#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Spa 2014 – #BelgianGP

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.]

Nico rolled up his sleeves and dug in his heels as he showed Lewis and the team he was not going to be pushed off the circuit.  The only problem being he chose the wrong time to get fighty, especially given how early in the Grand Prix it was.  As it was decided to be a racing incident, neither of their positions are changed for Victims, even if their positions within the team have.

A six figure fine for Rosberg will have dented his pride, but I’m sure he will be happy to pay it should this be the incident that defines the Championship.  To see the demeanour of both in Monza this week will be interesting.  Whether Rosberg will be as bullish will clearly demonstrate what was said in the team meeting last week.  Rosberg was hurting on the podium as the boos echoed around the Ardennes forest, so Monza will be a chance to leave Europe on a positive note.

Before the drama happened...

Before the drama happened…

So what really happened?

Jules Bianchi: The first lap collision put pay to any chance of a repeat of his Monaco heroics from the Frenchman.  It was ruled a racing incident so is not considered in the report, before he was retired to allow for a replacement gearbox in Monza.  He is reinstated to 21st place.

Romain Grosjean: The Frenchman was probably happy just to avoid a repeat of 2012, although he was unable to completely avoid first lap contact.  The damage eventually forced him out on lap 33 as his poor season continues.

Pastor Maldonado: Just when Pastor was starting to shake the reputation he had built up, he embarks on a weekend like his last in Spa.  Fresh from the summer break, the Venezuelan made a mistake akin to a rookie as he span in FP2. The subsequent failure to make it out of Q1 and first lap retirement rounded off a miserable weekend.

Andre Lotterer: An unfortunate end to what had been an impressive display on debut.  Nothing he could have done, so is reinstated to 20th place.

Fernando Alosno: A stop-go penalty and car issues cost Alonso what would have been a guaranteed podium – according to Alonso.  In truth, fourth place was more realistic given the pace Bottas had in the dry, so he is reinstated there.

Lewis Hamilton: As the collision goes down as a racing incident he cannot be replaced to a front running position.  He is reinstated, but only to 18th position.

Felipe Massa: The Brazilian is seemingly riddled with bad luck no matter which team overalls he wears.  He claims it cost him around 30 seconds, which would have seen him caught up in the 4 way battle between Magnussen, Button, Vettel and Alonso.  By absolute pace, he would have been ahead of a McLaren, but not necessarily the Red Bull of Vettel with their revised philosophy for this race (for the past 5 years they have opted for high downforce setups).  He is awarded 7th 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

Daniel Ricciardo

=

25

=

5

1

2

Nico Rosberg

=

18

=

1

2

3

Valtteri Bottas

=

15

=

6

3

4

Fernando Alonso

+3

12

+8

4

4

5

Kimi Raikkonen

-1

10

-2

8

5

6

Sebastian Vettel

-1

8

-2

3

6

7

Felipe Massa

+6

6

+6

9

7

8

Jenson Button

-2

4

-4

10

8

9

Sergio Perez

-1

2

-2

13

9

10

Daniil Kvyat

-1

1

-1

11

10

11

Nico Hulkenberg

-1

0

-1

18

11

12

Jean-Eric Vergne

-1

0

=

12

12

13

Kevin Magnussen

-1

0

=

7

13

14

Adrian Sutil

=

0

=

14

14

15

Esteban Gutierrez

=

0

=

20

15

16

Romain Grosjean

RETIRED

0

=

15

16

17

Pastor Maldonado

REITRED

0

=

17

17

18

Lewis Hamilton

RETIRED

0

=

2

18

19

Max Chilton

-3

0

=

19

19

20

Andre Lotterer

RETIRED

0

=

21

20

21

Marcus Ericsson

-5

0

=

22

21

22

Jules Bianchi

RETIRED

0

=

16

22

 

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver

Revised WDC

WDC Points Difference

Position

Points

Nico Rosberg

1

236

+16

Lewis Hamilton

2

231

+40

Daniel Ricciardo

3

153

-6

Sebastian Vettel

=4

105

+7

Fernando Alonso

=4

105

-14

Valtteri Bottas

6

92

-18

Felipe Massa

7

64

+24

Jenson Button

8

59

-9

Kimi Raikkonen

9

47

+7

Nico Hulkenberg

10

46

-24

Sergio Perez

11

29

-4

Kevin Magnussen

12

25

-12

Daniil Kvyat

13

11

+5

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

In the world of the Victims of Circumstance we have a new leader as with just 7 races left.  Once again, Ricciardo merited his win as he pulled clearly into 3rd place with Alonso and Vettel locked together in 4th place.

Once again, Felipe Massa was afforded an excuse for why his teammate showed him up.  At what point is he going to accept that after following his Hungary 2009 accident, he has never been able to perform at the same level? Simply put, Bottas out qualified and raced the Brazilian who even on this report lays a long way behind the Finn.

Quote of the Day

This week’s quote comes from Bo Jackson, who is the only athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports (Baseball and American Football) with ESPN calling him the greatest athlete of all time.  He said, “If I miss anything about the sport, it’s the camaraderie of old teammates.”

A legend of two sports

A legend of two sports

Until this year, I’m sure the Mercedes duo would have recognised this feeling.  How a hunt for glory can come between a friendship…

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12 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Spa 2014 – #BelgianGP

  1. Wow, Nico leads the title irl and on this theoretical analysis too.

    Does that mean the effect of the bad luck has more or less equalised and that Nico is the title leader on merit?

    • I would say not, although it is drawing very close now. Looking at the lap charts, I also think Raikkonen would have undercut Alonso, so there would have been an interesting dilemma for Ferrari, a repeat of Barcelona… but I think Kimi had enough pace to beat Fernando today.

      Massa I would posit peaked in 2008, but has at times (in late-2012 for instance) managed to get back to where he was in 2009.

  2. I didn’t realise you go with the stewards here. I can understand that.

    But it leaves me wondering about the method: Alonso’s car issues are cured but Hamiltons car issues are not. And I seem to remember Vettel having issues too.

    • Hamilton’s damage was a result of the collision and then speeding back to the pits, whereas Alonso’s car issues were out of his control.

      Vettel complained of poor balance and high tyre deg, which can’t be corrected as it is not something specific that has caused it….it could just be his driving style.

      • I pose that Hamilton’s damage was caused by the actions of another driver. He would have lost time even if he had crawled back to the pits.

        Even though deemed a racing incident he can surely be forgiven the consequences of the resulting damage. He didn’t cause the tyre to blow. The damage is all part of that

        • Wasn’t it calculated ages back that even if he’d gone round slowly enough not to destroy the floor or his car he would still have ended up in about the same position as the extra time loss would just about balance out what he could make up with a faster car?

          He was well out of the points when retired, he would probably have had to make up 30+ seconds anyway to get in the lower reaches of the points. He only seemed to be a couple of seconds off the pace with his damaged car so it is unlikely he’d have made up the time to even get a handful of points.

          The only argument is whether you give him credit for being the innocent party in the clash and if you start going against the decisions of the stewards then it opens up a whole can of worms that makes the whole exercise pointless.

          You could just as easily make the point that Nico lost out due to Hamilton’s actions both here and in Hungary. Nico put his car in a daft place but Lewis could have made allowance. Where do you stop arguing?

        • Yeah, the whole “he damaged the floor by driving back too fast” canard is just dumb. On lap 1, Bianchi got a punctured tire from Grosjean at the exit of La Source, and his first lap came in at a 2:45.961 … this is the first lap, so add seconds onto it b/c of the standing start, and normal first-lap field spread. Bianchi’s wounded lap was 34.625 secs slower than his teammate’s.

          Hamilton’s 2nd lap came in at 2:40.954, which was 43.963 secs slower than Rosberg’s 2nd lap.

          So I guess Bianchi was a madman for driving back to the pits too fast? Hardly.

          Bianchi after pitting was able to set times comparable to his teammate. Lewis was not. It came down to luck of the draw, that is the type of tire damage that both suffered. But for the AHFers (Always Hamilton’s Fault) in the gallery, it was sweet manna (from turn seven, on). Let the fools have their tartar sauce.

          • I’m a Hamilton fan. The fact is that Hamilton was unlucky and Bianchi was lucky that the carcass flew off his car. Either way, the simple solution would be to drive slower…

    • I think that from when Kimi pitted on lap 8 and did several fastest laps that Alonso was always going to be lucky to catch him…I thought so at the time and after watching the race again last night I still think so…

      When Alonso came out after his very lenient 5 second penalty he got past Perez very quickly and then was 4 seconds behind K-mag so wasn’t held up significantly…of course he was later but pitting when he did he was never going to have as good a track position as Kimi did…

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