by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 212
Was it the events of the previous week, or was it the slightly fawning positive hype about the host nation and its president? either way, sochi was actually pretty down-beat and threw up a race to match – perhaps the most predictable and action-free of the year. In the end, Lewis took another step towards what, barring mechanical intervention, would appear to be his second title; Mercedes sewed up the Constructors crown; and Williams consolidated its return to the sharp end with another strong Valtteri Bottas drive. The race between Hamilton and Rosberg was over at the second corner. Having matched Lewis away from the line, Nico was seemingly determined not to blink first when it came to brakes. On the dirtier inside line, it all went horribly wrong, and the German disappeared off the road in a plume of locked fronts ... On a real racetrack, that could and should have been it, but with the now standard ‘wider-then-the-race-track’ sealed run-off, he actually returned to the track with a lead over his team-mate! Immediately told to ‘hand-back’ the spot to Hamilton, he replied with the obvious message that his fronts were screwed and that he would have to stop immediately, for more ... In the end, his switch to Primes that early, and his ability to nurse them for the remaining 56 laps as he drove through the field for second, provided, in a perverse way, the drive of the day – or should it be a true indication of Mercedes current dominating form? “It was just a mistake on my side, braked too late and that's it,” confirmed Rosberg. “Very unnecessary, because it was my corner and I should have been in the lead after that. So, obviously very disappointed with that. After that my tyres were just square. They were vibrating so much I couldn't see where I was going so I knew that I had to pit. “For me, I thought that was it. I thought that was the end of the day – but then of course, partly happy to get back all the way to second, passing Valtteri along the way and then... yeah, it's just thanks to my car.” For Lewis, it really had been a Sunday afternoon drive: “Once I was out in the lead I was really just having to control, just looking after the tyres, managing the fuel was quite straightfor ward. And then, towards the end of the race the car felt great so I could push or not push. “I wasn't really having to push much and even when I was having to pick up the pace a little bit when I eventually found Nico was behind, it was easy to match the times.” So that’s that. Easy – easier almost than Red Bull at its peak ... Either way, that was, pretty much, it. Lewis literally cruised it; Nico came second; Bottas third, Button fourth; Kvy ... actually no. The Toro Rossos didn’t have a good day. From the start, Kvyat simply didn’t have the relative pace that Saturday had brought and, later reporting that he’d had a fuel-consumption issue throughout, dropped away. Including an extra stop late in the race, he finished a disappointed 14th, a spot behind his team-mate. Fifth in fact went to Kevin Magnussen, who recovered what he’d lost through the gearbox change, to back Button’s fourth:. "Well, that wasn't a bad day at all – I reckon we got the maximum out of the car,” said Button. "It was odd that we were able to run so many laps on a single set of tyres today. The Primes felt like they could have gone on for ever – it was a bit like going back to 'old school' racing in that respect. The track surface in Austin is very similar to the track surface here, as it happens, so I look for ward to seeing how we fare out there in terms of tyre wear.” Fernando Alonso held out the Red Bulls for sixth, like everyone else having to conserve fuel for the second half of the race ... “The entire race was particularly demanding from the point of view of managing the fuel consumption and especially in the closing stages, I had to save fuel. During the pit stop, the front jack didn't work, but I think that even without this problem, I'd have finished in the same position, because the McLarens were faster. “We took a risk at the start because we knew it was an opportunity to make up some places, but after that, my race pace was what we'd seen to date and it wasn't possible to do any more.” Daniel Ricciardo lost a few spots at the start and found himself on the gearbox of his team-mate. There was no suggestion of any team instruction and, besides, Daniel was in tyre trouble. His early stop, though, allowed him to undercit Vettel, who ended up a few seconds behind at the end: "The first few laps were pretty hectic and we lost a few places at the start. We will have to have a look at that, it's nearly the end of the season now, but we haven't had many good starts so that's a bit frustrating. “Starting the race the tyre was already blistered, it had quite a bit from qualifying, so it wasn't looking too healthy and the first stint made it worse; I could see it starting to come apart, so we had to pit quiet early. Then on the prime the tyre lasted well and we had good pace and could match Alonso, but couldn't get past.” Sergio Perez made good progress after Force India’s middling qualifying performance, starting on Mediums, to grab the last point, behind Kimi Raikkonen: “We tried our best to push throughout the race, but obviously the fuel strategy was quite marginal – especially because I started the race on the Medium and had to really push to keep in touch with the group on the softs." OOOPS – Rosberg handed the race to Hamilton at Turn 2, the first brake of the race ... 25 GPWEEK.com // 25 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> RUSSIA PARTNERS: