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As an introduction to making predictions for this season, let me first say, TOLD YOU SO! about my CORRECT prediction of Nico Rosberg winning it all last year! 16 Blog Prediction
Before digging into predictions, I'll just be honest up front and let you know that I'm cheering for the Ferrari team (drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen), the American based Haas team (drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen), and all drivers with car number 77 (like my Abarth), which is Valtteri Bottas, now with Mercedes Benz.
So, 2017, what do we know so far? We know that last year's champ (did I mention that I correctly predicted his win?) Nico Rosberg has retired, so he won't be defending the title. However, his Mercedes Benz F1 team has now won 3 in a row, with Lewis Hamilton holding two titles from 2014-2015. IF this year we just had the same cars, engines, and tires from the last 3 years of Mercedes domination, the no-brainer guess would be Hamilton wins again.
We DON'T have the same cars, we don't have the same tires, and the engines are new for this year too, so you can throw the last three years out the window. Let's look at some longer term results and see if any patterns emerge.
Before Mercedes won 3 in a row, well, Red Bull Racing won FOUR in a row. Previous to that, we had 3 different winners in 3 years (Brawn, McLaren, Ferrari), and prior to that 2 in a row for Renault, and just before that, Ferrari won 5 in a row! Hmm, so there is a precedent for winning 4-5 in a row. Maybe Mercedes will win again after all.
The only other information we have this year is the results from two 4 day tests in Barcelona earlier in March. The overall fastest lap time was set by Ferrari, while the most laps (and probably most reliable engines) were Mercedes. Hmmm, make that a tie. For what it's worth, we don't know all the other variables from testing, such as how much fuel they had on board (less fuel equals less weight, which equals faster times), so the testing isn't the final answer either.
I could be sneaky and wait for the practice sessions this weekend, or even wait for qualifying for Sunday's race before making a prediction, but I'm pretty fearless in using the Internet to open my big mouth and be wrong, so let's DO THIS!
The 2017 driver champion will be Lewis Hamilton, with his new team-mate Valtteri Bottas in 2nd, and Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in 3rd. For what it's worth, I'll vote the Constructors Title to Mercedes, and further predict that unlike the last 3 seasons with few people winning that were NOT named Mercedes, we should have at least 4 different teams winning races in 2017!
Plus, what the heck, the more predictions I make, the better the odds that I'll get just one thing right, which will really come in handy on the ol' NMS blog in 2018! With that in mind, I'll predict that tomorrow the sun will come up too!