Four races into the 2016 Formula One World Championship and there is one driver clearly out front of the field. Nico Rosberg has won the first four races of the season and has a near two-race lead over the rest of the field, including teammate Lewis Hamilton. While it’s a great run of form, how much longer will it last? We try to answer that in this weekend’s F1 Power Rankings.
Moving up from its traditional (as traditional as something can get over two years) late season spot on the schedule, the fourth round of the Formula One World Championship in Russia. Lewis Hamilton has won both races at the Sochi Autodrom but hasn’t won this season. If there was ever a place to turn his season around, it would be here and now. Do I think he has a chance? This weekend’s Formula One Power Rankings hold the answer.
Two weeks off and F1 seems on the verge of imploding. The drivers are questioning the decisions of the sport’s governing body and commercial rights holders. The new qualifying format that sent fans home early in Melbourne survives to see another Grand Prix. Bernie continues to chase money with F1 while admitting F1 is broken even though he’s probably the primary cause.
Anyway, among all the controversy over the last couple of weeks, there is a race happening this week. It’s the Bahrain Grand Prix. When Esteban Gutierrez was last there, Pastor Maldonado sent him for a barrel roll. After Australia, hopefully we don’t get any more of that excitement.
As we are wont to do before every Grand Prix, we preview the upcoming race with a look at the chances of everyone on the grid in the Formula One Power Rankings. As it’s a new season, it’s a fresh set of rankings. Well, it’s a fresh set except at the top because I’m not expecting the front quarter of the grid to be very different.
When you’re on the road, it’s hard to keep track of the Formula One scheudle. I was so out of the loop that I missed that Roberto Merhi has been replaced for five of the next seven races by Alexander Rossi. Rossi sits P2 in GP2 so it’s not like he’s coming out of nowhere. But being an F1 rookie and running for Manor, I don’t rate his chances that well. Whose chances do I like? That’s why we have the Power Rankings.
While the death of Jules Bianchi weighs heavily on the grid, the drivers and teams of the Formula One World Championship are back in action this week as they go to Budapest for the Hungarian Grand Prix. While the Hungaroring is a dreadfully dull circuit that seldom provides action, there have been exceptions. At the very least, it gets us ready for Formula One’s summer break that will see four weeks between Hungary and Belgium.
It comes but once a year. It’s not Christmas but Homecoming. The teams of the Formula One World Championship get their annual trip to Silverstone which allows them to enjoy some home cooking and to sleep in their own beds. For seven of the teams, the British Grand Prix is their home race so there is a lot of pride on the line as the factories clear out and the behind the scenes folk make their annual pilgrimage to the track for a Grand Prix.
That being said, even with pride on the line, it’s still a Mercedes world and everyone else is racing in it.