Welcome, one and all, to the second year of the Group Pick'em game. After our inaugural season was something of a hit and miss, I've decided to overhaul the game a little this year. Our first Champion, Herb, pretty much cruised to the title in the end, so it wouldn't be (an) F1 (related game) if we didn't do everything in our power to eradicate that advantage, would it?! The changes for this year are as follows:
All-new scoring system
One of the biggest issues last season was that the scoring system was based on its real-life equivalent, which meant that in every race, you had 12 drivers scoring the same number of points: zero. It also meant that selections such as the Saubers and Manors of the F1 world were, at most races, absolutely useless. In a bid to combat this, every driver will score points using the revised system:
1st = 35 points
2nd = 28 points
3rd = 25 points
4th = 22 points
5th = 20 points
6th = 18 points
7th = 16 points
8th = 14 points
9th = 12 points
10th = 11 points
(11th = 10 points; 12th = 9 points; 13th = 8 points; 14th = 7 points; 15th = 6 points; 16th = 5 points; 17th = 4 points; 18th = 3 points; 19th = 2 points; 20th = 1 point)
So I've added 10 points to each of the real-life points to allow us to have them handed out for the rest of the finishers as well. Hopefully this will mean a greater emphasis placed on all selections, not just those at the front of the field. And to reiterate, these points will be awarded regardless of whether a driver actually makes it to the end of the race or not. Otherwise certain teams (*cough* McLaren *cough*) look likely to have so many DNFs that they'll end up scoring about as many points in this new system as Manor and Sauber did in 2016...
Points for teams will be the combined total their two drivers score under this system. So if Hamilton and Bottas are classified 1st and 17th, Mercedes would score 39 points for that race (35 + 4).
All-new transfer system (v2!)
The joker system, while actually not that terrible, was a little limiting. The biggest issue with it was not so much the joker system itself, but the fact that once everybody's selections were locked in for the season, it made it impossible for those with bad predictions to overcome that handicap. Even, say, someone who made awful selections but actually accumulated the most joker points (I wonder who that awesome, handsome person was?!) still finished well down the order. So for 2017 we bid the joker adieu, introducing the following transfer system in its place:
- Everyone starts with 200 transfer points to use however they wish. There is no limit on the number of transfers you can make per race or per group; the only limitation is the 200 points.
- A transfer will be considered final when a race weekend begins (when FP1 goes green). Like last year, a transfer can be requested in advance of a race weekend but cancelled before the weekend begins. However, this must be done in a separate post stating that you now wish to cancel that transfer. Deleting the original post will not be considered a withdrawal of a transfer request because I'm unable to see when posts are deleted (and therefore it would be open to abuse).
- A driver's transfer value is dictated by their standing in the WDC. Whichever driver is first in the WDC costs 20 points to transfer; the driver in 2nd costs 19 points to transfer; the driver in 3rd costs 18 points to transfer; and so on down to the driver in 20th, who costs just 1 point to transfer.
- A team's transfer value is dictated by their standing in the WCC. Whichever team is first in the WCC costs 40 points to transfer; the team in 2nd costs 36 points to transfer; and so on down to the team in 10th, which costs 4 points to transfer.
- When you transfer a driver/team out of your selections, you do not receive their value back in additional points. There are also no additional points on offer for not making transfers (as there were in the previous transfer rules).
- At the end of the season, any transfer points you have remaining will be added to your overall score, with the exception of 'inactive' teams. A team will be considered 'inactive' if four consecutive races pass without the team's manager posting in this thread at least once. Any team which suffers three such inactive periods will not have remaining transfer points added to their overall score. This is mainly to avoid a situation whereby someone signs up, doesn't come back to the thread all season, and then receives a 200-point bonus by virtue of having made no transfers.
- No transfers will be permitted until after the third race of the season (Bahrain). This is to try and avoid a situation where misfortune in the opening rounds results in a driver/team being significantly less expensive than they otherwise would be. It is also to ensure extra weight is attached to everyone's initial picks.
And... actually, that is it as far as the changes go. To be fair, it wasn't a particularly complex game in 2016 and I didn't want to change that for 2017. I did consider continuing the joker system alongside the transfer system, but I was a little worried it might all get a bit overcomplicated. Which brings us nicely onto:
You need to make one selection from each group, so you end up with five drivers and three teams.
Drivers group 1: Lewis Hamilton; Valtteri Bottas; Sebastian Vettel; Kimi Raikkonen; Daniel Ricciardo; Max Verstappen
Drivers group 2: Felipe Massa; Lance Stroll; Sergio Perez; Esteban Ocon
Drivers group 3: Carlos Sainz; Daniil Kvyat; Nico Hulkenberg; Jolyon Palmer
Drivers group 4: Fernando Alonso; Stoffel Vandoorne
Drivers group 5: Romain Grosjean; Kevin Magnussen; Marcus Ericsson; Pascal Wehrlein
Teams group 1: Mercedes; Ferrari; Red Bull
Teams group 2: Williams; Force India; Toro Rosso; Renault
Teams group 3: McLaren; Haas; Sauber
As you can see, we're running five groups of drivers and three groups of teams, as opposed to the six/four we had in 2016. This is partly to reflect the fact that Manor's demise has reduced the grid by a team, but also to (hopefully) mix up the selections a little more. More groups = smaller groups = less variation in selections. This is probably the most challenging aspect of the game from my perspective as I can only really go off of testing/speculation as to the competitiveness of the teams, so there is always the chance there are clear favourites in each group. Again, though, I'm hopeful that by extending the points system it'll limit that as much as possible. I did consider the possibility of moving drivers/teams around after a few races to reflect the actual pecking order, but I would expect that to end up becoming a huge mess so I'm going to leave the groups as they are for the year.
This was a pretty useful section to have last year so I'm including it again.
What if one of my selections is replaced by a driver not on the grid? For example, one of my selections gets sick of his GP2 - sorry, FIA F2 - engine and decides to quit F1? (Sorry, Jenson). Or one of my drivers is unable to take part in a race due to injury/suspension? Then you will receive any points scored by the replacement for as long as they continue to replace the original selection. You would, of course, be able to transfer out the replacement for another driver in that group.
What if the aforementioned F2 engine suddenly improved and the disgruntled Spaniard decided, actually, he quite fancied racing in F1 again? (Sorry, Jenson). Well if you hadn't transferred out his replacement, you would revert back to having Alonso in your team. If you had transferred out his replacement then you would continue with the driver you transferred into your team, but would be able to transfer Alonso back in upon his return if you wanted.
What if we have a repeat of 2016 whereby one driver on the grid swaps seats with another driver on the grid, like Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat? Using 2016 as an example, from the moment Red Bull promoted Verstappen, anyone who had originally selected Kvyat began scoring whatever points Verstappen scored, whilst those who had originally selected Verstappen started scoring the points Kvyat scored. Essentially, it is treated as a driver being replaced so as not to unbalance my carefully crafted driver groups! Of course, the big difference in 2017 is you can transfer out one (or both) drivers involved in a swap if you wished.
What if a driver and/or team is excluded from the result of a race? I won't post the results for a race until, at the earliest, Monday afternoon, and they'll usually come later in the week as it takes a little time to write it all up. So hopefully any exclusions will have been made very clear by that point. However, if a driver/team is under investigation when I post the results then they will remain unofficial until that investigation has been concluded and it all becomes official.
What if a driver or team I've selected is excluded from the overall standings, such as Schumi in '97 or McLaren in '07? I would follow the FIA's lead on this one. If they allow the driver/team to retain the points they've scored then I will do the same. If, like McLaren in 2007, the team is banned from scoring constructors points but the drivers are still awarded points towards the WDC then that would be what we would do here. Basically, whatever the FIA decide in such a scenario would be what I would do.
What if I want to make a transfer for the next race, but FP1 had already begun? I'm going to be very clear on this: no transfers will be accepted once FP1 has commenced. As I will not always be online at that moment, I will take the timestamp on any post made as a means to determine whether a transfer is permitted or not. So if FP1 is scheduled to begin at 9am GMT, if a transfer post was made at 8:59am GMT then it would be accepted; if it were made at 9:00am GMT then I will assume FP1 has commenced and it would be rejected. Of course, if the start of FP1 is delayed then I would do my best to find the exact time it began and use that time as the deadline for transfers.
What if something that hasn't been covered here happens? In that case I would put it to a vote whereby the majority would rule. I would try to run any poll for a week but if it were something that needed to be determined for the next race weekend, I would set a deadline of the start of FP1.
What if a 21st driver takes part in a race; how does that affect the transfer point costs? In that scenario, the 21st driver would, by virtue of being bottom of the WDC standings, have a value of 1 point. Every other position in the WDC would therefore see its value increased by 1 transfer point, so 1st in the WDC would cost 21 points, 2nd in the WDC would cost 20 points, and so on down to 20th, who would now cost 2 transfer points.
What if two new drivers take part in the season from the same race? We would extend the scoring as above, just by two places this time. In terms of how the values of those two drivers would be determined, as I assume neither would be officially ranked in the WDC standings until they had taken part in a race, whichever was officially confirmed for their season debut first would be deemed to be higher in the WDC standings and therefore would cost the additional transfer point.
Full Transfer Point Costs
WDC/WCC position: Driver/Team
Cheering for: Massa, Hulkenberg, Vandoorne
Pick 10 | 1 win, 7 podiums | '16: 8th | '15: 2nd | '14: 15th | '13: 17th | '12: 11th
Group Pick'em | 12th
Top Three | 10th
F1 Oracle | 1st
Last edited by Jenson's Understeer on Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:05 am, edited 5 times in total.