#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Mokpo 2013

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 animals came in 2 by 2, as qualifying seemed like a procession.  3 teams went out in Q1, 3 out in Q2 and left the final 5 to fight it out in the top 10 shootout.  Fortunately, this was not the case for Sunday with the field being shaken up by safety cars, different sectors suiting different cars (most notably the Sauber’s in S1) and teammate battles causing controversy.

There was much focus, after the race, on the shortcomings of the Mercedes GP team and how they should have reacted to Rosberg’s wing breaking.  People seem to forget that Hamilton was restricted in overtaking in the yellow flag zone in sector 3 and before that it would have been very hard for the team to have reacted that quickly.  Considering we saw the team prohibit Nico from overtaking in Malaysia, to see the team allow the drivers to race was refreshing.  Especially strange to see, given they are challenging Ferrari for 2nd in the constructors’ table.

This was the same for Lotus, who admittedly have less to worry about in terms of the World Constructors Championship, but still risked a big haul of points by letting the pair duel on track.  Interesting to see the team encouraged Grosjean to chase down Raikkonen.  Does this mean Nico Hulkenberg will have to play the number 2 role at Enstone next year?

On the subject of Nico, I was ecstatic to see him claim 4th place ahead of 3 World Champions.  I have long been a fan of the Hulk, and to see him finally being given the car to show his capabilities is fantastic.  I have previously written about the subject, but with the German and Grosjean already having completed time in the sport before their current stints in F1, are they not examples of why drivers need to be given more of a chance in the top tier of motor racing?

What if…?

If every team on the grid had to have their reserve and/or test driver racing in GP2 or GP3 it would ensure the sustainability and interest in the support series of the sport.  Furthermore, it would mean drivers are not rushed into race seats and can be given time to mature (both on track and off – with media commitments, etc.) before making it to the ‘big time’.  Of course, this would prohibit situations like that of Red Bull, with the former protégé Sebastian Buemi taking the test role for the team this year.

I would be interested to hear TJ13 readers’ opinions on the subject.

So what really happened?

Romain Grosjean: When Kimi passed Romain into turn 1, the have a go hero fire truck had already entered the circuit, so surely this means that any overtaking should have been prohibited.  Furthermore, given that had it not been for Nico’s dodgy front wing and Lewis being forced to stay out track, the Finn would not have been near the Frenchman at this point.  Grosjean is awarded 2nd place as he would probably have been able to defend from the Mercedes GP pair.

The only car Vettel couldn't overtake on Sunday

The only car Vettel couldn’t overtake on Sunday

Lewis Hamilton: With some choice language in his question why he hadn’t been brought in earlier Lewis Hamilton can count himself unlucky after the Korean GP.  Having lost 3 seconds for the extra lap he had to stay out as Nico was serviced first, and at least another 5 behind Nico on his in lap, it cost him the position to Kimi which, in turn, meant Hulkenberg was able to pass him on the safety car restart.  He is awarded 4th place.

Nico Rosberg: Lap 28 was where it all started to go wrong for Nico.  Having passed Hamilton for 3rd on the straight after turn 1, the front wing took on a new design before the race in Sochi, Russia next year; as a snow plow.  This cost both him and possibly even more so his teammate.  The ensuing chaos over the next couple of laps meant it was a weekend to forget for the Brackley based team.

Mark Webber: Having been running in what was in 5th place, which was a net 6th place with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg being added back in and Perez being taken out, the bad luck continued for the Aussie.  He had been doing a stellar job of navigating his way back through the field until he picked up the puncture from Perez’s tyre blowout.  He was subsequently nerved off track by Adrian Sutil’s – when F1 meets ballet impression.  His car soon turned into a BBQ, which due to being Australian, he only found annoying when the flames were put out.  He is awarded 6th position.

Sergio Perez: Before his spectacular tyre failure, Perez was a full 17 seconds ahead of his teammate.  However, as TJ alluded to in the news on Tuesday, if you flat spot an old set of tyres they are going to give up on you.  He is not moved up the grid.

Jenson Button: Whilst he was forced to pit, from 10th, for a new front wing on lap 4, when the field was bunched up he would not have been able to finish higher than he did due to the inferior capabilities of the car beneath him.  He is not moved up the grid.

Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vergne: A sensible decision to bring your cars in the get a new gearbox for Suzuka, when you are not going to score any points in the race.  However, it means you cannot be reinstated into the race, so both remain RETIRED.

Paul Di Resta: Crashing out on lap 26 of 55 pretty much summed up the Scot’s season.  47.27% of Paul’s season has gone well.  The rest has been nothing special to write home about and is leaving his future in the sport looking precarious.  He remains RETIRED.

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

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

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised   WDC WDC   Points Difference
Position Points
Sebastian   Vettel 1 283 +11
Fernando   Alonso 2 198 +3
Lewis   Hamilton 3 158 -3
Mark   Webber 4 153 +23
Kimi   Raikkonen 5 149 -18
Nico   Rosberg 6 134 +12
Felipe   Massa 7 87 -2
Romain   Grosjean 8 82 +10
Jenson   Button 9 46 -12
Adrian   Sutil 10 40 +14
Paul Di   Resta 11 24 -12
Nico   Hulkenberg 12 18 -13
Jean-Eric   Vergne 13 16 +3
Sergio   Perez 14 12 -11
Daniel   Ricciardo 15 11 -7
Esteban   Gutierrez 16 0 =
Valtteri   Bottas 17 0 =
Pastor   Maldonado 18 0 -1
Jules   Bianchi 19 0 =
Charles   Pic 20 0 =
Giedo   van der Garde 21 0 =
Max Chilton 22 0 =

*Those with 0 points will not be ordered

What they would have said

When Perez hit Massa’s wheel, on lap 44, I had visions of a backlash of angry comments from the (not for long) Ferrari driver.  Fortunately for the Mexican, nothing came of it and it was a minor incident in an exciting Grand Prix.

As I mentioned earlier, the fact Lotus and Mercedes let their drivers race each other was somewhat remarkable.  Had either of these two pairs taken had an accident then this policy could and would have been called into question.  As it didn’t, we’ll remember it for some great wheel to wheel action instead. Phew!

Finally, it was given very little media overage after the race, but the 5 car squabble, on lap 45, for 10th place was some of the best racing I’ve seen for some time.  This was the most like racing from years gone by – and it was great to watch.

Quote of the Day

“I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.”  These were the words uttered by American comedian, film and television star Julius Henry “Groucho” Marx.

Before the Korean GP organizers and promoters, Korea Auto Valley Operation, married FOM signed the deal for 7 years, maybe they should have listened to “Groucho’s” words.  4 years on and the promised riches of F1 have still not arrived in Mokpo.

2 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Mokpo 2013

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.