Australia GP 12th-15th March 2015 – Catherine’s Predictions
It’s always a bit difficult to come up with race weekend predictions for the first race of the season because we still don’t really know where all the teams are at. Testing only reveals so much and this year’s winter testing wasn’t overly insightful. We know the Mercedes are still ahead of the curve but after that it’s a bit of a guessing game. But that’s not going to stop me from making my predictions. So here are my thoughts on how the weekend will go:
- The Mercedes will lock out the front row but it will be Nico Rosberg to get the first pole of the season, throwing down the gauntlet for his challenge of the title at the first opportunity.
- The two Williams will be behind, followed by a mix of the Ferraris and the Red Bulls.
- The two McLarens won’t make it into Q3, although Jenson will be close and will likely start P11.
- There will be an incident near the back of the pack at the first turn but not enough to cause any retirements.
- They will finish lap one as they started at the front: Nico, Lewis & Felipe in P3 (who qualified ahead of his teammate).
- Around lap 10 Lewis will get the jump on Nico and they will duke it out until pit stops leave Lewis in the lead of the race.
- Dan will have qualified around P5 but he’s bolstered by the home support and the sting from his disqualification last year. As such, he will pull some stellar moves to get past the faster Williams and keep them back with impressive tyre management to get the P3 podium place. One more lap and Felipe would have caught him up again on his fresher set of tyres (getting Fastest Lap in the process).
- The Ferraris look much better than last year and Kimi especially appears to have better control over it. Rather than appearing to be in a race of their own, they have numerous on-track battles with each other and especially the Red Bulls.
- Neither of the McLarens will finish the race due to mechanical/software failure but they show good pace and there is definitely potential there if they can just work out the kinks. They were both looking at points before the cars gave out on them.
- Lewis will win the race a few seconds ahead of Nico who in turn will be several seconds in front of Ricciardo’s Red Bull.
- There will be one other retirement to join the McLarens. I’ll go with one of the Force Indias.
- Max will out perform Carlos & Ericsson will outperform Nasr (assuming this is the actual line-up for the team!).
These are all just wild guesses but it will be fun to see how many (if any!) come to fruition. I would prefer Nico to start the year with a win (as I’m sure he would too) so I will be pushing hard for him and I would also like to see Williams carry through the momentum from Abu Dhabi and get a podium too but you can never discount those driving at their home grand prix. Especially when that someone is Daniel Ricciardo. He’ll have his sights on the top step, whether it’s feasible or not so I am confident he will be pushing hard for a podium at the very least.