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?

Question were asked:  was this Rosberg's sanction for the collision at Spa?
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.

Toto Wolff's smile when Lewis passed and Lauda later saying Rosberg had a "great race" did not help alleviate suspicions.

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.

In any case it's not just a one-two but a win win for Mercedes because  they need to hold on to Hamilton of course.   Of the two drivers, he's immensely the more marketable and charismatic, not to mention probably a bit faster.  Not someone you want to give away to a rival like say, Honda.

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).

Alonso gets Ferrari's first mechanical at Monza of all places, on the front straight of all places.  Di Montezemolo rebuffs 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!


  1. Milagro! Haha.. Perez has raised his game since mclaren i think. Hul looks ordinary now

  2. Hamilton's pass on Massa wasn't a "clean DRS pass", but a beautiful side-by-side move at Rettifilio that few would have attempted. I won't even bother commenting on your conspiracy theories. I too spent some of my life in imaginary worlds, fighting imaginary fights, but then puberty kicked in.

  3. No, Ricciardo's passes were beautiful passes few have attempted, Hamilton's pass was a typical First variante (which is at the end of a DRS zone) pass many pull off. It was good but certainly not the most amazing pass ever as the Sky F1 people tried to sell it as.

  4. Yeah Hulk went from being the most underrated driver to a ghost. weird no?

  5. I'd guess it comes down to driving style and the car Hulk is in this year. Perhaps he was more comfortable in the higher aero, lower torque cars like Vettel. He certainly has shown himself to be a quick and handy racer in the past, so his drop of form is weird.

  6. As per usual, you were watching a different race. But do keep your hate Ham game pal. For the record, I am not a Hamilton fan.

  7. Last year he was the first pick for a top drive if one was available... Now who it is ?

  8. Higher aero lower torque seems a lot less talent demanding....

  9. Not taking anything away from a great
    Up and coming talent .... But at the stage where he flew through the field his tires were considerably fresher than
    The pack he ran into ... But some
    dummy's and king of late braking

  10. This is just BS (conspiracy theories).

  11. Apparently that shot of Toto was actually inserted by TV after the pass, but was shot before it. In terms of Alonso/Vettel/Anyone going to McLaren - they've got the best engine this year, but can't get on terms with Williams never mind with Merc themselves. Unless this Honda engine is streets ahead of the Mercedes unit then what makes anyone think they will be on the pace next year? They're undoubtedly a great team, but they've had a terrible few years and despite this restructure they don't seem to be gaining any ground.

  12. Honda apparently has cash and the will to land a big name, but yes, there is guarantee the will be fast. Testing delays aside, they still had a year to observe and, theoretically choose the better compromise. But if anything, this year has shown how there's little need for a big name in the car, at least on track.... On and advertising poster that may be a different story.

  13. Apparently for the Beliebers, even if you say Hamilton deserved to win and drove a great race, it's hate. LOL I don't know if you saw the race or if you had slices of ham over your eyes, but the key pass for Lewis' race was that early pass on Magnussen. Massa had taken some time to get by but after he did, Lewis was able to immediately follow him through. Brilliant because had he lost any time behind the McLaren his race would have been compromised.

  14. Good summary. Really enjoying seeing Williams do well this year. We will probably never know if Rosberg intentionally missed the chicane. On the Vettel/Riccardo race, I believe a lot of this was down to strategy. Vettel pitted a lot earlier where as Riccardo stayed out to have fresher tyres at the end of the race.

  15. Guys are you joking? Hulkenberg outqualified Perez more or less everywhere, has nearly double the points and he got a bunch of top 5 finishes. Just the last couple of races have been disappointing, but that's it. I'd say he's still a strong contender.

  16. Great review. The race was intense but the only shame to me was the lack of "fight" between ROS and HAM.
    Also it would be great if Mercedes say what is the actual penalty they imposed to ROS. That would end any speculation.

    As I said... be clear, team orders or no not this PR BS for the people who is not actual F1 fans.

  17. The idea that Rosberg let Hamilton pass intentionally is ridiculous. Even if he was ordered to do so it's difficult to see him actually doing it. I don't think Rosberg was "content" to stay four seconds behind Hamilton. I think Hamilton just had better pace this weekend and Rosberg couldn't stay in touch.

  18. Not necessarily. Different drivers like different setups. How they react to corner entry, how the put down power, etc. Doesn't mean they are less talented, just a bit less adaptable.

    I will say it makes someone like Alonso look the superstar that he is because of his adaptability. He can outdrive a chassis and bend it to his will. Oversteer? Understeer? Doesn't matter.

  19. McLaren needs Seb more than Redbull.

    When Lewis bailed for Mercedes, everyone thought he was nuts as many will if Seb goes to McLaren's awaiting arms.

  20. "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."
    And yet when Lewis refused to do this at Spa it was Nico who was the goon.
    David Hobbs and Steve Matchett both commented on how one doesn't close the barn when the horse is halfway through and that is what I thought when Lewis cut off Nico, leading me to the conclusion that Lewis lacks class. Felipe has been Lewis' nemesis for years previous to Nico's rise to prominence.

  21. Just putting out there:, everyone thought the idea of crashing a car intentionally was ridiculous too....

  22. Driver of the day : Jean Alesi ! PR Master, nobody answered any of his awkward questions...
    RIC pass on VET was great, so good to see some 4xWC feathers ruffled that way, team mate war boiling over there too...
    Move on radio com' needed asap, shut the whole thing down, pit board is sufficient and will show the brainy one's.

  23. Some used to call it a "brilliant tactical drive"


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