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.]
We are often left to question whether we really lose the traits that are ground into our own fibre as a young adult, as later in life it becomes more difficult to change our ways. If this is the case, then Marcus Ericsson should be worried about what is to become of his Formula One career, with a desperate move on lap 3 akin to something from a GP2 sprint race. While his rather large wallet may protect him from too many worries, one has to wonder if he would be anywhere near the grid at all were this not the case.
This proved to be the complete opposite to a driver with far less experience on track, Max Verstappen, as his controlled aggression was mature beyond his years. Our resident podcast host had not been impressed with the comparison to a true legend of the sport by a certain Irish former team owner, in the build up to the race; however, this was a drive which started to merit his race seat at such a tender age. Perhaps age isn’t everything then?
An unexpected race which, in my opinion, more than made up for the dull start that I had lamented in the previous edition of this post. Even if it does not open up the Championship, Ferrari being close to the front is good for Formula One, in both viewing figures and overall interest, which after all the doom and gloom of the TV audiences is at least the most meagre of positives to draw.
So what really happened?
Marcus Ericsson: As was mentioned above, the Swede made a rod for his own back with his lack of patience. He remains retired.
Kimi Raikkonen: As the contact was put down as a racing incident he is not altered, although fourth place was probably the highest position he could have hoped for.
Daniil Kvyat: As Hulkenberg was punished for sending the Russian into a spin he would have been repositioned. However, looking at the lap charts he finished in the best position he could have hoped for anyway and so remains just ahead of his teammate. While he and Daniel Ricciardo suffered problems with their brakes, it is nigh on impossible to quantify what this cost them, as the Toro Rosso cars simply looked stronger this weekend.
Romain Grosjean: The other Force India of Sergio Perez was left sat on the naughty step after the pair made contact late on. The Frenchman would have struggled to gain any further positions and, therefore, remains in 11th place.
Jenson Button: A problem for the turbo forced Jenson into an early shower at Malaysia, which oddly left the team in a boyish mood. The improvement from Australia was noticeable to even the most casual of observers, which bodes well for the season ahead. Jenson is reinstated to 12th.
Fernando Alonso: Similarly, the man from Oviedo was happy with the 22 laps he managed, before an ERS cooling problem ended his outing, as this was 10 more than he had managed previously.
Will Stevens: As the Briton did not start the race he cannot be reinstated, although in truth he would not have been charging up through the field.
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg: After the team called off the battle between the pair towards the end of the race this post was on hand to correct it. Hulkenberg easily had the pace to overtake his teammate, so is moved ahead of him.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr||=||4||=||15||8|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||= RETIRED||0||=||9||19|
Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:
|Driver||Revised WDC||WDC Points Difference|
|Carlos Sainz Jr||10||6||=|
*Those with 0 points will not be ordered
What they would have said
On reflection, not an awful lot would have changed had luck not played a part in the race. A clear order is emerging which places Ferrari firmly as the second fastest package on the grid. Mercedes will see it as a missed opportunity, but in the end they paid for the missed running in both Friday sessions.
The biggest mystery now is when will McLaren score their first points of the season? Did the reliability problems come because of running at a higher level than normal or were they caused by the searing heat in Sepang? A two week break will bring hope to the supporters of the Woking team as they continue to push.
Quote of the Day
At times like these for all in the paddock it seems a life coach, like Tony Robbins, would come in handy to watch out for what they say and do. After Nico Rosberg’s war of words continued with Sebastian Vettel and the poor decision by the team, on hindsight, to bring both cars in when the safety car emerged on lap 4, it seems the World Champions are slightly lost. Clearly needing to do something different to alter the luck, why did Rosberg not insist on staying out?
It was Robbins who said, “It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” Given the way that the season is heading for the German, unless he wants a repeat of last year, perhaps he should start shaping his own destiny rather than simply sticking to the orders of those on the pit wall. In truth, he had nothing to lose by taking a gamble here.