Results - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
The Predictions League reached its conclusion this weekend after the chequered flag at the final Grand Prix of 2022!
After a couple of lean weekends, the group returned to form this weekend with a more predictable set of results. Max Verstappen's return to pole position on Saturday gave everyone aside from @nudge 5 points to start the weekend, as Lewis Hamilton missed his last opportunity to continue his run of securing at least one pole position in every F1 season since he was a rookie.
The podium predictions were characterised by an over-reliance on Mercedes to continue their form following their 1-2 in Brazil, with almost everyone backing at least one of Hamilton or Russell to make the rostrum, to no avail. @RandoEFC, @Coma, @OrangeKhrush, @DeadLinesman and @Whiskey all backed the pole-win double for Max Verstappen, with @Tommy, @Stan and @nudge picking up 2 consolation points for putting him elsewhere on the podium. Title-chasing @RandoEFC and @Tommy picked up a further 5 points for placing Sergio Perez in third place, but the major spoils go to @Coma here. The only man to back a Ferrari for a podium finish at all, @Coma actually rounds off the season with a perfectly predicted top three, scoring him a total of 20 points.
The limited faith in Ferrari to return to form this weekend was reflected in the random driver category, with nobody predicting a top four finish for Carlos Sainz. His 4th placed finish sees @RandoEFC, @Tommy, @OrangeKhrush, @DeadLinesman and @Whiskey score a couple of points each for going joint-closest with 5th.
Finally, @Coma and @DeadLinesman called the bonus question correctly, with Daniel Ricciardo's 9th placed finish meaning that he finished highest out of the drivers not due to be on the grid for next season. Another 5 points each for them.
Results - Pre-Season Predictions
Below are the results for the various predictions made in pre-season, with a potential total of 90 points up for grabs!
Starting with the championship winners, there was 20 points available for each of the Drivers' and Constructors' champions, and 10 points available for picking a driver or team finishing 2nd or 3rd. @DeadLinesman and @Whiskey take a hit here, their Hamilton/Mercedes combination only bagging them 10 points out of a possible 40. @Tommy's Leclerc/Ferrari combo scores him a total of 20 points, whereas @RandoEFC, @Coma, @nudge and @OrangeKhrush score 30 each for a correct Drivers' Champion and Ferrari or Mercedes in the Constructors' top three. The major spoils go to @Stan here, though, who scores the full 40 points for backing Verstappen and Red Bull to wrap up both championships.
@Stan's good form continues into the "Drivers to Win a Race" category. Predicting the lowest number of everyone with 5 drivers, @Stan was already on track to pick up 5 points for coming closest until George Russell broke the Mercedes duck in Brazil, turning his prediction into a full 10-pointer. In the "Constructors to Score a Podium" category, scepticism about the competitive nature of the 2022 season was rewarded again, @DeadLinesman picking up a vital 10 points in the close title fight for being the only one to predict just four teams to score a podium.
Nobody predicted that Carlos Sainz would have the most retirements throughout the season with six, so 5 points go to those who chose the next highest driver. There was a three-way tie between Alonso, Albon and Magnussen, on four retirements each, heading into the final weekend, but a fifth retirement for Fernando Alonso in Abu Dhabi put his nose ahead of the others, meaning that @Tommy and @nudge both pick up the 5 point consolation prize.
The team mate qualifying battles largely cancel each other out. Each one was worth 2 points and there was little variation in people's picks, so this will be re-worked for next season if we run this Prediction League again, but a shout out to @Whiskey here who got closest to a full house, calling 9 out of the 10 match-ups correctly.
F1 Predictions League 2022 - Final Standings
Congratulations to @DeadLinesman, who wins the Predictions League with a margin of 7 points following a solid score in the final race and a healthy lead that he has sustained throughout most of the season. @RandoEFC wins out over @Tommy in the season-long battle for 2nd place, with the differing Drivers' Championship picks proving to be a decisive factor here. @Coma's bumper 30-point score at the last race, the joint highest for the whole season, sees him come from nowhere to claim 4th place ahead of @nudge and @Whiskey, the latter suffering badly when the pre-season predictions were calculated. @Stan's 66-point haul from these categories was the highest by far, and enabled him to overtake @OrangeKhrush in the battle for 7th.
Thanks to all who took part this season! Hopefully it added some spice to a fairly processional F1 season. I'm sure we'll talk about whether to do the same thing or try something else for 2023.