The 2012 Formula One season is touted to be the most unpredictable season in the history of modern Formula One. A quick glance at the results of the opening four races and I am sure you will agree! We have seen four drivers driving for different teams claim victory and such has been the nature of unpredictability, that we have had four different drivers lead the Drivers’ Championship after each of the four races!
This unpredictability has been great for fans that arrive at the circuits or watch the action on television not knowing what to expect. Interestingly, it has also made life difficult for F1 pundits and experts who have been unable to accurately predict the pecking order at every GP meeting.
Aus GP: Button
McLaren’s Jenson Button claimed victory in the season-opener in Australia, followed by a surprise win in changing weather conditions in Malaysia by Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso after which Nico Rosberg clinched Mercedes’ first-ever victory since their return to F1 in China and finally in Bahrain, Red Bull’s double champion Sebastian Vettel stood on the top step of the podium.
There have also been some strong performances from the Lotus F1 team who are quick but are yet to win this season. This means that at any venue, there are five fiercely competitive teams and ten drivers who are capable of winning.
Chinese GP: Rosberg
The Woking based team started the season with the best looking car on the grid which was also one of the fastest, if not ‘the’ fastest. Their objective at the start of the season would have been to arrive at races, win and open up a healthy lead in the Constructors’ Championship while the others play catch up.
Bahrain GP: vettel
However, this wasn’t the case. Mclaren managed to win only one race and notched up five podium finishes. The team currently lies second with 92 points, nine points behind Red Bull. While the standings would disappoint Mclaren and their fans, the most disappointing part of their performance has been the costly pitstop errors which cost Hamilton and Button vital track positions in China and Bahrain.
However, all is not lost for Mclaren and the Spanish GP would prove if they have made up or lost ground to their rivals after the mid-season test held in Mugello last week. Having been a front-running team in the sport for so many years, they have a fantastic development rate and I would still be expecting them to fight at the very front for the remainder of the season.
New winner in Spain?
German legend Michael Schumacher has won at the Circuit de Catalunya six times before, whereas Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen has won here twice. Infact, drivers of all the front running teams have won here atleast once, except for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
This weekend, I expect the top bunch to be fighting much closer as this is one circuit where most teams and drivers have driven thousands of miles in testing. To spice up the action further, Pirelli, the sport’s official tyre supplier, announced that they would be bringing the soft and hard tyre compounds to a GP weekend for the first time this season.
For the teams and drivers, this would mean that tyre strategy will be crucial this weekend, whereas, for the fans, entertainment on-track is guaranteed! Will we see a fifth and different driver win in Spain and add to the unpredictability? I wouldn’t bet against it!