September 7, 2014
Lewis makes one error, Nico makes two. Mercedes gets a 1-2.
In the 2014 Formula Mercedes Grand Prix of Italy, the man who only made one mistake won.
In fact Hamilton fully deserved the win, he was fastest in qualifying and, after a lousy start apparently due to a mysterious technical fault, he first made a crucial early pass on Kevin Magnussen to keep himself in contention and later a clean DRS pass on Massa to take second place and put himself back in the position to pressure Rosberg into a mistake or two.
Or did he?
Sounds crazy? It is odd Rosberg, a driver who makes very few errors (and when he does gets accused of doing it intentionally) would make two in the same race, the first when he was was under no particular pressure.
And why did Rosberg not even attempt to attack Lewis in the final part of the race and was content to stay four seconds back the whole time? Rosberg historicallyhas always obeyed team orders.
It all makes for amusing speculation because would Mercedes not have chosen one of a million other more practical and less obvious ways to get Lewis ahead, had that been the objective?
But conspiracies, recently it was that the team was sabotaging Hamilton, are part of what makes F1 fun.
The win at Monza, after all the controversy since Spa, was just what the doctor ordered.
And this brings us to the psychological game. Post race Lewis doubled down on Rosberg, effectively saying the German just cracked under his mighty pressure. It will be interesting to see if that's so and if this was the turning point of the season. Rosberg seemed to take the high road on the radio after the finish and, even when boo'd on the podium, congratulated Hamilton. I'm not sure his goose is as cooked as much as some commentators seem to feel it is.
Speaking of teammate wars, Vettel might have run out of excuses today at Monza, Ricciardo pretty much humiliated him with the dummy he sold him to pass. Nobody would be surprised if Sebastian had dinner with Ron Dennis Sunday because Red Bull is many things but sentimental is not one of them, they have Daniel and have Daniil waiting. Marko is done with Seb.
And then there is Ferrari (cue funeral dirge).
rumors of his impending departure proclaiming he will be the only one making such announcements and that he has much more to do at the team only to be brutally slammed by Sergio Marchionne with the old "everyone is useful, nobody is indispensable".
A great day for Massa. Had Bottas gotten a proper start it might have been a different story but you can't not like the irony of Felipe standing on the podium at Monza facing the tifosi in his white Martini overalls. Massa was a real pro when Lewis passed him on the outside of the chicane, leaving enough room to avoid contact. A lesson in class.
Another one who tasted some sweet revenge was Sergio Perez who with Ricciardo, and Bottas really put on the show at Monza. Button must be livid.
Magnussen penalty: deserved. the kid has a bit of a nasty habit of defending by walking people off the track and weaving.
Oh, and Maldonado did not crash! Milagro!