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Revisiting the 2012 Season Prediction Megamix // What did the Sidepodcast community get oh-so-right, and a little bit wrong?

Published by Christine

Revisiting the 2012 Season Prediction Megamix audio waveform
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At the beginning of the year, Sidepodcast listeners called in with their predictions for the upcoming season. Taking a good, hard look at each team, each driver, and how the overall year would roll, nine plucky F1 fans submitted their guesses at what the 2012 season would hold.

Ten months later, it's time to take a look back and see who said what, which bits were right, and which were hilariously wrong. We always promise to revisit these things, and this is that moment.

Williams wins or woes

Jonathan kicked off the show with a bold prediction about the Grove-based squad.

Senna will outscore Maldonado by three times as many points! Although, three times zero is still zero.

- Jonathan Crummett

Perhaps not so bold. Based on Williams' performance in 2011, you'd be forgiven for thinking they would continue in the same vein. Pat was more optimistic though, hoping the new Renault partnership would deliver. TG disagreed, saying: "Will Williams return to former glory? No. I think they’ll be an improvement but nothing that will catapault them to the front of the grid."

The driver partnership came under the microscope as well, with Startled Bunny adding: "Williams, new Renault engines but no better. Still no good. Senna might shine a little, but Maldonado, no he won’t." There wasn't a lot of love for Maldonado, but he was, of course, the driver that took the unexpected Williams victory.

Midfield mentions

Everyone knows I was super excited about the battle between the Force India drivers. Nico Hülkenberg and Paul di Resta were supposed to provide an epic fight in the midfield, and it came to nothing. I wasn't the only one to suspect there were good things coming though!

Exciting year for Force India, one of the best driver lineups on the grid. I think this is an underrated lineup, even if they don’t have a great deal of experience. They seem to have a better technical department, they raced Mercedes hard last year with the same engines, so I expect them to be racing Mercedes and Lotus this year.

- Pat W

Steven Roy was sure that Hülkenberg would have the edge on Di Resta, which came to pass, but he also pondered the future, saying: "I don’t see Jules Bianchi following the trend of being a test driver becoming a race driver, unless one of these two gets a drive in a better team." We don't know if Bianchi has the call, but one of the two is moving on to arguably a better team.

Moving out of the midfield, however, were Lotus, and there were some high hopes for them. Pat again: "Lotus have been running a bit far back for the team from Enstone, I expect that to change this year. If they aren’t back in business with the front runners, I’ll be very surprised." Startled Bunny had the opposite view: "Kimi will be an improvement, but it won’t be enough of an improvement. I can’t see a win this year, his head will go down and he’ll do what he’ll have to do. And Romain, I don’t think he’ll fare any better on his comeback."

Ups and downs

The real positive thinking came when discussing Caterham, as plenty of the submissions held thoughts on the rear-running teams. Personally, I looked forward to the "race to see who out of Petrov and Kovalainen can get to the top ten first." Ha! HRT did not have such a good time of it.

For me, it’ll be the end of HRT this season.

- TG

Steven also added: "Pedro de la Rosa isn’t the fastest guy in the world, but I still think he’s going to be faster than Narain." On the topic of another struggling team, I particularly enjoyed Pat's thoughts on Toro Rosso, where there was little hope of moving forward: "Toro Rosso, not much to say about them. The car looks alright." There's really wasn't much to say about them throughout the season either!

Champion choices

Of course, the main prediction at the start of any season is who will be the champions once all the racing is over. Here's a quick recap of the predictions we had:

  • Lukeh - Jenson Button
  • Startled Bunny - Lewis Hamilton, with Button a close second
  • Jordan Wilman - Not Vettel, either a Ferrari or McLaren driver
  • Pat - McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari (constructor), Vettel, Button, Hamilton (driver)
  • Scott Woodwiss - Want to see Lewis win, but Vettel is odds on for a third

It's very interesting to look back and see how much confidence we all had in McLaren.

In the end, the best summary came from Mike in New York.

I think we’ll see a real competitive season and a lot of good races.

- Mike

We definitely had that. I recommend re-listening to the podcast above. It's great to remember how we were feeling at the start of 2012, and see quite clearly how things have changed over the following months. How did you fare with your predictions?