July 3, 2016

Mercedes cat fight could be great news for fans

Let's get something out of the way:  the last lap collision between Hamilton and Rosberg was in no way an "accident".

Could Lewis had given more room? Of course
It's clear to everyone Rosberg's intention was to force his teammate off the track on that, the final overtaking opportunity on the final lap of the Austrian Grand Prix   Lewis choose not to go on the paved runoff and they hit.  

It was a desperate move by the German who had, up to that point, had a great recovery race, stating sixth on the grid and nursing a car damaged by Vettel's exploding Pirelli.

but both drivers knew there was a yellow in Sect2
Given the earlier radio complaint from Hamilton about the tire strategy the team had chosen for his final stint and the radio message from the pits after the flag,  t's clear the team expected  Lewis not to attack.   It's not hard to imagine Mercedes would be all about a safe Mercedes 1-2 while we know for sure Hamilton is all about Hamilton.  

For his part,  Rosberg has to ask himself why he did not play the long game: headlines aside,  P2 from P6 is not terrible for the championship and there would have been no shame in losing a position with a damaged car.    Overall, Nico drove the better race  but made the terrible  mistake of thinking Lewis would accept a second place as German has done for the team in the past, on more than one occasion.

What would reactions be had the roles been reversed?    Interesting question, I guess it depends who's commenting.

"the Colombian doing such a good job of blocking the racing line as he is perfectly entitled to do"

In any case, with 12 races left to go, the intra team cat fight can only be good news for fans if Mercedes allows it to continue.   Which they won't.   They will side with Hamilton as they did after Spa 2014.   It's the easiest move for them as Rosberg has little leverage politically.

Now winners and losers.

Winners:  Verstappen, Wehrlein, Raikkonen, Button (who must have had a relative in the broadcast control booth today!). Red Bull, Manor

Verstappen, he crushed Ricciardo today.  Wehrlein matches Jules Bianchi's achievement,  scoring points with the crappiest car on the grid.  A solid race from Kimi,  Button continues his domination of Fernando "the best driver on the grid" Alonso.

Losers:  Hulkenberg,  Ricciardo, Kwiat, Pirelli, Williams, Force India.

Another tough break for Vettel with that less than perfect tire from Pirelli.

Silverstone just one week away,  pass the popcorn!

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