Nobody is perfect

mnmracer

Points Scorer
2012 was an amazing year for Formula One fans, with 6 World Champions on the grid, two of which battled for the title until the very last race. Although there is plenty of debate on who was the best driver of 2012, most fans and pundits agree there was very little to separate Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Räikkönen. While I wholeheartedly agree they deserve much praise for their performances this year, some comments have gone a little over the top: they were 'flawless', 'never made a mistake' and 'always got 100% out of the car'.

With that in mind, I think a little perspective might be good, just so we can remember 2012 and the top drivers the way they were: perfectly flawed.

I've categorized this into 4 categories:
  • performance: underperforming, being beaten by team mate on race pace (incl. team orders). As todays qualifying format means there is a difference between best qualifying set-up and race set-up, and the points are earned on Sunday, this will only count for race pace. Picking the wrong set-up, does not discount a mark in this category.
  • time loss: driver spun, had a significant off-track moment, or did something else that cost him time.
  • crash: driver crashed out, by himself or in an avoidable colission, or caused another driver to crash out. Instances where a driver was ran into, and could not be fairly expected to avoid the crash (i.e. Hamilton and Maldonado in Valencia), do not earn a mark in this category, but will earn a victim mark.
  • penalty: driver earned a behavior-based penalty (i.e. illegal overtake).
Sebastian Vettel

  • victim: despite leaving Karthikeyan 5 ft of space, was ran into the back by the HRT in Malaysia. Although avoidable, he can't be blamed.
  • performance: outperformed by Webber in China, finished 4th, 3 seconds ahead of Vettel in 5th.
  • penalty: received a drive-through penalty after not slowing down enough for yellow flags in Spain.
  • performance: outperformed by Webber in Monaco, who won the race, 1.5 seconds ahead of Vettel in 4th.
  • performance: outperformed by Webber in Silverstone, who won the race, 5 seconds ahead of Vettel in 3rd.
  • penalty: received a drive-through penalty turned 25 second post-race penalty for an illegal overtake on Button in Germany.
  • penalty: received a drive-through penalty for squeezing Alonso off-track in Monza.
  • crash: almost ran into the back of Ricciardo in Abu Dhabi, losing his front wing on a DRS sign.
  • time loss: overtook Romain Grosjean off-track in Abu Dhabi and needed to give the position back.
  • crash: was surprised by a late braking Senna in Brazil. Although he could not see him, he could have anticipated lap 1 chaos.
Fernando Alonso

  • crash: ended his Q2 qualifying in Australia after spinning out.
  • crash: squeezed Romain Grosjean at the start in Monaco, causing the crash with Schumacher.
  • victim: was crashed into by Romain Grosjean in Belgium.
  • crash: ran into Kimi Räikkönen in turn 1 in Japan, causing his own DNF.
  • performance: outperformed on race pace by Massa in Korea, who was held back by team orders.
  • performance: outqualified and outperformed on race pace by Massa in Austin, USA, who was held back by team orders.
  • time loss: ran off the road twice at turn 1 in Brazil.
  • performance: outqualified and outperformed on race pace by Massa in Brazil, who was held back by team orders.
Lewis Hamilton

  • performance: outperformed by Button, who won the race in Australia, 4 seconds ahead of Hamilton in 3rd.
  • performance: outperformed by Button, who despite a bad pitstop finished second, 6 seconds ahead of Hamilton in 3rd.
  • victim: was ran into by Pastor Maldonado, who was overtaking Hamilton for 3rd in Valencia. Although avoidable, he can't be blamed.
  • performance: outperformed by Button, who qualified ahead and showed better race pace in Germany.
  • victim: was crashed into by Romain Grosjean in Belgium. Although avoidable, he can't be blamed.
  • performance: outperformed by Button, who qualified ahead and was untouchable in Belgium.
  • performance: outperformed by Button, who finished 3rd in Japan, 19 seconds ahead of Hamilton in 4th.
Kimi Räikkönen

  • time loss: ran wide in Q2 in Australia and qualified only 18th.
  • performance: outperformed by Grosjean in all qualifying sessions in Monaco.
  • performance: outperformed by Grosjean in Canada, who finished 2nd, 13 seconds ahead of Räikkönen in 8th.
  • performance: outperformed by Grosjean on qualifying and race pace in Valencia, prior to his team-mates mechanical issues.
  • crash: spun in qualifying in Japan, which left him in 8th place, to his team-mate's 4th.
  • time loss: went off-track at the start in Brazil.
  • time loss: went off-track and took a wrong escape road in Brazil.
PS: per the thread, I am not perfect either, so if I missed any, feel free to add them!
 

no-FIAt-please

Champion Elect
Premium Contributor
Bit harsh to say Button beat Hamilton in China, Hamilton had a gearbox penalty and so was set back to 7th instead of a great 2nd.

Also I think Alonso lost time in China, he ran wide while trying to overtake Raikkonen.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
I like what you have done here but unfortunately I disagree with many of your interpretations of events. It's a science based on opinion and interpretation of events, which makes it very subjective. I think many of us, if we were to do the same thing, would tell a different story and produce a different set of conclusions. Still a valid exercise but difficult to subscribe to the conclusions as a collective.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Sorry. your pre-conclusions of individual events. I fully agree that nobody is perfect. :)

[Edit] I've no intention of getting into the minutia of this, though.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
Absolutely and without exception. :thumbsup:

...and mnmracer. I am really pleased that we have managed to find safe ground and a mutual respect with which we can hold constructive conversation. A bit of a shift from both of us, I feel. Pleasure having you around buddy. :cheers:
 

Olivier

Race Winner
This makes a good read. Even if I don't fully agree with the conclusions. Interesting to see Vettel had his crashes / time loss only during the last part of the season and at the same time, that's when he caught up to Alonso and finally beat him to the WDC.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
...depending on your view about the Karthikayan incident, which is where it becomes subjective. Views on that one are polarised to the extreme with a few neutrals in the middle. I am pretty sure that I understand the point you are making, though.
 

mnmracer

Points Scorer
Well, Johnny Herbert was very clear about that: Vettel left the HRT 5 feet of space, yet NK still turned in. Not an opinion, but a measurable fact. Can't get more neutral than that.
So, if 5 feet is not enough, what is enough?

I think some people try to make subjectives about too many things. Sometimes it's simply black and white; there's nothing subjective about saying Webber won three races ahead of Vettel, there's nothing subjective saying there was no room left between Alonso's and Kimi's wheel and tehre's nothing subjective saying that Karthikeyan had 5 foot of room. Those are measurable facts.
 

ExtremeNinja

Karting amateur
Contributor
No, respectfully, that is Johnny Herbert's opinion, which differs from many others opinion. Whether it is directly your opinion or a subscribed opinion it is still an opinion. A measurable fact is that it is JH's opinion that Vettel left enough room. If it were black and white then there wouldn't be so many people shouting white and as many shouting black. Your list of incidents is mostly made up of fact but partially made up of interpretation of fact.

I did think I was treading on dangerous ground with my mention of that and wasn't going to get into specifics. Let's quickly get back to the topic or we might get sidetracked into what is often referred to here as a "meta discussion". It's not a discussion we need to have and it has been done to death many times with no agreed single understanding.

My statement was not an intentional booby-trap, although I was worried that someone might get caught in it.
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
So to summarize what you are saying is that in some cases the fact that your chosen subjects at times got beaten by there teammates proves that they are not perfect! In the case of Lewis you state that when Button beat him it was because Lewis failed and not that Button drove a good race and deserved the win or deserved in any way to beat Lewis, you are saying that Button is rubbish and therefore shouldn't be able to beat Lewis under any circumstances.

I cannot subscribe to this way of thinking, as it is fundamentally flawed, completely inaccurate, derogative at best and insulting at worst.

And how the hell was Hamilton supposed to have avoided Romain in Spa?
 

Mephistopheles

Banned
Contributor
victim: was crashed into by Romain Grosjean in Belgium. Although avoidable, he can't be blamed.

That doesn't make sense the adage that although avoidable suggest that Lewis could have avoided it which puts some of the blame on him the criteria you set is whether or not a driver is perfect or not and by including this in you post you use it as an example of a failing on Lewis's part (Not sure whether to use the apostrophe there sorry gethinceri ) and you have completely avoided my contention that by using teammates as an example of a drivers failing is a misnomer....

And anyway nobody is perfect and I don't remember anyone on this forum suggesting that they are and so I don't see why people should get a perspective on something they don't believe or have ever hinted at.
 

Josh

Champion Elect
Mephistopheles

performance: underperforming, being beaten by team mate on race pace (incl. team orders). As todays qualifying format means there is a difference between best qualifying set-up and race set-up, and the points are earned on Sunday, this will only count for race pace. Picking the wrong set-up, does not discount a mark in this category.

Being beaten by your teammate on race pace generally means a driver didn't get the maximum out of the car so I don't really see why it's a misnomer. It's not taking anything away from the winning teammate as you seem to think.
 
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