The F1 Oracle – Predicting the results for GP #05: Barcelona, Spain
In this series of posts I will attempt to predict the top 10 of both the qualifying session and the race based on previous form and the individual performances in the free practice sessions ahead of qualifying. I will enter these predictions on GuessTheGrid, a website which takes your top 10 predictions and ranks them against other’s. Feel free to sign up and battle me for the title of F1 Oracle – but first, read on what my prediction will be for the 2017 Spanish Grand Prix and why I think this prediction will ring true come sunday afternoon (local time).
Before I will present my prediction, let us take a look at how my prediction for the Russian Grand Prix worked out.
Russian GP Recap
I took a gamble going with Ferrari Ferrari, Mercedes Mercedes, but it worked out perfectly. The top 4 netted me a perfect score of sixteen points. On the other hand, I was wary of Force India’s actual qualifying pace:
Force India’s bad qualifying streak continued, so I should really stop putting them in my top 10 for qualifying.
So that kind of came back to bite me in the ass this time around, with Perez and Ocon grabbing 9th and 10th respectively. Still, my total of 25 points ensured a 7th position.
The race itself was kind of a disappointing result. Ricciardo’s DNF kind of destroyed my prediction. Had he come in 6th, I would’ve gotten Perez and Ocon just right, giving me 16/16 points for 5th-8th position. 17 points isn’t bad, but if you want to compete for the top spots you really have to try harder.
Still, a total of 42 points is nothing to scoff at. This took me from 24th on the general leaderboards to 10th. Even better, the gap to the #1 (still Kimiice) went from 21 to 16 points.
Lets move on to predicting the results for the Spanish GP. It is expected to remain dry this weekend. Temperatures for Saturday indicate 25 °C, and Sunday 22 °C. Weather won’t play a huge factor this race, but maybe some wind gusts in turn 9 (pictured above) might catch a driver or two off-guard as it did Max Verstappen in free practice (video). The results of said Free Practices are as follows:
- Free Practice 1 (friday morning)
- Free Practice 2 (friday afternoon)
- Free Practice 3 (saturday morning)
Mercedes’ upgrades have surely given them a comfortable lead over Ferrari. How big that lead actually is will be certain in a couple of hours after qualifying. Ferrari didn’t have an optimal FP1, so the full second they are behind might not be a fair indication. FP2’s gap might likewise very well be the Merc drivers taking it easy.
Anyway; here is my prediction:
Yes, I predict a very, very boring race. Not only is overtaking very hard on this track (Verstappen once again showed this last year in fending off Kimi for the win), teams have all the data they need from winter testing. The top 6 seems to be set in stone, and the only question is whether either of the Red Bulls will have mechanical problems this time around. I think not.
Now, the battle for 7th is where the actual fun racing starts. It can be anyone, be it Renault, Williams, Toro Rosso, Haas or Force India taking 7th-10th. Renault seemed to have the best pace in FP2, but I don’t expect Palmer to make the cut for Q3. Based on historical results (i.e. the first four races this year) I have come to this prediction.
What do you guys think? Does your prediction align with this one, or do you have a radically different opinion? Let me know, either in a comment, or on reddit.com/r/formula!
This is the prediction for my alternative account (FelixDicitDotCom) on GuessTheGrid. On the website, you are able to predict right up until the start of qualifying and the race. I suggest you use the information gained from FP3 to change your prediction for the Qualifying session. And, you can use Qualifying to adapt your prediction for the race. This is a strategy I will employ on my main account (FelixR1991). Some might think this is cheating. Ultimately, it does not matter – since I have no knowledge ahead of the session about the result. Spreading my options between the accounts won’t work for the grand tally, as I won’t know which is the better prediction.
Previous posts in this series:
- Melbourne, Australia (36 points)
- Shanghai, China (44 points)
- Sakhir, Bahrain (34 points)
- Sochi, Russia (42 points)