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.]
It was another race of this most fascinating Championship in 2014 where once again it was Daniel Ricciardo who surprised many to come out on top. Granted, he had some luck in the process, but nobody could fault his drive as the overtaking moves were decisive and clinical. The way he was giving instructions over the team radio to his engineer, Simon Rennie, demonstrated just how much he has matured since his step up to the front of the grid. Many questioned his appointment at the time, but those voices have retreated away into the background now.
It will be a long and hard summer break for the Force India team as they look to rekindle the fire that was burning so brightly at the start of the season. The much reported (here on TJ13) sale of the team cannot come soon enough as they continue to slip back away from the pack. McLaren are hot breathing down their necks just 1 point behind them now.
Before I delve into the repositioning of cars, it should be noted the rules of this post do not take out the changed order of safety cars in order to avoid subjectivity. With this in mind, I will continue.
So what really happened?
Marcus Ericsson and Romain Grosjean: Throwing your car into the wall was never going to help your cause, but was at least understandable given the conditions from Ericsson (especially given the handling of the Caterham). To do so behind a safety car was reckless from Grosjean. Both remain retired.
Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez: Not a great day at the office for either driver really as Force India suffered their first double retirement of the year. Hulkenberg’s points scoring run came to an end as he misjudged an overtaking move on his teammate before spinning into the wall. The Mexican then spun out the final corner later in the race. Both remain retired.
Kamui Kobayashi: Nothing he could have done about the Caterham’s car issue as he parked up just before the safety car returned to the pits. Jules Bianchi had been on form all this weekend, given his strong quali showing, although the Japanese driver had been the leader of the back pack for the practice sessions which shows the Caterham car is improving. He is awarded 17th place.
Jules Bianchi: Sent into a spin by Pastor Maldonado at turn 1 damaged his race chances. Before then he had done well with pit stops and was running close to the midfield, holding his own in the tricky conditions. He is awarded 14th place.
Esteban Gutierrez: An ERS problem forced him out of the race he had been fighting Kimi Raikkonen for position earlier in the race. With Sutil missing out on 10th by just 0.9 seconds it is makes Gutierrez’s retirement even more painful as the team still search for their first points of the season. Beating JEV was probably out of reach, so is awarded 11th place ahead of his teammate.
Jenson Button: The weather radar lied and effectively ruined the good fortune that Button had enjoyed by the safety car coming out. Nothing that Button could have done about this, but with points so tight in the midfield a missed opportunity like this could be tens of millions of dollars. Button is awarded 2nd place as he had the pace to maintain position.
Mercedes AMG: As ever with the Victims of Circumstance, team orders will not be tolerated.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|19||Sergio Perez||= RETIRED||0||=||12||19|
|20||Nico Hulkenberg||= RETIRED||0||=||9||20|
|21||Romain Grosjean||= RETIRED||0||=||14||21|
|22||Marcus Ericsson||= RETIRED||0||=||19||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
It was lap 38 that Nico Rosberg was told that if Hamilton pitted now he would emerge back ahead of him. At this point the alarm bells should have been ringing on the Mercedes pit wall, as Hamilton would not have lost track position (relative to cars they were actually racing) by pitting; thus covering any safety car eventuality. Then on lap 47, Nico had caught him and the drama ensued. Peter Bonnington told Hamilton, “don’t hold him up” – hardly the direct team order that was required.
Quote of the Day
The Texan baseball executive Frank Lewis Lane Jr. said, “If you want to see the sunshine, you have to weather the storm.”
Red Bull’s latest star performer Daniel Ricciardo weathered the storm (with some luck along the way) so he saw the chequered flag first. It was a very steady and sensible drive from the Australian as he goes from strength to strength. If Renault can get their powertrain working well for 2015 (48% is permitted to be altered) he is showing it could be his year to become World Champion!