#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Budapest 2014 – #HungarianGP

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.

Hardly the way Perez would have wanted to celebrate the return of his home Grand Prix

Hardly the way Perez would have wanted to celebrate the return of his home Grand Prix

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.

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 Daniel Ricciardo = 25 = 4 1
2 Jenson Button +8 18 +17 7 2
3 Fernando Alonso -1 15 -3 5 3
4 Lewis Hamilton -1 12 -3 PL 4
5 Nico Rosberg -1 10 -2 1 5
6 Felipe Massa -1 8 -2 6 6
7 Kimi Raikkonen -1 6 -2 16 7
8 Sebastian Vettel -1 4 -2 2 8
9 Valtteri Bottas -1 2 -2 3 9
10 Jean-Eric Vergne -1 1 -1 8 10
11 Esteban Gutierrez RETIRED 0 = 13 11
12 Adrian Sutil -1 0 = 11 12
13 Kevin Magnussen -1 0 = PL 13
14 Jules Bianchi +1 0 = 15 14
15 Pastor Maldonado -2 0 = 20 15
16 Daniil Kvyat -2 0 = 10 16
17 Kamui Kobayashi RETIRED 0 = 17 17
18 Max Chilton -2 0 = 18 18
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
Position Points
Lewis Hamilton 1 231 +40
Nico Rosberg 2 218 +16
Daniel Ricciardo 3 128 -6
Sebastian Vettel 4 97 +9
Fernando Alonso 5 93 -22
Valtteri Bottas 6 77 -18
Felipe Massa 7 58 +18
Jenson Button 8 55 -5
Nico Hulkenberg 9 46 -23
Kimi Raikkonen 10 37 +9
Sergio Perez 11 27 -2
Kevin Magnussen 12 25 -12
Daniil Kvyat 13 10 +6
Jean-Eric Vergne 14 9 -2
Romain Grosjean 15 4 -4
Jules Bianchi 16 0 -2
Adrian Sutil 17 0 =
Esteban Gutierrez 18 0 =
Kamui Kobayashi 19 0 =
Max Chilton 20 0 =
Marcus Ericsson 21 0 =
Pastor Maldonado 22 0 =

*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.

Frank Lewis Lane Jr.

Frank Lewis Lane Jr.

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!

7 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Budapest 2014 – #HungarianGP

  1. >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.

    Erm, doesn’t this defeat the purpose of the exercise? A safetycar that was plainly called too late and heavily disadvataged the three leading cars while handing a huge advantage to others is a classical case of the influences you want to take out of the equation.

    • No Danilo. In fact, it further heightens the activity’s usefulness. Removing the safety car was decided to be too far, as doing this would then make it nigh on impossible to correct races with multiple safety car periods as well as anything that had happened after one of these periods behind Bernd Maylander. As far as the post is concerned, the safety car is something that occurs in Formula One which is impossible to avoid, but poor decisions by the team or being run into by another driver are both not things that affect all drivers.

      As for saying “influences you want to take out of the equation”, that is just ridiculous. This rules of the post were explained before the post started back in 2013. Isn’t there a swamp you should get back to wallowing in down in Africa somewhere?

      • > Isn’t there a swamp you should get back to wallowing in down in Africa somewhere?

        When I see something like that I believe I’m truly better off somewhere in the jungle. Good to see you are still able to accept other opinions in a levelheaded way…

      • Oh btw. What is the difference between a poor decision by a team and a poor decision by race control? Normally the safety car is released in a way that affects all the same way. In this case, it disadvataged three cars unproportionally. Which was the reason for my question.

        • Would poor non-decisions also come into play then? I’m thinking of the non-call for the Safety Car at Hockenheim, after Sutil thought Evel Knievel would be making an appearance.

          Was the SC called too late in Hungary though? I’ll have to watch the race again, but it seems to me that it was mere seconds after the first yellows were displayed, and it was pretty obvious as soon as the FOM feed showed Ericsson’s wreck of a car, that the SC would be deployed. Ericsson’s crash had a bit of similarity to Allan Simonsen’s at Le Mans 2013, so the medical car was out right away (saw it on the FOM feed scampering past the SC as Maylander waited for Rosberg coming down the pit straight). I don’t think there was any choice for Race Control other than what they did. Perhaps a rule with the SC should be that each car must pass the start-finish line at least one more time before going into the pits? There would still be winners and losers there. You’ll never find a solution that is both safe and sensible, and that is “fair” in each and every circumstance imaginable.

          Fact remains that Alonso was hurt by the SC, was behind Rosberg after it, but that he got ahead of him, and almost won the race, in a car significantly slower than the Merc. Rosberg said he would “play it safe” in the race … well, it turns out he played it too safe, and it cost him. He has to hold his hand up, and say that he couldn’t get past Vergne when he needed to, and also got stuck behind Bottas at a crucial point. Even with the misfortune of the SC, he still had it in his control to win that race, but couldn’t do it.

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