Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst: Adam Macdonald.
[For those who are new to the page; TJ13 attempts to remove certain aspects of the race to give a fairer reflection of the race result.]
The iconic Northamptonshire circuit played host to what was easily the best race of the year so far. It included 2 demises from the lead, more tyre controversy and cooperation between Jenson Button and Sergio Perez! Many were left surprised. Furthermore, it has left the World Drivers’ Championship much closer, which can only be a good thing.
Not only is the WDC lead now less than 25 points (1 race win), but it also ensures the Red Bull setup cannot move too many resources away from the 2013 car, ensuring they do not get too much of a head start in the 2014 development.
There were a couple of negative aspects if the race. Of course, the unreliability (and still largely unknown causes) of the tyres, but as well the safety car rules have once again been shown to be inconsistent. Not only did they potentially cost Mark Webber a genuine shot at winning the race, but it was also rather pointless allowing cars to not be a lap down.
Whilst there is a need to remove the backmarkers from the pack on restart, the extra lap and a half that was required for Giedo van der Garde and Max Chilton to get clear simply ate into the race time. They then failed to make it to the back of the snake behind the safety car, compounding them to a 6 lap mini race for 17th and 18th positions.
If they had been allowed to drop to the back of the field it would have saved at least a lap. Furthermore, van der Garde was able to pit for free when the safety car came out, as the team knew VDG would be able to be on the back of Chilton when they unlapped themselves. If this was not the case, Chilton would not have been under pressure at the end.
The ruling in principle is a great idea, but requires some adaptation to be perfected.
So what really happened?
Lewis Hamilton: After Mercedes GP seemingly having sorted their tyre wear issues, Lewis was looking good for their 2nd win of the season. Nico showed later in the race that in all likelihood, he would have been able to stave off the challenge of a certain blonde man driving a Red Bull. He is awarded the race win.
Sebastian Vettel: The last time Vettel retired from the lead of a race, was in Valencia 2012. That weekend he had looked bulletproof. It’s a shame for him his gearbox wasn’t bulletproof this weekend. He is awarded 2nd place.
Jenson Button and Sergio Perez: For once the McLaren teammates cooperated. On lap 7, Button played the team game and let Perez overtake him down the hangar straight. Although it was team orders, Perez was much quicker, and would have taken the position with ease, so no change in positions.
Sergio Perez: Having been running in 6th at the end, due to not stopping for tyres, before his exploded, he was at the very least, looking good for 7th place. When the other cars are added back in, this comes to a net 8th place.
Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean: Kimi was let through under a team order, after the two had been looking very racy indeed. Of course, it was the only sensible thing to do for the WDC, but for this page it would need to be corrected. However, due to Grosjean retiring, this has been made much more complicated. Grosjean is awarded 22nd place due to his non-finish being caused by a racing incident.
Felipe Massa: The Brazilian had been looking strong until his tyre explosion forced him to limp back to the pits. He emerged with damage to the floor, which would have been costing him time. He is awarded 4th place. Massa did not pit for tyres after the safety car, which would ultimately have cost him.
Jean-Eric Vergne: Even though his tyre explosion was whilst he was running in 5th, it was a net 14th place at the time. He would almost certainly have had too much pace for the Williams’, but getting past Nico Hulkenberg would have been challenging. He is awarded 13th postion.
On the note of the Frenchman; he must be sitting fairly uncomfortably with the news of Antonio Da Costa being promised a race seat next year. What is the French for P45 or is that too harsh given his recent performances?
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|11||Paul Di Resta||-2||0||-2||21||11|
|21||Giedo van der Garde||-3||0||=||22||21|
Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:
|Driver||Revised WDC||WDC Points Difference|
|Paul Di Resta||11||24||-12|
|Giedo van der Garde||21||0||=|
*Those with 0 points will not be ordered
What they would have said
The safety car caused by Vettel parking his car on the home straight masked the fact that the Lotus of Raikkonen was already in trouble. On lap 40, Webber was already lapping faster and catching the Finn. There were no calls for a possible pit stop, but the team should have been ready and seeking any opportunity to bring their car in. Small margins decide championships….
There was very little said about the potential unsafe release of Fernando Alonso on lap 31. Apparently race control had other issues to be dealing with.
Kimi Raikkonen seemed unusually bothered after the race. Are the cracks beginning to show? Is this his way of being able to exit Lotus? Here is his interview with Natalie Pinkham of SKY UK.
Another very poignant fact from the race is the blockage that the Force India cars were. We saw a DRS queue form behind Adrian Sutil on lap 29 which helped the front runners hugely. The driver who must be most worried about this is Alonso. If this continues to happen at other circuits then it will all but hand a fourth consecutive WDC to Sebastian Vettel.
Quote of the Day
As it was the British GP, I thought a quote from a Brit would be appropriate. One man stood out with his quotes in a difficult period of history – Winston Churchill. The war time Prime Minister’s words are often referred to as a source of inspiration.
He said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” After so much time spent nursing the development cars, it’s brilliant to see Nico Rosberg in a genuinely competitive car. His enthusiasm has never waned and finally it is coming to some avail. Long may it continue, as a great battle will ensue within his team.