The F1 Oracle – Predicting the results for GP #06: Monaco

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 Monaco 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 Spanish Grand Prix worked out.

Spanish GP Recap

Qualifying had some surprising results which I did not see coming in my prediction. The Ferrari’s had been a bit slower in FP1 – 3 than the Merc’s, so Vettel nabbing second from Bottas came as an unpredicted surprise. Furthermore, Alonso’s magnificent 7th spot was something only the most maniacal hardcore Alonso fanboy would have predicted, meaning a broken clock is right twice a day. Lastly, I really should start putting Force India in my qualifying predictions…

All in all, qualifying was a bit of a letdown. The race, however, was in a totally different league with just ten points scored. My prediction was salvaged a bit by Hamilton taking first, but behind that, it was a train wreck caused by the lap 1 incident between Bottas, Raikkonen and Verstappen. With the latter two retiring instantly, and the former retiring later due to a broken turbo, this meant that the normal #6-#8 could shift up to #3-#5.

Luckily, the highest scorer this race only had 16 points as well, so my 10 points (while still not good) is not as bad as it seems at first glance. Still, the Spanish GP result was a disappointment. I still managed to rise a spot in the rankings (from 10th to 9th), but the gap to the #1 (still Kimiice), which is the more important metric, went from 16 to 17 points.

 

Monaco Prediction

Lets move on to predicting the results for this Grand Prix. It is expected to remain dry this weekend. Temperatures for Saturday indicate 23 °C, and Sunday 25 °C.  The results of Free Practices are as follows:

Mercedes looks incredibly weak around Monaco, possibly due to their long wheelbase (which is reportedly 9cm longer than Ferrari’s) making it harder to get around the slow hairpins of Monaco. However, I’m convinced they will be able to improve on their times shown in these first two practice sessions, but I doubt it will be enough to see off Ferrari’s bid for the front row. I think it will be Ferrari, followed by Red Bull and Mercedes, followed by Toro Rosso and Force India.

For the race, Mercedes can try to be cute with their strategy, since overtaking is neigh impossible on this track. They could be helped by a safety car or two, but otherwise, it could very well be a non-Mercedes podium this year. Still, I’m not willing to bet against Mercedes since I’m a coward. I’m just open to the possibility.

 

Discussion

 

The general theme of this prediction is “playing it safe”.  Ferrari on top, followed by Mercedes/RB, and Force India/STR. It’s been a while since I put Kvyat above Sainz, but his race in Spain and his Free Practice results made me think it is worth a shot putting him in there so prominently.

For the race, I think at least one of the traditional top 6 will retire. I think, percentage-wise, Max is the most likely candidate – never having finished in Monaco and all. Still, I don’t think he will retire, but I couldn’t choose one of the other five drivers and I had to make room for… Felipe Massa.

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!

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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:

  1. Melbourne, Australia (36 points)
  2. Shanghai, China (44 points)
  3. Sakhir, Bahrain (34 points)
  4. Sochi, Russia (42 points)
  5. Barcelona, Spain (29 points)

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