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    Avatar of JackySteeg

    I remember writing off every team but Red Bull after qualifying for 2013 Australian Grand Prix. They were quickest in practice and then locked out the front row. Admittedly I changed my mind after they struggled with tyres and didn’t look that strong in races. After that, it wasn’t until Monza that I realised that nobody else had a chance.

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    According to Adam Cooper’s blog (as featured on an F1 Fanatic round-up a couple of days ago) Forza Rossa is indeed Colin Kolles’ Romanian government-backed entry. No mention of any manufacturer deals, though…

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    I see no reason to believe Haas will adopt an all-American team approach. I’ve also read they already have facilities in Belgium, which would presumably serve as the F1 base.

    Anyway, my predicted lineup, optimistically presuming that all 13 teams will make it:

    Red Bull Renault – neither team nor drivers see any reason to change
    S. Vettel
    D. Ricciardo

    Mercedes – same as Red Bull
    L. Hamilton
    N. Rosberg

    Ferrari – Hulk finally gets his chance in a top team after Kimi gets bored again. Alonso pursues a more competitive seat but fails
    F. Alonso
    N. Hulkenberg

    Lotus Renault – same as before
    R. Grosjean
    P. Maldonado

    McLaren Honda – same as before
    J. Button
    K. Magnussen

    Force India Mercedes – Bianchi moves forward
    S. Perez
    J. Bianchi

    Sauber Ferrari – Sutil fades out, along with the Sirotkin deal
    E. Gutierrez
    K. Sato

    Williams Mercedes – no changes
    F. Massa
    V. Bottas

    Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault – Félix da Costa gets promoted
    D. Kvyat
    A. Félix da Costa

    The-team-formerly-known-as-Marussia Honda (can’t even predict what these guys will be called next year) – forms partnerships with McLaren and Honda and thus becomes a proving ground for their protégés
    S. Vandoorne
    T. Izawa

    Caterham Renault – Kobayashi is narrowly selected to stay on with Rossi receiving a promotion
    K. Kobayashi
    A. Rossi

    Haas Formula Ferrari – Ferrari partnership is formed, chooses the well-funded GvdG along with GP2 winner turned Ferrari sportscar racer Calado
    G. van der Garde
    J. Calado

    Forza Rossa Mercedes – again, chooses some better-funded options
    F. Nasr
    J. Leal

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    Looks like it will be an exciting start to the year for the World Endurance Championship feeder series!

    On a serious note, it is looking pretty good. Using both tyre compounds per feature race can only be a good thing, no more silly strategies where teams completely disregard the sprint race. Also, Vandoorne isn’t demolishing the competition as much as some might have expected, which I think is a positive. He’s undoubtedly the most exciting driver to arrive in GP2 since Nico Hulkenberg, and if all the GP2 ‘regulars’ can give him a fight for the championship, it will at least reaffirm the reputation of GP2 as a Formula 1 feeder series.

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    @bullfrog Perfect.

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    I had this thought as well. I do feel sorry for Ricciardo receiving this harsh punishment when he stopped as soon as he realised the wheel wasn’t attached, rather than continuing on as we’ve seen others do in the past. I don’t think there is much he could’ve done about the situation.

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    If I were in charge of F1, the calendar I’d push for would be as follows:

    1. Australian Grand Prix – Melbourne
    2. Malaysian Grand Prix – Sepang
    3. Japanese Grand Prix – Suzuka
    4. Spanish Grand Prix – Jerez
    5. Monaco Grand Prix – Monaco
    6. Tuscan Grand Prix – Mugello
    7. French Grand Prix – Magny Cours
    8. British Grand Prix – Silverstone
    9. German Grand Prix – Nurburgring
    10. Dutch Grand Prix – Zandvoort
    11. European Grand Prix – Brands Hatch
    12. Belgian Grand Prix – Spa
    13. Italian Grand Prix – Monza
    14. Portuguese Grand Prix – Algarve
    15. Canadian Grand Prix – Montreal
    16. United States Grand Prix – Road America
    17. Georgia Grand Prix – Road Atlanta
    18. Californian Grand Prix – Laguna Seca
    19. Mexican Grand Prix – Hermanos Rodriguez
    20. Brazilian Grand Prix – Interlagos

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    The tyre failures were pretty curious considering the left side tyres experience much less load than the right side tyres. It reminds me of that farcical race at Indy a few years ago (the NASCAR Brickyard 400 I mean, not the Formula 1 race), although yesterday’s race perhaps wasn’t as bad as that. I seem to recall NASCAR being forced to bring out a caution every 10 laps because the tyres could last no longer. At least this race didn’t get THAT bad…

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    While I believe IndyCar’s choice of double-points events makes infinitely more sense than F1′s, I am still against this. The great thing about the Indy 500 is that teams never enter the race thinking about the championship. For most teams who enter the race, it’s win or bust. I fear that by doubling the points on offer, the added championship weighting will lead to conservatism in the race, especially for the smaller teams. Indy never fails to deliver a great underdog story, and I’d hate to hear any radio messages along the lines of “don’t take any risks, we need the points”.

    It’s that same reason that I am wholly against offering double points to F1′s prestigious races.

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    Best Driver: Magnussen
    Worst Driver: N/A
    Best Team: Mercedes
    Worst Team: Red Bull
    Best Overtake: BOT on RAI
    Funniest Moment: N/A
    Most Surprising Result: No points for RB
    Least Surprising Result: Mercedes dominate
    Special Mention to: Kvyat, Ricciardo
    Race Rating: 8

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    @jb001 I’d be very surprised if Chevrolet blocked Kurt from racing in Indy. If such exclusive deals were the norm, we wouldn’t see Chevrolet’s top IndyCar team, Penske, using rival Ford cars in NASCAR. Other than time constraints, I can’t see any real obstacle for Kurt Busch to race in both the Indy 500 and the Coke 600.

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    Kurt Busch maybe? He’s been interested in Indy for a couple of years now.

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    I reckon it will be between the Mercedes boys. Difficult to choose because, on his day, Rosberg can be as quick over a single lap as anyone. But I’m still going to say Hamilton.

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    I’m gonna guess:

    1. Rosberg
    2. Hamilton
    3. Magnussen
    4. Alonso
    5. Raikkonen
    6. Button
    7. Vettel
    8. Hulkenberg
    9. Ricciardo
    10. Perez
    11. Massa
    12. Bottas
    13. Grosjean
    14. Kvyat
    15. Sutil
    16. Maldonado
    17. Guttierez
    18. Vergne
    19. Bianchi
    20. Kobayashi
    21. Chilton
    22. Ericsson

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    Quite a shocking accident. Looks like Memo Gidley has been extricated from his car, so I desperately hope we hear some good news soon.

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