|First corner at Bahrain|
After making 10 predictions before the Formula 1 race in Bahrain, let's review and see if we go 10 for 10! My skills at making sports predictions are 50-50, after winning the NCAA Basketball pool a year ago (OK, tied with my brother), this year I fell one victory short of first place, again tied with another brother. My tip is to not bet with your brothers!
10: Will Mercedes continue to dominate qualifying and finish 1-2 again?
Prediction: I said NO WAY, and GO FERRARI!
ANSWER: WRONG! Mercedes qualified 1-2, Ferrari 3-4, so I'm off to an 0-1 start!
9: Can Rosberg keep up the pressure on team mate Hamilton (counting last year that's 4 wins in a row for Rosberg!)
Prediction: Sure, why not, Rosberg finishes ahead of Hamilton again
ANSWER: NAILED IT! Rosberg easily took the win, Hamilton finished third! Now 1-1!
8: Is there any way that Ferrari can make a great start like last time in Australia when they went from 3-4 to 1-2 at the end of the first corner?
Prediction: With Kimi Raikkonen having finished on the podium in Bahrain 7 times, I'll say YES!
ANSWER: Kimi finished 2nd, Hamilton made a terrible start, so CLOSE ENOUGH! Up to 2-1
7: McLaren, Manor, Sauber, and Renault don't have any points yet, so who will break through for these teams?
Prediction: Late breaking news is that McLaren driver Fernando Alonso is out of this race due to injuries from the big crash in Australia. This leaves reserve driver and rookie Stoffel Vandoorne getting his first F1 race. Let's go way out on a limb and say he'll finish 10th, and score his and the team's first points of the year.
ANSWER: TOTALLY 100 PER CENT NAILED IT, Vandoorne DID finish 10th just like I predicted! Unbelievable gutsy call from yours truly, now winning the prediction game at 3-1! Why can't I predict winning lottery numbers like this?
6: With an awesome 6th in the first race, is there any way Haas team and Grosjean driving can match or better that?
Prediction: Yes, if....they qualify better! I'll predict they qualify at least one car in the top 12, and use their reliability to score more points! Go HAAS!
ANSWER: YES AND YES! Grosjean qualified well into the top 12 (9th), and he finished the race even better than Australia with a 5th place! Nailed it again, now 4-1!
5: The big red flag incident really affected the outcome last time out, will we have an incident free race?
Prediction: No, it's early in the season, cars may still be unreliable, and we now have another rookie out there for the first time. Given the complexity of F1 racing and all the other variables driving in the desert of Bahrain at night with cool temps and blowing sand, something is bound to happen!
ANSWER: BAM! Hammered it spot on! Vettel was out before the start, there were collisions all over the first corner and first two laps, and one of the Renault (Jolyon Palmer) cars also retired before the start. 5-1!
4: The Haas guys showed they have the pace to qualify up in the middle of the pack, will they get it done this qualifying round?
ANSWER! TOTALLY CORRECT! Grosjean started 9th, and Gutierrez started 13th or so, very respectable for a first year team! 6-1!
3: Despite the great start, Ferrari had a car fire and bad tire strategy to lose a possible 1-2, can they turn that around?
ANSWER: Not really correct, they got one car to finish 2nd, but the other car went KERBLAM-O! before the start, so let's call it a draw, now 6-1-1.
2: For the last two years (and this year), we've had only 4 different race winning drivers (Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Vettel), so who's next to win?
Prediction: Hard to tell, let's go with Felipe Massa from Williams
ANSWER: Well, it might be Felipe Massa's turn to win again someday, but Bahrain in 2016 was not that day as Rosberg won for the 5th time in a row. LOSER, 6-2-1.
1: Who else is glad this race isn't on at 2AM like Australia?
Prediction: Everyone in the US!
ANSWER: OK this was a gimme, starting at 11am on the east coast, so other than being busy autocrossing at that hour it was much better for TV audiences in the US.
So, overall the judges say we scored 7 correct, 2 wrong, and 1 tie, so pretty good predicting, highlighted by one out-of-nowhere-rookie-in-his-first-F1-race Vandoorne right on the nose in 10th place and ahead of McLaren team mate (and former world champion) Jenson Button who retired from the race. Stay tuned for more fun filled predictions when F1 returns in two weeks in China!