The 2016 Mexican Grand Prix will be better remembered for what happened in the Stewards’ office and over the radio than it will be for what happened on-track. Lewis Hamilton stormed away with a boring victory having escaped a penalty on Lap 1. All the real fun happened behind two Mercedes as a late battle between Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo stole all the headlines.
The plan for Lewis Hamilton is quite simple. All he can do at this point is win every race from here to the end of the season and hope for some luck to go his way. For Nico Rosberg, the counterattack is also quite simple. Finish first or second from now through Abu Dhabi and he wins his first World Drivers’ Championship. Both men did what they needed to in Austin, Texas, at the US GP but that means that it’s still advantage Rosberg.
When you make a mistake or get caught up by someone else’s mistake, skill doesn’t really play a deciding factor in getting you through the field. Rather, it’s about the pace of your car relative to the competition and how much luck falls your way. So after complaining about luck in Malaysia, it all fell Lewis Hamilton’s way.
No, he didn’t win the race. That honour went to Nico Rosberg who dominated the entire weekend. Hamilton finished in 3rd which was the best he could have expected after an appalling start.
To finish first, first you must finish. I’m sure that Lewis Hamilton has those words ringing through his head after this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. A sure win after his teammate’s bad luck to start the race would put him back on top of the World Drivers’ Championship. Instead, he’s now 23 points behind Rosberg after his car spit more hot fire than he does on his album.
With six races left to go in the season, luck has made the championship look like it did six races into the season. Nico Rosberg once again leads the World Drivers’ Championship after a run of bad luck for Lewis Hamilton. Can Nico actually pull this off and win his first Formula One World Championship or is this a little bit of drama to spice up this season? The F1 Power Rankings attempt to answer this question.
One of the ongoing questions about the Singapore GP from people new to F1 is how they stay awake running that late at night. Even with the drivers and teams using their European timetable, it’s a wonder anyone was left awake by the end of the race. It was a dull affair that livened up a bit at the end only to fizzle out as Nico Rosberg retook the championship lead with his third win in a row.
Formula One has left Europe and is hoping on the plane for flyaway races. With seven races over three continents remaining and only two points separating Hamilton and Rosberg, it’s all to play for. So who has the upper-hand as the season comes to a close? Well, the answer is obvious but let’s still consult the F1 Power Rankings.
There was a race this weekend but everyone’s focus was off the track. Sure, Lewis Hamilton lacked the mental fortitude to hold off teammate Nico Rosberg which allowed the German to close the World Drivers’ Championship to two points. However, the focus this weekend was on the silly season happenings that will affect Formula One going forward.
So #TeamLH technically didn’t come out on top in the Belgian Grand Prix but he functionally did. There was some very good luck with that red flag that allowed him to claw most of his way up the field. I kept seeing headlines during the week like “How Lewis Hamilton scored a podium from 21st with only four passes” like F1 sites were cosplaying as BuzzFeed. This week, Louise (that’s a Hobbs-ism) will start up front. Can he keep from being slimstreamed into oblivion? The F1 Power Rankings tries to answer the question.
When you’re handed the perfect opportunity on a silver platter, your only choice is to take it. Take the two Mercedes drivers. Lewis Hamilton’s extra engines gave Nico Rosberg the perfect opportunity to win the race. Crashes and red flag gave Hamilton an opportunity to claw his way back from the back of the grid. In both cases, they capitalized on the opportunity to score the results they needed.