Will Spain produce another new winner?

2012 Spanish Grand Prix preview

Start, Barcelona, 2011Four different drivers from four different teams have won so far this year. Will round five produce another different winner?

The Spanish Grand Prix has often been seen as a strong indicator for what the rest of the season has in store. The Circuit de Catalunya features several medium-to-high speed corners and a long straight which makes efficient aerodynamic performance – a key benchmark of a competitive F1 car – crucial.

For those teams which started the year on the back foot the three-week gap between the opening flyaway races and the return to Europe also gives them the chance to make upgrades and close the gap.

This year they’ve also had the benefit of three days’ testing in Mugello.

So we can expect further change in a competitive order which is far from clear at the moment. Three different teams have taken pole position so far and the top six teams were covered by 1.05% of lap time in the last race.

Catalunya circuit information

Lap length 4.655km (2.892 miles)
Distance 66 laps (307.1km/190.8 miles)
Lap record* 1’21.670 (Kimi Raikkonen, 2008)
Fastest lap 1’19.954 (Rubens Barrichello, 2009)
Tyres Hard and Soft

*Fastest lap set during a Grand Prix

Catalunya track data in full

Pirelli are supplying their hard and soft tyres for this weekend’s race. They used the same combination at this race and six others last year, but this year’s compounds are softer.

Michael Schumacher’s criticism of their tyres after the previous race has provoked debate over whether the tyres are lasting long enough. Last year several drivers including four of the top five finishers made four pit stops during the race.

Pirelli’s motorsport director Paul Hembery said: “We’ve nominated the soft and hard tyre in order to highlight performance differences that will create a different challenge for the teams, showcasing both the speed and durability of our products.

“There is a whole step in between our two nominations for the first time this year and this should allow the teams to come up with a number of different tyre strategies that could make a big difference to the final outcome.”

Red Bull

Red Bull have set pole position and won the last two races here. After the surprise of seeing Sebastian Vettel knocked off his perch in the opening races, round four saw him back on top after set-up changes to the team’s exhaust system.

He’s now back on top of the drivers’ championship but isn’t expecting an easy ride from here on in. Nor should Mark Webber be discounted – he’s been on pole position here for the last two years.

McLaren

McLaren’s car has been the most consistently competitive over the opening races but what’s really let the team down has been their pit stops. Both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton have seen points and podiums go begging after losing time in the pits.

Expect them to be in the hunt for victory at the Circuit de Catalunya, where the MP4-27 looked good in testing. But all eyes will be on the silver cars when they make their way into the pits on race day.

Ferrari

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Mugello, 2012A very important race for the team as they ready a substantial upgrade package for their F2012. They’ve been 1.5% off the pace on average over the first four races of the year and need to slash the gap here.

Part of the upgrade was tested on the final day of running at Mugello – unfortunately some time was lost after Fernando Alonso spun the car, damaging the front end. The remaining parts will come this weekend.

It’s Alonso’s home race and he often produces something special for the Spanish crowd – remember him hunting down Schumacher in 2003, and his electrifying start in last year’s race. If the revised car is good enough to give him the merest sniff of victory, he’ll snatch it.

Mercedes

Mercedes have been somewhat cool on their prospects for this weekend’s race. The W03′s strength is its straight-line speed, courtesy of that controversial Double DRS, but Catalunya’s single straight means it may not prove too great a benefit here.

“We know that its characteristics do not exactly play fully into our hands,” admitted Schumacher. Here is a driver who needs a change of luck: his car failed while he was running third in Melbourne, a botched pit stop ended his race in China and a DRS problem compromised his qualifying effort last time out.

Lotus

After a breakthrough result in the last race, with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both finishing on the podium, the question now is whether Lotus can take another step forward and score a victory.

They return to the venue where their season threatened to go off the rails before it even began. They had to scrap a four-day test in February after a suspension failure. They’ve put that trouble behind them and Grosjean was quickest in testing at Mugello (Raikkonen did not run).

Team principal Eric Boullier reckons they can challenge for victory given the right conditions: “We?ve been able to look after our tyres quite well during the races so far but the Barcelona track is very abrasive, especially for the front left tyre. Maybe we?ll do a better job than our rivals in this area.

“The only question mark is our performance relative to the temperature. A pattern started to emerge over the first four races, where we seemed to be more and more competitive in hot conditions. We?ll see.”

Force India

Paul di Resta produced perhaps the best drive of his F1 career so far last time out.

The Mugello test did not go well for Force India as a technical problem cost them almost an entire day’s running. They should be in contention for points here but if the Ferraris do improve this is one of the teams that will find themselves under greater pressure.

Sauber

Sergio Perez, Sauber, Mugello, 2012Sauber are another team who have much to be concerned about if Ferrari take their anticipated step forward. But they have other problems to get on top of.

Not least the curious loss of race pace in their car since Sergio Perez’s superb drive to second place in Malaysia. A substantially revised C31 ran at Mugello which may help them progress.

“We tested a major upgrade to the car in Mugello, consisting of a new front wing and new bodywork, including a different exhaust exit and a new diffuser,” said head of track engineering Giampaolo Dall’Ara. “The results of the test were encouraging.

“However, all the teams had some upgrades, and only the next race weekend will give us confirmation whether we are able to strengthen our position compared to our competitors. Nevertheless I’m confident that we can have a strong performance in Barcelona.”

Toro Rosso

The contest between the two Red Bull rookies continues to fascinate. Daniel Ricciardo remains the quicker of the two in qualifying – brilliantly so in the last race – but Jean-Eric Vergne has held the upper hand in the races.

They’ve slipped to the rear of the midfield battle and are struggling to contend for points. But it’s doubtful how much of a concern that is at ‘Red Bull Junior’.

Williams

Like Schumacher, Pastor Maldonado is another driver who needs a change of luck. While he had only himself to blame for crashing out of sixth in Australia, problems not of his own making ended his races on two other occasions.

The team are in the thick of the midfield battle with Sauber and Force India and need every point they can lay their hands on.

Caterham

Caterham have been close-but-not-quite-close-enough to battling with the midfield runners. Heikki Kovalainen made it into Q2 in the last race, partly thanks to Schumacher’s problems, but did out-qualify Vergne on merit.

Technical problems continue to hinder the team, however, and it’s because of that they find themselves behind Marussia in the championship at this early stage.

American Alexander Rossi will get his first run in an F1 practice session on Friday morning, taking over from Kovalainen.

HRT

HRT will give another driver his F1 race weekend debut: Dani Clos will partner Pedro de la Rosa in first practice, temporarily giving the team an all-Spanish driver line-up at home.

Narain Karthikeyan will return to the car for the second session. The team did not run at Mugello so don’t expect them to be any closer to Marussia.

Marussia

From being 2.8% slower than Caterham in Melbourne, Marussia have been within 1% of them on pure pace in the last two races. Their MR01 finally got its first testing run in Mugello which may help their cause.

Just as interesting is the contest between their two drivers, where the experienced Timo Glock is coming under greater pressure from rookie Charles Pic.

2012 driver form

Q avg R avg R best R worst Classified Form guide
Sebastian Vettel 5.75 4.75 1 11 4/4 Form guide
Mark Webber 4.5 4 4 4 4/4 Form guide
Jenson Button 3.25 8.75 1 18 4/4 Form guide
Lewis Hamilton 2.75 4.25 3 8 4/4 Form guide
Fernando Alonso 9.5 5.5 1 9 4/4 Form guide
Felipe Massa 13.5 12.33 9 15 3/4 Form guide
Michael Schumacher 7.75 10 10 10 2/4 Form guide
Nico Rosberg 5 7.75 1 13 4/4 Form guide
Kimi Raikkonen 10.5 7 2 14 4/4 Form guide
Romain Grosjean 6.5 4.5 3 6 2/4 Form guide
Paul di Resta 13.5 8.75 6 12 4/4 Form guide
Nico Hulkenberg 13.5 12 9 15 3/4 Form guide
Kamui Kobayashi 11.25 9.67 6 13 3/4 Form guide
Sergio Perez 11.75 8 2 11 4/4 Form guide
Daniel Ricciardo 12 13.25 9 17 4/4 Form guide
Jean-Eric Vergne 16 12.25 8 16 4/4 Form guide
Pastor Maldonado 13.25 13.33 8 19 3/4 Form guide
Bruno Senna 14 12.75 6 22 4/4 Form guide
Heikki Kovalainen 19.25 19.33 17 23 3/4 Form guide
Vitaly Petrov 19 16.67 16 18 3/4 Form guide
Pedro de la Rosa 21.67 20.67 20 21 3/3 Form guide
Narain Karthikeyan 23.67 21.67 21 22 3/3 Form guide
Timo Glock 21 17.25 14 19 4/4 Form guide
Charles Pic 20.75 18.33 15 20 3/4 Form guide

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Images ?? Pirelli/LAT, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Pirelli/LAT

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81 comments on Will Spain produce another new winner?

  1. bt55 said on 9th May 2012, 9:55

    2 words.
    Lewis Hamilton

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 9th May 2012, 10:10

      1 Question.
      Why?

      • Calum (@calum) said on 9th May 2012, 12:31

        Webber, Hamilton and Raikonen are all in good cars waiting to win, hopefully one of them gets it to make it 5in a row!

      • Nick.UK (@) said on 9th May 2012, 13:41

        @keeleyobsessed I agree with your question. I too am waiting to see the old Lewis, who we have not seen since after his crash at Spa last year. He just isn’t showing race winning pace at the moment.

        That said, I’m hoping the frustration from Bahrain will help him get more agressive again. It certainly made a return on his overtake on Rosberg. Just have to hope he can deliver on a regular basis.

        • Snafu (@snafu) said on 9th May 2012, 18:55

          he got criticized for some misfortunes when he was himself last year and with Pirelli’s punishing his kind of driving style, I don’t think we’ll see 2007-2008 Hamilton again…which is sad.
          he did made an aggressive move on Massa in bahrain though…

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 10th May 2012, 7:37

        Why, why?

        Can’t Lewis Hamilton win a race?

        On my book Kimi and Lewis will win a race sooner than later.

  2. matthewf1 (@) said on 9th May 2012, 10:13

    Mercedes – ‘courtesy of that controversial Double DRS’

    How is it controversial? Cleared by FIA. End of.

    Has this article been guest written by Andrew Benson?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 10:24

      Being approved by the FIA doesn’t automatically make something uncontroversial as if there had never been any controversy in the first place. The number of teams protesting and arguing over it was controversy, even if that controversy has ended for now.

      • thejudge13+ said on 10th May 2012, 18:11

        @Prisoner Monkeys

        Being approved by the FIA doesn’t automatically make something uncontroversial

        cf. Bahrain

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 9th May 2012, 10:50

      @matthewf1 Because it was protested against. And then it was protested again. And then it was protested a third time.

    • sumedh said on 9th May 2012, 12:09

      Instead of writing it as “Controversial Double DRS”, it could have been written as “Innovative Double DRS”

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 12:16

        And instead of being written as “an innovative DRS”, it could have been written as a “front-wing DRS”.

        All three descriptions are equally-valid. It is an innovative system. It has been a controversial system. It is a system built into the front wing. How is one of those words any more or less representative of the system than either of the others? At worst, Keith is guilty of using persuasive language in his article. If so, more power to him.

        • matthewf1 (@) said on 9th May 2012, 16:30

          It’s not controversial any more, so shouldn’t be referred to as such. If you want to write in this way, you might as well also write, ‘The World Champions’ in the Ferrari section. They may not currently be world champions but they once were.

          • BBT (@bbt) said on 9th May 2012, 20:50

            Some thing does not just become uncontroversial, if it was controversial it always will be (to some). End of. :-)

        • sumedh said on 9th May 2012, 18:59

          Like you said, all three descriptions are valid. But which one is used tends to reveal what the writer actually thinks about the system and (probably) the team that invented that system. I do not remember the F-duct being branded as controversial anytime even though it was against the spirit of the rules.

  3. Mallesh Magdum (@malleshmagdum) said on 9th May 2012, 10:15

    I hope Lotus win here. This will make for an exciting season with 5 different drivers from 5 different teams winning the first 5 races.

  4. Nige.B (@nigel2509) said on 9th May 2012, 10:17

    Would love to see one of the Lotus boys get a win, it surely can’t be far away?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 10:22

      Actually, it could be quite some time before that happens. Three other teams – McLaren, Mercedes and Red Bull – have all demonstrated race-winning pace, and you can bet that Ferrari will overcome their problems sooner rather than later. That means any one of ten drivers could win, and that both Raikkonen and Grosjean will need to put in excellent performances just to stay in touch with the leaders.

      • Kimi4WC said on 9th May 2012, 14:32

        Let’s see.

        McLaren – Australia, yes. Malaysia lack of pace from both cars. China, Jenson was holding up the faster cars and let Rosberg get away. Bahrain, lack of race pace again. No pit stop failures will cover for their lack of pace.

        Mercedes – I dont think neither Lotus or Red Bull would let Rosberg win as easy if Button didn’t hold them up before first set of pits.

        Red Bull & Lotus – looking at how these two were glued to the track compare to the rest of the cars I don’t see anyone touching them at race pace, unless other teams figured out what they did.

        But then again, qualifying is important, Spain is not exactly the easiest place to overtake and if Red Bull or Lotus will find them self behind slower McLaren or Merc, they will have to pray for miracles at pit stops.

        If Vettel or Kimi leading first lap and get Merc or McLaren to split them with the rest, it’s a “Rosberg type” win for them, unless technical issues.

        • NERD said on 9th May 2012, 16:40

          I agree Kimi4WC

          I think @PM cops with his “anyone can win it” thought. Might as well have said “if all the other cars crash into each causing them all irreparable damage – except for Petrov – he’ll win.”

          Lotus are very strong – double podium last out and fastest 2 days in Mugello. Look out finger boy.

        • Younger Hamii (@younger-hamii) said on 9th May 2012, 20:20

          Now let’s see, the annoying Vettel 2011 type of win. A compatriot of his gets off to a flying start, Rosberg in particular & then lacks the race pace to challenge Vettel out in front whilst the cars held up behind Nico, who have the pace to challenge Vettel, are stuck for the first stint, allowing Vettel to build up a race winning gap & maintain it, ultimately winning the race in dis-satisfaction to the fans.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th May 2012, 3:06

          @kimi4wc I hate to say it but @PM is right, any of the top teams could win if they get everything right and the track temperature suits them, basically who wins will depend on whether the temperature is closer to 20 or 30 degrees on the day.

          PS. Anyone want to bet against Jenson going for a one-stop.

          • Kimi4WC said on 10th May 2012, 5:02

            For McLaren in particular it’s not about getting it right, for them it’s about figuring out what is wrong. Tyres are excuse of the month, and I think they know it. It seems they worked hard during testing so maybe they got the cure for their average(for their standards) race performance. Also makes sense for them to use different drivers to get a fresh perspective on things instead of complaints about tyres.

            I personally wouldn’t be surprised if Jenson goes for one-stop, especially if he manages to qualify in top4. This will just again show their lack of race speed.

            Spain is Spain, if you slower and in front there is very small chances for others to get by (KERS will make sure that DRS zone is a non-factor). I just pray what going out the first corner we will have the fastest cars in front so they can fight it out, instead of being stuck behind slower cars, and giving away the victory.

    • sagar atgamkar (@) said on 9th May 2012, 16:46

      we’ll they do have the pace. the first 3 races they didn’t make it to the podium cause they either messed up strategy or romain crashed out. as far as the car by itself. its second only to the mclaren, at par with the red bull

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 9th May 2012, 20:54

        Nah, it is a myth about Mclaren, where is the factual evidence, both RBR and Lotus are ahead of them……
        … maybe not now with the raised nose.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 10:18

    There’s so much going on this season, I don’t know where to look. There are five teams with the ability to win, and five more that are fighting over the midfield. Even the other three are locked in battle, even if it is more of a cold war than anything else. Then there’s the intra-team battles, the uncertainty over the exact running order and all manner of subplots surrounding tyres and pit mistakes that it feels like there’s been more action and excitment in the four races this year than there was in the entire 2011 season.

    Personally, I don’t mind who wins. I think it’s far more likely that Barcelona will see our first repeat winner this year, though I do concede that if anyone is going to be the fifth race winner in as many races, it will be Lewis Hamilton.

    • Kimi4WC said on 9th May 2012, 14:37

      I’m not a fan of Hamilton, but before this season and even during Australia I would consider him a guy who will pull something out of the car no matter what and will be fast(which he no doubt will then we gets into form again). But in every single of this seasons four races he lacked that spark. I’m not sure if this is his plan to get more points but he does not look as fast as he used to be.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th May 2012, 3:14

      @PM, nice pun “cold war” could it be a “hot war” this weekend.

      • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th May 2012, 7:31

        It’s not meant to be a pun.

        I say “cold war” because a cold war is when two groups are technically at war with one another, but they’re not actually fighting. In this case, Marussia and Caterham are both contenders for 10th place in the WCC, but they’re nowhere near each other in terms of pace. Caterham have the raw pace, but Marussia have the reliability, so I think 10th place in the WCC is going to come down to overall results rather than a straight race. Because Marussia and Caterham aren’t racing wheel-to-wheel the way other teams up the front are, their battle is a cold war.

        And strangely enough, there are Russians on both sides this time.

        • Dave (@davea86) said on 10th May 2012, 9:45

          Although one of the Russians will be running alongside an American in FP1. Double agent?

        • sonoffingerboy said on 10th May 2012, 18:26

          @PM Think you could be wrong again sonny boy

          @pm “a cold war is when two groups are technically at war with one another, but they’re not actually fighting.”

          Not sure you can be technically at war. My dictionary defines war as follows:

          “armed fighting between two or more countries or groups”

          • woofie said on 10th May 2012, 18:29

            Sure not PM wrong? It must be armageddan! Bernie’s wrong more often.

  6. Karthikeyan (@ridiculous) said on 9th May 2012, 10:20

    All boils to who can lock the front 2 rows.

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 10:35

      Are you sure about that?

      In Australia, the top four finishers qualified second, sixth, first and fifth.
      In Malaysia, the top four qualified eighth, ninth, first and fourth.
      In China, the top four were first, fifth, seven and sixth.
      And in Bahrain, the top four started from first, eleventh, seventh and third.

      So I don’t think that anyone in the top four in qualifying will be guaranteed a good place in the race. especially with Pirelli bringing two compounds with a gap between them (hard and soft as opposed to hard and medium).

      • thejudge13+ said on 9th May 2012, 10:59

        Chances last year in first 3 races (No Bahrain) of a top 4 qualifier finishing in the top 4 in the race. 66%

        Chances this year of a top 4 qualifier finishing in the top 4 in the race. 44%.

        However in Spain last year 75% of the top 4 Qualifiers finished in the top 4 in the race. And 80% of the top 5 finhished in the top 5.

        I won’t bore you with further stats, however, PM probably isn’t giving enough weight to the nature of the circuit de catalunya.

        It is more likely that top 4 qualifyiers will do better here than in the previous 4 races.

        What is highly probable is that the pole sitter will do well. Pole both last year and this year in the initial 7 flyaway races has always finished in the top 4 in the ensuing race.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 11:07

          You can’t apply sabermetrics to Formula 1.

        • woofie said on 9th May 2012, 11:40

          PM

          You can’t apply sabermetrics to Formula 1

          Der…nothing like stating the obvious. Sabermetrics by its very definition relates to baseball.

          What next from the great PM? – breathe in/breathe out!

          • fascistmax said on 9th May 2012, 11:44

            I apologise….PM’s of course right…though is apparently now the master of stating the blindingly obvious

            Here’s a definition of sabermetrics:

            Sabermetrics is the specialized analysis of baseball through objective evidence, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity. The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research. It was coined by Bill James, who is one of its pioneers and is often considered its most prominent advocate and public face

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 12:02

            Sabermetrics, in and of itself, might solely apply to baseball, but it is used in other sports with other names; basketball uses a system called APBRmetrics. Since it lacks a name when used in Formula 1, I simply used the term “sabermetrics” because people know what that is.

            Karthikeyan was attempting to predict the outcome of the race through a statistical analysis of previous races in the 2012 season, while thejudge13+ was attempting to predict the outcome based on previous races at the circuit. This is essentailly sabermetrics, if a somewhat generalised version of it.

            The point I am trying to make is that you cannot predict the outcome of the race based on a statistical breakdown of historical results. And the reason for this is that Formula 1 is constantly changing. The differences between the cars vary from year to year, the rules change from year to year, and even the circuits can change.

            So it might not be called sabermetrics in Formula 1, but don’t think that pointing out that sabermetrics is a baseball term invalidates my point.

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 10th May 2012, 3:17

            “It’s deja vu all over again”

      • bernieslovechild said on 9th May 2012, 11:59

        PM: Sabermetrics is the process of using statistics to predict outcomes. I simply demosntrated that you cannot rely on statistics to predict outcomes

        Let’s analysis PM’s assertion.

        1) Sabermetrics is not any general analysis process – it relates specifically to baseball – the clues in the name. Therefore to attempt to use sabermetrics to analysise anything other than baseball is meaningless

        2) Bill James (a pioneer of sabermetrics) says, sabermetrics is “the search for objective knowledge about baseball.” – nothing about “predicting outcomes”

        3) Sabermetrics does attempt to determine the value of a player or team in current or past seasons From this baseline valuation, it does attempt to predict the value of a player or team in the future.

        4) PM also asserts, “you cannot rely on statistics to predict outcomes”. At times I worry PM was brought up in a void where time and space didn’t exist. Try asking the mamouth international gambling industry how they make gazillions eaqch year!

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 9th May 2012, 12:12

          Sabermetrics is not any general analysis process – it relates specifically to baseball – the clues in the name. Therefore to attempt to use sabermetrics to analysise anything other than baseball is meaningless

          There is no equivalent in Formula 1. However, what Karthikeyan and thejudge13+ were attempting to do – using statitical analysis to predict the performances of various drivers – was essentailly the same thing.

          Sabermetrics does attempt to determine the value of a player or team in current or past seasons From this baseline valuation, it does attempt to predict the value of a player or team in the future.

          The key difference is that the rules of baseball have remained relatively unchanged for decades. There may have been some changes, but they don’t affect the core approach to the game the way bans on refuelling, Pirelli tyres, and changes to circuits have affected Formula 1.

          PM also asserts, “you cannot rely on statistics to predict outcomes”. At times I worry PM was brought up in a void where time and space didn’t exist. Try asking the mamouth international gambling industry how they make gazillions eaqch year!

          You clearly don’t know how the gambling industry works. The gambling industry does not try to predict the outcome of an event. They offer punters the odds on an outcome happening, and those odds are calculated using statistics, but nowhere does the industry say “this outcome will happen”. That’s what the punter does, and that’s how the industry makes money. If a bookie gives Sebastian Vettel 2:1 odds of winning the Spanish Grand Prix and Lewis Hamilton 4:1 odds, they are not saying that Vettel will beat Hamilton, only that he is more likely to. The odds don’t eliminate the possibility of Hamilton beating Vettel.

          The gambling industry makes money from people trying to predict results. The industry itself does not try to make those predictions themselves.

          • MW (@) said on 9th May 2012, 14:35

            The gambling industry does not try to predict the outcome of an event. They offer punters the odds on an outcome happening, and those odds are calculated using statistics

            @prisoner-monkeys so they do actually use a form of sabermetrics to predict the likely result. Yes, punters will effect these odds by the amount of bets they put on, but the initial calculation is a form of Sabermetrics. It’s pretty obvious that they can’t predict the actual future.
            You’ve managed to argue against yourself here PM :)

          • woofie said on 9th May 2012, 14:40

            PM Then by you’re own arguements you were wrong to describe thejudge13+ as using sabermetrics. They said…

            thejudge13+ It is more likely that top 4 qualifyiers will do better here than in the previous 4 races.

            What is highly probable is that the pole sitter will do well. Pole both last year and this year in the initial 7 flyaway races has always finished in the top 4 in the ensuing race.

      • thejudge13+ said on 9th May 2012, 15:14

        I have previously commented on the rudimentary nature of @PM’s education. On that basis alone to expect him to have anything other than a situationalist philosophical view would be patently a fruitless prospect. It is highly likely @PM will, in an extended debate, conclude against his own viewpoint.

        I have enjoyed greatly the critique of PM’s reasoning by all of you above, but let’s not forget how it all began

        @PM criticized @Karthikeyan for stating, “All boils to who can lock the front 2 rows.”

        I posit to elaborate that @Karthikeyan was suggesting – history at Barcelona favours those at the front of the grid

        @PM used to support his critique of @Karthikeyan statistics for the positions for the top four finishers in relation to their grid positions the first races of this year.

        Elementary philosophy and reasoning tells us that to argue the null hypothesis is void because of a particular methodology used to support the hypothesis then renders irrational the use of the same methodology by the individual attempting to strike out the said hypothesis.

        Back to Peter and Jane I suggest…

        • maxandjohnfanclub said on 9th May 2012, 15:22

          So. I get it thejudge13+

          Is this what you infer happened?

          @Karthikeyan Assertion: This will happen because of these F1 statistics.
          @PM Here’s some F1 statistics that suggest otherwise
          @thejudge13+ Here’s some more F1 statistics that suggest support of @Karthikeyan
          @PM You can’t use F1 statistics to suggest anything (said at great lenght)

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 10th May 2012, 7:55

          I have previously commented on the rudimentary nature of @PM’s education.

          Disagreeing with you does not make me uneducated.

          I particularly like the way you resort to the ad hominem argument so quickly – you try to discredit my arguments by pointing out flaws in my character. I like this, because you fail to realise that by pointing out that flaws, you yourself are demonstrating flaws that discredit your own argument under your own logic.

          You know perfectly well what I meant when I addressed Karthikeyan. He stated his belief that the race result would hinge on whoever qualified in the top four. I pointed out that there is no pattern in this year’s qualifying performances that is reflected in race results. I did not say “the statistics show that the race results will not be reflected in qualifying performances”. I said “the statistics do not show any pattern that implies any result one way or the other”.

          I will now take the opportunity to draw your attention to this comment, where you effectively prove me right:

          However in Spain last year 75% of the top 4 Qualifiers finished in the top 4 in the race. And 80% of the top 5 finhished in the top 5.

          You refer to the results of the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix, using them to highlight trend in qualifying.

          You have, however, completely failed to take into account changes in the sport between 2011 and 2012. How can you rely on what happened in 2011 as a sign of what will happen in 2012 when the cars are completely different? When Pirelli’s tyres are different? When the circuit can be changed (like the placement of DRS)?

          The only way the results of 2011 could be used to predict the results in 2012 would be if everything today was as it was a year ago. This is what I have been arguing all along, and it surprises me that someone who prides himself on his (supposedly, as you’ll soon seen) superior intellect completely missed this. Your entire argument is based upon the idea that what happened in 2011 will allow us to predict the likelihood of certain outcomes in 2012. But, as I have just demonstrated, changes to the sport in the past twelve months have completely invalidated the historical value of these statistics.

          • thejudge13+ said on 10th May 2012, 16:52

            @PM The reason I referred to an obvious rudimentary education becomes more clear every time you dig a deeper hole. It’s not personal – just factual. You said…

            I will now take the opportunity to draw your attention to this comment, where you effectively prove me right:

            However in Spain last year 75% of the top 4 Qualifiers finished in the top 4 in the race. And 80% of the top 5 finished in the top 5.

            You refer to the results of the 2011 Spanish Grand Prix, using them to highlight trend in qualifying.

            You have, however, completely failed to take into account changes in the sport between 2011 and 2012. How can you rely on what happened in 2011 as a sign of what will happen in 2012 when the cars are completely different? When Pirelli’s tyres are different? When the circuit can be changed (like the placement of DRS)?

            I had previously agreed with you by saying that in 2011 the top 4 qualifiers had a 66% chance of finishing in the top 4 – I then contrasted that to this year where it is only 44%.

            The comparison of 75% and 80% in Barcelona 2011 was to demonstrate in the same year – 2011 – the increase from the first 3 races 66%-75% demonstrated that Barcelona had an incremental likelihood of top 4 qualifiers doing better.

            I was not comparing 2012 and 2011 – but 2011 and 2011. You missed the point trying to be clever using a phrase, “sabermetrics”, you clearly didn’t fully understand (lack of knowledge, research….ie a rudimentary education).
            You later attempted to backtrack in effect claiming “sabermetrics” could be used in a more generalised manner. I suggest “Base Runs”, “On Base plus slugging”, “Fielding independent pitching”….(I could go on and on) are clearly baseball specific analysis tools.
            As @fascistmax pointed out to you re: sabermetrics, “The term is derived from the acronym SABR, which stands for the Society for American Baseball Research”. For a little effort you could have discovered this
            I also then said that I wouldn’t continue to bore people with more stats. However, if you bothered to do a little research (as a more educated person may – rather than shooting from the hip) you would know that like for like with other circuits in the same year and under the same rules – Barcelona has consistently (before Pirelli, before DRS, with and without double diffusers and off blown throttle) rewarded good qualifying significantly more than most other circuits.
            Hence my comment…”What is highly probable is that the pole sitter will do well.”
            As @maxandjohnfanclub observed of you – you criticized the original observation by citing statistics and then stated that “sabermetrics” (I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you really meant statistics) cannot be applied to F1.
            All evidence of a rudimentary education – at best – I’d say.

      • BBT (@bbt) said on 9th May 2012, 20:59

        ‘So I don’t think that anyone in the top four in qualifying will be guaranteed a good place’

        Well yes the are, according to your own post 1st in qualifying is guaranteed a place on the podium ;-)

  7. Nige.B (@nigel2509) said on 9th May 2012, 10:50

    Whoever wins i’m sure it will be a great race, which will actually be quite a change for Barcelona!

  8. Sean (@spaceman1861) said on 9th May 2012, 11:04

    Its webbers turn :D

  9. Slr (@slr) said on 9th May 2012, 11:27

    I hope we get yet another different winner to help continue this great start to the year. The race results have been highly unpredictable which is great. It’s much better than Moto GP where the same five riders have taken up the top five positions in the first three races.

  10. bt55 said on 9th May 2012, 13:05

    uh because he has had the most poles and mc laren has the best inseason development so the race pace should be improved by Spain? maybe

  11. pinecone (@pinecone) said on 9th May 2012, 14:40

    From being 2.8% slower than Caterham in Melbourne, Marussia have been within 1% of them on pure pace in the last two races. Their MR01 finally got its first testing run in Mugello which may help their cause.

    When compared to Caterham, it looked like Marussia was narrowing the gap in China, but in Bahrain the gap increased.

    In the Bahrain qualifying, the faster Caterham driver was 2,831 seconds quicker than the faster Marussia driver. In the Bahrain race, both Caterham drivers lapped Glock, although Kovalainen did one extra pit stop due to his first lap puncture.

    In the Mugello test, it seemed like Marussia is narrowing the gap again.

  12. Tom (@newdecade) said on 9th May 2012, 14:43

    The winner will be decided by whichever team has their car & tyre set up in the best operating window, and nothing else.

  13. Adam Tate (@adam-tate) said on 9th May 2012, 15:38

    I hope that the wider gap between the soft and the hard tires makes this year’s race more unpredictable than usual. I fear we will finally have a repeat winner, but I do think Webber, Hamilton and Raikkonen all have a real shot at victory here. Raikkonen might finally be able to do what he couldn’t quite manage in China or Bahrain.

  14. Aditya (@) said on 9th May 2012, 15:44

    Forecast: Wet(?)
    Possible race winners: Anybody and everybody.

  15. sagar atgamkar (@) said on 9th May 2012, 16:51

    the last time felipe won a race, BRAZIL gp 2008 and thats the one in which he lost the championship. its would have been a different story all togeather only if he’d win that. and this also justifies his seat at ferrari today.

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