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 199
17 GPWEEK.com // 17 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Thank you Pastor Maldonado. Never thought I’d ever say that – but it was the Venezuelan’s moment of madness, lurching into Turn 1 on ‘pit-exit’ tyres, that set up one of the best F1 races for many years. There were contests going on all over the place once the Safety Car had disappeared – the obvious one at the head of the queue (and with a rapidly growing gap) as Lewis Hamilton, on Medium compound tyres, successfully, somehow managed to defend his lead from his team-mate, on Soft tyres. With 10 laps of this on the cards, I couldn’t see how Lewis was going to manage it. Rosberg was every bit as quick and, on the marginally better tyres, it was matter of time. Indeed, as he forced a smile and joked about how good it all was post-race, I reckon Nico Rosberg was quietly asking himself the same question. How did that happen? And I think he knows the answer. Lewis was just that bit more desperate – and counted on Rosberg heeding the “let’s bring them both home” calls on the radio. At least twice, after Rosberg had actually nosed his Mercedes part-way in front, Lewis held his line, when many – given the team situation – might not have. It was Ayrton “I’m not going to move, so you’d better unless you want us both to crash” Senna brinkmanship, which I reckon Rosberg was reflecting on as they joshed around in the green room. Deep inside, I don’t reckon Nico was that happy. He’d done the right thing by the team, and paid for it. Next time, I’m not so sure he will. Once the Merc pair have got the huge points margin over the rest that is coming their way and, if a similar situation crops up again, I reckon ‘Brittany’ will tough it out ... Further back, there were other intra- team shape-ups going on – Massa and Bottas again, and Perez getting the better of the much-respected Nico Hulkenberg was impressive. But for me, the best was Daniel Riccardo’s catch and pass of his team-mate. Of course (of course) Seb had some sort of top end power issue (of course, yet to be diagnosed), but the way the new Red Bull boy took it to the champ may cause a Dr Marko some sleepless nights. If I were Daniel, I’d just make sure there isn’t some quiet ‘swap’ of car before they go racing again ... On a more serious note, that 10 lap brawl at the end of 37 laps in Bahrain certainly confirmed the pecking order, and its degree – and Mercedes is well, well clear of everyone else, certainly the other Mercedes engine users (did I hear correctly that only the factory Merc team has a twin-intercooler set-up on its cars? A definite, clever edge if so). Their challenger, obviously, will be Red Bull. If Renault can continue to make progress, then it’s gonna get tighter at the top. Great race as it was, it was nothing really to do with the ‘new-technology’ as some are claiming. Wet weather, or a strategic Safety Car is usually the catalyst for most really great races. The debate over the new cars – and it really only boils down to the sound – will continue and, one way or the other, they’ll work out a way of re-adding a more racy sound to the new engines. It’ll get sorted. Something else I hope will get sorted soon is the apparent disparity in judicial penalties currently on offer. You tell me: Ricciardo gets a 10 grid- spot penalty for wobbling a few metres down pit lane with a loose wheel; Pastor Maldonado stupidly t-bones another car, which rolls over, and gets a five grid-spot penalty. Really? Maybe they gave him an ‘entertainment’ discount for setting up such a good race finish! ... Thanks, Pastor CrEDiT WHErE iT'S DUE OPINION OPINION CHRIS LAMBDEN