Paul the octopus style F1 predictions

9 10 2010

The oracle’s skills are not limited to mere World Cup knock-out prophesying; here he casts his tentacles at forecasting the Formula 1 final standings

Hamilton, Alonso, Webber, Button and Vettel (not pictured) are all in the hunt for the championship

On Friday morning before practice sessions began, the vociferous Japanese supporters sprawled across the Suzuka circuit, paying tribute to one of the most supreme drivers ever to grace the rollercoaster circuit in the land of the rising sun. Ayrton Senna was adored by the influential Soichiro Honda developing an affinity with the Japanese crowd whenever he hit those shores.

This weekend five drivers are all poised and capable to emulate the great Brazilian and set up a thrilling culmination to what has been an utterly absorbing F1 season.

Here gives you a preview of what to expect at Suzuka, the implications for next week’s South Korean grand prix being cancelled and in Paul the Octopus fashion, we ponder how the prospective final standing table may look come 14 November and the end of the 2010 F1 season.

Preview – Red Bull look primed

Table-topping Mark Webber, exciting Sebastian Vettel and relentless Red Bull have been setting the pace again this weekend. In Friday’s practice sessions the two drivers topped the timing sheets, narrowly ahead of Renault’s Robert Kubica who also impressed.

In a crucial week for McLaren, currently playing catch-up in points and performance, the team have so far struggled to make much of an impression. Jenson Button could only manage 12th on the time sheets and Lewis Hamilton, in the wars of late after retiring in the two previous races, has again suffered misfortune.

A crash ruling him out of much of the practice sessions has left him poorly prepared for Sunday and an illegal gearbox change has seen him handed a five-place penalty on the grid. He will hope the notion that bad luck comes in threes rings true this weekend and he can collect some much needed championship points.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso who this week dubbed himself the title favourite in typically brash manner has been boosted with the momentum taken from winning the last two races, shaving the gap to within 11 points of Webber. He has valuable experience, winning at Suzuka twice.

Suzuka girls

With the withdrawal of Japanese car manufacturer Toyota from F1 this year after eight seasons, the presence of two home drivers in Sakon Yamamoto and Kamui Kobayashi is sure to crank up the intensity and interest at Suzuka.

South Korea party poopers

The news of inspectors marching into Korea is nothing new these days but on this occasion concerns have been raised in the South. Next weekend the F1 calendar has South Korea’s Yeongam marked down as the venue for round 17.

However speculation has been rife that problems with completing the circuit may render the venue unfit for the drivers and it is yet to pass an FIA inspection usually completed months before race day.

It is an alarming proposition for racing fans and the Far Eastern investors who were expecting 2010 would be the year South Korea was added to the four other Asian venues that make up this intoxicating globe-trotting season.

Nevertheless, the dilemma has potentially shortened the race calendar to only three remaining races. Japan, Brazil and Abu Dhabi will host the other three final grand prix. For teams and drivers last season’s memories and results are sure to play a fascinating part in determining who gets pole, who skids into the tyres from the start and who will ultimately be finishing 2010 as World Champion.

Paul the Octopus predicts

If this eventuality comes to fruition the experiences at the same venues last season may prove a psychological advantage. Donning the role of Paul the Octopus we have put two and two together to get the final standings (based on last year’s results) for the 2010 Formula 1 season.

Paul the octopus

If we attribute this season’s points to their positions at Suzuka, Interlagos and Yas Marina and tot them up with their current haul it makes for an intriguing final table with only one point separating the top two. Remember 25 points for 1st, 18 for 2nd and 15 for 3rd.

Webber is in the proverbial pole position sitting on top of the standings table with 202 points. He struggled in Japan last year, waltzed to the chequered flag in Brazil and second spot in Abu Dhabi; ergo Paul predicts the Australian will collect 43 points from the three races this year.

Alonso, currently holding second place, disappointed at the culmination of last year, taking only the solitary point from the three races after finishing 10th in Japan.

Hamilton began showing signs that McLaren’s technical team had recovered from their woeful start making it onto the podium in 3rd place twice yet did not finish in Abu Dhabi. He ultimately came away with 36 points from the corresponding venues.

Vettel excelled when it came to crunch time. The brazen German finished first at Suzuka last season, 4th in Brazil and top spot again at Yas Marina collecting 65 points.

Finally, Button did just enough to hold onto the top spot overall – largely due to his blistering start to the season – managing to scrape together 29 points from an 8th, 5th and 3rd result respectively.

Final scores

Now to our mollusced mate. Paul…what are the scores?

You couldn’t make this up, or perhaps we just have: Alonso can only muster 192 points overall. Button didn’t do enough with 206. Fellow Brit Hamilton paid for those retirements, amassing 218. And so, drum roll please…separating the Red Bull drivers by the narrowest of margins, Webber collects 245 to the 246 of the young German, and new Formula 1 World Champion, Sebastian Vettel!

FYI the final standings for the two teams in the frame would finish McLaren, 424 points, Red Bull, 491 points. World domination awaits the feisty German, team principal Christian Horner and that drink that gives you wings.

Drivers’ Championship: Fernando Alonso 192 | Jenson Button 206 | Lewis Hamilton 218 | Mark Webber 245 | Sebastian Vettel 246

Constructors’ Championship: McLaren 424 | Red Bull 491

Sebastian Vettel number 1


Labour smear and Jake Humphrey cheer – it’s all a bit unsettling

22 04 2009

Ok, so I’ve been away for a while. Call it busy, call it lazy, call it what you will, but I’m now back on song with a few fresh ideas in the blogging pipeline.

Recently I have been addressing the whole “need experience to get experience” hoopla with a week-long work placement at the weekly Wakefield Express newspaper. More on that will come soon…as if you can hardly wait.

I have been storing up opinions on a couple other issues lately. Firstly, this whole sleaze/smear scandal that Labour have conjured up. Damien McBride made an inspired decision in using political bloggers and tweeters, such as Derek Draper, to spread Chinese whispers and churn the Whitehall rumour mill – this whole social media thing is all so suddenly in Vogue – yet isn’t it all just a bit petty. The voting public certainly seem to think so. What has come of our government when Mr Obama is preaching transparent policies while Mr Brown is hiring blokes sitting in their dressing gowns on their iMacs to dredge up Mr Cameron’s latest STI check-up.

Secondly, to return fleetingly to the sporting arena, is the dumbfounding new Formula 1 season and coverage by the BBC. Jake Humphrey, formerly of the CBeebies, will be better known to toddlers and those whose daily newsbites are fulfilled by the wholesome Newsround coverage – I mean Lizo Mzimba is hardly a hard-hitting Paxman or a dependable national treasure in the guise of Sir Trev. Yet he has been hand picked to front the channel’s show in its first season since high-jacking ITV’s coverage.

Humphrey: uninspiring

He successfully douses the sparks created by that famous Fleetwood Mac intro music on Sunday mornings and his adolescent face “tingling with excitement” before what is sure to be another “thrilling ride” tends to put me off the whole spectacle entirely and question why I gave up my lie-in at all. I’d be suprised if he even has his provisional yet. Perhaps this decision is evident of the fears the BBC have faced when the likes of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand do what they do best. It must be admitted this is where Humphrey’s whole “wouldn’t hurt a fly" image can come in handy. I’d like to see what dirt the Labour smear squadron could dig up on him.

In terms of the season itself, the “spanner-in-the-works” performances of McLaren and Ferrari and the whole diffuser debate have completely gone over my head. It is as if the Premier League’s Chief Exec, Richard Scudamore was to banish the likes of Ronaldo, Rooney, Drogba, Lampard, and a cohort of other world class professionals from Manchester United and Chelsea, to the stands to sit out the first 20 games.

Meanwhile, the MK Dons of the league (the manufactured side is the closest representation to the new Brawn GP team assembled moments before the opening weekend) have been allowed to run amuck and have turned the sport on its head. Ferrari hasn’t even picked up a single point yet and McLaren are having to resort to all manner of under-hand tactics to get close – oh wait, they did that last year. Still, some things never change.

So, there is a little release of pent-up opinion blurted out for anyone to stumble across. I hope you enjoy. Better still, lets draw up a petition to get Humphrey returned to his comfort zone of presenting In the Night Garden or something, where his real fans will get to appreciate his true talents. Maybe Jeremy Clarkson could be brought in to spice things up a little and offend some prime time viewers. That’s always fun to see.

And this is always worth another look