The Sky Sports F1 team's 2014 predictions

The crystal balls come out as we look ahead to F1's brave new world

By Sky Sports Online.   Last Updated: 13/03/14 11:36am

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Who will the championship? Who will be on the Melbourne podium? And who will break the Sky Pad? The team have their say...

Who will win the 2014 World Championship?
Martin Brundle:
"Lewis Hamilton."
Anthony Davidson: "Lewis Hamilton."
Natalie Pinkham: "Lewis Hamilton."
Ted Kravitz: "A German. Not Sebastian Vettel - I'm going to say Nico Rosberg."
David Croft: "Nico Rosberg."
Johnny Herbert: "Lewis Hamilton."
Simon Lazenby: "Lewis Hamilton."

Who will in Australia?
MB: "It could be a Red Bull, it could be a Mercedes...ask me afterwards!"
AD: "A tough one, but I'm going to go for Lewis Hamilton."
NP: "Nico Rosberg."
TK: "Sebastian Vettel."
DC: "Lewis Hamilton - but don't take Australia as a benchmark for the rest of the season because Melbourne is very much a standalone and it's only by the time we reach China and Bahrain will we get a good idea of who has definitely got it right and who has definitely got it wrong."
SL: "Lewis Hamilton."

Who will score more points, Kimi or Fernando?
AD: "Fernando."
NP: "Fernando."
TK: "Kimi."
DC: "Kimi."
JH: "Fernando. Absolutely no problem."
SL: "Fernando."

Who or what will be the unexpected success story of the year?
AD: "Force India."
NP: "Daniel Ricciardo will do better than people think."
TK: "Williams Grand Prix Engineering Limited [but when pointed out that Williams have proved a popular choice]...or based on how they can't get any worse, McLaren-Mercedes."
DC: "Williams."
JH: "Kevin Magnussen."
SL: "Williams, so many good decisions at Grove commercially, technically and in the management and driver restructuring. I really hope they do well. Everyone loves Williams."

Will Kevin Magnussen finish on the podium during his debut season?
MB: "Yes."
AD: "I'll go for a yes."
NP: "Yes!"
TK: "Yes."
DC: "He's good enough, but is the car good enough? I'd like to say yes, but it's going to be very tight."
SL: "I think he will. He has every chance with the Mercedes powertrain on board. He could be a star this year. McLaren really rate him."

How many times will Daniel Ricciardo out-qualify Sebastian Vettel?
MB: "Three."
AD: "Seven."
NP: "Well in support of my earlier answer, five times."
TK: "One."
DC: "Five."
JH: "Twice."
SL: "More often than Sebastian would like."

Who will have the upper hand at Williams: Felipe Massa or Valtteri Bottas?
MB: "Felipe - his experience will pay."
AD: "I think it will be Valtteri actually."
NP: "Good question! I think Massa. I think the psychological boost of being the number one team will make a big difference to him this year."
TK: "Massa in qualifying, Bottas in the races."
DC: "Bottas. Felipe has lapses where he drifts off, but he'll give a great benchmark for just how good Bottas really is."
SL: "The early data points towards Bottas being quicker than Massa and I think he will outqualify him. Massa's racecraft will balance things out but I'm going for Bottas and a breakthrough year for the Finn."

Will either Marussia or Caterham score a point?
MB: "There might be a crazy race in the first half dozen so yes, they will."
AD: "Yes, I think both teams will."
NP: "I hope so... so yes!"
TK: "No."
DC: "This is the best year in terms of it being their best chance. They are relying on the unreliability of the other cars in front of them but if you are going to have unreliability in any year then it will surley be this year. So I'm going to be the eternal optimism and say yes."
SL: "They have a far better chance than any year so far. If they are going to get a point it will have to be early on in the season and rely on the unreliability of others."

What will be the big transfer gossip of the year?
MB: "What will happen with Jenson Button."
AD: "It might have already begun - Fernando Alonso to McLaren."
NP: "Raikkonen will leave Ferrari."
TK: "Alonso to leave Ferrari."
DC: "Who is going to have a seat at McLaren because I don't think both of their current drivers will have a seat in 2014."
SL: "Alonso to leave Ferrari and head to McLaren.....and Man City to sign Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez."

How many race retirements will there be in Australia?
MB: "At least twelve."
AD: "At least seven -and not just because of crashes!"
NP: "Two."
TK: "Nine."
DC: "Nine, but that could be for a whole host of reasons!"
SL: "Six."

Who will be the first driver to use the Sky Pad in vision?
MB: "Who loves the SkyPad? Nico Rosberg!"
AD: "Hopefully I'll be there too! Daniel Ricciardo"
NP: Anthony! But of the current grid? Jenson."
TK: "Nico Hulkenberg."
DC: "Who ever is on Lewis."
SL: "Lewis Hamilton. I've got inside knowledge that he's odds on. Although Johnny or Martin will be asking the questions and they get the first word. The last time I checked they were drivers. It'll be Brundlepants!"

What will be the cumulative car number of the three drivers on the podium in Melbourne?
MB: "What a random question! Erm, 60!"
AD: "I've never been that good at maths! Lewis, because I've already said he'll win, is 44, and Nico Rosberg, who is 6, and then Jenson Button, who is 22, so, that's, hang on!, 72!"
NP: "I think the podium will have two Mercedes drivers and Vettel so 51."
TK: "The podium finishers will be Vettel Rosberg and Raikkonen so 14."
DC: "Oh blimey! Lewis and Nico are 50 combined, and then Vettel, so 51."
SL: "127...Merc, Merc, Bottas."

To the nearest minute, how long will the Friday press conference in Melbourne be?
MB: "Too long!"
AD: "17 minutes."
NP: "I think it will be a long one because they haven't done one for a I'm going to say 34 minutes."
TK: "28 minutes."
DC: Well hopefully it will be me doing it so I would like to have a vested interest in it being 32 minutes long!"
SL: "26 minutes, unless Crofty is doing the press conference. Is he? We need to check that. If so, it'll be nearer 45. You get your money's worth with Crofty!"

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