March 28, 2017

Spanish #F1 review: An opinionated view on who’s to blame for the DNF for the entire Mercedes team

Despite the slick crisis management deployed by Wolff, (and we’ll ignore the  knee jerk reaction of Lauda and the claim from the German Press that Hamilton apologies for the incident)…….it’s obvious to me that yet again a whimsical Rosberg wilts under a touch of pressure from Lewis Hamilton and makes a tiny error from which the only way to rescue his race is to push Lewis of the track.

The Simple Facts

Rosberg suddenly slowed down because he pressed a few wrong buttons. Hamilton, naturally faster in any case, saw an opportunity and put his car, legally, in between Rosberg and the edge of the track. Rosberg, wakes up, breaks the rules by not allowing enough space and forces Hamilton onto the grass. Any F1 car will then spin from that position and the rest is inevitable. I ask anyone who criticises Lewis  this one simple question, What do you expect a race driver to do if the guy in front is going nought miles an hour?

This incident shows that the reality is that Rosberg is not of World Champion quality. He will always fold when it really comes down to it, and maybe he should take some lessons from an 18 year old Max Verstappen on handling a true world champion when in front.

So why is Rosberg still in a Mercedes if he isn’t world class? Unfortunately, it’s a case of passport over talent. Germany and Austria have sense of ownership over Formula 1 at the moment and so they need a champion soon. Unfortunately for them the truth is that not since Schumacher have they had a truly world class driver. Vettel is just fast with no-one ahead of him, Rosberg, I’ve never seen achieve anything unless Lewis starts from last place or has a mechanical issue, and both of these drivers, when pushed will fail. Raikkonen is already beginning to show that he is a better all-round driver than his teammate when it really comes down to it. Raikkonen made the two stop work because he can.

If we think of the top drivers that can make things happen without having the best car, the only German driver you hold up there with the likes of Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Raikkonen and now Verstappen, is actually The Hulk.

I urge anyone to watch and know that this is true, whenever Rosberg knows that a driver behind him is quicker (like Verstappen knew last weekend) he will make a mistake.

The positives from this is that this incident will awaken a slightly bored Lewis Hamilton. Lewis is at his best when he feels unjustly treated and I feel that Nico’s winning run is going to come to an abrupt end very soon. During the next 3-4 races I predict that with Lewis out in front Nico will not have flat speed to always be able to pull away from the Ferraris and the Red Bulls and will find the rest of this season a real test.

by Adrian Cockerill

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