Google+ Jack Leslie F1: F1 2016 predictions - right or wrong so far?

18 August 2016

F1 2016 predictions - right or wrong so far?

Before the start of the 2016 Formula 1 season I wrote an article for Car Throttle sharing some predictions for the year ahead.
© Sauber
With the mid-season summer shutdown underway, I thought it would be interesting to revisit them and see which ones I’ve got right or wrong so far.

1. Ferrari closes the gap 

So, I had high hopes for Ferrari coming into 2016. The team has got much closer to Mercedes than I expected in 2015 and I thought the consistent rules would play to the Italian team’s advantage. Sadly, I’ve been proved wrong so far. 

Ferrari started in decent form but as the year has progressed so far, the team have got further and further away from Mercedes. Ground has been lost and the hope of scoring a victory in 2016 seems far away now. 

2. Maldonado madness 

People on Car Throttle love Pastor Maldonado’s unpredictable driving style and after a tame 2015, I was expecting a bit more madness from 2016. Of course, he didn’t actually make the grid, being replaced late on at Renault by Kevin Magnussen. Who knows, maybe’s he’ll return to F1 someday? 
© Manor

3. Manor in the midfield? 

I thought 2016 would be a big season for Manor. Perhaps this was a bit too much to ask for after such a tough 2015 but I think I’ve got this one right. While Manor is still the slowest team on paper, Pascal Wehrlein has got it into the midfield several times, even scoring a point. Manor is well and truly a midfield runner and can sometimes be found ahead of Sauber and even Renault. 

4. Hamilton drops an album 

This was a more light-hearted point but in 2015 Lewis Hamilton properly got into his music, so away from the track, I was thinking we could see an album released at some point. Of course we haven’t just yet, maybe that’ll be part of his post-F1 story. 

5. Final year for Button 

We don’t have an answer to this one just yet, McLaren seems in no rush to confirm its driver line-up for 2017. But I’m expecting this season to be Jenson Button’s last at the team. 

However, with Felipe Massa continuing to underwhelm at Williams, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Button replace him and I think he would be a great fit. Of course, that would open the door for Stoffel Vandoorne to partner Fernando Alonso at McLaren. 

6. Haas in the points 

I was definitely right about this one! With its close partnership with Ferrari, which includes running with its power unit, I thought Haas would be in the points at some point during the year. I wasn’t quite expecting it to be so soon but the American outfit has done a great job so far in its rookie campaign and cemented itself as a proper midfield runner. 
© Red Bull Content Pool

7. Tyre rules shake things up 

This prediction was right. The third set of tyres and choice of 10 sets for the drivers has opened up strategy and given us better racing as a result. No one wants to see a one-stop race and we seem to see fewer and fewer of those each season. Pirelli has done a good job with the new regulations and this has really helped the on-track action. 

8. No more McLaren Honda jokes? 

So this was another more light-hearted, jokey point. But with McLaren’s improved form in 2016, we’ve definitely seen less of these. Some of them have been pretty hilarious, especially the various memes that flooded the internet. 

And while McLaren still has a long way to go, it’s been encouraging to see the team make a good step forward and challenge higher up the order, with fewer reliability issues.

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