Though he didn’t finish the season with the same flair that he kicked off the year with, Paul rather handily beat his fellow FBC staffers to the 2017 Staff Championship by a gap of twenty-six points at year’s end. Though the gap to second got as close as ten points early on, Paul had a nearly thirty point spread at mid-season and, though he didn’t not score a large amount of points over the last six races, no one was going to catch him in 2017.
As could be expected, Paul had the most amount of correct picks for the overall race win with nine, though Todd and Tom, second and third place finishers respectively, had eight apiece.
There wasn’t a whole lot of scoring in Abu Dhabi, thanks to neither Lewis nor Seb winning, but Paul and Tony both did pick up six points due to Lewis coming home second. Those points were enough for Tony to nip Andrew by a single point for fourth spot in the final standings. Those two staffers also had seven correct winning driver picks this year.
Johnpierre picked up four points with Vettel in third, but it wasn’t enough to pull him up out of last place. J.P., who missed out on the title to Grace by a single point in 2016, barely amassed half of the total that Paul did out front this year. As could be expected, J.P. had both the fewest correct winner choices with three and the most amount of scoreless races with nine, including a seven race scoreless streak which lasted from Russia through to the British Grand Prix.
However, Johnpierre can lay claim to correctly choosing the top five finishers in Bahrain for a massive twenty-four points. Todd also picked up twenty-four in that same race by way of correctly choosing the top four and First Out.
Todd was actually the only staffer to get two correct First Out picks this year, while Grace, Paul, Dave and J.P. got one apiece. Also as could be expected, Paul had the most correct picks of the year with twenty-eight.
Tom was the only staffer to correctly choose the podium finishers twice, while Todd, Paul, Andrew, Dave and J.P. each picked the top three correctly once.
Bahrain was the highest overall scoring race with the full staff picking up 121 points. The U.S. Grand Prix was the only race of the season in which all staffers score, though it was immediately followed by the Mexican Grand Prix in which not a single staffer scored! That was a first for the FBC Staff Championship.
As often happens with our battles from year to year. Grace and Johnpierre finished at the top last year and followed it in 2017 by finishing at the bottom. Paul, meanwhile, finished 6th in 2016, only to lead the way home this year. Tom, Andrew and Dave, in fourth, fifth and sixth positions, respectively, finished in the exact same spots as last year, while Tom jumped up from last in 2016 to third in 2017.
All in all, this was actually a very competitive season, particularly through the midfield. For a run of several races, second through sixth place had less than ten points between them. But nobody remembers who finishes second or sixth. 2017 belonged to Paul “The International” Charsley. He’s now threatening to retire while on top, though I’m thinking he might in fact pull a Massa and return yet again in 2018. I, for one, hope that he does!!
1. Paul 165
2. Todd 139
3. Tom 132
4. Tony 123
5. Andrew 122
6. Dave 111
7. Grace 103
8. Johnpierre 84