Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst:
[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.]
Many were calling for rain from Malaysia to spice up the race which in the end did not need the added dimension. The race proved exciting with many mini battles taking place up and down the grid, including the final two positions seeing Super Max Chilton fighting until the end for 14th. The new home of team orders once again threw up controversy and it wasn’t from the team that brought us Multi 21 (or indeed Multi 31 as it would be this year).
For the first time Claire Williams looked out of her depth as a deputy team principal, fleeing the media in the aftermath of ‘Valtteri is faster than you.’ First saying Felipe has not ignored direct instructions then commenting, “It’s racing. It’s such a difficult situation.” Difficult decisions require brave decisions, not the softly softly approach we have seen from the 37 year old in this instance. Either Felipe was correct in his disregard for team orders or he behaved inappropriately. It seems lessons from this time 12 months ago regarding team orders were not learnt.
Has Massa been misled with his position within the team or did we see the backlash of all those years at Ferrari playing second fiddle? Personally, I think Felipe was well within his rights to defend his position but I would love to hear your opinions.
The omnipresent Alonso and Hulkenberg showed the importance of being idle throughout the race. The Spaniard rarely getting a prolonged showing on the world feed, but still brought the car home for a solid finish as Raikkonen recovered to 12th place. Once again, it feels like it will be a season of close but no cigar for Alonso who clearly has not been given the equipment to be compete for that all important 3rd WDC. How long before the man from Oviedo gets itchy feet at Maranello?
So what really happened?
Sergio Perez: Outshone by his teammate so much so that his engine refused to leave 4th gear in protest. Having taken 2 attempts to even leave the pit lane it was never looking good for the Mexican; although given the performance of the Hulk it may be just as well he went down as a DNS. He is awarded 14th place.
Pastor Maldonado: We are now into April and the Venezuelan has still not managed to complete a race distance in his Black and Gold, er….racing car. A more fruitful use of his Lotus could be as a smoke machine for children’s discos, also serving the purpose of promoting Formula One to a younger generation (haha). He goes down as a 22nd position for the race.
Jules Bianchi: I’ll echo the sentiments of many who stated they felt the penalty for Bianchi was harsh. However, as the rules of this page state, the stewards’ decision is final (to eliminate subjectivity) so 2 points go on his super licence. He is awarded 21st place.
Jean-Eric Vergne: While his teammate fought off competition from behind to claim his second points finish in his second F1 race the Frenchman was forced to retire with a turbo problem on lap 18. Having started in P9 he would have had high hopes for the weekend, even with his poor start due to his lack of power. He is awarded 13th position.
Adrian Sutil: A low-key weekend for both the Sauber drivers was rounded off when on lap 32 he was forced to retire with a power unit problem. The Hinwil team are famed for making good starts to Championships and not for developing a car well, which will be a worrying thought for all those involved. Sutil is awarded 16th position.
Esteban Gutierrez: As iterated above, if this is a distinctly average season for Sauber how much longer will Carlos Slim continue to back the Mexican protégés? This problem could worsen if the planned Mexican GP never comes to fruition with Indy or NASCAR a seemingly more profitable market. Therefore, a non-finish is not what Gutierrez needed; he is awarded a lowly 17th place.
Kimi Raikkonen: It seems that lady luck is evading the Finn so far during his second tenure with Ferrari. The upper hand in the points table is definitely with his Spanish teammate so far, but Kimi can take some solace in the fact he gave a strong showing in the practice sessions prior to the race. The frantic start to the race from Magnussen put pay to any possibility of a strong result for Raikkonen. He is moved up the grid to 7th place.
Daniel Ricciardo: As James Allen commented in the BBC F1 podcast, he seemed like the cartoon character Snoopy with a black cloud over his head during the race. A botched pit stop, a disintegrating wing and a further grid penalty for Bahrain make it was weekend to forget for the man from Perth. He is awarded 4th place which he surely deserved.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|22||Pastor Maldonado||= RETIRED||0||=||16||22|
Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:
|Driver||Revised WDC||WDC Points Difference|
*Those with 0 points will not be ordered
What they would have said
Had a problem been confirmed on the second Mercedes of Rosberg, everybody would have jumped to his defence as to why Hamilton was able to blow him away. As it stands, we can only look at lap data for an explanation where it shows Hamilton to be much quicker through the first stint (largely due to flat-spotting his tyres and being under pressure from behind). However, Hamilton was much quicker after stopping which suggests he is able to manage these 2014 Pirelli’s much better. If he is able to bring them up to temperature easier, this can only be good for his qualifying prospects.
Secondly, many would have questioned whether it would have been just if Bottas had been let through by Massa. The answer would have been a resounding YES. For 6 laps Bottas was at least 0.4 seconds a lap quicker and would have caught Button. Whether he would have passed him is another matter, but had a far better chance than Massa ever had. ‘Victims’ does not permit team orders so their finishing order remains the same. Massa may have won the battle, but Bottas looks the more likely to win the war!
Quote of the Day
This week’s quote comes from the legendary Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. He is one of, if not the, most successful batsmen of all time who was a class above the rest.
“Any active sportsman has to be very focused; you’ve got to be in the right frame of mind. If your energy is diverted in various directions, you do not achieve the results.”
If Lewis Hamilton can remain on course and focussed then the WDC is his to lose. The real tests lays ahead for the man from Stevenage as the wins won’t all come as easy as this one.