#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Interlagos 2013 – #BrazilianGP

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.]

Having prayed for rain for much of the season to break up the races and add to the plot of the ‘Victims of Circumstance’ post I had high hopes for this in Brazil.  The promised rain never arrived, however, we were treated to an exciting race nonetheless.  In an ideal world, Mark Webber would have been signed off with a win, but nobody can deny that what Sebastian Vettel has achieved is incredible.

19 races ago, when I started this post, I did not expect to have had the success that I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy.  Thank you to all who have read the articles throughout the year, and stay tuned to TJ13 for a backdated ‘Victims’ of the 2012 season.  The result of it might even be a surprise!

So now to look and see where they ended up for the final time in 2013…

So what really happened?

Romain Grosjean: A fairly unspectacular qualifying session from the Frenchman who has been so impressive of late.  As Romain Grosjean’s race came to a premature end, Lotus’ chances of a snatching 3rd place went up in (engine) smoke.  Running in 8th position at the time and with no previous dry running data it is difficult to award him an accurate place.  In truth he would probably have been able to get into 6th place in the dry.

Nobody could fault his enthusiasm.

Nobody could fault his enthusiasm.

Valtteri Bottas: As the stewards deemed it to be Lewis Hamilton’s fault for the crash their decision must be taken as final.  Bottas had been struggling before that, but the improved performance of the Williams will be a welcome relief for those at Grove.  Bottas is reinstated to 18th position.

Charles Pic: In what will most likely be the last race we see Charles Pic in Formula One it was a shame to see him retire with a broken suspension on the Caterham car.  He is reinstated into 19th position, but this will be of little comfort to him.  I wonder if he has any regrets about leaving Marussia at the end of 2012?

Felipe Massa: Ferrari claimed after the race that his drive through penalty cost them $10 million dollars for the place in the World Constructors Championship they would have gained.  It certainly cost Massa a better finishing position, but it was a number of other team errors throughout the year that cost them the place.  These would be the miscommunication with Alonso in Bahrain or pitting Massa at the wrong time in Abu Dhabi, to name just two.  No matter what, the stewards’ decision is final, and therefore he remains in 7th position, which becomes a net 8th.

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

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised     WDC WDC     Points Difference
Position Points
Sebastian     Vettel 1 408 +11
Fernando     Alonso 2 245 +3
Mark     Webber 3 240 +41
Lewis     Hamilton 4 183 -6
Nico     Rosberg 5 182 +11
Kimi     Raikkonen 6 163 -20
Romain     Grosjean 7 147 +15
Felipe     Massa 8 106 -6
Jenson     Button 9 62 -11
Adrian     Sutil 10 40 +11
Nico     Hulkenberg 11 40 -11
Sergio     Perez 12 33 -12
Paul     Di     Resta 13 32 -16
Jean-Eric     Vergne 14 16 +3
Daniel     Ricciardo 15 11 -9
Esteban     Gutierrez 16 4 -2
Valtteri     Bottas 17 4 =
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

Imagine if Webber had not come in to pit on the same lap as Vettel did.  He would almost certainly have overtaken him and been in a position to win his final race in F1.  After all the conspiracy theories we’ve heard this year, do you think they would be reversed and saying it was a conspiracy to give Webber one final win?

Hamilton would have beaten his team mate by one point, in what has been a dreadfully unlucky year for Nico.  After retiring in Melbourne, he just never really got himself into contention for the top 3.  Perhaps he will have better luck next year…

Quote of the Day

I puzzled long and hard over this quote.  How to sum up the final race of the season was a tough one.  Eventually I decided on one from Rudyard Kipling; the English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. In 1907, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and still to this day is the youngest recipient.

Rudyard Kipling.jpg

He said, “I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.”

The ‘Who’ could definitely be Mark Webber.

I was fortunate enough to watch one of his (in my opinion) best drives live – Silverstone 2012.  His popularity was clear for all to see that day when he stood on the podium.  Below is a tribute video. [DISCLAIMER: May cause a lump in your throat]

Aussie Grit you will be missed.

18 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Interlagos 2013 – #BrazilianGP

  1. Still not understanding the stewards decision re Lewis. I mean, I understand they made it but still, having looked at it several times over, cannot understand what piece of telemetry they had that made them blame Lewis over Bottas.

    I always thought it was the responsibility of the overtaker to make the pass safely, which should have put it squarely on Bottas as he had ample room to manuever around Lewis, but personally I would have called it a racing incident.

    BTW, if you ever get bored, you could do a meta “Victims” for the GP Predictor League, LOL.

    • I was as confused as you were. Very harsh on Lewis to call it his fault. Anyway, as the rules of the post state we follow the stewards decision….I was forced to do just that. Maybe something to change for next year?

      • Maybe offer up a poll, let the hoi polloi decide whether it was fair. Not scientific, but you could roll with their choice in your Victims Post. In fact, you could even run it as as a separate feature, call it something like “Stewards Review” and let everyone vote on whether they thought the stewards made the right call.

        Set a high enough bar (60% or greater, maybe even 66% to filter out driver fan bias) and then voila, the stewards decision is overturned and you have your victim, so to speak.

    • For me it was simple. Lewis moved over onto Bottas. Bottas had a straight line into the corner and does not have to cede track position.

      It is not the first time Lewis have been involved in a situation where if he thought about it he may have been able to get better outcome.

      • I don’t think it’s that simple (I would put it down as a racing incident).

        The rule is pretty clear:
        “20.3 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.”

        Hamilton could quite fairly argue that he was moving back to the racing line (they were in to the corner when they collided, and as far as I can see without super slowmo, Bottas had just started to turn in). There was absolutely a car width and a bit on the outside of Hamilton.

        “If he thought about it” could equally well apply to Bottas (he could have turned in slightly later and avoided the accident).
        But more fairly, it applies to neither of them. There is no time for a considered decision in a split second incident like this; both drivers moves would have been instinctual, and would have relied on a prediction/understanding of the other’s move.

        In any event, I would argue that overtaking on the outside, subject to the one car width proviso, is pretty well at the risk of the driver attempting the overtake.

        • Not sure I agree with you. Should Bottas just brake and let Lewis by? That is never going to happen is it?

          I can remember when Lewis was fighting with Massa and the two of them collided. I may remember wrongly but was Massa not blamed for not staying out of Lewis’ way?

          You could say why give Lewis another penalty though? He already had a puncture so why another penalty?

          • Bottas was behind Lewis the whole time and had room to manuever past him, so yes, either brake or move to the right and continue the overtake.

          • Disagree Matt – Bottas was going in a straight line, the racing line and Hamilton moved over onto him. His car was alongside Hamilton’s so at what point does it become Hamilton’s responsibility to avoid an accidend?

          • I think it was 6 and two 3s. They were both in the wrong of sorts. Bottas showed his experience and Hamilton should have known there would be no winners in that.

          • Yes, but behind Lewis. My point being that just going in a straight line doesn’t entitle you to all the road in front of you. By your logic, it was JEV’s fault that Shumacher crashed into him in Singapore 2012, since Michael was going straight and JEV was turning.

            That said, I don’t really care if you blame Hamilton or not. My argument was with the penalty itself. ;-P

      • Agree – the only meaningful piece of film the BBC was able to show was a head on shot with Lewis not only moving over, which is allowed assuming room for the other guy to move and stay on the track, but continuing to move over entering the braking area for the corner until they hit,- just bad driving on Lewis’s part as it compromised him as well as putting Bottas out.

        • Since Nigel replied to Don, your reply is formatted to reply in order, I think.

          Anyways, just came here to say what Nigel said, more or less. I could also throw in poor team work, since Merc should have let Lewis know that he wasn’t racing Bottas. But what clinches it for me racing incident wise is having seen a replay where they analyze the crash ( I think it was Sky) that when Bottas was still several lengths back, Lewis was obviously angling back to the racing line, which Bottas clearly should have been able to perceive. Lewis biggest error, I believe, was incorrectly judging Bottas closing speed. Hence racing incident.

          Lastly, as the video indicates, it was Bottas wheel that made contact with Lewis’ wheel (i.e. Lewis was still in front of Bottas when the incident occurred).

          I am wondering whether or not Bottas had DRS deployed.

          • Pretty sure Bottas did have DRS deployed. Although, why on earth he would be trying to overtake is a mystery to me. He would have been given blue flags straight away after.

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