#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Suzuka 2013 – #JapaneseGP

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.]

It was a surprise to see Sebastian Vettel not on pole, but even more of a surprise of to see how downbeat Mark Webber was in the press conference after.  He really had the look of a man who has had enough of Formula One, which is a real shame that one of the good guys of the sport is counting down the days – but constantly being mistreated can change anyone.  The jury is still out on whether he was brought in for his 3rd stop during the race to keep him away from Vettel…

The last of the ‘big’ seats is still up for grabs at Lotus next season (assuming Romain Grosjean has already done enough to secure his seat there next year), and Nico Hulkenberg looks to be in prime position for it.  What a difference a month can make!  Following on from the month off in August, the Sauber has been a completely different drive, being capable of holding on to the high points paying places in recent races.  The rate they are going, they could even put in a late challenge for 5th in the World Constructors’ Championship.  Spare a thought for Force India who, unfairly, will be left with 7th place in WCC, when before the tyre change had been looked to be set for 5th.  Do they have a right to feel aggrieved?

So what really happened?

Jules Bianchi and Giedo van der Garde: Great to see the two drivers fighting it out at the back of the grid, even though realistically, their only hopes of a higher finish are if it is a race of high attrition.  When looking at the situation from that point of view, Marussia would be happy if this happened for the remaining 4 races of the season.  10th place in the WCC will pay over £10 million more than 11th, which is an astronomical amount for a team at the back of the grid.
This coming together was called a racing incident, so the drivers both remain RETIRED.

Lewis Hamilton: Not the race that the man from Stevenage would have wanted as he chases 3rd in the WDC.  His race was effectively ruined by the time he reached the first corner after a glancing blow with Sebastian Vettel’s wing.  As this is once again ruled a racing incident, he unfortunately remains RETIRED.  At least he will have a new gearbox for India.

Sergio Perez: The Mexican picked up a puncture as he made contact with Rosberg while fighting for 8th place.  It was another racing incident on a good day for racing.  Rosberg’s comments after the race about Perez seemed unfair.  “It’s not good what he’s doing, we know he has issues,” Rosberg said.  “If you move once to block you have to move out of the way, the rules are clear.”
Did you think Perez’s defensive driving was too much?

Nico Rosberg: If the person operating the light system cannot fulfil their duty, which causes you to be on the receiving end of a drive through penalty, there is nothing you can do about that.  In truth, taking away the penalty would not have done all that much.  He is moved up to 6th place, ahead of Esteban Gutierrez.


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

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised     WDC WDC     Points Difference
Position Points
Sebastian     Vettel 1 308 +11
Fernando     Alonso 2 210 +3
Mark     Webber 3 171 +23
Lewis     Hamilton 4 158 -3
Kimi     Raikkonen 5 159 -18
Nico     Rosberg 6 140 +14
Romain     Grosjean 7 97 +10
Felipe     Massa 8 88 -2
Jenson     Button 9 48 -12
Adrian     Sutil 10 40 +14
Nico     Hulkenberg 11 26 -13
Paul Di     Resta 12 24 -12
Jean-Eric     Vergne 13 16 +3
Sergio     Perez 14 12 -11
Daniel     Ricciardo 15 11 -7
Esteban     Gutierrez 16 4 -2
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

The mere fact Paul Di Resta finished the race was a surprise in itself.  Even more surprising though was to hear the usually dower Scot praising the team.  This came, following the news that the days on his F1 career may be limited.  I wonder if his manager, Richard Goddard, may have had anything to do with this.

This left JEV, the recently confirmed No.2 driver at STR, to take over Di Resta’s role of criticising his team.  The Toro Rosso pit stops were too long for the Frenchman’s liking, something he made to efforts to hide.  Is this a sign of frustration coming out at not getting the Red Bull seat for 2014?

His teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, was angry after the race, citing his penalty as the reason he finished outside the points at Suzuka.  He said, “I’m fairly sure without collecting a drive-through penalty I’d be leaving Suzuka with a good haul of points.”  The Aussie forgetting the rules are the rules for a reason.  It was the same speed advantage that allowed him to pass Sutil, which caused him to run wide at 130R.

And finally, it was good to see the two Williams’ racing on the final lap for P16.  Although, one has to wonder why there were no team orders called in here.  Fighting out for a position as low as that on the final lap of the GP serves little to no purpose.  Furthermore, Pastor clearly did not mind upsetting his teammate.  Are these the actions of a man who is soon to leave the Grove based team?

Quote of the Day

This week’s quote comes from Frances de Sales.  The Frenchman was the Bishop of Geneva and is even honoured as a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church.


“Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as real strength.”

With many drivers victimising the rubber they drive on, once again, it means the strongest drivers are those who are gentle on their tyres.

4 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Suzuka 2013 – #JapaneseGP

  1. Perez was well within his right to defend his position…did Rosberg just expect him to pull over and let him pass?

    • I think Rosberg means using this years regs and the one car width rule. In the words of Alonso: “you must always leave a space!”

  2. Ok, American TV said Rosberg left the pits while the light was still red. Not sure you can blame the pits for that drive through.

    • Yes, there were conflicting reports on this. Some say the light flickered…either way it was just 1 place

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