British GP- Rain Man Edition
Nico Rosberg appears to have been rattled by his teammate’s improved performance in recent races. Not just on track, but on state and in front of the media Rosberg has looked liked a pouty child. Conversely, it appears that Hamilton has played and capitalized a psychological advantage. He seems to enjoy media interviews, he interacts with the fans and seems to really enjoy driving. On the other hand, Niko simply looks like someone took his lunch money. He can’t even fake a smile or a forced laugh around Lewis. As the duo were in the cool down room, with young Max Verstappen, Rosberg couldn't mutter a word or even look in the direction of Hamilton. Rosberg should realize that in the history of battling F1 duos, the driver that is never happy is very likely the #2 driver and not the world champion.
It’s not all Nico’s fault. The Mercedes team has created this dynamic by trying to have it both ways. They want three time champion Hamilton happy, but the team bends toward Germany so its necessary to keep Nico happy as the “German” driver. Even after incidents involving both drivers as happened in Spain and Austria, the team has been quick to find excuses for Nico yet he continues with an entitled attitude as if the championship should be delivered to him as if it’s the natural order of things. Rosberg doesn’t play hard to get, he plays hard to want.
At TLP we are not fans of Hamilton but when a British driver wins the British Grand Prix it is a special moment. A special moment that Hamilton has now accomplished three times in a row. Huzzah young Hamilton, Huzzah!
Alas, the race wasn’t all about Mercedes. The very young Max Verstappen put forward a drive worthy of a world champion. Even in the opening laps after the safety car pulled off track after the rainy open, Verstappen slid his Red Bull all over the track as he charged forward 10/10ths in the wet. He would pass Rosberg, set some fast laps and finish third. By the end he was promoted from third to second place due to a penalty on Rosberg for radio communications.
Twice this year, rain as affected a race. Both in Monaco and Silverstone, the races were started behind the safety car due to wet conditions. The rain adds an attention-grabbing dynamic to the races but was it necessary to start the races under the safety car? As long time viewers of F1 know, it was typically rare for rain alone to cause a safety car start and the recent caution has robbed fans of seeing a true wet weather start.
For the last four races, all we hear from Ferrari is, “we made positive steps,” “we have upgrades on the way.” “We’re the best of the rest,” “things will turn around.” Ferrari looked dismal. Raikkonen was able to put together a fifth place finish with Vettel pulling in an exciting (yawn) 9th place. This was supposed to be the year that Ferrari found their way back to the front but again and again they have failed to live up to expectations.
Rosberg’s second place was demoted to third place due to a violation of the team radio rules. The origin of the radio ban came about as the FIA wanted an end to engineers coaching drivers on how to drive the cars. The ban has become ridiculous as almost anything over the radio can result in a penalty because the definitions of what is banned is vague and overly broad. This has also created problems as the modern F1 is more complicated than ever with drivers hardly able to remember all the different control-alt-delete combinations needed to reset a car mode. The ban effectively makes FIA bureaucrats feel comfortable and for that reason alone this rule should be eliminated.
Full Results & Standings:
(After 10 of 21 races)
1. Nico Rosberg, Germany, Mercedes GP, 171 points.
2. Lewis Hamilton, Britain, Mercedes GP, 167.
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Ferrari, 106.
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Red Bull, 100.
5. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Ferrari, 98.
6. Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull, 87.
7. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Williams, 54.
8. Sergio Perez, Mexico, Force India, 47.
9. Felipe Massa, Brazil, Williams, 38.
10. Romain Grosjean, France, Haas F1, 28.
11. Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, Force India, 26.
12. Carlos Sainz, Spain, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 26.
13. Daniil Kvyat, Russia, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 23.
14. Fernando Alonso, Spain, McLaren, 18.
15. Jenson Button, Britain, McLaren, 13.
16. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Renault, 6.
17. Pascal Wehrlein, Germany, Manor Racing, 1.
18. Stoffel Vandoorne, Belgium, McLaren, 1.
19. Esteban Gutierrez, Mexico, Haas F1, 0.
20. Jolyon Palmer, Britain, Renault, 0.
21. Marcus Ericsson, Sweden, Sauber-Ferrari, 0.
22. Felipe Nasr, Brazil, Sauber-Ferrari, 0.
23. Rio Haryanto, Indonesia, Manor Racing, 0.