The 2012 F1 season in 20 questions

2012 F1 season preview

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Barcelona, 2012

Will Alonso win more than one race this year?

The curtain is about to come up on a new season of Formula 1.

But before then we get to anticipate what might be for just a few days longer – and that’s part of the fun, isn’t it?

With that in mind, here are 20 question on the subjects that will shape the season ahead.

Post your answers in the comments and come the end of the season we can all reflect on how wrong we were. Especially me.

1. What will be the best surprise?
2. What will be the worst surprise?
3. How many different teams will win races?
4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race?
5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win?
6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be?
7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship?
8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013?
9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season?
10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted?
11. And who will take their place?
12. Which driver will receive the most penalties?
13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012?
14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix?
15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix?
16. What will be the biggest political story of the year?
17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year?
18. How many points will the winning driver score?

The final two questions take the form of these polls:

19. Who will win the constructors’ championship?

Who will win the constructors' championship?

  • Red Bull (38%)
  • McLaren (55%)
  • Ferrari (4%)
  • Mercedes (3%)
  • Lotus (1%)
  • Force India (0%)
  • Sauber (0%)
  • Toro Rosso (0%)
  • Williams (0%)
  • Caterham (0%)
  • HRT (0%)
  • Marussia (0%)

Total Voters: 577

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20. Who will win the drivers’ championship?

Who will win the drivers' championship?

  • Sebastian Vettel (35%)
  • Mark Webber (4%)
  • Lewis Hamilton (26%)
  • Jenson Button (19%)
  • Fernando Alonso (8%)
  • Felipe Massa (0%)
  • Michael Schumacher (2%)
  • Nico Rosberg (1%)
  • Kimi Raikkonen (3%)
  • Romain Grosjean (0%)
  • Paul di Resta (0%)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (0%)
  • Kamui Kobayashi (0%)
  • Sergio Perez (0%)
  • Daniel Ricciardo (0%)
  • Jean-Eric Vergne (0%)
  • Pastor Maldonado (0%)
  • Bruno Senna (0%)
  • Heikki Kovalainen (0%)
  • Vitaly Petrov (0%)
  • Narain Karthikeyan (0%)
  • Pedro de la Rosa (0%)
  • Timo Glock (0%)
  • Charles Pic (2%)

Total Voters: 565

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Predictions Championship

If you think your powers of prediction are up to it then make sure you enter our Predictions Championship.

Not just because it’s great fun and you get to compete with other F1 Fanatics. But also because there’s some terrific prizes to be won – including one new prize that just confirmed today.

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2012 F1 season preview


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219 comments on The 2012 F1 season in 20 questions

  1. rahul1810 (@rahul1810) said on 14th March 2012, 12:04

    1. What will be the best surprise? Force India
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Mercedes
    3. How many different teams will win races? 5
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Charles Pic
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? 4
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 1st at Spa
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 10
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? No
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 10
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Kathikeyan
    11. And who will take their place? DiGrassi
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Pastor Maldonado
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Pedro De la Rosa
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Fernando Alonso
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Webber vs Vettel
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Silverstone
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 280

  2. Mister Nillionaire (@mister-nillionaire) said on 14th March 2012, 12:14

    1. What will be the best surprise?
    Ferrari being as fast as Red Bull
    2. What will be the worst surprise?
    Williams not being on form for another season
    3. How many different teams will win races?
    6
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race?
    Narain Karthikeyan
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win?
    Seven, maybe even in a row
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be?
    A win at Monaco
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship?
    Might battle Sauber, Williams and Torro Rosso for 9th
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013?
    No, he will retire
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season?
    Red Bull and Ferrari will join back.
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted?
    Either Fellipe Massa or Narain Karthikeyan
    11. And who will take their place?
    Bobby Kubica and Dani Clos, respectively
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties?
    Lewis Hamilton
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012?
    Yes, yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. I am certain he will be back on the grid in 2012 (may replace Massa or drive for Sauber or whatnot)
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix?
    Fellipe Massa
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix?
    Fernando Alonso
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year?
    Some parts of the RB8 being deemed illegal by other teams
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year?
    Monaco, as usual.
    18. How many points will the winning driver score?
    301

  3. VoiseyS (@voisey) said on 14th March 2012, 12:37

    Okay, here we go; some slightly outlandish but genuine predictions:

    1. What will be the best surprise? Williams mixing it with Force India and Lotus
    2. What will be the worst surprise? McLaren being off the pace
    3. How many different teams will win races? 2. Yes, I said TWO
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? None, they will all make it
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? 0, none, nadda, zip
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 4th
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 10th
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? No
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 12, new ToR drafted and they all sign up.
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Petrov, for Chandhok but only for the Indian GP
    11. And who will take their place? Chandhok
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Schumacher, falling foul of the one-move rule
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? Not a hope
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? De La Rosa
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Button
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Concorde Agreement negotiations, particualry teams slice of sports revenue

    McLaren for WCC and Hamilton for WDC.

  4. pl.boff (@plboff23) said on 14th March 2012, 13:08

    1. What will be the best surprise? The US Grand Prix actually starting
    2. What will be the worst surprise? The Bahrain GP going ahead.
    3. How many different teams will win races? 7 Red Bull, Mclaren, Lotus, Williams, Sauber, Force India & Mercedes
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Massa
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? Zero
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 1st Monaco
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 8th
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? Yes, replacing Alonso at Ferrari (Alonso will sign for Red Bull)
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 13
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Massa
    11. And who will take their place? Di Resta
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Kobayashi
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? De la Rosa
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? It won’t happen
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Bahrain
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? A wet Monaco
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 238

  5. Wes (@wes) said on 14th March 2012, 13:10

    1. What will be the best surprise?
    Very tight fight for the championship with five drivers in it.
    2. What will be the worst surprise?
    Red Bull dominates the whole season.
    3. How many different teams will win races?
    4
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race?
    Narain Karthikeyan.
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win?
    2
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be?
    1st (at Spa)
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship?
    10th (with 1 or 2 Point(s).
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013?
    Yes.
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season?
    All Teams.
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted?
    Narain Karthikeyan.
    11. And who will take their place?
    Dani Clos.
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties?
    Lewis Hamilton.
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012?
    No.
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix?
    Charles Pic.
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix?
    Jenson Button.
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year?
    The budget cap.
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year?
    Montreal and Spa.
    18. How many points will the winning driver score?
    Around 250.
    19. Who will win the constructors’ championship?
    McLaren
    20. Who will win the drivers’ championship?
    Jenson Button.

  6. Dave (@davea86) said on 14th March 2012, 13:25

    1. What will be the best surprise? Caterham scoring their first championship point
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Massa won’t have his contract renewed for next year
    3. How many different teams will win races? Four
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Karthikeyan
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? Two, like 2008 when he had a car that wasn’t quite good enough (although hopefully less controversial than Singapore)
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? Third
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? Tenth
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? If the Mercedes is a pooch then no but I think it’ll be an improvement on last year so yes, he will sign on again for one year
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? Nine
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Karthikeyan, someone with more money will come along and that why he’s there.
    11. And who will take their place? Dani Clos
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Lewis Hamilton. If he starts the season poorly I can see him finding trouble
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No, sadly
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Pastor Maldonado. He’ll probably qualify near the part of the field where things get ugly into turns one and three
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Sebastian Vettel. The layout has similarities with Silverstone and that’s a Red Bull track
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Bahrain GP. It’ll happen but there’ll be controversy
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Australia although I’m biased as I’m an Aussie
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 280 with the next 3-4 drivers not very far behind please
    19. Who will win the constructors’ championship? Red Bull.
    20. Who will win the drivers’ championship? Sebastian Vettel. (I hope I’m wrong on the last two but I wouldn’t bet against it)

  7. Nixon (@nixon) said on 14th March 2012, 13:35

    1. What will be the best surprise? Ferrari, Alonso winning championship
    2. What will be the worst surprise?A race being cancelled
    3. How many different teams will win races?4
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Karthekiyan
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win?6
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be?2
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship?10
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013?Yes
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season?21
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Pedro de la rosa
    11. And who will take their place?Liuzzi
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Hamilton
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Charles Pic
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Alonso
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? no idea
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Bahrain
    18. How many points will the winning driver score?258

  8. KoolKieren (@koolkieren) said on 14th March 2012, 14:02

    Best surprise: Kubica in Free Practice in the American GP
    Worst surprise: Spa disappearing from the calender in favour of a procession
    Different winning teams: Five
    First driver to DNQ: Kartikheyan
    Alonso wins: Two
    Raikkonen’s best result: First
    Caterham’s championship position: Ninth
    Schumacher contract extension: Yes
    FOTA members: Seven
    First driver replaced: Karthikeyan
    Who replaces them: Clos
    Most penalties: Maldonado
    Will Kubica race?: No, but will participate in Free Practice
    First retirement in Australia: Vettel
    US GP winner: Schumacher
    Biggest political story: Concorde Agreement fall-out
    Most entertaining race: Spa – as I’m going
    Winning driver points: 246
    Teams’ champion: Mclaren
    Drivers’ champion: Button

  9. Mustalainen (@mustalainen) said on 14th March 2012, 15:45

    1. What will be the best surprise? Räikkönen finishing a solid 5th in the championship
    2. What will be the worst surprise? After a few races McLaren and RB will run away at the front by bringing upgrades to their car constantly
    3. How many different teams will win races? 2, McLaren and Red Bull
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Nobody
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? Zero
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 3rd
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? Ahed of HRT and Marussia, and behind the rest
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? Yes
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? ?
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Pic
    11. And who will take their place? ?
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Hamilton :)
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? Never
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Petrov
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Hamilton
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Something Ferrari
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Melbourne
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 318p

  10. 1. What will be the best surprise? Lotus getting in the podium regularly
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Williams
    3. How many different teams will win races? 4
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Karthikeyan
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? 2
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 1st
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 9th
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? No
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 8
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Karthikeyan
    11. And who will take their place? Clos
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Alonso
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No, I’m afraid
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Perez
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Sebastian Vettel
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? No idea.
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Italy
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 344

  11. Casanova said on 14th March 2012, 16:40

    1. What will be the best surprise? A closing up of the field due to the loss of EBDs, which were a major performance differentiator between the top and lower teams in 2011.
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Injury to a driver or marshal from debris.
    3. How many different teams will win races? 3
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? I don’t think the 107% rule will be used at all this year.
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? 0
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 3rd
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 8th
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? Yes
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 8
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Narain Karthikeyan
    11. And who will take their place? Mika Salo!
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Felipe Massa
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Jean-Eric Vergne
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Lewis Hamilton
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Rows over renewing the Concorde Agreement and the special privileges granted to Ferrari.
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Sepang
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 314
    19. Who will win the constructors’ championship? McLaren
    20. Who will win the drivers’ championship? Lewis Hamilton

  12. KaIIe (@kaiie) said on 14th March 2012, 18:33

    1. What will be the best surprise? Kimi Räikkönen wins the Australian GP.
    2. What will be the worst surprise? I don’t know this can be counted as surprise, but none of the “new” teams score points this year.
    3. How many different teams will win races? Five: RBR, McLaren, Ferrari, Mercedes & Lotus.
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Narain Karthikeyan.
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? One.
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? Victory.
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 10th.
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? Yes.
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? Six.
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Pedro de la Rosa.
    11. And who will take their place? Jaime Alguersuari.
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Lewis Hamilton – that was easy :P
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No.
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Jean-Eric Vergne.
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Sebastian Vettel.
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Definitely the new Concorde agreement.
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Canadian GP.
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? Is this a trick question? 25 of course.
    19. Who will win the constructors’ championship? Red Bull.
    20. Who will win the drivers’ championship? Vettel.

  13. Girts (@girts) said on 14th March 2012, 19:33

    1. What will be the best surprise? Austin GP will turn out to be a success
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Bahrain GP will turn out to be a failure
    3. How many different teams will win races? 3 although I hope that 4 will turn out to be the right number. Ferrari don`t seem to be capable of winning races now but even if it is so, they should come back sooner or later. Mercedes are a bit of dark horses.
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Charles Pic but he will be allowed to start the race anyway.
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? 2.
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? 6th. I expect big things neither from Lotus nor from Kimi himself.
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? 10th. They might score a few points but not enough to be a threat to the current Top 9.
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? Yes, it looks like he’s still got nothing better to do and Mercedes also seem to be fine with the current drivers.
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? 11. Ferrari, RBR & co will return soon after the fights over the new Concorde agreement are over.
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Karthikeyan
    11. And who will take their place? Giedo Van der Garde
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Kimi Raikkonen
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Kimi Raikkonen
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Lewis Hamilton
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? The new Concorde Agreement
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Canada
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? Not as many as Vettel in 2011 but more than Vettel in 2010. I’ll go with 324
    19. Who will win the constructors’ championship? McLaren. RBR and McLaren might be similarly quick so the stronger driver line-up will win.
    20. Who will win the drivers’ championship? Lewis Hamilton. Vettel seems to be the obvious choice but I believe that Lewis will have overcome his 2010 issues and, in a car as strong as RBR, thus will be slightly ahead.

  14. 1. What will be the best surprise? HRT pitting two cars on the grid in Brazil
    2. What will be the worst surprise? Massa retaining his seat for 2013
    3. How many different teams will win races? Three
    4. Who will be the first driver to fail to qualify for a race? Kartikeyan
    5. How many races will Fernando Alonso win? One (again)
    6. What will Kimi Raikkonen’s best result be? Fourth
    7. Where will Caterham finish in the constructors’ championship? Tenth
    8. Will Michael Schumacher announce a new contract for 2013? No.
    9. How many teams will still belong to FOTA at the end of the season? Six
    10. Who will be the first driver to be replaced or substituted? Kartikeyan
    11. And who will take their place? Marc Gene
    12. Which driver will receive the most penalties? Massa
    13. Will Robert Kubica start an F1 race in 2012? No.
    14. Who will retire first in the Australian Grand Prix? Webber (that would be funny)
    15. Who will win the United States Grand Prix? Hamilton
    16. What will be the biggest political story of the year? Concorde Agreement
    17. What will be the most entertaining race of the year? Canada obviously. It always is.
    18. How many points will the winning driver score? 210

    Team Champions McLaren
    Drivers Champion Vettel

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