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Wesley Branton | April 29, 2014 @ 4:00 am
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“Tough luck.” – Sebastian Vettel
These were the lines heard by all Formula One™ fans during the 2014 Chinese Grand Prix when Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel was told by the team to allow his faster teammate to pass.
This has got me thinking. What driver has had the worst luck this year?
To get the answer to this question, I think we will have to look at the first race of the season in Australia. This race seems to have had the highest amount of bad luck thus far.
Lets look at all of the bad luck events that took place during that race:
First off, there was Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton had a hot car for the majority of the weekend, managing to set the fastest time in the second free practice session and gain the pole position for the race, despite rainy conditions. He was looking great with the dominant Mercedes car and was the prediction to win, but no one saw what would happen during the race. Right off of the grid, Hamilton had an engine issue which forced him to lose the lead and retire on only the second lap of the race. This was certainly a disappointment for Mercedes and the fans.
Something else would occur on the first corner. Going into the first corner, Kamui Kobayashi of Caterham suffered a brake failure which caused him to charge into the corner. Felipe Massa of Williams was the unfortunate victim, as Kobayashi slammed into his rear wing and sent both drivers out of the race.
Red Bull also suffered from some bad luck during and after the race. Firstly, Vettel’s car suffered a power unit issue and was forced to make an early retirement, only one lap after Hamilton. This was not nearly as disappointing as Daniel Ricciardo’s exclusion from the race. He managed to place 2nd, after Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. He celebrated on the podium, but after the celebrations the FIA decided that he had violated a regulation regarding the fuel flow rate to the engine. This meant that he would be stripped of his 2nd place and be disqualified from the event.
Clearly none of these drivers had four leaf clovers in their pockets, but who was the unluckiest?
Felipe Massa. His bad luck wasn’t caused by a malfunction, driver error or rule violation. He was simply in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It was also unlucky because since this this was his first race with his new team, he needed to make a good first impression with Williams. Because of this accident, he wasn’t given the opportunity to do so.
Even if you don’t agree that Massa’s luck was the worst, we can all agree that the Australian Grand Prix was the race of bad luck. Hopefully, the FIA can keep the black cats, broken mirrors and ladders away from the tracks in the future.