Sadly, what promised to be a great battle between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg ended at the first corner. I’ve felt for a long time now that the way Rosberg was treated by Mercedes during last years championship has left him broken and compromised as an out-and-out racer.The knock-on effect is that it’s weakened this year’s championship. Lewis knows in his heart that for the title to have real meaning, especially in a car that’s a second faster than the opposition, you’ve got to have a top racer not just a driver in the sister car. And Rosberg is not that guy. Listen, I’m not blaming Lewis. A title is a title and any driver on the grid would take it in Hamilton’s situation. It’s just a shame for the fans that someone like Riccardo or even young charger Verstappen is not in the other car. I’m sure it would have changed the face of this year’s championship.
That said it’s was great to see Vettel back to his old self, after that great win in Singapore.
But you’ve got to look down the grid to see racing as it should be. Well what do you know!- good old Maldonado brings it home in eight place just behind his team-mate. Which surely must be a relief to both his mechanics and team alike after signing him up again for next year.They say Daniil Kvyat is possibly under pressure for his Red Bull seat from either Verstappen or Sainz. I think he deserves his seat and is slowly turning into a top class racer, and is holding his own against Riccardo a known race winner and potential world champion. The last thing he need is for Red Bull to start playing silly games with their young drivers when they are still learning their craft at this level. The consequence of such pressure was amply demonstrated during his practice crash, which, thankfully, he walked away unhurt from. I doubt the fast charging Verstappen will hang around in the Red Bull family for very long if they don’t get a full speck Ferrari engine.
It seems now that Jensen Button is seeing out his contract at McLaren after all, if Ron Dennis’s remarks are to be believed. But there now seems to be a question mark over Fernando Alonso’s future after he remarked that he was not sure of his plans for next year.Maybe he’ll go fishing with Ross Brawn? Or maybe Ron asked him and Jensen to stir things up a bit while out in Japan. The home of Honda. Who knows?
Ericcson had a bit of an off-day after matching his team mate Nasr with some good drives over the last few races, but sadly, I think the Sauber Team development programme has run out of steam for this season anyway. Alexander Rossi seems to be putting Will Stephens under some pressure since he arrived at Manor Motorsport, it’s hard to see how either driver can make it onto the grid for next year, especially with more top drivers without seats for 2016. I’m looking forward to seeing what the Haas (Ferrari) team can bring to the table next year.I think signing Grosjean was a great decision for both team and driver, but putting Esteban Gutierrez in the second seat was surly politics over talent? Only time will tell. I’d be surprised if they’re not fighting for podiums in 2017.
Off to Sochi in Russia for the next race.With the Mercedes back on form we can sadly expect more of the same unless it rains. I’m off to do a rain dance.