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.]
With the Championship being set to be decided in Abu Dhabi, both of the title contenders would be forgiven for not being outlandish and making an outrageous overtaking move. Hamilton was in the driving seat, if you’ll pardon the pun, as Rosberg knew the title was already effectively out of his control.
Logic would say then that both drivers would have left Sao Paulo with their heads held high. Both did exactly what was required of them and, more to the point, exactly what was expected of them following the Saturday qualifying session.
It puzzled me the attitude that Hamilton took, first over the radio following his lap 28 spin, then after the race as he fought back the disappointment at finishing second to his teammate. If he finishes second to his teammate at Yas Marina then the events of today will, in effect, be in material – he will be World Champion. The self-doubt from Hamilton seemed to creep in again after a solid performance.
Given the dominance of this Mercedes car, the only thing that can stop Hamilton from taking the title are unexpected car reliability and his own mind. Even as someone who is supporting Hamilton to take the title, there is a part of me that wants to see Hamilton second in the race to Rosberg, with 20+ laps left, to see if he will be able to resist the temptation of charging for the victory.
So what really happened?
Daniel Ricciardo: It’s not often that you see reliability affecting the Red Bull chassis itself, but some of the misfortune that has affected Vettel this season seemed to be put upon his Australian teammate instead this race. Nothing Ricciardo could have done, so he is reinstated to 8th position.
Romain Grosjean: He may have made it past lap six at Interlagos, which was a personal record for RoGro, but he still was unable to make the finish line. The only solace that can be taken is that it is only one more race with Renault power before he says ‘au revoir’ to the powertrains which have caused him so much woe this year. He moved up to finishing in 17th place.
Valtteri Bottas: A loose seatbelt and tyre graining cost the Finn a better position, where the pace of the car merited. While the whole team seemed on a mission to self-destruct, Massa’s McLaren drive-by did not cost him any positions, although Bottas was for all intents and purposes this weekend slower than the Brazilian in the race. Valtteri is moved up to 6th place.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
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
Had Fernando Alonso been hunting down a Williams ahead of him then perhaps he would have been waved through instead of being held back by his Finnish teammate. There again, few considered the fact that it was Kimi who decided to hold up Fernando and not the team. After being convincingly beaten this year, perhaps it was Kimi who wanted to get racy with the Spaniard.
The ghost of 2012 haunted Vettel on the opening lap, as the German left an extortionate amount of room at turn four to let both Magnussen and Alonso through. Had this cost him, his detractors would have highlighted this once more to show how he is ‘not worthy’ of four titles. The bravery of going for the undercut and making it work showed he has most definitely still got the skill. Was this the first sign of resurgence for 2015?
And finally, I thought it merited a special mention for the duelling between Button, Raikkonen and Vettel on lap 61. For those who do not recall it, go and watch it wherever you can (BBC highlights include it). Amazing racing – what we all follow the sport for – which will be sorely missed if any of the three are not on the grid next year.
Quote of the Day
It seemed fitting; given the final race decide the title with many disputing the authenticity of the title given the double points being awarded, that a quote from an inspiring individual should be used. Winston Churchill said, “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”
Whatever the outcome in Abu Dhabi it should not overshadow what has been an incredible year of racing. Whoever comes second will not have lost, merely second in a most titanic of battles.