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.]
I received an email from a site reader who was not happy about my naming of Verstappen’s overtakes in Shanghai as ‘desperate’. While I understand how this could be construed, please allow me to clear up what I meant by this. Having come from a background of lower formula racing I am accustomed to watching somewhat hopeful overtakes – do or die, if you will. Marcus Ericsson was extremely compliant in not turning in on the young Dutchman back in China, a move which would have surely ended both of their races.
We must question why we are seeing more and more overtakes of this nature though, which is something has been tackled, in part, by Anil Parmar’s article, which leaves the blame at the door of modern circuits. However, something which has been ill considered before is the lower nose heights affecting air flow coming off the cars. Perhaps a reason for the more risky overtakes we are seeing.
Bahrain, uncharacteristically, saw some good racing even without any spectacular event to define the race as we saw in 2014. Here is how the ‘Victims of Circumstance’ adjusted finish looks.
So what really happened?
Nico Rosberg: It’s hard to imagine Raikkonen having actually completed the overtake, or becoming close enough to the Mercedes car, without the intervention of overheating brakes. Nico Rosberg drove a fantastic fighting race and merited a 2nd place finish, which he is corrected into.
Sebastian Vettel: His off at the final turn which damaged his front wing was attributed to be his mistake and not a fault of the car, which means he cannot be corrected. The fact he was unable to pass a far inferior Williams on much older tyres speaks volumes about modern Formula One. He remains in 5th place.
Felipe Massa: According to the rules of the post his pit lane start cannot be corrected, but his collision with Pastor Maldonado can be. Given the pace of his teammate and the lack of rear downforce that we saw from the Brazilian, shown by the line he took when his countryman Nasr overtook him, Massa would have finished in 7th place.
Carlos Sainz: The 5 second penalty he received can be accounted for, as well as the slow pit stop, but ultimately the Spaniard had out qualified the car on Saturday and consequently dropped back in the race before his problems. He is reinstated to 14th.
Marcus Ericsson: The slow pit stop that effectively put pay to a single digit finish was probably not so grave after all, given how the Saubers struggled when following anyone in Bahrain. The 3 stop strategy was dependent on quick overtaking, which proved problematic. He is moved up to 12th place to atone for the pit stop.
Max Verstappen: An evening of languishing at the rear of the field and then the subsequent retirement makes it a weekend to forget.
Pastor Maldonado: When he wasn’t lining up in the incorrect grid slot or ramming into Felipe Massa, the Venezuelan was driving well. Unfortunately, his errors cannot be accounted for and he remains in position.
Jenson Button: As the Briton did not start the race he cannot be corrected, although a minor positive was the strong finish for Alonso and impending upgrades to the MP4-30 for the European leg of the season.
This leaves the revised results table looking like this:
|Revised Race Position||Driver||Result comparison||Points||Points Difference||Grid Position|
|14||Carlos Sainz Jr||RETIRED||0||9||14|
|20||Jenson Button||= DNS||0||=||DNS||20|
Below, the revised World Drivers’ Championship:
|Driver||Revised WDC||WDC Points Difference|
|Carlos Sainz Jr||11||6||=|
*Those with 0 points will not be ordered
What they would have said
A Mercedes 1-2 would have looked like a non-existent threat from Ferrari had been nullified, if nowhere else, on paper. The fact Kimi finished in second was good for the tifosi and fans of the sport from all corners of the globe, but it now places Hamilton out of reach of the chasing pack.
Even though the engine in the back of Ricciardo’s RB11 blew up, it was an encouraging display for the Milton Keynes team as they held the pace of the front runners for the first stint of the race. The upgrades cannot come soon enough for the Renault runners, although they will now come with a penalty for the rest of the season.
Quote of the Day
Meg Rosoff, the American fictional writer who is best known for the novel How I live Now, once said, “Ask any comedian, tennis player, chef. Timing is everything.”
The comedy of errors behind the scenes between Renault and Red Bull, the tennis rally of insults and threats between the two companies and the subsequent cooking of engines is captured in this quote. Luckily, the timing was just about ok as Ricciardo limped over the finishing line.