In the previous post I've made on this little fantasy league idea, I've mentioned that, if F1 were to adapt the Chase system, then the points conversion would kick in after Singapore. Well, here we are after Sebastian Vettel won the 2012 Singapore Grand Prix so let's dive right back into counting.
The three races after I've done the first "NASCAR Style" post have created quite a bit of confusion for the way in which I am to continue this. First and foremost, Romain Grosjean's race ban and the one-off appearance of Jerome d'Ambrosio created a little bit of pandemonium in the standings, as, if I were to count that race as a "0" for Grosjean, he'd be at a massive disadvantage compared to everyone else, since I haven't counted DNSs as 0 points before to allow for deeper analysis of the backmarker situation. In this case, I could've done it only if I were to go back and also award "0"s to Timo Glock and Vitaly Petrov, as both missed races, as well as Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, who didn't make the start for the Australian Grand Prix due to failing to meet the requirements of the 107% rule. As such, I gave Grosjean 25th place for Monza with 19 points, which is a little silly, but in the end will have little impact on the standings.
The three rounds after the torturous August break have mixed up the standings quite nicely, as it seems. Alonso is still in the lead, but, with his retirement at Spa, his lead has decreased a bit. Raikkonen went from 4th to 2nd with a string of consistent points finishes (which, as we've seen, is the most important thing for these standings). Vettel stayed in 3rd, while Webber lost a fair amount of ground. Due to the 2 DNFs, Hamilton dropped below Rosberg even, although F1 fans will attest to the fact that Lewis has done an excellent job for the three races.
In the back, Grosjean lost a lot of ground due to what essentially was 2 DNFs, while Ricciardo has noticeably moved up. In the back, everything remained virtually in place as de la Rosa finally began to build up a gap to Karthikeyan.
Funnily enough, all the people originally set to make the Chase are the ones who would end up making it in the end - Hulkenberg, despite having two unfortunate races, easily remained in 11th to grab the Wild Card spot based on most points, while Maldonado's position was never really in danger due to his race win. As such, Schumacher and Grosjean would be the most noteable drivers to miss the Chase with their inconsistency and Mercedes reliability issues at fault. Kamui Kobayashi would also be another major driver missing out in a fitting development of his less-than-fortunate season.
Maldonado, being a Wild Card, would not be eligible for any points for his win, but it would still put him ahead of everyone else in the standings, with the latter half of the Chase drivers at 2000 points.
For predictions, you'd be really hard-pressed to call this one, as it looks like the points lead would just go to whoever out of the top 6 would have less retirements. Alonso's win in this one doesn't look that likely, but if Ferrari have excelled at one thing so far, it has been reliability, so he might still have this in the end. Raikkonen is also a decent bet despite being eighth due to a lack of wins, since he has been very consistent with his finishes and has generally managed to avoid any trouble.
With all that wrapped up, we have a six race Chase ahead of us and it might just be harder to call this little fantasy experience than it is to call the actual thing. The next update in this is planned after the Indian Grand Prix, which will mark the halfway point of the Chase. Stay tuned.