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.]
What a spectacle the race in the desert turned out to be as the Mercedes pair disappeared after lap 46 when the safety car came in. For the first time, being forced to show their true pace in race trim as we our appetites we wetted throughout with the prospect of what was to come. The safety car only multiplied this as the ripple effects of closing up the chasing pack were felt by all. The close combat that followed will have left all satisfied with the race.
Marussia retook 10th place in the WCC thanks to super Max Chilton’s ever consistent drives, now up to 22 in a row. However, he still has a long way to go to beat the record of 41, set by Nick Heidfeld set between the 2007 French GP and the 2009 Italian GP. Marcus Ericsson pulling up on the side of the road on lap 36 could prove to be a pivotal moment in the season, and also the future of Caterham F1 team if Fernandes does follow through with his threat of withdrawing should their results not improve.
It may have been a post for April Fool’s day, but if the Sauber dance video ever does become reality then the breakdancing car of Esteban Guteirrez would surely need to be included. Possibly a consequence the lower noses this year, the Mexican was sent spinning at turn 1 after contact with Crashtor Maldonado. The fact he was able to walk away unscathed bares testament to safety of these machines, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the last death in the sport. This fact should be celebrated as well as being admired for how far the car has come! One thing we can thank Max Moseley and Sid Watkins for…
So what really happened?
Adrian Sutil: Coming together with the Marussia of Jules Bianchi summed up how bad the weekend was for Sutil as he struggled to even pass him. They did battle and collided, before the Frenchman came back for round 2 to finish off the job on his fellow Ferrari powertrain driver. Last year, the superlatives for Bianchi flowed, but this year he has looked inexperienced and wayward. Not that I would suggest it was some kind of payback; but the pair had tested for Force India in February 2013 to see who would get the second seat, which in the end went the German’s way. Bianchi was given 2 penalty points on his license, so Sutil is reinstated to 20th place.
Jean-Eric Vergne: An opening lap collision with everybody’s favourite racer, Pass-me-at-your-peril Pastor Maldonado. Over the team radio, the Frenchman exclaimed, “that guy tried to kill me,” having just been shunted by the aggressive Venezuelan. JEV said after, “Both rear wing and floor got heavily damaged with a huge loss of aero performance and it was just not possible to continue my race.” He is reinstated to 15th place.
Marcus Ericsson: An oil leak played havoc with the Renault powertrain, which could prove costly to the tune of $10 million or more if this is proves decisive in the WCC battle with Marussia for 10th. If his retirement on lap 33 brought misery to the faces of all involved at Leafield, then Button retiring would have made them cry. Nothing that Ericsson could have done, so is reinstated to 19th position.
Esteban Gutierrez: It has been viewed and reviewed so much I’ll stick to the facts on this one. The stewards ruled in favour of the Mexican, so he is reinstated to 13th position.
Kevin Magnussen: Nothing the Dane could have done as he was forced out with a clutch problem. Since his bright start in Australia, the McLaren driver has tailed off and will be looking for a stronger showing in China to avoid questions to start forming around him. He is awarded 12th place.
Jenson Button: Out went Jenson to compound a miserable weekend for the McLaren team, who had looked off the pace even though they had the most desired powertrain sitting in their garages. A 2 week break will at least give a decent amount of time for contemplation and consideration of what is going wrong. For the moment Button is reinstated to 11th place.
Kimi Raikkonen: Another week, another incident involving the Finn and Magnussen where Kimi came off worse. Having looked likely to finish ahead of Alonso for the first time this season he was forced to settle for 10th, 1 place behind him at the end. As the stewards took no action on their contact at turn 6, neither can the post.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
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
Without the introduction of the safety car the race would have been a completely different spectacle, although I wouldn’t go as far to say it would was “bland” as Hemut Marko said. The Mercedes cars were on course to win the race by 70 seconds or more.
Esteban Gutierrez had been looking good until being spun, even if the pace still looks to be lacking from that car. If the Williams team had managed a better result than 7th and 8th then they would have finally fulfilled their early season promise. 3 races in and we are still to see a finish better than 5th position in Australia – not exactly living up to the second quickest car billing.
With so much focus pre-season on the Ferrari teammate battle there was much speculation as to who would come out on top. This seems to have taken a back seat as other news pieces dominate the headlines, but how long before Kimi beats Fernando? Will we see the Samurai quotes resurface?
Quote of the Day
This week’s quote comes from the political activist and author Elie Wiesel. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 with the Norwegian Nobel Committee describing him as a “messenger to mankind.”
“Night is purer than day; it is better for thinking and loving and dreaming. At night everything is more intense, more true.”
The intense part was certainly true, delivering one of the most interesting Bahrain GPs ever. Nobody seemed to have a bad word about it being on during the night, which makes it easier to view for audiences worldwide.