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Best Mid-Field Car of 2012


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Poll: Best Mid-Field Car of 2012 (80 member(s) have cast votes)

Which do you think was the best midfield car of 2012

  1. Force India (7 votes [8.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.75%

  2. Sauber (42 votes [52.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 52.50%

  3. Williams (31 votes [38.75%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.75%

  4. Toro Rosso (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

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#1 SUPRAF1

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:22

During the 2012 F1 season, I heard many commentators/pundits/journalists say that [X] midfield team has made an improvement from last year and are now a step up from 2011.

We also had several races where midfield teams had cars near the front of the grid in qualifying and challenged for podiums. However, there were too many variables to determine the car's true pace. Things such as the Pirelli tyres muddled the results.

Some of you will say that the best car is the one with the highest Constructors Championship standing, and I agree with that to an extent :p.

Williams for example, was considered to have made a significant improvement as evidenced by Pastor's win and Q3's. However, I think many people agree here that the car had much more potential than what was extracted by Pastor and Bruno, and yet they were only 8th in the CC despite having a car so (apparently) good that some forum users pondered the thought of Hamilton going to them. Peter Sauber, after Sergio's podium in (I think) Monza was adamant that his team's car was not one of the fastest on the day, but THE fastest. I found that strange since he doesn't appear to be the kind of man to make statements such as those :p. Force India's were also struck with bad luck compared to other teams at the start and were tickling the podium during the latter half of the season.

So it appeared to me that a large majority of forum users here agreed at one point or another that each midfield car was very good and was being let down by their drivers or poor strategy.

My question essentially is, if you put a HAM/VET/ALO in each midfield car, which do you think is the strongest?

Discuss :smoking:


Edited by SUPRAF1, 14 January 2013 - 05:23.


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#2 Shiroo

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 05:48

well I wanted to vote Lotus but it is missing here. if not Lotus, then I would say Williams. a good car but with a driver that has often brain fades and the other one that, can't put a single fast lap together.

Force India was the better car though in the late part of the season, while Sauber was never the best out of midfields, and only due to being easy on tyres and totally ODD tactics (they were better while starting outside top 10, then qualifying there coz of tyre advantage) and odd Pirelli tyres they scored podiums (excluding only one, deserved, from Kobayashi)

What is the worst, Kobayashi that performed is out of F1, and Perez that lucked on odd tactic is still here and even got promoted.

#3 Disgrace

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 06:23

It's between Sauber and Williams. Toro Rosso were in a race of their own behind the midfield and Force India unlike Sauber/Williams, did not gain a single podium all year despite Hulkenberg being excellent for the majority of the season. They were consistent after a slow start, but didn't truly threaten a shock result other than in the rain at Brazil. You can't fault either driver for losing points, and they only ended up 17 behind Sauber, whose drivers did lose points.

Sauber were very inconsistent on a track-by-track basis and their big results mostly came from strategy. That said, they also had the pace to win in Malaysia and perhaps Monza if they had qualified better. Japan was their best pace result, but it could have been Spa.

Williams were consistently quick though and only lost pace for three meetings due to a developmental error, rather than as a consequence of the car's nature. They won a race on merit and I think the car was more capable of podium chances ceteris paribus. That said, the car was criminally wasted by two drivers who only shared the skill set of one put together.

Edited by Disgrace, 14 January 2013 - 06:25.


#4 selespeed

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:26

after Sergio's podium in (I think) Monza was adamant that his team's car was not one of the fastest on the day, but THE fastest.



ok...so why did kobayashi finish 9th...and had 14th fastest race lap??

#5 One

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:38

Very interesting question... I think that there was much move in the technical staff structure in the mid team as well, thereby this idea of looking at the best mid grid team can be very useful preparation for the 2013 season. Notably moves in Sauber Garage and Williams. Performance of these teams in 2013 season in comparison to for example to FI can be exciting. The driver change between FI and Sauber is yet another factor which makes mid feald watching very interesting.
James Key moved to STR, and where prof ends up in 2013 is another focus... I think it is either Ferrari or Mclaren...?

I am a Williams believer, whereas sadly I have one point to add here in my post, Williams team was not the mid team runner during the 2012 season... Unfortunately they belonged to 'bottom'group... 2011 season was the worst season where Williams finished in the season lowly in 9th...

Reflecting this, I do assert that the best car from Mid grid was Sauber, the best of the lowest was Williams... Needless to say the worst top team was Mercedes.

I had this impression that even the best team of the 2012 season continuously referred to the Sauber car led by James Key, its rear end side pods especially, through out the season. Williams shine very much the season this was from where extending the performance potential of Sam Michael's car concept by the hands of new technical team. I suspect that this rear end of Sauber car is a result of fruitful team works at the Swiss garage. So from your list the best team will be Sauber.

But Like Shiroo said, I actually think that the best mid field car was Lotus...

Pos Constructor
1 Red Bull-Renault
2 McLaren-Mercedes
3 Ferrari
4 Mercedes 7

5 Renault
6 Force India-Mercedes
7 Sauber-Ferrari
8 Toro Rosso-Ferrari

9 Williams-Cosworth 1
10 Lotus-Renault
11 HRT-Cosworth
12 Virgin-Cosworth

Edited by One, 14 January 2013 - 08:40.


#6 Anderis

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 08:55

ok...so why did kobayashi finish 9th...and had 14th fastest race lap??

It's a bit like saying Williams wasn't a frontrunner car in Spain because Senna qualified 18th and was running behind Caterham in the race until retired. Kobayashi may be a better driver than Senna, but still if one driver proves car can be quick in some kind of circumstances, you can't say the car wasn't good because his team-mate didn't shine.

I've been saying many times. For me Williams was the best car of this group, by some margin. Sauber's performances fluctuated much on different circuits, their pace was incapable of top8 finish more often, therefore I think it was not capable of scoring as many points over the season as Williams. Force India is in even lower league for me they were one of the 5 quickest cars no more than 3 or 4 times in a season and they never were one of the 3 quickest cars IMO (maybe apart from Brazil, but still it weren't stable conditions and Hulk seems to excel in those if you watch qualifying on the same circuit from 2010). Even when late of the season Hulkenberg gathered some good finishes, it was often matter of other drivers who didn't maximise potential of their cars (Williams seemed quciker car than Force India in India and USA, but Williams' drivers didn't put it together). Toro Rosso isn't even worth mentioning.

#7 Kingshark

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:04

Williams had the best car out of those four. Both Sauber and Williams have had their highs and lows, but in my opinion Williams were more often competitive and their car was generally a bit more consistent on form. Sauber had highs and dips, but Williams was slightly better overall if I'm honest.

Force India doesn't come close, although the drivers line-up did a great job beating Frank's boys this season purely on consistency. Toro Rosso are too difficult to rate, their car was certainly not lighting up the timing sheets, but I don't know whether to blame the drivers or the STR7 for that one.

Only if we somehow were to merge Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado into one driver, Brastor Maldonna, and clone two of them, they could have had a capable drivers due. But no, instead we have one driver who is, while perhaps consistent, simply too slow to be in F1, and another driver, who is while being very talented, unfortunately shares this trait with being an idiot.

Discluding Toro Rosso, as they are too difficult to be rated, I believe that the pecking order based on the raw pace of the cars has been:

1.) Williams FW34
2.) Sauber C31
3.) Force India VJM-05

Now, if you were to rate the 2012 drivers line-up of each team from strongest to weakest:

1.) Hulkenburg and Di Resta
2.) Kobayashi and Perez
3.) Senna and Maldonado

Which would, all in all, (somewhat) explain the ultimate final results and standings.

#8 Henri Greuter

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:36


I vote for Sauber.
But had Williams had two better drivers in the car then the ones they had it would likely have been Williams with better results then they scored eventually.

Henri

#9 noikeee

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 09:51

Both Sauber and Williams were clearly better than the Force India which only came half-good at the end of the year, whereas the previous had the pace to mix with the front runners at several races.

That Williams somehow ended up with a lot less points than both, speaks a lot for the crashing ability of Maldonado and the lack of pace of Senna. That being said I still voted for the Sauber, because I'm not entirely sure how much the Williams' excellent peak speed was thanks to Maldonado's also excellent peak speed, and overall probably Sauber whilst an inconsistent car too, had more weekends where it was good than the Williams. There wasn't a lot between both cars though.

Toro Rosso doesn't even register in this discussion, they were way way back the other 3 teams.

#10 Rinehart

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:12

1.) Williams FW34
2.) Sauber C31
3.) Force India VJM-05

Now, if you were to rate the 2012 drivers line-up of each team from strongest to weakest:

1.) Hulkenburg and Di Resta
2.) Kobayashi and Perez
3.) Senna and Maldonado

Which would, all in all, (somewhat) explain the ultimate final results and standings.


:up:

Its seems everyday I read a theory on here about which car was better than which, based on the championship standings. Why people never take into account the quality and performance of the drivers is a mystery. People say things like the FI was the "2nd fastest car at Brazil" ... Right, so the FI suddenly became the 2nd fastest car for the final flyaway race of the season, by magic did it? Clueless! So appreciate what you are trying to explain here. Credit for trying...  ;)

#11 Spillage

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:20

Sauber for me. Think Maldonado flattered the Williams at times. Of the three lead drivers of each team (Perez, Hulkenberg and Maldonado) only Maldonado did not blow his one shot at victory with a mistake.

#12 Anderis

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:25

and overall probably Sauber whilst an inconsistent car too, had more weekends where it was good than the Williams.

I disagree. Discounting reliability problems, Williams had potential to finish in top8 everywhere bar Canada and Korea. Without mistakes, reliability problems, bad luck and with decent driver's performance it could have finished in top 5 in Australia, Malaysia, Bahrain, Spain, Europe, Belgium, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, almost half of the races in the season. But everytime when Pastor was hit by reliability problems, you could be sure that Bruno would not be there fighting for top5 spot. Malaysia, Spain, Europe, Belgium, Singapore and Abu Dhabi all could have turned into a podium finish with their pace.

Force India's were also struck with bad luck compared to other teams at the start and were tickling the podium during the latter half of the season.

I disagree. Force India can't complain about their luck last season. Maybe they were unlucky with SC in Brazil, but they only kept Williams and Sauber within their reach in WCC thanks to some weird races like Valencia or Spa, where many frontrunners had problems and they were able to score big points despite not having the pace to challenge front-runners over the weekend.

Discluding Toro Rosso, as they are too difficult to be rated, I believe that the pecking order based on the raw pace of the cars has been:

1.) Williams FW34
2.) Sauber C31
3.) Force India VJM-05

Now, if you were to rate the 2012 drivers line-up of each team from strongest to weakest:

1.) Hulkenburg and Di Resta
2.) Kobayashi and Perez
3.) Senna and Maldonado

Exactly my thoughts.

Only if we somehow were to merge Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado into one driver, Brastor Maldonna, and clone two of them, they could have had a capable drivers due. But no, instead we have one driver who is, while perhaps consistent, simply too slow to be in F1, and another driver, who is while being very talented, unfortunately shares this trait with being an idiot.

I don't think merging Senna and Maldonado into one driver was ideal solution. Bruno's consistency has been flattered by Pastor's inconsistency and his own poor qualifying form. But following his performances last season closely as a Williams' fan, I don't think his consistency was something you could really build on.
I would rather prefer to have somebody like Hulkenberg in the car, who I bet could have scored around 100 points in this car over a season.

#13 Owen

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 10:47

Pretty closely fought. Sauber. Just.

#14 noikeee

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 11:04

:up:

Its seems everyday I read a theory on here about which car was better than which, based on the championship standings. Why people never take into account the quality and performance of the drivers is a mystery. People say things like the FI was the "2nd fastest car at Brazil" ... Right, so the FI suddenly became the 2nd fastest car for the final flyaway race of the season, by magic did it? Clueless! So appreciate what you are trying to explain here. Credit for trying... ;)


Huh, I won't disagree drivers are a big factor particularly with the field this close, but it's obvious car performance has been fluctuating a lot too from track to track, mostly due to the very sensitive tyres. That's not "magic", that's a combination of sensitive tyres and a close field where setups are on a knife-edge and a couple degrees of temperature will put you way down or way up the order. I wouldn't go as far as claiming FI was the 2nd best car that day as I have no intention of diminishing Hulk's obvious extra-something in a wet Interlagos, but for example Sauber had weekends where they were the 2nd or 3rd best yet next race you'd pick 6 or 7 cars ahead of them.

#15 matthewf1

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 13:50

Sauber for me. Think Maldonado flattered the Williams at times. Of the three lead drivers of each team (Perez, Hulkenberg and Maldonado) only Maldonado did not blow his one shot at victory with a mistake.


Very good point.

#16 bub

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 13:59

Sauber

#17 Rinehart

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 14:00

Huh, I won't disagree drivers are a big factor particularly with the field this close, but it's obvious car performance has been fluctuating a lot too from track to track, mostly due to the very sensitive tyres. That's not "magic", that's a combination of sensitive tyres and a close field where setups are on a knife-edge and a couple degrees of temperature will put you way down or way up the order. I wouldn't go as far as claiming FI was the 2nd best car that day as I have no intention of diminishing Hulk's obvious extra-something in a wet Interlagos, but for example Sauber had weekends where they were the 2nd or 3rd best yet next race you'd pick 6 or 7 cars ahead of them.


Take Sauber. I don't think they had the 2nd best car at Malaysia, Monza, Spa or Suzuka. I think other teams around them made mistakes/under performed those weekends, whilst Sauber did a super job. But save for 2 or 3 dry races early in the season, I don't think the cars were fluctuating that wildly, I think the teams and drivers were.