Victims of Circumstance: Barcelona 2013

Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst:
Adam Macdonald.

Yet another weekend dominated by tyres has seen Pirelli finally bow to the pressure of a certain Austrian drinks producer and change the compounds.  Whether this is for better or for worse, one thing is for sure – not everyone is going to be pleased.

This is a move that will surely help the Red Bull and Mercedes teams, and hit the teams who are kind to their tyres, like Lotus.

So what really happened?

Adrian Sutil: Another poor pit stop for the German, as the right rear tyre caused some headaches for the Force India pit crew.  In terms of finishing, Sutil has been awarded 7th behind Mark Webber.  The Aussie had the undercut from pitting earlier, and as was proven by Sutil’s teammate, Paul Di Resta, the Force India cars struggled to overtake at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Romain Grosjean: A first retirement of the season for the Swiss-French driver, and through no fault of his own.  Suspension failure caused him to retire on lap 8, when he had been running in 9th.  The Lotus had been kind to the tyres all weekend, and would have almost certainly jumped Webber.  Therefore he has been awarded 5th, ahead of Mark.

Sergio Perez: Team orders once again reared its ugly head.  This denied Checo the chance to overtake Button, as the Britain was clearly slower.  Jenson has clearly asserted himself as No.1 back at Woking, since the kerfuffle in Bahrain.

Serio Perez Jenson Button Barcelona 2013


Giedo van der Garde: An unfortunate end to what had been a promising weekend for the Flying Dutchman.  After being quicker than teammate Pic for the first time, VDG will be disappointed not to have finished.  He is awarded 19th at the head of the new teams mini race.

Jean-Eric Vergne: Having been running in 14th and looking strong, it was an unfortunate end to JEV’s race.  The Toro Rosso cars had been looking good all weekend, after introducing a whole host of upgrades.  The Frenchman has been awarded 15th place due to Grosjean’s 5th place finish.

The Verdict
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:

Revised Race Position Driver Result comparison Points Points Difference Grid Position
Start Revised Position
1 Fernando Alonso = 25 = 5 1
2 Kimi Raikkonen = 18 = 4 2
3 Felipe Massa = 15 = 9 3
4 Sebastian Vettel = 12 = 3 4
5 Romain Grosjean RETIRED 10 +10 6 5
6 Mark Webber -1 8 -2 7 6
7 Adrian Sutil +6 6 +6 13 7
8 Nico Rosberg -2 4 -4 1 8
9 Paul Di Resta -2 2 -4 10 9
10 Sergio Perez -1 1 -1 8 10
11 Jenson Button -3 0 -4 14 11
12 Daniel Ricciardo -2 0 -1 11 12
13 Esteban Gutierrez -2 0 = 19 11
14 Lewis Hamilton -2 0 = 2 14
15 Jean-Eric Vergne RETIRED 0 = 12 15
16 Pastor Maldonado -2 0 = 17 16
17 Nico Hulkenberg -2 0 = 15 17
18 Valtteri Bottas -2 0 = 16 18
19 Giedo van der Garde RETIRED 0 = 18 19
20 Charles Pic -3 0 = 22 20
21 Jules Bianchi -3 0 = 20 21
22 Max Chilton -3 0 = 21 22

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised WDC WDC Points Difference
Position Points
Sebastian Vettel 1 89 =
Fernando Alonso 2 86 +14
Kimi Raikkonen 3 80 -5
Felipe Massa 4 47 +2
Lewis Hamilton 5 41 -9
Nico Rosberg 6 37 +15
Mark Webber 7 33 -9
Romain Grosjean 8 28 +2
Adrian Sutil 9 20 +14
Jenson Button 10 19 +2
Paul Di Resta 11 17 -9
Daniel Ricciardo 12 4 -3
Sergio Perez 13 3 -9
Nico Hulkenberg 14 1 -4
Jean-Eric Vergne 15 0 -1
Esteban Gutierrez 16 0 =
Valtteri Bottas 17 0 =
Pastor Maldonado 18 0 =
Jules Bianchi 19 0 =
Charles Pic 20 0 =
Giedo van der Garde 21 0 =
Max Chilton 22 0 =

What they would have said

Jenson would once again have been moaning about how younger drivers, and in particular, how Perez should not have been allowed to pass him.  Ultimately, Sergio has now been quicker for the past two races, so Jenson must be feeling the pressure.  Maybe he would be better suited to a different role, like in the video below.

The world championship would be even tighter than it already is, giving the impression that the racing has been ideal this year.  The memories of Vettel storming off into the distance at the start of GPs from 2011 would be nothing more than a distant memory.  However, are races with 4 pit stops really what we as fans want?

Lotus would have said how happy they were to still be in 2nd place in the WCC, whilst Paul Di Resta would have been moaning.  Nobody is sure what about;  but he would have found something.

Quote of the Day

The American Footballer and Coach, Vincent Thomas ‘Vince’ Lombardi once said, “If winning isn’t everything, why do they keep score?”  To throw a controversial suggestion out there; it would be better that the 3 point gap between 2nd to 3rd, and 3rd to 4th is changed.  Surely it should in fact be 19 points for 2nd place, making it 4 points from 2nd to 3rd, giving it added incentive, but still rewarding a win suitably.  It would be interesting to hear your views on this.


With 3 x 2nd place finishes in a row now,  Kimi must be getting sick of being up on the podium, but not quite winning.  Dropping 7 points to the leader each time also has to hurt.  The phrase, ‘close, but no cigar’ seems very appropriate, given that it’s being applied to the Iceman.

24 responses to “Victims of Circumstance: Barcelona 2013

  1. I’m not completely happy with the points system either, and I certainly am not happy that the bottom places in the final table among the non-points scoring teams during the season are decided on the highest place they achieved in a single race.

    • I think if you really want to fix the point system, bring back the old one, where points were awarded for positions 1 to 6. Scoring championship points should become a major achievement again, rather than handing out consolation points to half the field to avoid that the other kids are feeling bad about themselves. It’s all Waldorff school these days.
      The situation for non-point scoring teams decision is an easy fix – there shouldn’t be one. What would stop FIA from bringing back the old point system for the drivers championship and adopting a NASCRAP style point system solely for the Constructors championship?

      • Anthony Davidson, of Sky F1, said he wanted more positions to score points to give more incentive to staying out. For example, the Toro Rosso maybe could have finished, but there was no reason for them to risk staying out and causing further damage to the car.

    • Oh man, that post will open a whole new kettle of fish here, still remember all the debates when the points system changed. I was against it and I still am.
      But if you’re to award 25 points for the win and still try to keep the incentive from the 10 or 9-6-4-3-2-1 system, then it should be 25-15-10-7-5-3-2-1 and award only top 8. But we went to 25-18-etc because of the interim 10-8-etc which was by far the worst.

    • And since we’re on the subject. Anyone supportive of bringing back the system of only the best 15 of 18 races of each driver for example, counting towards the WDC points? Besides that was the norm up until 1990. Only in the last 20+ years, all races count towards WDC.

      • That disaster of a system was abolished a while after Prost was beaten by Lauda to the title by half a point despite having had scored more points in the season. Lauda could ‘scratch’ a non-finish race, while Prost had none and had to scratch a substantial point finish.

        • I agree it was an unfair system. It would be interesting to find out why it was implemented in the first place, from the very first WDC and for the next 40 years.

          • It was supposed to compensate for ‘against the trend’ circumstances.

            Good drivers with cars that failed. Maldonado-esque attacks from no where…

            Statistics uses forms of ‘extracting the abnormal’ events from a sample or series of occurances.

        • “That disaster of a system was abolished a while after Prost was beaten by Lauda to the title by half a point despite having had scored more points in the season.”

          Not true. In 1984 the scoring system was the best 11 results counted towards the WC. Prost didn’t score more points than Lauda no matter how you try and add them up because both Lauda and Prost only scored in 10 races. Prost was awarded half points for Monaco as the race was stopped before the 75% distance was done. Balestre stopped the race so Prost could win and ended up costing him the championship.

        • Good Lord, no :S Ask Jeff Gordon how often he scored the most points in a NASCRAP season and still didn’t get to be champion because of the ridiculous Chase scheme.
          I think we already have too many contrived show-elements in F1 as it is.

      • seems unfair on a bulletproof design like the F2012. If your alternator stops working then you should pay the price no?

  2. With regards to the proposed penalty points system, is anybody else relishing the possibility of a number two driver being asked to take the points on behalf of their ‘spouse’, a la Chris Huhne and Vicky Price?

    • Massa: “Ah, Grosjean, welcome! What brings you to our select group of banned drivers.”
      Grosjean: “Kimi. Too many ice lollies have frozen his brain! You?”
      Massa: “Nando. He promised me some shares in his chicken restaurant. I’ve been here 3 months.”
      Grosjean: “I’ll stay 2.”
      Dark figure in the background: “You newbies know nothing. Been here 2 years!”
      M+G: “Wow! What’s your name stranger?”
      Dark figure: “Mark…Webber!!!”

  3. In 2009, the last year of the old points system, there were 8 with points out of a total of 20 drivers. Therefore, 40% of the drivers scored points.

    For 2010, a new points system came in where the top 10 scored out of what was supposed to be 26 drivers, meaning only 38.5% of the drivers would have scored. This shows that, despite the increased no. of points scorers, it still would have rewarded a fewer percentage of drivers.

    • before the 10-position system came, was the 8 position. The correct one to check against is the real system, where only the first 6 score points 😉

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