#F1 Race Review: Putin Propaganda Win as Merc Clinch Constructors

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Mattpt55

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The inaugural running of the Russian GP resembled at times nothing more than a massive political advert for Putin, occasionally interrupted by a race. From the drivers being required to stand to attention after a moment of silence for Bianchi whilst the Russian anthem was played, completely usurping the solemnity of the moment to glam shots of Putin macking on Bernie any pretense that F1 could claim to be “apolitical” were laid bare for the world to see.

Though Sky carried it in full, NBC artfully cut away to glossy pics of Putin in an F1 car and chumming about with Ecclestone during the playing of the anthem prior to the formation lap.

Prophetically asked at the post Quali interview how this race would not be boring like Valencia, Hamilton compared the two circuits and promised it had a better chance of not being a sleeper. Sadly, Rosberg’s lockup into T1 spoiled any chance of a long fight at the front and after a few good laps of sorting out the race settled down into the sort of grim affair that adequately reflected the concrete vistas that surrounded the Olympic park.  Rosberg redeemed himself by strapping on a pair of his magic tyres at the end of lap 1 and making them last all the way to P2 at the end of the race clinching the World Constructor’s Championship for Mercedes with his recovery drive.  Despite Lowe’s claiming of full credit, the pundits were not swayed and talked about how the car was really a second win for Brawn. One of the few interesting facts to come out was the fact that Benz (no Merc at the time) had actually one a pair of Russian GP’s in 1913 and 1914, effectively making today’s win a Hundred Year Hat Trick. Hamilton also tied Mansell for wins today.

Hamilton extended his lead to 17 points over Rosberg whilst McLaren came good with 4th and 5th (Button and Magnussen respectively) swinging the pendulum massively and permanently in their favor in their Constructor’s battle with Force India. Mallya once more reaping the bitter harvest of yet again failing to invest in development, much to the chagrin of the team no doubt.

Williams claimed another podium for Bottas, though the performance difference to Mercedes became brutally apparent throughout the race, though at a circuit with more degradation the story might have ended differently. Chilton and Kobayashi retired, with Kamui being the big mystery of the race as he reported no issues with the car and the team told him nothing about what the suspected problem might be. Speculation was that they were just trying to save on cost since Caterham do run the Renault engine and the mileage was likely to be high on that PU. Despite Sutil’s vain attempt, spinning after contact with Grosjean, surprisingly the Safety Car was not deployed, ensuring a one stopper for all but a few. Alonso’s pit stop was a potential disaster, with the front jack man stepping back in front of his car as he departed the box. The stop had already gone long and fortunately in his mind, no doubt the damage was done, leading to a lackadaisical launch which gave him time to maneuver round the errant mechanic.

 

Prelude

Blue skies and sunny temperatures greeted the grid as they assembled for a moment of silence in honour of Bianchi. Then they stayed put as the crushing chorus of the Russian anthem reverberated through the concrete canyons, the requirement being a new one as far as any of the pundits could remember. It will be interesting to see if the same is required as the Circus moves round the rest of the world.

 

Act I

The long run to T1 no doubt loomed large in Lewis’ mind as the lights took an eternity to go red. With a spry Williams directly behind and Rosberg talking up his recent spate of good starts at the presser yesterday the start promised the only guaranteed excitement of the whole race in the minds of many. And it did not fail to disappoint as by the entry of T1 Rosberg had caught up Hamilton and taken the inside line. Unfortunately, the only way he managed to get there was by carrying far too much speed into the braking zone as his epic lockup confirmed. Sliding right across the apex and off the track into the voluminous runoff, directly in front of his bemused colleague, Rosberg kept his foot in it and carried on, emerging in front of Hamilton.

Immediately, the team was on the radio to tell him to give the place back as he had gained an undeniable advantage, but Nico returned the grim news that his tyres were gone and with a massive vibration he would need to box and take on new tyres. Responding to the situation Merc threw on a pair of magic mediums and sent Rosberg back out to gamble on a 51 lap stint to repair his race, emerging P20 on lap 2.

Further back, Bottas was forced to fend off pressure from behind before settling in to second where he would shadow Lewis very effectively through the whole early part of the race. Starts will no doubt be looked at by Williams as an area in which they can make some progress prior to season’s end. Liberal use of the runoffs throughout the first lap saw Kvyat being the biggest loser (outside Rosberg) and Vergne the biggest winner, vaulting through the chaos to take his teammates P5 as he slipped back to P9. Back in the pack, Perez settled in for a nice long stint on the mediums as he was the first of the runners to try that strategy from P12. Hulkenberg, Sutil, Massa, Kobayashi, Chilton and Maldonado all were on a similar strategy. Not for long as Massa boxed at the end of the first lap as well, and would proceed to shadow Rosberg through the field until he hit the unyielding wall of Perez late in the race.

The early laps featured few surprises, the best of which for connoisseurs was Vettel getting himself ahead of Ricciardo on the new tyres he was allowed starting from P11. With no love lost between the team and him and certain to get the short end of the strategy stick, Vettel stretched the track limits to their very definitions in order to keep himself ahead of the Colgate Kid, effectively spoiling his race. This led to a rare instance of Ricciardo radioing the team to complain about losing time behind Sebastian, but no further word was heard until the team undercut Vettel, giving Ricciardo the position by default when they brought Seb in much later. Further ahead, by lap 3 Magnussen was nipping at the heels of Vergne and they displayed some very mature driving by going side by side several times before the brutal might of the Mercedes engine made itself known, leaving Vergne to slide back into Vettel’s clutches.

By lap 5 Vergne was down into 8th, more typical Toro Rosso territory but P5-10 continued to hover in DRS range, promising some action to come. At the back, Rosberg and Massa continued to thread their way through the field and Nico clearly relished the engineering challenge of running his car fast, but in a way that would deliver him to the end with fuel and tyres left.

Alonso tiptoed up to Button, who being told of the Spaniards silent approach informed his engineer not to give him the gap, thanks very much. Despite getting close for a moment by lap 10 Button was pulling a gap and Rosberg was closing in on Grosjean on P14 with Massa tailing behind him. At the front Bottas held onto a 3 second gap to Lewis, creating a shred of hope that some racing might occur at the front after Rosberg took himself out. Grizzled veterans of F1 started using words like “old school” meaning little overtaking except perhaps by strategy, and, for lack of a better word, boring.

Chilton became the first retirement on lap 11, thoughtlessly coming into the garage before the car stopped, leaving Maylander napping in his Merc. Kobayashi and his mysterious ailment followed along shortly, closing out the most likely of the reliability safety car options. Ricciardo pitted lap 12 as he was unable to find a way past Seb and emerged in P18, not his ideal strategy by a long shot. The Williams was slipping back a bit from Hamilton, but the pair had put nearly 15 seconds into Button, demonstrating starkly the performance differences between the technology Williams received compared to that of the McLaren.

Rosberg and Massa continued to creep up the field, with Massa completing his pass on Hulkenberg for 13th as lap 15 swung into view with Rosberg running in 12th. Kvyat began to look a bit racy on Raikkonen who had once again subsided into anonymity and the Mercedes-Williams pair continued to tick off the places as the rest of the race settled into a status quo, awaiting the Safety Car or the pit window, whichever came first. Coming onto lap 20 Rosberg got the warning to pick it up in order to clear Button’s pit window as he found the gearbox of Perez and the first of the championship points on offer. Hamilton swanned about 44 seconds up the road, nary a care in the world as Bottas was dropping off considerably as his rear tyres began to suffer the extra laps he put on them in qualifying.

Approaching the pit window Hamilton told the engineers his balance was good and tyres were fine. Rosberg, having just cleared Perez, began to sound ominous about his tyres making it all the way.

Act II

Pit stops began in earnest lap 25 with Alonso stealing the show. Coming in, there was a problem with the front jack, a problem getting the left front off and then, just as he was leaving, crossed signals saw the front jack man step in front of the suddenly moving Ferrari. Alonso, having already consigned this race to the bin, was in no hurry to leave and expertly maneuvered round the errant mechanic. With the special 60kph speed limit, stops were an excruciating delta of 30 seconds and it was agonizing to see the cars hurtle past as Alonso chortled along in the slow lane. Desperate for excitement the stop was replayed as the grid reshuffled through the pits and Rosberg turned it up, finally driving into clear air as runners in front took on new tyres. By lap 27, when Lewis came in for his Mediums, Nico had ascended to P5 and Bottas, having stayed out late waiting for a Safety Car emerged behind a yet to stop Vettel who was temporarily running in P2.

A clean stop for Lewis saw him back out in the lead as Massa was forced in for the second time, his tyres unable to cope with the massive overtaking required due to his starting track position. For a moment, Sutil gave everyone a moment’s hope as a spin after contact with Grosjean looked likely to wake Bernd up, but he kept it out of the wall and got going again with little drama. It was to be the last point where the race might have actually gotten mixed up as clean driving and most teams being on the other side of their reliability issues meant that the rest of the runners would make it to the checkers.

Still there was some overtaking left so Vettel came in on lap 31, leaving Rosberg to make a dominating pass on Bottas into T2, effectively claiming P2 about 20 seconds back of his teammate.

Gutierrez astonished in P9, still running on his original tyres and would go on to run them all the way to lap 39 before coming in. The stewards, desperate for something to do, paused from chewing on the scenery long enough to issue a 5 second stop and go and 2 point to Grosjean for what was clearly a racing incident. They then went back to howling at the moon and gibbering at each other.

Ominously for Bottas, who was promised degradation, Rosberg radioed that his tyres were coming back, likely due to running in clear air and not being required to overtake.  Then the fuel warnings began, mostly for Kvyat, but also for Sebastian who was told to obey his car’s beeping, the new radio regulations having reduced the formerly technical discourse of the radio to new lows of absurdity.

Massa, having found the back of Perez on the other side of his pit stop, trailed him through traffic, first a neat double pass on Kvyat, then, a few laps later, separately on Vergne. Hulkenberg shadowed the both of them, but got caught up in battling Kvyat. They traded places for a lap or two before Hulkenberg finally got it sorted and made it stick on lap 37, the Russian’s fuel critical status prohibiting further dueling. Perez too was being constantly warned on fuel and both Force Indias were concerned about making the post-race requirement of 1 litre of fuel for samples.

Ecclestone-Putin-2010

Lap 39 featured the non-racing highlight of Putin, dressed identically to Bernie, turning to Ecclestone and jamming his tongue deeply into Bernie’s mouth, the two gnawing passionately on each other as those seated around them pretended that this wasn’t going on. Actually, it was a typical Euro peck on the cheek, but one could hope for a moment as only flights of fancy were going to give anyone a reason to pay any attention to the race.  Basically, the race was over by all intents and purposes by lap 40, with the only real drama the decision to keep Rosberg out or pit and let him charge. That didn’t take long and Nico stayed out to cross the line second, after Hamilton, with Bottas yo-yoing about 5 seconds behind. Button and Magnussen yawned their way home in 4th and 5th, with Alonso unlikely to have kept Magnussen at bay even with a decent pit stop, finishing 6th for a change of pace. Ricciardo, Vettel, Raikkonen and Perez rounded out the top 10.

With his win, Hamilton equaled Nigel Mansell’s record of 31 victories, kicking off a deep and abiding round of who’s better that will last at least the 3 weeks until the next race at COTA. He also extended his lead over his teammate to 17 points, just eking beyond needing a victory in the closer with it’s the double points looming large. Rosberg, apologizing for his first lap mistake, redeemed himself with his 51 lap stint and helped clinch the Constructors for Mercedes.  McLaren took the lead from Force India in the Constructor’s and it was their best finish in quite some time, perhaps a glimmer of hope as Honda looms on the horizon.

 

Podium, 53 Laps, Russian GP Result

# Driver Ctry Team
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams
4 Jenson Button McLaren
5 Kevin Magnussen Mclaren
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
8 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
9 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
10 Sergio Perez Force India
11 Felipe Massa Williams
12 Nico Hulkenburg Force India
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
14 Daniil Kyvat Toro Rosso
15 Esteban Guiterrez Sauber
16 Adrian Sutil Sauber
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus
19 Marcus Ericsson Caterham
20 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham
21 Max Chilton Marussia

 

2014 Drivers' Championship Russia

2014 Constructors' Championship Russia

85 responses to “#F1 Race Review: Putin Propaganda Win as Merc Clinch Constructors

  1. Most of the intro comments spot on, Matt. I said it elsewhere, but it’s worth repeating here, too:
    The race was an appalling “Russia über alles” documentary, including a big, firm and concrete penis waving at F1 fans lap in, lap out. And the pre-race driver’s proceedings resembled a practice of formation in front of a firing squad. Unbelievable…

    Bernard and FOM have sunk to a new low. The close-ups of a certified briber chumming up to a plane bomber were stomach turning. Now I’m patiently waiting for a brand new Damascus GP or mayhaps a GP of Aleppo (you know, as a unity symbol Syria)? I hear Bashar al-Assad is in dire need of FOM coverage..

    “Hamilton extended his lead to 17 points over Rosberg whilst McLaren came good with 4th and 5th (Button and Magnussen respectively) swinging the pendulum massively and permanently in their favor in their Constructor’s battle with Force India.”

    I loved to follow the progress of this tortoise race. McLaren won simply because FI shrank and retreated into their shell..

  2. Damn matt. How on earth could you write a piece this long on that race. My utmost respect!

    • Having stayed awake throughout deserves some recognition, too.

      The photo of the two shortarse megalomaniacs is a bit stomach churning.

      • @bruznic errm thanks for the compiment? I think? LOL

        @Nigel, one pot brewed coffee plus home made scones spiced with a dash of righteous indignation seemed to do the trick. I did start typing Status quo pretty early in my notes. Plus I wrote the Bernie and Vlad love story.Or is it Vlad and Bernie? Still trying to make up my mind.

  3. “Despite Sutil’s vain attempt, spinning after contact with Grosjean”

    Is it me, or was it egregious double-standards on display? To me, (1) K Man on Bottas in Monza, (2) Rosberg on Bottas in Sochi and (3) Grosjean on Sutil in Sochi were sensibly similar racing incidents. In each case you have two cars going almost side-by-side into a chicane, and at one point contact being (almost) made. In each case the car on the outside when entering the chicane either was pushed (or, in other terms, had to back off and cut the chicane) or insisted and contact was made (Sutil).

    Now for the life of me, why do K Man and RoGro get a 5sec slap, while Britney (and Button in Monza) get away without even an investigation? Am I reading wrongly into these incidents?

      • This eerily recalls me:
        – Vettel’s pass on Alonso in Silverstone 2014, going off track limits with the white-haired idiot imposing “no tolerance” policies, vs
        – Grosjean’s beautiful pass in Hungary 2013, going slightly off track limits but still in a period of no idiotic “no tolerance” policies, and with the stewards cockily declaring that their “hands were tied”

        Brutal..

    • I could not believe they gave RoGro 2 points, for what?
      There is no consistency in these rulings.

  4. Boring race and the usual shafting of Seb by ‘strategy’. No wonder he’s leaving. It’s the first dirty blot on RIC’s white vest too. Demanding team orders and two laps later Seb has shaken him out of the DRS range. Poor show, Dan. Vettel runs more than twice as long on the soft tires to be ‘put back’ but emerges only seven seconds behind RIC and over the next 25 laps Seb actually gains time. He was shafted plain and simple. They were equal at best, yet Seb started 4 places behind and still wound up right on Danny’s heel’s. Thrashinbg my arse. This was a very thinly veiled team order by ‘strategy’. Classless of Red Bull to butt-eff the driver who delivered 4 titles and the first wins for both their teams. Just a bunch of Mercenaries.

  5. “The inaugural running of the Russian GP resembled at times nothing more than a massive political advert for Putin,”

    Or the start of a NASCAR race.

    I recorded the race from the BBC and while I fast-forwarded through most of it – didn’t see it as a “massive political advert for Putin,” – I saw it for what it was – one of the most boring races I think I’ve ever seen in F1. On a par with Caesar’s Palace.

    • “Or the start of a NASCAR race”

      NASCAR is primarily a US domestic series with near every race in the USA.

      The F1 world championship is an international category and as such the FiA prohibits the overt use of GP’s as political tools, ala Istanbul 2006.

      Apples and Oranges Mr Cav.

      Bit strange I have to explain that to you…

      • Euhm no. There is an European na scar series. A belgian driver won it this year and gets a tickets to drive in USA by doing so.

        • Really? You really think Cav was referring to the Euro racing series that morphed into Euro NASCAR around 2012 and was not indeed referencing (and comparing) the actual US NASCAR series?

          Ok then… Lol. 🙂

      • “The F1 world championship is an international category international and as such the FiA prohibits the overt use of GP’s as political tools” ”

        Bruce – sounds like you’re still working on your Boy Scout merit badge for naivete . FIFA, the IOC and virtually every other sporting body all make the same claim – none of which is ever adhered to.

      • @sis

        I would expect this rubbish from a jingoistic American, or they get a ‘visit’. But IIRC you’re an Aussie. Drongo has a nice ring to it. The Anthem thing, is being done at every GP from now on. You’re views of Russia and geopolitics are misinformed at the least. Get real, and see what is really happening in the world. Not the establishment view that’s offered in the normal media. I recall your rant about gay issues. So this link to a left wing UK newspaper article might enlighten. http://tinyurl.com/ndepptb. The other links at the bottom, will probably make you want to nuke Africa and the Caribbean.

        http://tinyurl.com/lr7t2nv http://tinyurl.com/qx6sorb

        • don’t feed the troll. sis isn’t about geopolitics, or hamilton or even f1. he’s an attention whore, and that’s all.

          • I’m so high IQ that you can not possible understand, kind regards, SIS

            I liked the article he wrote and I’m looking fwd to his musings about Kimi, but his comments are pure trolling, guess he has nothing better to do, like me.

        • I re read this comment again lain. I think you’ve reply’d incorrectly to the wrong person. I’ve not spoken of anthem issues either… I don’t know what you are talking about? Was this a reply to the first post from Landroni?

    • my thoughts exactly. what an ugly, stupid so-called race track. the amateur SCCA runoffs have been vastly superior…

      • True Anil… Todt apparently saw this and reacted to clarify immediately…

        Speaking during a stopover on his return from Russia, Todt told AUTOSPORT: “When a guy is fighting for his life, it is so sad that people can suggest something like this.

        “Before the race I had walked from the back of the grid and had already greeted a number of drivers.

        “I had hugged Alonso shortly before they lined up, so there was no need to shake his hand.

        “I have never been so close to Fernando as in this moment, as we think of our friend in hospital.”

        Sh|t stirrers like Mule feed of this accidental stuff… Shame.

        #ForzaJules

        • “Sh!t stirrers” – what do I have to gain from posting that? If I had known then I would not have posted it. But I guess that also makes you a sh!t stirrer since you rather flatteringly proceeded to try and provide a reason as to why he did that in your reply above….

          Thanks for trying to help though SISsy baby 🙂

          • Just sad to see you try to take advantage of a situation where the drivers were putting Bianchi front and center with the president…

            But I suppose we can’t expect much more…

            Oh well.

  6. Is Fred staying and Ferrari planning on running three cars…. maybe they got a heads up…

  7. Anyone have any idea why Button was so downbeat during both his post-quali and post-race interviews (on BBC). Contract related?

  8. “Responding to the situation Merc threw on a pair of magic mediums and sent Rosberg back out to gamble on a 51 lap stint to repair his race”

    Well, to be fair, Britney kept babbling about going “creative” in Sochi. Creative he went!

    • yeah, its Macca. Seb to Ferrari with Kimi, Alonso to McLaren with Magnussen, job done. Now its just whos making up numbers in the cheap seats.

      • No. Romain to mclaren. Since he has total backing and lotus has to put Petronas on their car due to their new Mercedes engines.

      • Ted Kravitz mentioned something in his Race Notebook today where he quoted Alonso saying that “What he can say is that he will not powered by a Mercedes engine next year”.

        This is what TK says that Alonso told journalists in his interview… Unless he is fooling us all, it seems that he will be driving for McLaren-Honda next year then.

  9. Well, I guess Rosberg tried and failed to make a move stick, again. Again we will hear that it was Hamilton’s fault and Mercedes fixing the result.

    There was nothing to watch in the race strictly speaking. Rosberg destroyed his tyres and that sort of killed the race at the front. His stint on the medium tyres was superb and I guess that deserves the label of creative. 50 laps on the same set, I think the last time someone did that was Vettel in Monaco back in 2011.

    Anyway, Hamilton kept his head and just got the win, I am glad enough he is just carrying on with his winning run.

  10. Mother Russia was in all her glory this morning, well it was morning here in Michigan anyway, as Vlad the man put on a public display of narcissism worthy of Emperor Caligula.

    There actually was a race, if you can call it that, the highlight of which took place on the opening lap when ‘Cerebro’ uncharacteristically (cough, cough) committed an error resulting in him flat spotting his tires. This unfortunate set of circumstances facilitated ‘creative’ license heretofore unseen in the annals of F1. From lap 2 forward ‘Cerebro’ was able to display his mental superiority to miraculously finish 2nd on the podium.

    One other development of note in the race result was McLaren drivers finishing 4th and 5th respectively. Is this finish a result of the engineers developing the car or of the drivers feeling ‘motivated’ to perform. I’m not quite sure which. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.

    I also noticed the drivers, all of them, seem to be subdued or restrained even. It was like they all were walking on eggshells, careful not to ………..i don’t know, but they all seem to be extra careful about something.

  11. Apart from the ‘lovely’ embrace between Putin and Bernie there was another moment after the race which was to say the least a bit stomach churning.
    Helmut Marko was chatting to Suzi Perry who was looking really uncomfortable and then Niki Lauda joins to chime in. Suzi turns around to leave and Dr Helmut looks downwards enjoying a view of her derriere. I’m pretty certain there was a bit of chat there full of sexual innuendo possibly with Perry feeling a bit uncomfortable at the chat of the two elder men. Just my impression really.

  12. I got the impression that Bottas might have had a chance of second place had he pitted before his options started to fall off.
    The team kept him out way too late on the options, which cost him maybe 10-15 sec, and the chance to switch on his primes (something that he said after the race took up to 10 laps) before Rosberg came up on him.

    Hindsight, I know, but anyone agree ?

    • Bottas and Vettel both lost massively by being left out to run until they must have chewed through the tyres. In Vettel’s case it’s clear what the intention was (getting RIC past him), but why Williams left Bottas out is a miracle. By then they should have known that they’d easily make it to the end on primes and Rosberg wasn’t exactly slow on a set that had half a race on them by then already.

      • OK Hippo, I go with the tinfoil crowd, which I’m so proudly with according to landroni, not to mention I’m a terrist according to SIS.
        Bottas was not allowed to spoil Mercedes party in front of Putin, bad form you know.
        So now you know.

        • Bottas was just poor decision making on Williams behalf, probably too pessimistic as to how long the primes would last or too optimistic as to how long the options would last.

          In Vettel’s case I’m quite sure that was a deliberate shaft. I’ve rarely seen Vettel pissed off, but immediately after the race he … spoke…in…very… short…clipped…sentences during the RTL interview, which is usually the first one he does if he’s not on the podium

        • “Bottas was not allowed to spoil Mercedes party in front of Putin”

          Yeah, my thoughts, too. Race in race out the Williams boys are so very accommodating to a hustling by Merc. Bottas didn’t even put in a fight with Cerebro. Either Merc’s advantage is insanely bigger even compared to Williams, or Williams has an STR-role wrt to daddy Merc.

    • The non-tinfoil hat version was Safety Car, which, if you watched yesterdays GP2 race seemed rather inevitable and was mentioned as curious pundits watched Valterri’s race go downhill.

  13. PIRELLI

    So Pirelli went ultra conservative, and we had a race, just like the ‘good old days’. Over the last few years, Pirelli received a vast amount of unwarranted criticism for supplying limited life tyres’. Anybody want a season long set of races like today? Not me!

    • The culprit here wasn’t Pirelli. We have vast differences between engines, so everybody not bein Merc powered is immediately relegated to also-ran if the tyres don’t artificially shake up the order. The way to correct that is not a return to Pirelli comedy tyres. What we need is unfreezing the engine development so we’ll have more than one competitive engine. Unfortunately Merc is going to block that until people get so sick of them winning that they’ll lash out against them like they did against RB in recent years. Only when their success turns into negative PR Mercedes will back off.

      • Hold on a second, how can Merc be the culprit for building a far superior car than anyone else? Was it there decision to implement the engine freeze for this season?

        Let’s not play that card, because when RB were winning all their titles, the Merc engines were still far superior than the Renault’s and they screamed and shout until they were given permission to develop their engine

        What was it that Seb said last year about working while others dipped their balls in the swimming pool…

        Question….

        If the RB had the dominat engine, would your stance still be the same?

        • Hippo’s point is that we have boring season and races because of the frozen engine development. In the past, engine manufacturers could engage in an arms race and bring serious updates in mid-season. This is out of question right now. Of course, it’s quite possible that some engine manufacturers wouldn’t be able to respond to the Mercedes success, but still right now the non-Mercedes powered teams are racing with one hand tied behind their backs.

          • Interesting comment about “one hand”. What was Rosberg doing with one hand on the wheel as he passed Hamilton flat out? Looked like he was messing with his seatbelt with his left hand.

          • Engine regs were also frozen in the past, hence my comment about RB screaming for engine parity.

            But like I ssid, that’s not Mercedes’s fault, they all started with a clean slate and they did a better job, blame the FIA for the engine freeze. But if you were in Mercedes’s position, would you be so willing to agree to lifting the freeze?

    • LOL, been gone all day, but at one point in my race notes I actually wrote “this race needs refuelling”. The only thing that might’ve helped

  14. @TJ13 Ricciardo I believe has had a similar incident and I recall seeing (though not sure if I commented) Hamilton have one or two as well. Looking down @ wheel, fiddling with stuff highly distracting even in a straight line.

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