Nah 1-1. I can't disagree with your methodology but I also can't possibly give China to Lewis.
Fair enough. I guess the earlier in the weekend the variable occurs that allows you to think up your own hypothetical, the easier it is for your favourite driver to come out on top in that hypothetical ;)
And I realise I'm probably fighting a losing battle (not least of which because in the rare instances I disagree with rob, it usually means I'm wrong
) and should probably concede the draw. So I'll accept that, and revise my scorecard accordingly, to a 2-1. But not being quite able to be 100% magnanimous, I'll have one last shot at explaining why I thought Hamilton deserved the win on the scorecard ...
I think his qually performance got somewhat underrated. Qualifying that car 2nd was very impressive. Whilst after qually, Whitmarsh (in the bbc interview I saw, and even more so in these
comments) focused on the fact that track conditions had deteriorated from the start of Q3 to the end (making life harder for those that did their run at the end), I thought that rather missed the point. Hamilton was able to gain the benefit of the better track conditions in Q3 as a result of his performances in Q1 and Q2 which allowed him to save a set of softs. It wasn't luck that allowed Hamilton to make use of the best track conditions available in the session, it was his performance. He then qualified 3 places, and half a second, ahead of Jenson - pretty impressive, in my book.
If you have Hamilton starting the race in 2nd or 3rd (Schumacher certainly would have done an extra lap, but would have been hampered on that lap by the worsening conditions Whitmarsh mentioned), I think it becomes very difficult to see how Jenson would have finished ahead of him even without the pit stop blunder. For each of the first two stints, they pretty much tracked each other on identical pace - even had Hamilton only qualified third and got into T1 in third, I can't see any justification for saying that Jenson would have gotten ahead of him in either of those stints based on the lap times. The picture then gets muddied by the influence of traffic, forced timing on stops (to cover off Webber), and the pit stop blunder. But I struggle to see Jenson making it past Hamilton either in the pits or (as his pitting a lap or two latter strategy would have required) on the circuit, in particular as being the driver behind and pitting a lap or two later he would be the driver experiencing more of the traffic.
Still, all very hypothetical so I'll concede the draw. But I won't concede any charges of desperation!
That said, Lewis is definitely in a very different place this year and if it continues he ought to be way ahead of Button by the end of the season. The team travails will all even out over 20 races but Lewis just seems much more zen than he was last year. That makes him dangerous.
Completely agree. I wasn't sure whether it was good or bad to see a little of the old Lewis come back when he got dropped behind Rosberg in Bahrain, mind!