The 2012 Season

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
So what do we know about 2012? The team line ups have nearly all been annouced - only Williams and HRT (and Caterham?) have an empty seat. 6 World Champions on the grid (is this a record?) and 3 of them multiple WDC winners. Here's the teams so far:

Red Bull - Vettel / Webber
Mclaren - Button / Hamilton
Ferrari - Alonso / Massa
Lotus - Raikkonen / Grosjean
Sauber - Kobayashi / Perez
Toro Rosso - Ricciardo / Vergne
Williams - Maldonado / TBC
HRT - de la Rosa / TBC
Marussia - Glock / Pic
Mercedes AMG - Schumacher / Rosberg
Caterham - Kovalainen / Trulli
Sahara Force India - di Resta / Hulkenberg

4 teams have changed their names and (thankfully) the nonsense surrounding the Lotus name has been resolved. Cosworth are only listed as having one team with HRT still to announce what power plant they will use.

Where to for and Barrichello and Sutil? Will 2012 be another Red Bull walk over? Can Mclaren get out of the blocks sprinting rather than limping? Will Ferrari provide Alonso with a car capable of winning regularly? Can Mercedes move up to challenge the lead teams? Who will be the best of the mid-field and can one of the back markers move up?

So many questions but I'm afraid I don't have any answers for you. Any thoughts you would care to share would be welcomed.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
It all seems like no change at the top for me. The only slightly added spice is that we might get Kimi nicking a few points off the top blokes when he feels in the mood. Most likely though we'll just have him either dueling with Rosberg or crashing into Schumi.

Have to say a feel less excited about next season than I did about this one this time last year. I reckon the teams have figured out the Pirelli tyres now and we won't see the uess work and type of racing we saw at begining of 2011. I also think the gap between Red Bull and Mclaren/Ferrari is too big for them to close and the gap between those 3 and the rest is also to huge. We might see Merc catch up a bit and I expect the so called 'new' teams to catch the back of the pack next year but apart fromt that you get the feeling most teams are waiting for the reg changes to real spend the money on development.

Maybe I'm a misery guts
 

Bushi

Pole Sitter
Well Mclaren are going for a evolution of this years car instead of making a whole new car, so that can make them more competitive.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
The ban on EBDs has the potential to shake things up significantly, I feel. So much of the car development over the past few years has focused on maximising the airflow to the diffuser - strange rake angles and so on - and playing around with exhaust lengths etc., so to have that taken away is going to have implications for a lot of aspects of the cars. A season's experience with the Pirelli tyres will provide a lot more data on which teams can base their decisions, and a chunk of Ferrari's performance deficit in particular was down to their different pattern of usage from the rest, so that provides an opportunity to level the field somewhat.

Naturally Newey is bound to design a car at least as good as, and probably better than, anyone else. But as to who the challengers may be, it will be fascinating to see. Both Ferrari and Mercedes have strengthened their technical departments, but the best results are often achieved by the stable teams, rather than the ones who are going through transition.

I don't see any of the midfield teams making the leap to challenge the Big Four at this point. Caterham may be able to leapfrog one or two of the lowest mid-grid outfits, but who they will be I have no idea. Sauber and Toro Rosso seem the obvious candidates (in comparison to a technically-strong Force India and a driver-powered Lotus) but I have no idea what sort of Williams we will see in 2012 - anywhere from fifth to tenth seems conceivable.

I think HRT and Marussia will remain quite well adrift of the rest, for different reasons.

I also don't see 20 races actually happening.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Mercedes should close the gap to the other 3 with a team of 4 technical directors in Bell, BRawn, Willis and Costa that is a lot of experienced engineers

Mclaren I think by now would have learnt not to be too radical and must be glad the exhaust experiment was shelved but then again unless you try you never know. I expect them to be a bit more closer next year with Lewis having sorted himself out and Jenson well settled now

Red Bull - Newey always seems to find advantages that no one does but he has been caught napping a few times like 2009 double diffuser and previously 2001 - 2004 when Mclaren car was not as good as Ferrari

Ferrari - its a madhouse and its anyone's guess now Pat Fry heads up the team he should make it better using his Mclaren experience

the rest

Lotus - Renault - the driver pairing is exciting but a lack of resources slowed them down this year and whats Dany Bahar's plans for the team ultimately and expectation

Force India - with two young chargers and more money from Sahara expect them to push Lotus Renault for 5th place

Sauber - went backwards due to lack of resources so probably battling Toro Rosso again

Toro Rosso - can't see them beating Force India

Williams - being able to beat Sauber and Toro Rosso would be a starting point . Maldonado will handicap them

Caterham - expect to move away from the bottom two and get up closer to Wiliams , Sauber, Toro Rosso

Marussia Virgin - staying ahead of HRT
HRT - wooden spoon

The EBD will be banned - great but the team that struggled the most when it was were Mclaren and Ferrari profited at Silverstone

Expect the DRS becoming a more important factor in quali which I think they should remove its use for
 

HammydiRestarules

Di Resta fan :).
Contributor
Force India set to announce Di Resta and Hulkenburg next week :).

Reckon Force India will be the team to watch next season. Di Resta and Hulkenburg are two very hungry and determined drivers. They'll be up there fighting for points race in race out.

Red Bull will come back alot closer to the chasing pack and Mercedes will possibly challenge all the top three.

Really think that we'll see a very different Lewis Hamilton in 2012 and that Massa and Webber will still struggle against their respective teammates. In Massa's case he'll be out of a drive come the end of the year and i bet Webber won't be to far behind.

But all in all, I reckon Vettel, Button and Hamilton will fight it out for the title with Fernando falling 3 races from the end of the season, as Ferrari decide to focus on 2013.

Reckon the back 3 teams will challenge the likes of Williams, Sauber and Toro Rosso, must probably Team Catherham.

What i do know is it'll be an interesting battle between the BBC and Sky over who'll get the most ratings when both channels are showing it live.
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
....

What i do know is it'll be an interesting battle between the BBC and Sky over who'll get the most ratings when both channels are showing it live.
As I see it, and as the published list of who shows what says, either one or the other will show each race. So there will be no competition between them in that way. There will be competition between them in the races that they do show. imo the casual watcher will not be paying per race to watch it on Sky, they will only do it is part of an overall sports package. I am basing this assumption on the people whom I know who watch, if it comes on they watch it, if it doesn't they don't go looking.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
As I see it, and as the published list of who shows what says, either one or the other will show each race. So there will be no competition between them in that way. There will be competition between them in the races that they do show. imo the casual watcher will not be paying per race to watch it on Sky, they will only do it is part of an overall sports package. I am basing this assumption on the people whom I know who watch, if it comes on they watch it, if it doesn't they don't go looking.
it will be interesting when BBc show the delayed coverage after Sky's live viewers how many viewers they get . I am not sure if they will count people going to the pub in this as well
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
If pubs are to show it on a pay for view system then they are unlikely to do so during the football season. Out of that it will be dependant on the cost per race and the number of viewers that they expect to attract.

Overall it is unlikely that my local (which I don't have) will be showing the Sky races. It is much more likely that I will walk down to my daughter's house and watch it on European satellite tv instead. It is also quite possible that for year 1 it will be around the same cost for me to have a dish installed which will allow me to get the European channels.

The least likely option is that I would watch it on Sky.
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Bruno Senna is making noises about him possibly being Lotus' 3rd driver, Boullier is seems to be making similar statements so I wouldn't be surprised to see Senna in the pitlane next year. However the 3rd driver role is only acceptable in Senna's eyes on the basis that he gets free practice running.
 

RasputinLives

So Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Contributor
Yeah I posted something on the Bruno Senna thread about that. I don't see how they can give him Friday running though as both Kimi and Grosjean need all the time they can get as both need have been out of F1 for few years and need all the running in the new reg cars they can get
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Interesting. A fantastic opportunity for Daniel and Jean-Eric to show what they can do.

Assuming Jaime and Sebastien have lost their Red Bull backing, it's hard to see them being able to buy another drive at this point. HRT could be a fit for Alguersuari possibly? But I think they'll be wanting a budget.
 

Johnny Carwash

Champion Elect
Contributor
Was surprised to see that Buemi and Alguersuari have been given the boot by Torro Rosso, as i thought they have done a solid job there this year.
 
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