It all depends on how well Mercedes will perform on tracks at which the qualifying performance is not as significant – I’m thinking about Interlagos and Yas Marina in particular. I assume that Renault is stronger than Mercedes at the moment on ‘regular’ tracks (Monza, for instance, was an exception).
I expect Kubica to fight for top spots in Singapore – unfortunately I don’t see Petrov scoring. He has shown that he fails at street circuits; Monaco was a disaster and in Europe he was way behind Kubica. Considering that overtaking at Singapore is impossible, his chances are bleak with his qualifying pace. In fact, I think he has a high chance of crashing during qualifying or the race. On the other hand, I expect Mercedes to struggle. Their engine won’t be of any use there, and they’ve shown at Valencia that these kind of tracks don’t suit them. They should therefore drop out in Q2; perhaps Rosberg can just about bring the car at the end of top ten. Renault should make up around 8-15 points there.
Suzuka is a high-downforce circuit, and seeing as it’s Kubica’s favourite track, I think he might extract the absolute maximum from the car there. Mercedes should struggle more than Renault due to less downforce and Renault’s f-duct, which should be especially handy in S3. Alas I see Petrov struggling there and qualify low again. If Renault makes up 5-7 points that’d be good.
Korea is an unknown, so I’ll leave that out. Interlagos and Yas Marina are not so much about qualifying pace, so Rosberg and Schumacher could get home quite a bit of points. Renault should be slightly faster in Brazil and Yas Marina than Mercedes, but it all yet again depends on whether Petrov can get his act together and on how much quicker the French squad will really be.
In short – if Renault doesn’t capitalize on their advantage in Singapore and Suzuka, or if Petrov proves to cancel out the advantage that Kubica has over Rosberg and Schumacher in the last five races, they’ll end up fifth.