What’s The Points – Brazil Update

Previous entries:

    What’s The Points
    What’s The Points – China Update
    What’s The Points – Spain Update
    What’s The Points – Monaco Update
    What’s The Points – Turkey Update
    What’s The Points – Canada Update
    What’s The Points – Valencia Update
    What’s The Points – Great Britain Update
    What’s The Points – Germany Update
    What’s The Points – Hungary Update
    What’s The Points – Belgium Update
    What’s The Points – Italy Update
    What’s The Points – Singapore Update
    What’s The Points – Japan Update
    What’s The Points – korea Update

Below is a comparison of the World Championship positions for this year’s points (left), last year’s points-system (middle) and the older 10-6-4-3-2-1 approach (right). Ties are decided by count-back.

1   Alonso   246   Alonso   99   Alonso   81
2   Webber   238   Webber   96   Webber   76
3   Vettel   231   Vettel   94   Vettel   74
4      Hamilton   222      Hamilton   92      Hamilton   68
5   Button   199   Button   81   Button   57
6   Massa   143   Massa   57   Massa   36
7   Rosberg   130   Rosberg   50   Rosberg   25
8   Kubica   126   Kubica   48   Kubica   24
9   Schumacher   72   Schumacher   25   Schumacher   11
10   Barrichello   47   Barrichello   15   Barrichello   6

As for after Korea, the top-ten order is unaffected by whichever of the three systems is employed. In all three standings, Hamilton lost third-place to Vettel, and Rosberg took seventh off Rosberg.

Under 10-6-4-3-2-1, Hamilton would be out of title-contention. As percentages of points-for-a-win, Alonso leads Webber by 32% in actual points, 30% by last year’s points, and 50% for 10-6-4-3-2-1.

Title-wise, it was a good race for Vettel and Alonso, and bad for Webber because he lost points to Vettel and did not gain enough over Alonso. The following assumes these three have the margin over the rest of the field that recent dry-race evidence suggests (we are hardly expecting rain for the last round), so they either individually finish ahead of everyone else or have a bad race that puts them out of contention. If Webber wins, he needs Alonso to be no higher than third, so if a Red Bull 1-2 he can win the title with Vettel’s cooperation. If Alonso can win, split the RBRs or one of the Milton Keynes cars goes out with Alonso inheriting second (if Webber retires and Vettel wins, fourth would suffice), the title is his. Vettel’s best hope is Alonso is fifth or worse in which case winning over Webber would take the title. A Red Bull 1-2 is by no means inconceivable although they have thrown away many this season. I think it unlikely Fernando will have the edge on speed so he needs to hope he has a clean weekend and one of his two main title-rivals does not. Hamilton needs to win, definitely unlikely, with the other three all having stinkers, which makes it unlikely squared. With my bet on Lewis a few races back, I am hoping for a first corner incident that takes out both RBRs and Alonso.

This is the order purely on count-back.

    Wins Seconds Thirds Podiums
1   Alonso   5 2 3 10
2   Webber   4 4 2 10
3   Vettel   4 2 3 9
4   Hamilton   3 4 1 8
5   Button   2 3 1 6
6   Massa   2 3 5
7   Kubica   1 2 3
8   Rosberg   3 3

Pure count-back gives the same top-six order as the points, with Rosberg’s consistency bucking the trend to give him more points than Kubica. The frequency of podiums still aligns with ‘Championship order.

I am abandoning my usual based-on-the-average-scores-for-the-last-five-races predictor. Instead, it is interesting to examine how the results of recent races if repeated in Abu Dhabi would give the title to. In Brazil and Japan, Red Bull took 1-2s led by Vettel with Alonso third, and this would mean RBR could shuffle their drivers for an Australian title. Obviously, Fernando’s Korean win with a double DNF for RBR would give him the title if repeated next week, and even if discounting Mark’s accident in the wet as not going to happen in the Arabian sunshine, Vettel’s engine failure would be enough. Alonso also won in Singapore and Monza. Webber’s second in Belgium would be enough for the title with Alonso and Vettel non-scoring. You have to go all the way back to Valencia to find a result if repeated would give Vettel the title, with Alonso eighth and Webber’s big accident.

Three of the last five results would give the title to the Spaniard, but Monza and Singapore are untypical tracks whilst Abu Dhabi is a typical Tilke-special with far too many corners which will suit RBR. Two of the last five would give the title to Webber, but four of the last five both RBRs have had clean runs which at the last track will have a good likelihood of giving them the 1-2 Webber needs. I think Alonso is favourite because any problem with either RBR may well be enough, but the title is more likely to go to RBR because if Alonso has a bad race, Vettel will probably beat Webber to glory, and if he has a good race, the RBR 1-2 is still a strong if minority possibility.

These are the points if given to engines:

   Engine Score    Average
per Team
1   Mercedes    691      230·3   
2   Renault   614   307·5   
3   Ferrari   444   148·7   
4   Cosworth   69   17·3   

Renault scored 45 with the customer-team one-two and Kubica in ninth. Mercedes managed 36 with the McLarens and Mercedes 3-4-5-6. Ferrari only got 16 for Alonso’s third and Kobayashi’s tenth. Cosworth had four for Hülkenberg’s eighth-place.

This makes Mercedes the Champions as even a Renault-powered 1-2-3-4 with their two teams in the last round would not be enough to catch them. Even with six cars, Ferrari’s poor result means they can not overhaul Renault, whilst Cosworth were condemned to last-place after Japan.

The scores by nationality of drivers are:

   Nation Points   Scoring
Drivers
1   Germany   508     6
2   Britain   421     2
3   Spain   255     3
4   Australia   238     1
5   Brazil   190     2
6   Poland   126     1
7   Japan   32     1
8   Italy   21     1
9   Russia   19     1
10   Switzerland   8     1

Germany reinforced their lead with Vettel’s win supplemented by Schumacher and both Nicos giving 37 points. Britain got 22 for 4th and 5th, Australia 18 for second, Spain 15 for 4th, Kubica took two points for Poland, and Kobayashi one for Japan. Since if ten drivers of a single nation filled the top-ten it would score 101, this means Britain have a mathematical chance in some alternate universe of winning this one but I think the Fatherland can consider the fat lady to have sung and gone home for her dinner. Webber (barring an unexpected comeback by Alan Jones) will need second in Abu Dhabi with none of the Spaniards scoring to get third-place as held for most the season. Brazil zero-scored in Brazil, which sadly does not surprise us.

This is the Nations’ Cup only counting the score of the highest driver in a race for each country. I have also decided to use 10-6-4-3-2-1, partly because I think it a better scoring regime, partly because it meant less work. Thus, for example, the McLaren 1-2 in China would give Britain 10 points for the win, nothing for second, and Rosberg’s third place would give Germany 4 points, with nothing for Vettel’s sixth place.

   Nation Points  
1   Britain   97    
2   Germany   90    
3   Spain   81    
4   Australia   76    
5   Brazil   42    
6   Poland   24    
7   Russia   2    
8   Japan   1    
9   Italy   1    

Britain had looked to have this one in the bag but with McLaren falling off the pace and Vettel scoring heavily, the Germans may win again. Since Alonso is the only Spanish driver to finish top-six this season, the battle for third reflects his title-battle with Webber. In Brazil, only Germany, Australia, Spain and Britain scored, with fifth for Button and sixth for Rosberg not counting.

This next table shows the standings based on qualification using current points.

1   Vettel   359
2   Webber   326
3   Alonso   217
4   Hamilton   204
5   Massa   134
6   Button   134
7   Kubica   122
8   Rosberg   119
9   Schumacher   52
10   Barrichello   52
11   Hülkenberg   49
12   Sutil   21
13   Liuzzi   10
14   Petrov   10
15   Kobayashi   5
16   de la Rosa   4

Interlagos provided the fifth pole-sitter of the season with Hülkenberg’s surprise pole. Although it more than doubled the Williams driver’s points in this competition, he remains in eleventh with Barrichello and Schumacher doing enough to stay ahead (with the seven-time ‘Champion clinging to ninth on count-back). Massa’s 9th position on the grid was enough to squeeze past Button on count-back for fifth, after Jenson’s Q2 exit. Rosberg failed to make the top-ten for only the third occasion this year, it being the first time that Michael made Q3 when Nico did not. Kubica’s seventh promoted him past Rosberg to seventh overall.

These are the fastest-lap points with the number of outright fastest laps in brackets.

1   Webber   259   (3)
2   Alonso   242   (5)
3   Vettel   224   (3)
4   Hamilton   206   (4)
5   Kubica   128   (1)
6   Button   139   (1)
7   Massa   122  
8   Rosberg   105  
9   Schumacher   72  
10   Petrov   59   (1)
11   Barrichello   54  
12   Sutil   46  
13   Buemi   42  
14   Alguersuari   39  
15   Liuzzi   26  
16   Kobayashi   25  
17   Hülkenberg   19  
18   de la Rosa   9  
19   Heidfeld   2  

The top-five in this discipline in Brazil were Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Webber, Rosberg. No changes in overall position.

Click here to see my Google documents laps-and-distance-completed spreadsheet.

See also RG’s Brazil update for his championship for new teams.

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