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 206
As races go, this one was pretty predictable – for first and second only. The rest turned out to be wide-open and pretty damn spectacular. In the end, Nico Rosberg cruised to one of the easier grand prix wins of his career. All he really had to do was monitor where Lewis was and pray for no Safety Cars late in the race – the latter nearly happened, but by then Lewis was piloting a hobbled Mercedes and couldn’t do anything about wresting second from the continually impressive Valtteri Bottas, whose second place couldn’t have been more deserved. The Williams team’s day got off to a bad start with Felipe Massa’s second opening lap shunt in two races. Silverstone wasn’t his fault but, on this occasion, and despite his protestations, Felipe took most of the blame. The Stewards took no action, and experienced racer/commentator Martin Brundle pointed the finger at Felipe – he’d left no room for the Magnussen McLaren which couldn’t simply ‘not be there’ ... While Magnussen was able to continue, albeit at the back, but able to at least replace his tyres under the Safety Car, also affected by the crash was Ricciardo. Avoiding the shunt cost him plenty – he was buried back in 12th, with a fast-starting Hamilton racing up behind, as things settled on the restart. At the restart, Rosberg and Bottas set off at their respective paces – almost in their own world, with only tyre life to fret about: “Before the race I was worried that without the FRIC system the gap in the race would be smaller,” said Rosberg. “But we were again the quickest out there. I did a two-stop strategy, which was difficult to manage at the end of the stints as the tyres were almost gone.” Behind this duo, depending upon the tyre strategy adopted, the contest for what would ultimately be fourth and beyond, was riveting, with some real arm-to-arm combat. Most three-stopped, the top 10 all shedding their SuperSofts after just 12-15 laps and generally running with two sets of Softs and one SuperSoft for the remainder, The Ferraris, and Jenson Button tried to two-stop but in the end failed – Alonso pitting on lap 55, although able to fit SuperSofts for the final frantic laps (an ingredient in the great scrap with Ricciardo – see later story) and grab fifth. “It was a good race, even if it was very complex, as we decided to change from a two to a three-stop strategy,” said Fernando. “It was not easy fighting while also keeping an eye on consumption and in the end, with the help of newer tyres, getting ahead of Ricciardo meant we finished in the highest position that we were capable of.” Fernando was in the thick of it for most of the day. Prior to his battle with Ricciardo, the first half of the race was preoccupied with Sebastian Vettel ... the moment when the pair went either side of the (embarrassingly) lapped Raikkonen later in the day was classic. As is his wont, Nico Hulkenberg moved for ward a couple of spots from his qualifying position, albeit dealing with some engine issues later in the race. Team-mate Perez also had tyre/balance issues as he held on for a single point. The McLarens fininished eighth and ninth, travelling very different paths to get there – Magnussen in recovery mode after Turn 1, Button attempting an aggressive two-stop which went somewhat awry with an earlier-than- optimum second stop. It was a front wing damaging touch with Button, at the hairpin, which probably cost Hamilton second place. With left-front winglet damage, it became harder to look after the critical left-front tyre and, with the team electing to quickly adjust some extra downforce into the front (rather than lose time changing the wing completely) at the final stop, Lewis – albeit on used SuperSofts – couldn’t quite run down Bottas. It was as impressive an effort from Bottas as it was recovery from Hamilton. Both could be satisfied with their performance. Rosberg, though, is back in familiar territory, points-wise, and goes to Hungary this week with 14 more than Lewis. Turn 1 badly affected three front- runners. Ricciardo takes avoiding action as Massa's Williams slides and bounces along the road. 29 GPWEEK.com // 29 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> HOCKENHAIM PARTNERS: