So the season is slowly beginning to take shape, and it looks like we could be treated to an inter-team title fight for the first time since about 2012. We may even have the Red Bull’s getting involved after updates start arriving during the European stage of the season!
And, we have overtaking. Proper driver v driver overtaking. I’ll take quality over quantity, especially after the preseason doubts from everyone. The pleasing thing is to see that the majority of overtakes at both China & Bahrain were “real” overtakes and not DRS assisted.
On to the predictions. Let’s start with China.
Chris, Tom & Stu – Lewis Hamilton – Unanimous choice from us here expecting a fight back from Lewis after the disappointment of losing in Australia.
DATS Life Podcast – Sebastian Vettel – Dave & Tom went with Vettel coming through after as good win in Australia.
Tom – Lewis Hamilton – Tom was the only one smart enough to go for a pole to win for Lewis.
Stu & DATS Life – Sebastian Vettel – Being the first race winner of the season always makes Seb a good shout but he was let down slightly by the safety car coming out when it did.
Chris – Valtteri Bottas – Not a bad call really. Valtteri is looking quick each week, but is he a race winner yet?
Chris & DATS Life – Lance Stroll – Chris & the guys from DATS Life went for the rookie failing to come home again and were right to do so!
Tom – Jolyon Palmer – After a poor weekend in Australia Palmer was a candidate for this one.
Stu – Marcus Ericsson – Stu went with the slow Sauber breaking down or being crashed here.
Random Driver -Antonio Giovinazzi
Chris & Stu – 15th – A terrible weekend for Giovinazzi putting it in the wall on Saturday, then again on Sunday. Half points awarded here fro Chris and Stu just for being closest.
Tom – 14th, DATS Life – 11th – Looking for a positive weekend for Antonio but not finding it cost Tom & DATS Life.
Number of Finishers
Chris & DATS Life – 16 – Pretty close here as actual classified finisher count was 15. Half points for both!
Tom – 18, Stu – 17 – Optimistic from both Tom & Stu here just based on all 22 cars finishing last season. How wrong they were
A double header means we have another set of predictions to cover too (partly because I forgot to do the China results between the 2 races, but that’s another matter) so lets move on to Bahrain.
No one at all saw the Bottas pole coming so we were all wrong here as between everyone we were looking at the tied championship leaders.
Chris, Tom & DATS Life – Sebastian Vettel
Stu & James Hargreaves – Lewis Hamilton
Chris, Tom & DATS Life – Sebastian Vettel – All 3 of us went for the Vettel double here. At least half of it paid off earning us all a point.
Stu & James Hargreaves – Lewis Hamilton – Neither Stu or James had much luck this weekend but Hamilton could have been in with a shout had he not let them down with his 5 second penalty for backing up Ricciardo.
Stu – Lance Stroll – Although he wasn’t first out, he was first of our predictions to go earning Stu half a point and making Lance Stroll a DNF in all 3 of his F1 races so far in his rookie year.
Tom & DATS Life – Stoffel Vandoorne – Despite not making it to the grid to even start both Tom & the guys from DATS Life missed out here as to retire, first you must start!
James Hargreaves – Pascal Wehrlein – Not a bad idea. First race weekend in full for Pascal and would still be getting used to the car, but he pulled a blinder and brought it home in 11th.
Random Driver – Lance Stroll
Stu & DATS Life – 12th – Another weekend with a DNF for Lance but because of the way we work the predictions Stu & DATS Life were both closest to his overall standing, which was 17th after the crash with Sainz.
Tom & Chris – 10th – After a positive qualifying session in China the optimism levels where high here for Tom & Chris. Both thought Lance could bring it home in the points if he could just finish, and with Masa’s 6th it looks like there was every possibility in terms of the car.
James Hargreaves – DNF – Although this is technically correct, we work on the overall order of the final standings which means we needed a number from James here. Maybe next time!
Number of Finishers
Tom – 14 – Tom nailed this one. Despite Alonso bringing the car in with a lap to go he completed of 90% race distance which means he is a classified finisher and last of a total 14 finishers!
Chris, DATS Life & James Hargreaves – 16, Stu – 17 – 16 is becoming a common guess this season already but was a little off the mark. Too many crashes and failures of multiple varieties meant a small finishing grid this weekend.
So after 3 races Tom has taken the lead from Chris by half a point! Stu is off the mark after a bad first week, and despite missing week 1 Dave & Tom from DATS Life Podcast are keeping in touch with him.
James Hargreaves was unlucky not to score this week for the way the random driver position scoring works, but hopefully we will see his predictions again and he will get some points on the board.
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Remember to listen to our Chinese Grand Prix & Bahrain Grand Prix reviews, and why not join in with the prediction game by commenting below, or letting us know your predictions via @BackOfTheGridF1 on Twitter or Facebook!