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.
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.
Is it a home victory if the manufacturer wins rather than the driver? In Italy, that is certainly the case as we know that Ferrari is a religion there. I can’t help but feel that Germany wouldn’t be as open to a foreign driver winning for the domestic constructor. That was the situation at Hockenheim after the German Grand Prix that saw Brit Lewis Hamilton take home the win for Germany’s Mercedes.
The British Grand Prix started behind the safety car because of standing water on the track. Fans complained about the overly cautious start to the race but little did they know that this start to the race would make for the most exciting part of the afternoon. Changing conditions made for some exciting moments as drivers coped with a track that was too wet for inters and then too wet for slicks.
Lewis Hamilton ended up winning his home grand prix in a race that will likely be remembered for the first penalty from F1’s radio rules.
In racing, it’s not who leads the first lap, the halfway lap or even the most laps. Nico Rosberg led the most laps of the Austrian Grand Prix but he didn’t taste the winner’s champagne. In fact, he turned out to be a villain of Maldonado-ian levels after the chequered flag flew. A last lap collision with teammate Lewis Hamilton while defending the lead left Rosberg worse for wear, as is often the case when this occurs, and handed the win to Hamilton.
Twenty years ago, the Monaco Grand Prix featured a downpour, changing conditions and only three cars running at the end of the two-hour time limit. Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix looked like it could go the same way but the difference was that 15 cars finished. A series of strange moments throughout the race saw Lewis Hamilton luck his way into his first win of the 2016 World Championship.
I think we’ve gone over this a few times on the blog but the easiest way to make an F1 race exciting is for there to be a little bit of chaos to shake up the order. Often, it’s changing weather conditions that do the trick. For the Chinese Grand Prix, it was a melee at the start that mixed up the field and forced racing to happen.
Of course, as usual, racing didn’t happen at the front of the field. Nico Rosberg didn’t lead the whole way but it wasn’t like he was strongly challenged for the win either as he scored his third win of the season and sixth-in-a-row going back to 2015.