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.
Does anybody know what the first rule of motorsport is? DON’T TAKE OUT YOUR TEAMMATE! When you’re driving for a team, the worst thing that you can do is to take out your teammate. It doesn’t matter if it’s accidental or intentional, you won’t win any new friends in your garage.
But that’s exactly what happened in the Belgian Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg clipped Lewis Hamilton on an aborted overtaking move into Les Combes which punctured the Brit’s back tyre and ripped off the German’s front-wing endplate. The fracas resulted in both Mercedes being taken out of contention for the win and the season’s only other race winner, Daniel Ricciardo, picking up his third win of the season.
Sometimes, all you need is a little luck to put on a good race. A combination of changing conditions, multiple safety cars, tyre strategy and DRS made for the best Hungarian Grand Prix ever and the best finish to a race this season since the last time the guy who won this race won a race. That man would be Daniel Ricciardo. Just like his maiden win at the Canadian Grand Prix, Ricciardo made a late charge through the field to pick up well-deserved surprise win.
The margin of victory wasn’t two laps. Cars were still running at the finish. There were even enough cars to fill all the points paying positions. None of the doomsday scenarios for the first race of the turbo V6 and ERS era came to fruition.
However, as it was predicted by many people heading into this weekend, the Mercedes team was at the head of the field. It wasn’t Lewis Hamilton who won the race as expected but his teammate Nico Rosberg who took the checkered flag in the first race of 2014.