Predictions for the 2012 United States Grand Prix
These predictions leave most of the technical engine performance matters, behind the scenes. At this point the Formula One machines seem stable, for the three contenders. Abu Dhabi last week showed us that the teams are adapting and improving as the season progresses. Also it seems, off track distractions have been minimized or at least contained. So this years’ prediction is about the human factor, and we have three great drivers in the running.
Momentum. Abu Dhabi put three champions gaining momentum at this point in the season. Kimi Raikkonen because he won. Sebastian Vettel because he came from so far back. And Fernando Alonso who maintained his track with a second, staying second in standings. Three different routes followed to be where they are in the standings today. But all of them are building, straight up, not sideways or backwards. The predictions for the United States Grand Prix, this year have more to do with intangibles than engines.
Do the current points matter?:
Yes they do with these champions. We all know each race is different. We know that past records do not mean anything on any given 3 days of racing. That is unless they do. In this race for the championship 3 drivers are outdistancing the pack. This puts them and their team in a winning state of mind. Synergism and teamwork are vital for championships. Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus are running like the well oiled machines they race. Success brings success. A winning attitude is contagious. The predictions for this years’ United States Grand Prix are based as much on how the champions got here as they are on their standings.
Does Circuit of the Americas, Valle TX course matter?:
Yes it does. The course will reward aggressive driving and surviving. Turn eleven will be critical. (GA seating there is bound see excitement) Excepting rain the weather should be perfect again favoring the most aggressive and dynamic drivers. The predictions for the United States Grand Prix take into account the venue, this race will not be won by default, but by start to finish persistence.
Here are the predictions for Austin after Abu Dhabi
1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Kimi Raikkonen
3. Fernando Alonso
Fastest cumulative pit stops: Alonso
Fastest lap: Hamilton
Sebastian Vettel must be on fire and extremely confident. The punishment his formula one took in Abu Dhabi, and his success, tells us that things are working well at Red Bull. Yes I am aware a fuel issue placed him so far back in the pack to begin with, but overcoming those problems are what champion teams are all about.
Kimi Raikkonen and Team Lotus, seem to be getting better and better in this race for the championship. It is like they are peaking out at just the right time.
Fernando Alonso and Ferrari are running consistently. When you do that over time, a team builds confidence. When you do that and gain points, it builds solid confidence that allows a driver step up and out in front.
(and yes Hamilton would be number 4)