#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Shanghai 2014 – #ChineseGP

Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst: Adam Macdonald (@adamac39)

[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.]

Hamilton charged home to victory in a race that looked just too easy for the Mercedes team.  The fact Nico Rosberg could bring home his car in 2nd place without telemetry shows the dominance of that car.  It’s funny the difference a few months can make as it was only last October that Hamilton said he “Feels for the fans” having to endure the dominance of Vettel.  Pot, Kettle, Black (or maybe Silver) Lewis?

The subject of Vettel not being able to handle this year’s car is a simple one.  For much of the same reason Webber was unable to trump his teammate, is the reason Vettel struggles with this new set of regulations.  The Australian struggled to get used to off-throttle blowing which has proven so successful for Vettel.  The new Australian has not been used to this so much for the last 5 years, and consequently is not missing it.  Whether Vettel can adapt is the biggest question, but all those saying this proves it was just the car that made him World Champion are foolish.  2014 will be an interesting test of character for the man from Heppenheim.

For all of those who questioned the reasoning for Button being so lowly placed in the last Victims, Shanghai was the proof that the pace in the McLaren is lacking sufficiently.  The double podium of Melbourne seemed only a distant memory, as the Woking team seem to be wasting the dominant Mercedes powertrain.

Better early than never?

Better early than never?

So what really happened?

Adrian Sutil: The bad luck continues for Sutil as once again he failed to finish the race.  Managing just 5 laps, the German must be ruing the fact he is not in a Force India this year.  If this year is a poor one it would not be unlikely for it to be the last for him in Formula One.  Given that his teammate could only manage 16th, it is clear the pace is just not there for Sauber this year.  He is reinstated to 17th, which is a net 19th.

Felipe Massa: The Brazilian was unfortunate to make such a good start and have nowhere to go with it, which caused him to bump wheels with Alonso.  Neither can really be blamed for them touching into turn 1.  A bad day got worse for Massa, when the long stop cost him any chance of a points finish.  Accident damage and the inability to tell right from left in the Williams garage was to blame.  He is reinstated to 7th place.

Romain Grosjean: The Frenchman had been looking in a strong position, looking likely for Lotus’ first points of the season until he was forced to retire on lap 28.  Having finished 11th and 12th in Malaysia and Bahrain respectively, the Black and Gold car was in that position on merit.  In the end the final point went to Daniil Kvyat, who Grosjean had been comfortably in front of.  Therefore, he is reinstated into 10th place, which is a net 11th.

Daniel Ricciardo: Whether Vettel listened to team orders or simply misjudged the corner is a contentious issue.  Martin Brundle said on SKYF1’s coverage he did not think Vettel had done that on purpose as it was a strange place to let someone past.  The worrying part for Vettel was that he had been on 3 stop strategy and was actually lapping slower than somebody in the same car that was 2 stopping.  Those that claimed Vettel cost Ricciardo a shot at the podium were not valid as had been outlined previously.

Jules Bianchi and Kamui Kobayashi: The unfortunate over-eager flag bearer meant that the Japanese driver’s pass for 17th place did not count.  In truth, it changes very little, but had it been for points (or that all important 10th place in the WCC) then there would have been uproar.  In Victims the pass stands, so Kamui is moved up 1 place.

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 Lewis Hamilton = 25 = 1 1
2 Nico Rosberg = 18 = 4 2
3 Fernando Alonso = 15 = 5 3
4 Daniel Ricciardo = 12 = 2 4
5 Sebastian Vettel = 10 = 3 5
6 Nico Hulkenberg = 8 = 8 6
7 Felipe Massa +8 6 +6 6 7
8 Valtteri Bottas -1 4 -2 7 8
9 Kimi Raikkonen -1 2 -2 11 9
10 Sergio Perez -1 1 -1 16 10
11 Romain Grosjean RETIRED 0 = 10 11
12 Daniil Kvyat -2 0 -1 13 12
13 Jenson Button -2 0 = 12 13
14 Jean-Eric Vergne -2 0 = 9 14
15 Kevin Magnussen -2 0 = 15 15
16 Pastor Maldonado -2 0 = 22 16
17 Esteban Gutierrez -1 0 = 17 17
18 Adrian Sutil RETIRED 0 = 14 18
19 Kamui Kobayashi -2+1=-1 0 = 18 19
20 Jules Bianchi -3 0 = 19 20
21 Max Chilton -3 0 = 21 21
22 Marcus Ericsson -3 0 = 20 22


Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:


Driver Revised WDC WDC Points Difference
Position Points
Lewis Hamilton 1 93 +18
Nico Rosberg 2 79 =
Daniel Ricciardo 3 36 +12
Fernando Alonso 4 34 -7
Sebastian Vettel 5 33 =
Nico Hulkenberg 6 30 -6
Felipe Massa 7 26 +14
Kevin Magnussen 8 15 -5
Sergio Perez 9 16 -2
Valtteri Bottas 10 15 -9
Jenson Button 11 14 -9
Kimi Raikkonen 12 11 =
Jean-Eric Vergne 13 1 -3
Daniil Kvyat 14 0 -4
Romain Grosjean 15 0 =
Adrian Sutil 16 0 =
Esteban Gutierrez 17 0 =
Kamui Kobayashi 18 0 =
Max Chilton 19 0 =
Marcus Ericsson 20 0 =
Jules Bianchi 21 0 =
Pastor Maldonado 22 0 =

*Those with 0 points will not be ordered

What they would have said

As was pointed out quite aptly, that had Ricciardo hunted down Alonso and passed his it would be another podium taken away from him – making him the unluckiest man in F1, perhaps something to do with being Australian and driving for Red Bull.

Had Alonso’s podium come in Bahrain then who knows if Stefano Domenicali would still be leading the charge of the prancing horse?  As for Kimi, it was ultimately another weekend to forget as he was once again blown away by his teammate.  So much for the 2014 close Ferrari battle we were all looking forward to…

Quote of the Day

The real (and fair) test will come later in the season for Raikkonen at Ferrari, with a new leader at the helm he will be hoping his fortunes change.

Marco Mattiacci takes over at Maranello with what would look to be a mountain to climb to get the red cars back to the front of the pack.  This job will only be made harder by the fact he has had no Formula One experience prior to this role – probably the most desired in the sport.

As US politician Adlai Stevenson II once said, “It’s hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.”

"noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party"

“noted for his intellectual demeanor, eloquent oratory, and promotion of liberal causes in the Democratic Party”

The rest of the paddock seems to think he was an odd choice for the Ferrari F1 boss job; it’s up to him to prove them all wrong.

6 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Shanghai 2014 – #ChineseGP

    • Thought I’d seen a graphic that indicated fuel usage a little high, compared to the rest of the field.

      • You did indeed Peter, although Vettel had used even more. Showing the RBs must still be pumping as much fuel through their engines as possible to increase power.

  1. Nice one Adam! I was convinced that Ricciardo had the pace over Alonso. I was absolutely amazed at Alonso’s ability to keep ahead of him at the end.

    As far as Vettel, his tyres were several laps older, but I think he was nearing the end of his stint if he would’ve stayed with 3 stops, though the fact they put him on three makes me think he’s having a harder time managing his tyres right now. Likely, as you point out, due to unlearning some of the EBD habits that have become so ingrained for him over the last couple of years.

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