2009 F1 predictions – how did we do?

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Win the championship? Hardly - Ferrari only won one race...

At the beginning of the year I summoned up the full extent of my F1 geekery and used it to peer into the mists of time and calculate what would happen in the season ahead.

Maybe I would have been better off with a crystal ball and a Ouija board. Here’s the 15 predictions I made for 2009 and how they turned out – plus find out how accurate your predictions were…

1. Will Brawn GP get a car on the podium in their first race?

I said: Yes
Result: Yes

In fact they did much better, starting the season with a one-two win at Melbourne.

2. How many cars will be classified at Melbourne?

I said: 12
Result: 15

I got this one wrong, although there were three classified finishers who had retired when the chequered flag fell.

3. Which driver will be the first to leave his team?

I said: Nelson Piquet Jnr
Result: Sebastien Bourdais

I was close though – Bourdais was replaced at Hungary, which was Piquet’s last race for Renault.

4. How many races will McLaren win?

I said: Two
Result: Two

I’m quite happy with that given they didn’t look like winning anything in the first half of the season.

5. Who will Fernando Alonso announce he is driving for in 2010?

I said: Ferrari
Result: Ferrari

A lot of people got this one right, though quite a few picked Renault instead.

6. Which teams will go all season without using KERS?

I said: Brawn GP, Red Bull and Toro Rosso
Result: Brawn GP, Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Toyota, Williams and Force India

Six teams went all season without touching KERS, including the three I named. Only McLaren, Ferrari, Renault and BMW used it, and the latter pair eschewed it for most of the season.

7. How many drivers will have to get their front wings replaced after the first lap at Melbourne?

I said: Two
Result: Three

Mark Webber, Nick Heidfeld and Adrian Sutil were the first three drivers to have their extra-wide 2009 front wings replaced. Rubens Barrichello also damaged his when he triggered the first-lap melee, but didn’t come in to get it changed.

8. Will Renault score more points than Red Bull-Renault?

I said: No
Result: No

Red Bull were championship runners-up with 153.5 points – while Renault ended the year third from bottom with just 26.

9. Which drivers will win their home race/s?

I said: Felipe Massa
Result: No-one

There were no home winners this year, and Massa didn’t even get to compete in his home race.

10. Will Max Mosley win the FIA President election?

I said: Yes
Result: No

Mosley offered not to stand for election again as part of the deal to keep the FOTA teams from leaving the sport.

11. How many teams will announce before the final race they are leaving F1?

I said: Two
Result: One

Only BMW announced before the end of the season they would leave F1. But Toyota announced their decision to leave F1 just three days after the final race of the year at Abu Dhabi.

12. Which of BMW’s drivers will have the best season?

I said: Robert Kubica
Result: Nick Heidfeld

This proved a bone of contention when it came to the end-of-year season rankings. Heidfeld out-scored his team mate but many people – myself included – thought Kubica was more impressive over the course of the year.

13. Will Ferrari win the constructors’ title for the 17th time?

I said: Yes
Result: No

I gave up on this one after they went the first three races without scoring a point.

14. Which driver will announce his retirement?

I said: Giancarlo Fisichella
Result: TBC

It’s probably too early to call this one as no drivers have officially announced their retirement from F1. With Fisichella a Ferrari test driver next year it looks like the end of his racing career. Raikkonen is on a ‘sabbatical’ but it remains to be seen whether he will actually return in the future.

15. Who will win the drivers’ championship?

I said: Robert Kubica
Result: Jenson Button

My hunch at the start of the year that BMW were there-or-thereabouts on pace and would out-develop Brawn over the course of the season proved massively wrong.

How did you do?

So I got a measly four predictions correct. How did you do? Check back on your predictions in the original article and post your score here in the comments:

F1 2009: Your predictions

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “2009 F1 predictions – how did we do?”

  1. I doubt anyone chose Button as champion.

    No-one won there home Grand Prix this year but I did notice this…

    A Brit won in Oz
    A German won in Britain
    An Ozzy won in Germany

    Another pointless fact but funny I thought :D

  2. I got 4, including naming Button as champion.

    1. Who do you think will be the 2010 WDC?

  3. I got this one extremely accurate? :P

    14. Fisichella, but he will be forced to.

  4. I didn’t think Kubica would get the championship(i actually thought Heidfield would get a shot at it) but i admit i was massively tricked on BMW performance. I really thought they had a good car before they hit the track.
    What am proud of is predicting correct that Todt was gonna go for the presidency with Mosley’s blessings. It was obvious to me from the moment he backed his bags from Ferrari. I wonder how you could missed that Keith. The longevity of Mosley in the position had you tricked i guess.
    Easy prediction was Piquet not lasting long in Renault and Alonso going the Ferrari way.
    Ferrari performance also tricked me. The car looked a lot better in pre-season tests. But the Mclaren car was obviously in a bad shape long before the season starts. I only thought they would get one win and that by luck and because of Hamilton. Never thought they could transform that dog of a car.
    My prediction for Rosberg going to Mclaren for 2010 and Williams taking a win this year was also wrong.

  5. Another random fact about 2009 that I just thought of last night: Barrichello and Webber collided at, or just before, Turn 1 in the first race of the season (Melbourne), the middle race (Germany) and the last race (Abu Dhabi).

    Quite a bizarre coincidence.

  6. I can’t believe so many picked Kimi to win WDC for 2009. I do think he’s one of the best though. I’ll take Vettel for 2010 WDC. Beating Webber shouldn’t be too hard. That is all for now.

  7. I got 5 correct, #’s: 1, 5, 7, 10 & 13

    Im was closer than you Keith on #2 with 14!

    I put Lewis down to win the title, but it wasn’t happening!

    I’ve also put Kimi down to retire for #14 but we won’t know if this is correct until next seaason! Although technically as he isn’t driving next year he is retired?

  8. Well I only got a few right.

    Brawn getting a podium in Australia.
    Red Bull scoring more than Renault, although I predicted Alonso would be the highest placed of the four drivers.
    Heidfeld doing better than Kubica.

    It just goes to show how hard it was to predict this seasons form even so soon before the first race when you look at all the predictions.

  9. Poor Heidfeld. He appears to suffer the opposite phenomenon of “hype”. Wonder if there’s a name for it in some language.

  10. So, how did I do, let’s see:

    1. Yes, but only 1 – Half right, and if it weren’t for Vettel & Kubica coming together I would have been spot on. Going to give myself 1/2 point for that.
    2. 11 – Wrong
    3. Hamilton – no only kidding, either Fisichella or Piquet – Wrong
    4. 2 towards the end of the year – Correct
    5. Ferrari – Correct
    6. None – Wrong
    7. 5 – Wrong
    8. Yes – Wrong
    9. Button (Monaco and/or Silverstone), Vettel, Alonso, Massa – Can I have half a point for Monaco??
    10. Yes – Wrong
    11. None – Wrong
    12. Heidfeld – Correct
    13. No – Correct
    14. Kimi – Wait and see
    15. Kimi – Wrong

    I make that 4 1/2 (possibly 5 depending on whether I’m allowed Monaco or not..!!) and of course depending on Kimi…

  11. Massa winning WDC and Ferrari WCC, what was I thinking..

    RedBull will score lesser than Renault, I don’t remember why I said that.. really bad prediction..

  12. Very informative post. I liked it.

  13. Umm… isn’t the answer to 7 technically 4? Barrichello did change his front wing eventually, just not immediately after damaging it, but rather at his first planned refueling stop. However, the question asks how many will change their front wings “after the first lap”, it does not say that it has to be immediately after the first lap, or suggest any latest possible point for the change to occur. Barrichello changed his front wing on lap 18, which is most definitely after the first lap, so IMO the answer to question7 should be 4, not 3. I suppose it depends how you interpret the question though, that’s just my take on it.

  14. Well I got two right. Which is kind a relief since if I’m ever going to correctly predict 15 results out of 15 I’d rather it was on something that pays money. Although some credulous tabloid paper would probably buy the story of the “Incredible F1 Nostradamus” for a few quid.

  15. Who will win the drivers’ championship? “Robert Kubica.”

    I’m sorry Keith, but I burst out laughing. However, I have a feeling that may have been my prediction too.

  16. My predictions was:

    (+) 1. YES
    (+) 2. 15
    (-) 3. Nakajima / Piquet Jr
    (-) 4. None or 1
    (+) 5. If Kubica stays in BWM, Alonso will go to Ferrari
    (-) 6. Toyota, Brown GP, Williams
    (+) 7. 3 – and 100% it will be LH (ehhh but 3 was good)
    (-) 8. YES
    (+) 9. None
    (-) 10. YES
    (-) 11. None
    (-) 12. Robert Kubica (but like Keith said Kubica was better)
    (+) 13. No
    (?) 14. Fisichella and maybe Raikkonen (booth are good?)
    (-) 15. Robert Kubica

    6 or 7 good answers :), better then Keith :)

  17. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    16th December 2009, 23:23

    Heidfeld out-scored his team mate but many people – myself included – thought Kubica was more impressive over the course of the year.

    Heidfeld is to modest to let anyone know just how good he really is.

    1. Yes, he’s good, even very good, but he will never be the champion.

  18. Lol, Kubica for WDC. That must have been a whole big lot of wishful thinking.

    Pretty good on the other predictions though.

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