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 truth, it was always going to be this way. The drama and controversy from so many different fronts meant the racing itself was always going to struggle to keep pace with everything else. A resurgent Ferrari will delight many an Italian, not least our resident Grumpy Jackal, as both drivers looked to bounce back from a troublesome 2014. One point that has not had the coverage it merits was the reunion of Kimi Raikkonen and, for the first time, a James Allison designed car. While last year the work on the car had taken place with other influences, this year the partnership that saw Kimi win in Abu Dhabi 2012 is back. Anyone care to say who they think will come out on top in that teammate battle?
Felipe Massa was frequently struck down by elements of bad luck last season, which seemed to have followed him from Maranello. Though this was not bad luck which cost him third place in Australia, once again Williams lacked bravery in pit stop decisions and an aggressive strategy. One would think that with the payout of a strong finish last year they would be more bold, as they look to better their third place Constructors’ finish.
After all, as they say, he who dares wins…
So what really happened?
Kimi Raikkonen: Nothing the Finn could have done to alter his fate, both at the beginning in being squeezed by his teammate and by the ill fitted wheel. He is reinstated to 5th place.
Carlos Sainz Jr.: As if the electrical harvest problems were not enough for the Spaniard on debut, his team then gave him an incredibly slow servicing of his car to leave him well down the field. Whether he would have been able to hold off the fast charging Nasr and older Bull Ricciardo is doubtful, although a position behind them would have been likely – even with the problems. He maintains a net 9th place.
Max Verstappen: Nothing the young Dutchman could have done to prevent the retirement on a steady, if not mesmerizing, debut. He is reinstated to 10th place.
Valtteri Bottas: An unfortunate turn of events and a fall out still to come should he be unfit to race in Malaysia. As he did not start though, he remains without points.
Romain Grosjean: After a far more positive winter this was the chance for Lotus F1 to score some solid points. After putting his E23 Hybrid on the 5th row of the grid, it must have been devastating on the parade lap when the team realised a cylinder had failed. Last by the first corner, there was to be no silver lining to the day. The Frenchman is reinstated to a 6th place.
Pastor Maldonado: For once it was not the Venezuelan at fault for a first lap crash in which he was involved. However, as it was ruled a racing incident he remains retired. Malaysia cannot come soon enough for Lotus.
Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen: Although neither were at fault, as the rules of this post say, they did not start the race and, therefore, cannot be reinstated.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
What they would have said
A weekend of what could have been for so many. A double points finish for Ferrari would have meant a great start and a large early advantage over Williams. Points on the board for Lotus would have lived up to all the promise of switching to Mercedes power after ending the 23 year association with Renault.
Most importantly, Verstappen’s engine becoming a mobile smokescreen meant he missed out on becoming the youngest ever points scorer. Admittedly he has plenty of opportunity to do so before the end of the season, as the new superlicence requirements mean there will never be a driver as young as he is driving in F1 ever again. He will get his chance in 14 days, but a shame nevertheless.
Quote of the Day
The American musician Darius Rucker once said, “There’s two times of year for me: Football season, and waiting for football season.”
This may not be football, but the theory works for Formula One as well. At best, a slight anti-climactic opening which, after such a short winter break, leaves the feeling that maybe they would have been better off waiting another 14 days instead. Roll on Malaysia…