Brazilian Grand Prix update
Brazil was wet. Very, very wet. In amongst the chaos, the safety cars, the red flags, the fact that every time Toto Wolff referred to aquaplaning I thought he was talking about drivers strategising to do so ("aqua planning", as he put it!) and even more chaos, Lewis Hamilton emerged as the one driver to keep cool, presumably helped by all the rain that was getting in through the top of his visor! Nico Rosberg followed him home in second to keep one hand on the WDC while Max Verstappen, racing as if everybody else was on the wrong tyres, charged through to take third.
While we now know the real F1 title will go down to the wire, could Herb capture the Group Pick'em Championship for 2016? Entering the race with an 81-point advantage, 114 was the magic number. For that would be the absolute maximum points that Hamilton_Jar could outscore Herb by in Abu Dhabi, a scenario possible courtesy of six unused jokers (25+18+15+12+10+8) and one differing driver selection (Hulk rather than Herb's Perez) winning the race. Of course, the chance of Hulkenberg winning, not to mention six joker selections finishing 1st through to 6th, is highly, highly unlikely. Still, it's that or accepting Herb has long had the title sewn up, so let's go with the slightly more interesting option! The champagne moment
Well, with 114 points in mind, Herb will
have to wait until Abu Dhabi to officially be confirmed as our inaugural Champion. This is in spite of recording a seventh round victory of the year, scoring 122 points and surpassing the previous record of five successive podiums (which, perhaps unsurprisingly, Herb already held). However, Hamilton_Jar continues to stay in the picture as a 116 point score results in a sixth-successive podium of their own, taking a share of that record with Herb. Completing our leading trio was, for the first time since Belgium, Schumacher Forever#1. 109 points, aided by playing three different jokers, results in a fifth podium of 2016.Herb - 122Hamilton_Jar - 116Schumacher forever#1 - 109
Herb's winning team: Hamilton (25), Raikkonen (0), Ricciardo (4), Perez (12), Alonso (1), Magnussen (0), Palmer (0), Mercedes (43), Red Bull (19), Force India (18), Renault (0)Because we can't all be winners
With Raikkonen and Massa failing to finish, Daniel Ricciardo only collecting four points and Bottas scoring none, it was perhaps unsurprising that this wasn't the highest scoring round of the year! 90 points was the average at a weekend that saw only three non-podium finishers break the 100-point mark: Coulthard's Chin, Mayhem and TypingChicane, who scored 104, 103 and 102 points respectively. A four-way tie followed next as Jezza13, theferret, Fountoukos13 and Icemanjee1 all collected 97 points in Brazil. Black_Flag_11 took a huge step towards avoiding the wooden spoon by scoring 88 points, which ended up being a massive 31 more than Remmirath managed as another poor Ferrari afternoon meant another poor Remmirath result.
Coulthard's Chin: 104
Fountoukos13, Icemanjee1, Jezza13 and theferret: 97
Exediron and Jenson's Understeer: 81
Remmirath: 57Jokers update
If you played a joker in Brazil, chances are you're going to regret having done so. Of the six deployed only one actually scored any extra points. Kimi Raikkonen was a popular choice as Jezza13, Schumacher forever#1 and Mayhem all chose the Finn as their DG2 joker. Jenson's Understeer also initially did the same, but decided to change his mind after seeing three others doing the same. It was a wise move - albeit after qualifying it didn't look quite so smart! - as the Iceman crashed out in spectacular fashion on the wet Interlagos track. Schumacher forever#1 and Icemanjee1 divided the two Renault pilots amongst themselves but neither picked up a point, leaving Schumacher forever#1's third joker, future Renault driver Nico Hulkenberg, to deliver where the rest failed. Hulk's six points were enough to lift Schumacher forever#1 above Coulthard's Chin and onto the podium.
Seven of the field have used all their jokers (highlighted in magenta) leaving just four active players with jokers heading into the season finale. Jenson's Understeer is best placed to surpass Herb's current leading joker total of 56, having kept his DG2 joker back for the last race of the year. Icemanjee1 has done the same but trails Jenson's Understeer by five points so would need to go a different (more successful) route in order to better Herb's 56 joker points. Meanwhile TypingChicane is the only active competitor to have two jokers left remaining: DG4 and DG5, so could also yet threaten to take the joker crown. Black_Flag_11 and Hamilton_Jar have played no jokers between them. Spare a thought for...
Remmirath. If you discount the Spanish race - where the majority of the field scored 58 points or fewer - then 57 points would actually represent the lowest score we've had to date. Fortune favours the brave, but so far it has only favoured Remmirath's bold picks once this season. Would anyone really begrudge Remmirath a Mercedes double-DNF in Abu Dhabi? Well, Black_Flag_11 might...Overall standings after Brazil
Herb - 2333 (-)
Hamilton_Jar - 2246 (-)
TypingChicane - 2188 (-)
Schumacher forever#1 - 2046 (+1)
Jezza13 - 2035 (-1)
Icemanjee1 - 1991 (-)
theferret - 1985 (-)
Fountoukos13 - 1977 (-)
Mayhem - 1945 (-)
Coulthard's Chin - 1891 (-)
Jenson's Understeer - 1836 (-)
Exediron - 1835 (-)
Black_Flag_11 - 1809 (-)
Remmirath - 1743 (-)
At the top... Herb remains on course to be confirmed as our first Champion in Abu Dhabi. Only an absolutely remarkable set of results is going to change that, one which would involve Hamilton_Jar having to score some 80-odd points with all six jokers, as well as Nico Hulkenberg comfortably outscoring Sergio Perez. It seems unlikely Hamilton_Jar will even use a joker, let alone record that number of points. Similarly, Hamilton_Jar has a comfortable advantage over TypingChicane with the top three looking likely to finish in that order.
The battle for fourth... swings back the way of Schumacher forever#1, who having lost fourth in Mexico moves back ahead of Jezza13. Both have used all six jokers so there will be no extra points to be scored. In terms of their selections, Schumacher forever#1 has Perez and Renault whilst Jezza13 went for Hulkenberg and Haas. With eleven points seperating them, a strong result for Hulk and Haas sneaking into the points could yet be enough to see Jezza jump back into fourth.
The three-way scrap for sixth... remains in Icemanjee1's hands. Theferret is guaranteed to finish ahead of Fountoukous13 by virtue of them having the same picks and no jokers remaining. There are some key differences in who picked who, though. Icemanjee1 has Rosberg, Perez, Button and Nasr, while theferret/Fountoukos13 chose Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Alonso and Palmer. The obvious difference there being Hamilton and Rosberg which, based on the last three race weekends, would suggest theferret has a strong shout at making up the six point deficit to Icemanjee1.
Mayhem looks to be too far back to catch that trio, but comfortably ahead of Coulthard's Chin, who in-turn seems untroubled by the flagging duo of Jenson's Understeer and Exediron, who themselves would appear to be far enough ahead of Black_Flag_11 to not have to worry about dropping any further places.
At the bottom... Remmirath's only hope of jumping Black_Flag_11 is a poor race for Mercedes. Both have the same driver selections (with the exception of Palmer and Grosjean) but it is the team choices where things differ. Remmirath, of course, went for Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, while Black_Flag_11 has the more popular trilogy of Mercedes, Williams and Force India. A double DNF for Mercedes would surely open the door for a potential Red Bull/Ferrari 1-2-3-4, a scenario that should pretty much guarantee Remmirath gets off the foot of the table at the very last moment. It would be worth 70 points, meaning even if Black_Flag_11's selections of Williams and Force India finished fifth thru to eighth it wouldn't be enough to prevent a change in position at the bottom of the standings. Of course, the most likely outcome is that Mercedes finish 1-2 or, at worst, 1-3, and Remmirath fails to 'do a Sauber' and avoid the wooden spoon at the last moment.