Not a race that will live on in memory for any amount of time but none the less there were three interesting stories to come out of the paddock throughout the weekend, I have done my best to dissect these and give my opinion.
Rosberg had the beating of defensive Hamilton
Two races down since Lewis Hamilton was crowned World Champion and 2 weekends dominated by his team-mate Nico Rosbrg. You can look at the results and come up with many different reasons why this has happened whether it be down to Hamilton taking his foot off the gas, perhaps he partied to hard or maybe now the pressure is off Rosberg he is far more comfortable in himself and the car, something that he was missing consistently in the previous rounds. Following the defeat to his team-mate Hamilton made it clear that he has not lost focus and he arrived in Brazil ” with the same fire and desire to win this race as I have done all year” he then went on to scathe the media for taking what he said and twisting it. Regardless of these theories Rosberg has been almost flawless in the last two races and fully deserves the two wins and two poles added to his record, he has now joint Sit Sterling Moss as the driver with the most wins in Formula One without winning a driver’s World Championship title, whether he is in the same league as Moss is a debate for another day.
New engine, same performance issues for Red Bull
Daniel Ricciardo suffered a 10 place grid penalty in order to fit his RB11 with a new specification Renault power unit for this race that will be the building blocks for next years Renault engine. Finally Red Bull’s situation looks resolved with their deal with Renault all but finalised for next season and a new specification engine for the final two races of the season that filled the team with hopes of extra performance and reliability. The latter looked good as Ricciardo finished the race with no issues but despite proving faster in the practice sessions over his team-mate Kvyat when it came to qualifying the lack of performance was once again shown, Kvyat out qualified Ricciardo by one tenth of a second and was shown to be faster through the speed trap, so new engine but same old problems from the Red Bull boys, despite the lack of performance Kvyat and Ricciardo both looked happy and relaxed now they know they will certainly be on the grid for the 2016 season, something that just a few weeks ago looked very unlikely.
Massa suffers at the hands of technology
After a fairly underwhelming performance from the Williams team this weekend they would have been happy to wrap up third in the Constructors Championship with one race to go after both their drivers finished in the points with Bottas firth and Massa eighth, however that wasn’t the end of the weekend for them. During the race Williams were made aware that there was an issue with one Massa’s tyre blankets on the grid with the right rear tread being measured at 137 Celsius a full 27 Celsius above what the FIA and Pirelli allow as their maximum tread temperature. These more stringent restrictions were implemented following Sebastian Vettel’s blow out at in Spa with the tyres having to have at least 20.5 PSI and no higher than 110 Celsius. Since the new regulations we had an issue with the Mercedes drivers tyres being below the require PSI limit at the Italian Grand Prix but following three hours of deliberations Hamilton’s race win was upheld, we are yet to see whether Williams will appeal this decision as it had no effect on their overall Constructors Championship finishing position its unlikely they will. Williams would certainly have a case as it has been reported that this was a tyre blanket issue as they are not meant to be able to reach the temperature the tyre was checked at. This does leave a bad taste in the mouth when two different teams break the same rule but the punishments are vastly different, unless the FIA or Stewards can prove that Williams deliberately overheated their tyres they cannot and should not be disqualified from the results just like Mercedes were not.
That’s it 18 races down and one more to go in the 2015 Formula One season, there isn’t much left to play for in Abu Dhabi for the majority of these drivers with it being the final race now the constructors positions are pretty much set in stone so I hope we get to see the shackles removed from the drivers and no team orders in order to give them the freedom to in-thrall and excite before we head of for a long winter without Formula One. See you Abu Dhabi in two weeks!
By: Chris Laker
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