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. ]
Another misfiring weekend for McLaren as their lost protégé took his 4th victory in succession. Furthermore, Sergio Perez, the driver they had released just 7 months ago drove a controlled race to finish ahead of Nico Hulkenberg. In fact, the 4 ex-McLaren drivers on the grid all finished above their former team. The Ron Dennis effect still needs to be given time, but the 2014 season needs to be abandoned now to start developing for when Honda return.
This race reminded me of the inaugural Austin Grand Prix in 2012. The top 2 were in a league of their own (back then Hamilton and Vettel), with the 3rd placed driver a country mile behind (then Fernando Alonso) as well as the 4th placed driver (then Felipe Massa) having taken a gear box penalty after qualifying to then charge up the order on Sunday. The rest of the field proceeded home in orderly fashion in a slow burner of a race. I guess not every race can be as exciting as Bahrain was earlier in the season – although it was largely due to the safety car there. Roll on Monaco and all the excitement a street circuit will bring!
So what really happened?
Pastor Maldonado and Marcus Ericsson: It seems the fiery Venezuelan just can’t keep himself out of trouble however hard he tries, as he decided that overtaking at all costs was the option to go for when he approached the charging Swede Ericsson. Understandable if it were for a meaningful position, but when for a position at the back of the field it was insanity. Perhaps it can be put down to pure frustration at being so lowly, but it still earned him a 5 second penalty. If it did damage the Caterham car at all he could only have hoped to finish 2 places higher. He remains as the last placed finisher.
Kamui Kobayashi: The Japanese driver suffered a similarly scary brake failure in the same place as Giedo van der Garde had in FP1. In what has already become a season of damage limitation for the green team, such basic components on the car failing as this will be of great concern. There is nothing that Kobayashi could have done, so he is reinstated to 19th, which becomes a net 20th position.
Jean-Eric Vergne: Having lost out to his teammate last year for the second seat in the parent team things have not improved at all for JEV. He was forced to retire on lap 24 with an exhaust problem, while his Russian finished in 13th in rather unspectacular fashion. This kind of luck will do nothing to quash the rumours that JEV will be replaced by Antonio Felix da Costa later in the season. Running in 15th at the time of retirement, there was nothing in his drive to suggest overtaking Kvyat so is reinstated there.
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
The fastest lap at the end of the race will be some solace for Sebastian Vettel as he looks to restart his season after his (reportedly) bent chassis limited him previously. Whether you choose to believe this or not, it seems unlikely he will be challenging for wins anytime soon. In which case, adding to his tally of fastest laps is the best he can hope for. This one takes him 8th on the all-time list, equal with Nelson Piquet and Juan Manuel Fangio. However, his is still 54 short of Schumacher’s record of 77!
Were there other challengers for the World Championship other than just the Mercedes pair it would make it that much more impressive to take the honour. If the powertrains were even slightly more closely matched it would be game on for the title, although short of some minor miracle for the Milton Keynes setup, it is already game over.
Had Felipe Massa been able to climb up the grid after what was a fairly poor qualifying showing then people would have once again been putting the plaudits onto him, however, he has demonstrated again why Ferrari made the correct choice in letting him go. It seems remarkable to me that people are not giving Bottas more attention as he continues to lead the team.
Quote of the Day
As Criss Jami, the American poet and philosopher once said, “If you want to find the real competition, just look in the mirror. After a while you’ll see your rivals scrambling for second place.”
As Rosberg continues to work with the line of if only he had had 1 more lap he would have taken the victory, he needs to face the facts here. It is his own qualifying (where a poor exit out of turn 15 meant he started the lap already behind Hamilton and ultimately proved to be the difference between the pair) and poor start which are costing him the chance of winning, not the Grand Prix being 1 lap too short.