying that I really don’t like this year’s Sauber, and that’s purely from a performance point of view (It actually has quite a nice paint job). It hardly set the world alight in Pre-Season testing, and although right now it looks like they might be faster than Renault powered teams, I severely doubt it’ll last. The only thing going for them right now is potential reliability problems for other teams, because their driver line-up hardly strikes fear into the hearts of the rest of the F1 world

Adrian Sutil: Predicted driver finish: 16th

There’s no doubt in my mind that Adrian Sutil will be the leading Sauber driver this year, but even then he’s hardly the best driver to try and lead a team into the top half of the grid. He had a sketchy year last season at Force India, and this season looks to be in a car that is below the performance level of last season, so that doesn’t seem to bode well for him….

Esteban Gutierrez: Predicted driver finish: 20th

There was so much hype surrounding Esteban Gutierrez when he first entered F1 (And before it), but last season he was, to put it bluntly, disappointing. Infact, he only really had 1 or 2 decent races all season, and scored just 5 points. I’m amazed he was kept on, although it may have something to do with Mexican sponsor money, but I really can’t see him improving this season. I’m not even sure if he’ll score any points.

Toro Rosso: Predicted Constructor finish: 8th

Toro Rosso have come out this season with a front nose that people just can’t stop talking about, which is quite amazing because nobody usually pays much attention to Toro Rosso at all. This year they’ve lost yet another driver to Red Bull, and have replaced him with last year’s GP3 champion. I’m not expecting anything major from Toro Rosso, although the unpredictablitiy of the opening races will be their best chance for major points.

Jean-Eric Vergne: Predicted driver finish: 15th

JEV is now the more senior driver at Toro Rosso, with Daniel Ricciardo moving up to Red Bull, and this is his opportunity to show just how good he can be when given the lead role in a team. I’m not expecting any fireworks from the Frenchman, but if he can put in some solid drives then it won’t be long before he starts to rack up a few points, enough to keep Toro Rosso off the bottom

Daniil Kvyat

Our good Russian friend here was a surprise choice to partner JEV, but none the less he is now here. The GP3 champion, I somewhat beleive Kvyat may find himself out of his depth at this level for his first season. With a little bit of good fortune he may just find himself mixing it with the big boys, and I reckon he’ll outdo Gutierrez anyway!

Williams: Predicted Constructor finish: 5th

Williams had an abysmal season in 2013, but look like they’re going to bounce right back this season. Pre-Season was good, and now that Williams have a Mercedes power system they have power and reliability behind them too. Couple that with the acquisition of Felipe Massa, and this could be a great season, although something tells me that they won’t be able to keep up with the development race over the course of the year. 5th, however, is still a brilliant step up from 9th last year.

Felipe Massa: Predicted driver finish: 8th

I really like Felipe Massa. He was a great servant to Ferrari, and despite the difficulties wasn’t a half bad driver either. Now he has a fresh start at Williams and a chance to really show the crowd what he is made of. He has a great chance of taking podium finishes and maybe even a win in the early races, and even when Williams may start to struggle, he has the potential to do great

Valtteri Bottas: Predicted driver finish: 14th

Now, Valtteri Bottas is an interesting case, because he’s a lot lower down than I thought he would be. You see Massa up in 8th, with a Williams car that looks good, but I really just can’t place Bottas any higher. I really want to, but I just can’t see it in him to beat the Force India or Lotus boy (One Lotus get their act together of course). Sorry guys.

Marussia: Predicted Constructor finish: 11th (Sorry)

Before anybody says anything, somebody has to be last. I really didn’t want to put Marussia last, but when I weighed up who was more likely to score more points out of Kobayashi and Bianchi, I came out with Kobayashi. In truth though, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen with Marussia, or Caterham. They could either stick with what they usually do and sink to the back, or they could be fantastic, I just don’t know. It’s all guesswork i’m afraid, and as such i’ve been Conservative, although don’t put it past either team to score points in Australia. Infact, I reckon both Marussia and Caterham could both score points in Australia, if Caterham sort Renault’s engine troubles.

Jules Bianchi: Predicted driver finish: 18th

Jules Bianchi is a great driver, and proved that last season when he dragged Marussia above Caterham in the championship. This year, however, will be the big test to see whether or not he can keep up the charge. If Marussia do have a good car this year, then he is definitely going to be the person that could score them points. Their fate is in his hands.

Max Chilton: Predicted driver finish: 21st

As amazing as this might be, Max Chilton is not last! In fairness, I don’t think he’s going to score any points regardless as to whether the Marussia is any good or not, because he’s still pretty slow, but hopefully he’ll have improved at least enough to make sure he gets off the back of the grid every now and again.

Caterham: Predicted Constructor finish: 10th

Read what I said for Marussia and you just about get the picture. I’m working on the pretense here that Caterham and Marussia are going to be equal, then it’s down to the drivers. No pressure.

Kamui Kobayashi: Predicted driver finish: 17th

The Super Kamui Smile Train is back! Ever since Kobayashi entered the world of F1 back in 2009 with Toyota, he captured my support for his brazen moves and all out winner-takes-all attitude. Now back with Caterham, this is a chance to really shine, especially as there won’t be much pressure on him to do well. #ForzaKamui

Marcus Ericsson: Predicted driver finish: 22nd

There is just something about Marcus Ericsson that really puts me off him. He seems far too arrogant for someone entering his debut year, but more than that he just doesn’t seem right for me. He hardly set the GP2 world alight, his highest finish being 6th after several seasons. I don’t expect him to really be much of a threat to anybody, more the Max Chilton of last year.

So, that’s your lot!
No doubt i’m going to be very, very wrong, but at least I have something to reference back to when the season ends. Thank you for reading, and i’ll see you next time.

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