#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Austin 2014 – #USGP

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.]

In the three years of the running of the Austin Grand Prix the grid has shrunk by 25% – a worrying fact many – or at least many would have you believe.

Having been at the race this time last year, I cannot say the racing between the two backmarkers will be particularly missed.  If anything, they only served to confuse those at the races; this was even more so the case in Austin where Formula One audiences are not seasoned towards the sport.

Of course, they will be missed in terms of media contact as, in Marussia’s case especially, they were always media friendly.  They often went to great lengths to include and engage the fans in the sport that they are so often deprived fair contact with.

As the embers of 2010 ‘new teams’ smoulder, with only Caterham not confirmed to have deceased, it is back to the drawing board for those in charge of Formula One.  It was good while it lasted, but lessons must be learnt from this episode.  Having teams trundling around at the back of the grid does no good for the sport or those involved.  The fallout to this will undoubtedly be huge, so if anything good can come from their decline let it be a seismic shift in the sport, to start considering smaller teams when handing out the prize money.

This chapter is far from closed.

So what really happened?

Sergio Perez: Nothing says desperate for a drive next year like playing dodgems in the third sector of the first lap of a race.  It could be a move that costs Sauber over $10 million in prize money, so don’t expect those at Hinwil to send the Mexican a Christmas card.  Perez remains retired.

Adrian Sutil: There was absolutely nothing that Sutil could have done to avoid being taken out by Perez.  A travesty for Sutil, in what will almost certainly be his final year in the sport following the confirmation of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson for 2015. In truth, Sutil would have struggled to remain in the points, but given that this will almost certainly be the last (hypothetical) point he scores in the sport he is reinstated to 10th place to score his and Sauber’s first point of the season.

Nico Hulkenberg: By this time in the year there will be a fair few powertrains on their last legs out there and it appears Nico Hulkenberg’s in Austin was no different.  Nothing the German could have done, so he is reinstated to 13th, which is a net 14th place.

Jean-Eric Vergne: For reasons stated above, he remains in place…

Daniil Kvyat: The young Russian thinks he could have taken 6th place had it not been for the plethora of problems the intervened this weekend.  Had they all not happened in the same weekend he would have been on for a good finish, even having started from the pit lane.  However, Sutil remains in the points…

Daniel Ricciardo: Not to detract away from what was a gutsy display following his poor start, the Aussie benefitted massively from poor pit-stops from the Williams crew, a somewhat fortunate pass on Alonso after the safety car and a very compliant Kevin Magnussen on lap one.  Either way though, the boy from Perth ‘did good’.

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 Lewis Hamilton = 25 = 2 1
2 Nico Rosberg = 18 = 1 2
3 Daniel Ricciardo = 15 = 5 3
4 Felipe Massa = 12 = 4 4
5 Valtteri Bottas = 10 = 3 5
6 Fernando Alonso = 8 = 6 6
7 Sebastian Vettel = 6 = 18 7
8 Kevin Magnussen = 4 = 7 8
9 Pastor Maldonado = 2 = 10 9
10 Adrian Sutil RETIRED 1 +1 9 10
11 Daniil Kvyat +4 0 = 17
12 Jean-Eric Vergne -2 0 -1 14 12
13 Romain Grosjean -2 0 = 16 13
14 Nico Hulkenberg RETIRED 0 = 13 14
15 Jenson Button -3 0 = 12 15
16 Kimi Raikkonen -3 0 = 8 16
17 Esteban Gutierrez -3 0 = 17
18 Sergio Perez = RETIRED 0 = 11 18

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised WDC WDC Points Difference
Position Points
Lewis Hamilton 1 356 +40
Nico Rosberg 2 326 +34
Daniel Ricciardo 3 206 -8
Sebastian Vettel 4 151 +2
Fernando Alonso 5 138 -11
Valtteri Bottas 6 135 -20
Felipe Massa 7 111 +28
Jenson Button 8 91 -3
Nico Hulkenberg 9 50 -26
Kimi Raikkonen 10 48 +1
Kevin Magnussen 11 39 -14
Sergio Perez 12 37 -10
Jean-Eric Vergne 13 14 -8
Daniil Kvyat 14 11 +5
Romain Grosjean 15 4 -4
Pastor Maldonado 16 2 =
Esteban Gutierrez 17 1 +1
Adrian Sutil 18 1 +1
Jules Bianchi 19 0 -2
Kamui Kobayashi 20 0 =
Max Chilton 21 0 =
Marcus Ericsson 22 0 =

*Those with 0 points will not be ordered

What they would have said

According to Victims, both Sauber drivers have scored a point.  The fact that neither have done so alludes to how cruel this and many other sports can be at times.  Lewis Hamilton would stand a chance of outscoring Sebastian Vettel from last year and would be able to win the title in Brazil.

Kevin Magnussen showed his true class as he avoided controversy to come home in one piece.  In what appears to be the swansong of Jenson Button’s career, he once again evaded a points scoring finish.

One has to wonder though, had it not been for the drivers out of position would we really be looking back on the Austin Grand Prix in such a positive reflection?

Quote of the Day

With Formula One in what appears to be a crisis… again I was looking for something more positive. I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Jimmy Dean

Let us hope the powers in Formula One do adjust their sails to build a sustainable sport for the future.

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2 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Austin 2014 – #USGP

  1. “Let us hope the powers in Formula One do adjust their sails to build a sustainable sport for the future.”

    Or soon we may have a Teams VoC, where we would try to remove certain factors over a season (like impending bankruptcy, the arrival of Kolles, failed crowdfunding, etc.) to estimate where the teams would have ended had they not been strangled to death by our dearest F1 emperor…

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