#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Sepang 2015 – #MalaysianGP

Brought to you by TJ13 Courtroom Reporter & Crime Analyst: Adam Macdonald (@adamac39)

Victims

[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.

Can this pair take the fight to Mercedes this year?

Can the teammates take the fight to Mercedes this year?

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.

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 Sebastian Vettel = 25 = 2 1
2 Lewis Hamilton = 18 = 1 2
3 Nico Rosberg = 15 = 3 3
4 Kimi Raikkonen = 12 = 11 4
5 Valtteri Bottas = 10 = 8 5
6 Felipe Massa = 8 = 7 6
7 Max Verstappen = 6 = 6 7
8 Carlos Sainz Jr = 4 = 15 8
9 Daniil Kvyat = 2 = 5 9
10 Daniel Ricciardo = 1 = 4 10
11 Romain Grosjean = 0 = 10 11
12 Jenson Button RETIRED 0 = 17 12
13 Fernando Alonso RETIRED 0 = 18 13
14 Felipe Nasr -2 0 = 16 14
15 Pastor Maldonado RETIRED 0 = 12 15
16 Nico Hulkenberg -2 0 = 13 16
17 Sergio Perez -4 0 = 14 17
18 Roberto Merhi -3 0 = 19 18
19 Marcus Ericsson = RETIRED 0 = 9 19
20 Will Stevens 0 DNS 20

 

Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:

Driver Revised WDC WDC Points Difference
Position Points
Lewis Hamilton 1 43 =
Sebastian Vettel 2 40 =
Nico Rosberg 3 33 =
Kimi Raikkonen 4 22 +10
Felipe Massa 5 20 =
Valtteri Bottas 6 10 =
Romain Grosjean 7 8 +8
Max Verstappen 8 7 +1
Felipe Nasr 9 6 -4
Carlos Sainz Jr 10 6 =
Daniel Ricciardo 11 5 -4
Daniil Kvyat 12 2 =
Nico Hulkenberg 13 0 -6
Marcus Ericsson 14 0 -4
Sergio Perez 15 0 -1
Jenson Button 16 0 =
Fernando Alonso 17 0 =
Pastor Maldonado 18 0 =
Roberto Merhi 19 0 =
Will Stevens 20 0 =

*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?

Earning a reported $30 million a year

Earning a reported $30 million a year

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.

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6 responses to “#F1 Victims of Circumstance: Sepang 2015 – #MalaysianGP

  1. “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.”

    And there we have it: Fred got his longest test session yet!

  2. “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.”

    The LONG Chinese straight shall make a mockery of Honda! The 1.2 km straight will be fun to feature the McLaren Sitting Ducks…

  3. Are you seriously suggesting that Rosberg should ignore the call to pit and chart his own strategy? Or is there some alternative way of “shaping his own destiny”?

    • It’s evidently not working for him right now. The team were naïve and still are to say both drivers must run the same strategy. Hungary last year was the perfect example of not listening to the team; look how it helped Hamilton.

  4. “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.”

    Completely wrong assumption. RAI had a damaged floor of his Ferrari.
    Ferrari confirmed that, but you can check the top speeds in sectors. The difference is evident and too large.

    Malaysian GP Intermediate 1 Intermediate 2 Finish Line
    Sebastian Vettel 297.0 135.3 281.5
    Kimi Raikkonen 293.0 128.3 279.0

    Therefore without a contact with NAS, he could have been on P3, maybe P2.

    • Ie with the damaged floor, which cannot be corrected by the rules of the post, 4th place was the highest he would have finished anyway.

      Had Nasr been penalised then he could have been moved further forward.

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