The Scrutineering Bay is Badger’s way of taking a hot Grand Prix racing topic and getting people from the Sett involved to put their opinions across. From predicting races, arguing stewards decisions to just deciding who was/is/will be the best, anything is fair game!

Last year’s European Grand Prix brought us memorable moments such as Lewis Hamilton overtaking the safety car, being punished for it and still staying second, Fernando Alonso’s outburst afterwards, and Mark Webber taking Red Bull’s tagline of “gives you wings” a little too far. What can we expect this year? Good question, which is why this week we’re asking:

“What will happen in Valencia?”

The Badger’s taking part this week are myself, Craig Normansell, Adam Millenueve and starting with a glimpse into the stars, Jimmy Von Weeks.

Capricorn – Lewis Hamilton

Caught up in a tricky situation at work? Put it behind you. You may not reach all your goals at once, but you can make a start. You have so much to offer, so put your talents on full display. It’s the perfect time to channel your energy into making things work in many places.

If ever Lewis Hamilton needed a boost it’s right now, so he’ll be relieved to read this little horoscope of joy. The Brit’s troubled run to sixth in Monaco and his disastrous Canadian GP can be put behind him at Valencia – a circuit he’s taken three successive runner-up finishes at – and he can once again show the world ‘what he has to offer’ beyond shunts and strops. A win is out of the question, but a podium does beckon for the 2008 champ.

Taurus – Tonio Liuzzi

Maybe you feel you’re driven in a new direction? But no matter how it comes to you, having faith in your instincts is important. Now all you need do is trust in it.

Ah, this one’s for Tonio. Yes, driving a Hispania is a strange and often baffling experience, but you trusted your instincts (that is to say grabbed the only remaining drive available) and have to stick at it. Our crystal ball tells us that if Hispania are still about in 2012 you’ll be in their car – keep plugging away, Tonio.

note: Badger’s Crystal Ball is actually made of fibreglass

Scorpio – Sebastien Buemi

Life is a cabaret, old chum, and Mercury and the Sun agree. So no more talking about what you would like to do one day. One day is today, Scorps.

Okay, a bit weird this one, but we think this suggests Sebastien Buemi needs to make a final push to secure his long-term future at Red Bull. He’s been doing a good job thus far in 2011, largely out-performing team-mate Alguersuari convincingly, and now is the time to really hammer home his suitability for the seat alongside Vettel beyond 2012. The stars have spoken!

Three snippets from the horoscopes from Jimmy there, but will they ring true on Sunday afternoon?

Up next is Adam with his freshly baked Pie of Possibility;

From some very heavy duty calculations taking data from this season overall, the previous race the previous European Grand Prix at Valencia, I can now present the Pie of Possibility for Performance in Valencia this weekend.

Not surprisingly, Sebastian Vettel has a high possibility of a good performance, but this possibility is equaled by Jenson Button who has said himself that he’s ready to fight for the title off the back of his Canadian GP victory.  Mark Webber is third in the rankings, followed by Massa and then Alonso.   Lewis Hamilton is well down, with less than a third of the possibility of a good performance, relative to Jenson and Seb.

Of course, these numbers aren’t simply dreamt up – here’s the data table:

Season Overall and Last Race are self-explanatory, but for History Valencia I’ve researched each of these driver’s stats from around the poor(ish)-mans Monaco.  Webber got 6pts for 2010 on my system, purely for his amazing crash fater colliding with Heikki’s Lotus.  Massa received 5 discretionary points for 2009, being as he was out of action.  Here are the full points from the past 3 Valencia races – note these points are Badger points, not championship points – for example, in 2008 Hamilton came 2nd and Vettel came 6th, but being as the latter was in a Toro Rosso, he’s been awarded the same 8/10 score as Hamilton.  Massa won in 2008, and also grabbed pole position and fastest lap so he got the full 10/10.  Here’s the breakdown:

And last to go is my list of predictions;

• Valencia will fail to impress, even with double DRS activation points, Pirelli tyres, KERS, sunshine and a partridge in a pear tree.
• My constant association with Valencia’s kerbs and MarioKart 64 will continue.
• The press will focus on the exhaust blown diffuser ban, praying for a change in Red Bull’s pace.
• Sebastian Vettel will take pole position.
• Lewis Hamilton will always have a McLaren press officer on his shoulder at interviews. Just in case.
• Fernando Alonso will complain about something.
• Eddie Jordan’s old team will be mentioned within the first 3 minutes of broadcast on Sunday, probably by Jake Humphrey and probably with a video montage of some sort.
• Renault will try different set-ups, tyre combinations and strategies throughout the race, but both Petrov and Heidfeld will be within a few tenths of each other the whole weekend.

That’s our guesses for Europe, but as always we’d love to hear yours in the comments section below – no matter how weird or wonderful they are!

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