Before the start of Winter Testing, I posted five prediction polls on the Lights Out twitter account. How many of the questions did you get right? Find out below!
1. Which team will be fastest in the first week?
YOUR PREDICTION: FERRARI
CORRECT ANSWER: MERCEDES
It’s only week one of testing, but Mercedes have already given their rivals something to worry about. On the final day of the first test, Lewis Hamilton set an ominous time of 1:19.333 on the Medium tyres. The nearest time to that was from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who set a time three tenths slower, but on a softer compound of tyre. Are Mercedes really as rapid as the times from the first week make it seem? We’re likely to get more of an insight during the second week of the test. Here are the top five times from week one:
- Lewis Hamilton – 1:19.333 (Day 4, Mediums)
- Sebastian Vettel – 1:19.673 (Day 2, Softs)
- Stoffel Vandoorne – 1:19.854 (Day 4, Hypersofts)
- Valtteri Bottas – 1:19.976 (Day 2, Mediums)
- Daniel Ricciardo – 1:20.179 (Day 1, Mediums)
2. Will McLaren suffer an engine failure?
YOUR PREDICTION: YES
CORRECT ANSWER: NO
It was a week of two halves for the McLaren team. On Monday, just six laps in to his first run, Fernando Alonso lost a wheel from his car, costing the team valuable time. The fault was a wheel nut issue. Then, on Tuesday, a broken exhaust clip and mixed weather conditions meant that Stoffel Vandoorne was able to complete only 37 laps throughout the day. For the final two days of the week, McLaren did the most laps of any team on each day, racking up a week’s best of 161 laps on the final day. Fernando Alonso set the only timed laps on Wednesday. Throughout all of the days, unlike 62% of you had predicted, the team did not encounter an engine failure.
3. Which team will do the most laps?
YOUR PREDICTION: MERCEDES
CORRECT ANSWER: TORO ROSSO
It’s safe to say very few saw this coming. While the majority backed Mercedes to do the most mileage over the first four days of testing, it was actually Toro Rosso, with their new engine partner Honda, who did the most laps. Toro Rosso completed 324 laps, ahead of Mercedes on 306 and Ferrari on 298. Force India did the least laps in total. You can find more statistics from the first week of testing here.
4. Will there be a Honda engine failure?
YOUR PREDICTION: YES
CORRECT ANSWER: NO
Not only did their sole team do the most laps but, for the first time since their return to the sport in 2015, no Honda engine blew up in the first week of testing. Does this mean we’ll be seeing a much more reliable package from the Japanese manufacturer in 2018?
5. How many days will there be rain?
YOUR PREDICTION: 2
CORRECT ANSWER: 4
There wasn’t just rain! A bucket-load of snow halted running on Wednesday morning. Only one driver set a timed lap due to the weather conditions. Every day of the first week of testing was affected by rain in one way or another, and the low temperatures certainly didn’t help teams have representative running. The last day of the test provided the best conditions, as the track had dried out by midday, allowing for plenty of laps in the afternoon. The limited running meant that teams even discussed plans to extend the test, but a unanimous decision was not reached, so testing will resume as planned next week.
After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fifth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.