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.]
Lady luck is a funny beast that seems to rear its head at the most inopportune of times. This weekend was one of those for Lewis Hamilton as he failed to finish the race and in the process, fell further behind his teammate and Championship rival. That is the story the British press would have you believe as the F1 circus exits North America. However, the famous golfer Gary Player was the one who said, “The more I practise, the luckier I get.”
So did Nico Rosberg really work harder for this points gain? I don’t believe so, as it was Lewis who seemed to work harder and harder throughout the weekend – to no avail. It was he who drove in dirty air making up for his overzealous passing attempt of Rosberg at the start. It was also Hamilton who overdrove twice in qualifying as his German counterpart set two faster laps than he did (a fact that many forget). Furthermore, it was Hamilton who overdrove the car in FP1 when he had been on a far superior lap to Alonso and Rosberg. Lewis’ mind was his biggest undoing this weekend as he went into his ‘favourite weekend’ with such expectation on his shoulders. Austria will come as a welcome change as the pair will return to being on equal terms there. Lewis should be drawing on his superior speed and just get the job done, rather than overthinking and handing the advantage to Nico.
Admittedly, Perez saved Nico losing a lot more points as well as Lewis played very fairly. He could have chopped across Nico into turn 1, as I’m sure he wishes he had done now knowing he was destined for a retirement anyway. Especially given the fact Nico did not leave him space on the outside. 2014 is most definitely the year of teammate battles.
So what really happened?
Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton: The run of consecutive finishes was brought to an abrupt end in Canada for Max Chilton, as the elation of Monaco must have seemed a distant memory for the Marussia team. Cold brakes and tyres meant Max piled into his teammate wiping them both out of the race. Bianchi is reinstated while Max faces a 3 place grid drop in Austria.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg: For a moment, let’s forget the eventual failures of their ERS units and focus on the lap 25 incident which saw Rosberg miss the final chicane. Even the strongest Hamilton fan in all the land would agree a drive through penalty would be unfair, but exceeding the track limits and gaining 0.6 seconds (which took Rosberg out of DRS range) is why the 5 second penalty was introduced. On this occasion the stewards ‘bottled it’, and took the easy way out by giving Rosberg his ‘final warning’. The fact it took 4 laps for Hamilton to regain the time he lost shows how much Nico gained by accelerating after missing the final turn, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Hamilton had been the quicker driver for most of the weekend and without the car troubles would surely have finished the first of the pair, had power issues not intervened. Mercedes not playing it safe and slowing down the drivers spoke volumes about the attitude within the team, even though they would have been able to see the brake temperatures soaring. It merely bodes well for the rest of season if the drivers are allowed to not only push each other to their limit, but also their cars.
Pastor Maldonado: The Venezuelan had been running in 8th position in the earlier stages of the race, although had always looked likely to finish outside the points. He remains outside of the points.
Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi: The Swede was told to stop with turbocharger trouble, while Kamui caused his own problems by spinning at turn 2 and damaged his left-rear suspension. In truth neither would have been that competitive.
Daniil Kvyat: Having been running behind his teammate in the early stages of the race he slipped back during the middle of the race. He would have finished in lower position had a drive-failure issue not stopped that. He is reinstated to a net 14th position.
Romain Grosjean: As the uncertainty surrounding his future continues, a rear wing failure for the Frenchman meant he was withdrawn from the race. Nothing he could have done about it, so he is reinstated to a net 13th place.
Esteban Gutierrez: The Mexican retired with power loss, although was never really in contention of scoring points.
Sergio Perez and Felipe Massa: A puzzling incident on the final lap put pay to both of their races. An incident which seemed so similar to that of Michael Schumacher and Bruno Senna, in Barcelona in 2012, had such a different reaction. In both the car leading was much slower than the one chasing, consequently they required much earlier braking phases. Senna turned slightly, as did Checo, although then it was Schumacher who was penalised; although with this incident the stewards found Perez to be the culprit.
As per the rules of the page, the Stewards decision is final, so it is Massa who is reinstated with Perez remaining retired.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|16||Sergio Perez||RETIRED (-5)||0||=||13||16|
|22||Max Chilton||RETIRED (-1)||0||=||18||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
After Ricciardo’s first stop he was down in 14th position, so the prospect of winning then would have seemed extremely low. Had Red Bull managed to get their pit stop tactics correct then they may have even had a top 2. What a comeback that would have been from not being able to run a race distance in pre-season. It was TheJudge13 that said by Canada it would be possible to see improvements in the Renault powertrain; point proven.
On lap 58, Felipe Massa was 7 seconds away from the lead and had he not been held up after his first pit stop then he may have been that 7 seconds up the road and already in the lead. Pitting 2 laps later for his first stop effectively cost him the chance of a race win – which would have been the first since Brazil 2008. What a story that would have been!
There are a number of different iterations for the weekend had a slightly different course of actions been taken at some point, by the Mercedes team. Ultimately, it could prove to be a pivotal one in the 2014 World Drivers’ Championship, although there are still plenty of dramas to come this year, I feel.
Quote of the Day
All in all, the weekend was a great advert for the sport, no matter who you support. Jim Rohn, the American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker once aid, “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.”
Of the two Championship rivals, one will feel the pain ‘of discipline’ and the other ‘of regret or disappointment’. Who is your money on?
Fantastic write up as there was rather a lot going on in that race. I did read a transcript of radio messages during Quali and according to Bonnington, traffic spoiled (relatively speaking) Lewis’ first lap in Q3.