Am I the only one who smells a rat?

Call me cynical (or worse!!) but I’m not at all impressed by the qualifying result in Austria. Not wishing to take anything away from the excellent performances of Leclerc and Verstappen (congratulations to them both, as I am looking forward to a decent scrap between them in the race later on today) BUT it’s all a bit ‘convenient’ don’t you think?

Let’s face it, after the abysmal ‘race’ in France last week, F1 really needs a shot in the arm to keep it from going into terminal decline and losing even the most ardent followers.

2014 AustrianGP

 

What am I going on about? Well let’s take a closer look:

F1 has ‘become’ boring (predictable). How many people were expecting a Mercedes 1-2 this weekend in Austria? (Hint: quite a few). How many years do the old guard; Raikkonen, Hamilton, Vettel, Bottas, Perez, have left? (hint: not many). Who are the up and coming youngsters who will take up the baton? Leclerc, Verstappen, Ocon, Norris, Albon. Will the outcome of this race REALLY affect the standings this year? (hint: no).

Let’s look at the starting grid (top 10):

Leclerc, Verstappen, Bottas, Hamilton, Norris, Raikkonen, Giovennazzi, Gasly, Vettel, Magnussen.

Let’s not forget this is a track where overtaking is easier than most, so expect drivers starting out of position to move up a few notches (Hamilton, Vettel). So, even if the top two maintain position and by some miracle Mercedes don’t win this race, how will the extra points affect the standings? (Hint: not a lot).

Finishing in grid order:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 25 87 109 5 0
Verstappen 18 100 118 3 +1
Bottas 15 151 166 2 0
Hamilton 12 187 199 1 0
Vettel 2 111 113 4 -1

 

If Vettel comes fifth:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 25 87 109 5 0
Verstappen 18 100 118 4 0
Bottas 15 151 166 2 0
Hamilton 12 187 199 1 0
Vettel 10 111 121 3 0

 

If Verstappen wins, Leclerc second, Vettel fifth:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 18 87 105 5 0
Verstappen 25 100 125 3 +1
Bottas 15 151 166 2 0
Hamilton 12 187 199 1 0
Vettel 10 111 121 4 -1

 

If Bottas and Hamilton take each other out (i.e. score zero points) they will still be 1st and 2nd in the WDC rankings at the end of this race.

Ditto if Vettel wins, Leclerc second, Verstappen third:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 18 87 105 5 0
Verstappen 15 100 115 4 0
Bottas 0 151 151 2 0
Hamilton 0 187 187 1 0
Vettel 25 111 136 3 0

 

Vettel wins, Verstappen second Leclerc third:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 15 87 102 5 0
Verstappen 18 100 118 4 0
Bottas 0 151 151 2 0
Hamilton 0 187 187 1 0
Vettel 25 111 135 3 0

 

Leclerc wins, Verstappen second, Vettel third

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 25 87 112 5 0
Verstappen 18 100 118 4 0
Bottas 0 151 151 2 0
Hamilton 0 187 187 1 0
Vettel 15 111 126 3 0

 

Verstappen wins, Leclerc second, Vettel third:

Name Points this race Previous points New total Position in WDC Change in WDC position
Leclerc 18 87 105 5 0
Verstappen 25 100 125 4 0
Bottas 0 151 151 2 0
Hamilton 0 187 187 1 0
Vettel 15 111 126 3 0

 

In short, even if Verstappen comes fourth (12 points) , or fifth with fastest lap (total 11 points) and Vettel scores zero they would change positions, which is going to be the only possibility of a shuffle in the top 5 places in WDC this race. Even if Verstappen/Leclerc won and Vettel had a DNF, Verstappen would move up to P3 in WDC and Vettel would still be ahead of Leclerc, in P4.

Am I correct in thinking there is a clause in Verstappen’s contract which says he can get out of Red Bull if he is lower than third in WDC? (or is it if Red Bull are lower than third?). In which case, moving up to 3rd in WDC may not be in Verstappen’s long -term interest.

HOWEVER, the starting grid sets us up for quite a few scraps: Obviously there is Leclerc v Verstappen and Bottas v Hamilton. Vettel should make short work of Gasly, Giovanazzi, Raikkonen and Norris (in my opinion), leaving Vettel v Hamilton, Vettel v Bottas, Vettel v Verstappen and Vettel v Leclerc, as well as all the other combinations of the above five drivers (far too many to list).

All in all, it’s shaping up to be an interesting race, even if the WDC standings are not affected significantly by the outcome. The ‘old guard’ can prove they’ve still got it and the future generation can showcase their talents. This race could be the shot in the arm F1 needs (even if it is a bit ‘contrived’).

@F1TheaJ

 

 

6 responses to “Am I the only one who smells a rat?

  1. Are you seriously suggesting that the teams could be sufficiently coerced into sacrificing their own potential success, JUST so as to appease a minority of internet bashers, reddit ranters and twitter twatterers who seem hell-bent on jabbing the finger into F1 at every opportunity…..?

    Not to mention that actual likelihood that this could even be done if it were decided. I mean, how could 3 teams, all acting independently, conspire to place specific drivers at certain grid slots when the margins are in tenths of seconds – especially when penalties are involved that then shift the final standings

    Its a big fat NO from me

  2. Hi G, thanks for leaving your comment. Of course I am not suggesting the teams conspired to make this race interesting, just pointing out that, whatever the outcome (pretty much) the standings remain unchanged AND this is one of the few tracks where overtaking is possible, so we’re likely to have a good race – which we did. (unlike France last week), that’s all, Also, I don,t think it’s necessary to insult internet, reddit and twitter users to make your point. Just saying.

  3. Also, I don,t think it’s necessary to insult internet, reddit and twitter users to make your point. Just saying.

    I do, its one of the biggest problems we face in the world today – from whinging that “Racing is dead” to Brexit – people now have platform whereas even just 10years ago, that platform was just as loud as their voice, now they can shout to the world

    just saying

  4. Oh dear, at the risk of going completely off topic here, I’m afraid I can not agree with your statement that ‘people whinging that racing is dead to Brexit’ is one of the biggest problems we face today’.
    Personally, ( and this is my own opinion here) I would consider the provision of clean water and sanitation to third world countries, female genital mutilation, rape, climate change and the over use of anti biotics as far bigger problems than people whinging on the internet. I really have no desire to discuss this with you any further, so we may have to agree to differ.

    ,

  5. Quote…. “one of…”

    The proliferation of social media platforms enabling anyone and everyone a global lecturn to spout whatever they want, from denial of the climate crisis (I’ve been a professional “green” for 20years btw), to Grenfell to the rise of fascists and racism and brexit, IS a huge problem… it underpins them all. So we are not in dissagreement

    Ends.

Leave a Reply to G Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.