RATE THE RACE POLL RESULT: MEXICAN GP 2015

The inaugural Mexican Grand Prix had all the promise of an excellent race, with recently crowned champion Hamilton starting behind his team-mate. Could he mount a challenge? We’ve already heard the Judge’s view (http://thejudge13.com/2015/11/02/mercedes-cost-hamilton-a-better-shot-at-the-mexico-race-win/) , but here’s a (slightly) different take…

2015 – TJ13 reader score – 4.7

The two Mercedes traded fast laptimes at the front of the field and utterly dominated. Rosberg was able to keep Lewis pegged just out of the DRS zone until the first (and only planned) pitstop and had good pace on his new tyres to prevent Lewis from emerging ahead. On the same strategy, Lewis looked powerless to make any inroads and a processional drive to the flag was in store.

That was until the Mercedes strategists on the pit wall intervened. With concerns over tyre life towards the end of the race and with such a dominant margin over the rest of the field, the team enforced a second pitstop on both their drivers. Rosberg dived to the pits and they ordered Lewis to follow suit, but smelling an opportunity to best his team-mate he ignored the order and stayed out. After a heated conversation on the team radio, he pitted on the next lap but was clearly underwhelmed by the decision. He emerged behind Rosberg and the status-quo was resumed.

vettelwallmexico

That would have been an acceptable outcome for the team that could easily be smoothed over, but only a few laps later Sebastian Vettel’s bizarre spin into the barriers and resulting safety car changed everything. If Lewis had been allowed to stay out he would have been able to take a free pitstop. His six-lap fresher tyres might have given him enough of an edge to at least challenge Rosberg.

That seems to be unfair and has led many to cry foul, but don’t forget this situation was created artificially. Nico Rosberg did not want to pit either, but the team phrased the order on safety grounds and so duly obliged. If they hadn’t enforced the stops previously, they would likely have stacked the two cars in the pits when the safety car emerged, which might actually have cost Lewis more time and the situation would have been the same regardless.

The famous Mercedes’ “rules of engagement” policy does tend to produce dull races. Once a stalemate on track has broken out, there is no scope for either driver to change strategy to attempt to gain an advantage. This is fine when they are the dominant team, but this policy will hurt them more when Ferrari get closer and start to regularly challenge for victories (remember Malaysia?). The team made absolutely the right strategy calls to protect their interests, but continue to rob us of any thrilling climaxes to otherwise dull races.

Driver of the Weekend – Nico Rosberg – 31%

The simple fact is that Nico Rosberg was the dominant force over Lewis Hamilton this weekend and thus rightly takes the victory in your vote. It was a fantastic way for the German to signal his intent to keep on fighting after the disappointment of Austin. Anyway… You can’t look sad in a Sombrero!

rosberg mexico

Bottas was also worth a mention with a fine, yet eventful, third place. The safety car brought him back into contention to challenge Daniil Kvyat (who has definitely had the measure of his honey-badger team mate recently). The Williams, with the superior top speed of his Mercedes donkey, effortlessly breezed past.

The same could not be said for his pass on Kimi Raikkonen though! Bottas put himself in an excellent position, challenging around the outside of the left hander to gain track position for the coming right, but Kimi has decided he likes the taste of carbon fibre and turned in on him. Kimi was taken out on the spot but Bottas cruised on like nothing had happened. I’m sure a wry smile came across the face of a number of people at Williams on that one.

bottas raikkonen

And Finally… Catman’s team member of the Weekend – a one off award to the person who designed and built Valterri’s super strong left front suspension. Whoever you are, you deserve a medal. How that car made it to the finish I will never know. Congratulations!

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19 responses to “RATE THE RACE POLL RESULT: MEXICAN GP 2015

  1. It was great to see Bottas survive that clash. What’s the betting Sir Frank halls someone over the coals for making the front suspension too strong? If it can survive that much of an impact the front suspension is too strong and thus too heavy! 🙂
    Was great to see Bottas come through the tangle this time.

    • LOL. I was thinking, after the crash, whether Williams would see weight savings on suspension or Ferrari would look at strengthening.. That extra strength got Williams to the podium.

    • Did the suspension take any load?

      My reading of it was that Bottas’ tyre was locked attempting to avoid the crash and Kimi’s rear tyre was still rotating so it in effect ‘climbed’ over the wheel of the Williams. That threw the car up in to the air and it didn’t survive the landing.

      The only part that took any extra load was the wheel rim itself…

      • I would agree Raikkonens tire climbed Bottas, but it took a pretty good shot before Kimi started to climb, I think his suspension broke then. I’ve got it recorded so I will take a look.

  2. We hear regularly, from King Lewi, that he wants wheel to wheel battles for victory, yet in Mexico he was pissed for not being allowed to beat Rosberg by doing one less stop. He came out of the pits on Rosbergs tail, it was his opportunity for the glorious battle, with nothing to lose. The safety car bunched them, both with similar tire wear. He either couldn’t catch Rosberg or didn’t try. Where was King Lewis the Racer we’ve heard so much about?
    This latest Tilkedom may provide better racing once we have engine parity, but we can’t count on it, a good Tilke design would be unusual. The crowd looked/sounded amazing, top speed was interesting (Indycar speed), the race, however, was boring.

    • Where was Lewis? Good question.

      Given he’d “never, ever do what Schumacher would do”, and wins on “his own ability”, maybe he could’ve brought the fight to Nico on a slippery track utilising said fabled race abilities.

      There’s no title pressure, like there was at Suzuka ’90, or Adelaide ’94, or Jerez ’97. You’d think that’d result in more of a fight, not less. Guess the guys are just better nowadays…

      Oh well. Thrown stones can be thrown back.

      • I can see your still “suffering in you jook”…..😜😜😜

        “I don’t want 7 titles, that’s for Michael he’s a legend and given all that he has done and been through, he and his family deserves that…..” 😉😉😉

      • Don’t be such a fanboi. Schumacher isn’t holy 😂 hahah. Volley and serve. Matchpoint. Advantage bruznic.

        • Hey, mate, get your catchers mitt… some home truths coming your way.

          I (and other none affiliated fans) have got to see the Verstapo / Borg destroy almost every online poll if ‘Verstappen son of Verstappen’ makes an overtake; I’ve got read the Hamfosi’s incessant rolling thunder and unabated scrawl of bullshit at the very thought of a Stewart, Moss, Hill or Saward impugning the great #Blessed one; and I’ve watched the Vettelians praising the Great Finger as he continues on his method acting mimicry to somehow metamorphose into Schu Mk2.

          But hey, you know, it’s a forum / comments section. We smile, we grin, we bear it. It’s all fun, even when it’s not. Right? Right.

          So, dear friends, as far as I’m concerned, you can hear my one-off fanboistic rhetoric, and grin n’ bear it. For this to be equal – given equality is what a few here are desperate for – I’d have to drive Schumacher-rhetoric down TJ13’s collective throat daily, year-on-year without pause.

          HAM-bone wants to get all meta and suck Senna’s ghost off every other day, or more likely every day that ends in Y. He wants to model himself on Senna, carry his “baton” whilst ignoring his various and most dastardly acts; but then calls Schumacher out implying he didn’t earn titles through “ability” like him, implying dastardly acts are not correct? Or having a dominant car doesn’t count? Or both?

          Rofl, lol, lmao and pmsl all at once.

          Like, say whaaaaaa?

          Yeah…. no. Soz, not soz. Someone like me is not letting something like that pass without getting my pound of meat… and damn, am I hungry.

          I’m a fanboi? You’re dead right… and you all better thank God it’s not the Internet of the 2000’s. Shit got real back then. You ain’t seen fanboi yet.

          So, let’s not be those people who can dish it, but can’t take it. The pain train pulled into the station and it’s called @WTF_F1.

          Choo, Choo! Choo, Choo!

          “Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity…”

          WTF_F1 out.

          *drops mic*

          K.O.

          #TruthBomb
          #FeelingMyFeelings

          • Yeah I’m at work so no comment of that length from me… just funny to get you this edgy. Same way fortis feels when you kick Lewis in the nuts 😂
            It’s all fun and games to me 😉

          • No didn’t think you went to far. Did however Feared you’d be crying… maybe you’re the sensitive fanboi. Who knows…

          • Michael was tough,Michael was ruthless and above all..in my book, head and shoulders above the current batch of highly paid IT managers. Yes the guy has flaws and yes,if he even sniffed an advantage he took it but that’s what gave him the records. In sports cars,HHF was faster in the same car and even then the true champ scored a win over his team mate..just ask the wife 😇 but in an open wheel motor with the older gaurd still lapping the tracks he was walking the ribbon and training like never before,he brought in proper cardiovascular science into a sport that still had heavy smoking and drinking for the stars..Has Lewis,Seb,Button,Alonso ever had this effect of change in our sport? If they all take a good look at their achievements,can they say that they propelled F1 into the modern age?..well Mr Schumacher can and I can’t wait to see his son do the same. On another note….lets forget Ralph 😉

    • @McMaster…

      He kept his distance from Nico, didn’t want a “sudden gust of wind” from Nico’s car causing him to have an accident.

      Come to think of it, it almost did, because right after Nico had his little excursion off track, the same happened to Lewis. I think that was cause by the ‘wind’ coming from Nico’s car causing him to lose downforce.

      #justsaying.

    • In fairness, quite a few of the drivers were limited in how much they could chase/pursue for a few reasons. The 2015 cars are known for being poor at running in turbulent air behind other cars, so if you combine that with the low mechanical grip on offer from the tyres at this particular circuit it’s not too surprising he wasn’t able to do much about it. Similarly, pretty much all the drivers who were having to battle more were suffering from brake overheating issues.

      If you’re aware of all of those problems but see a strategic option to try and win a race, why wouldn’t you go for it? If the car and track characteristics don’t help your cause then you might as well think through your options more and work out alternative strategies.

    • In post-race interviews, Lewis complained that the aero behind Nico made it impossible to get close enough to overtake. Sure the air was thinner in Mexico but can’t he realise that Nico has had the same problem all year?

      I hope that through F1’s reincarnation process (although it’s debatable if Buddha will allow it) the new regulations promote mech grip over aero.

  3. ‘Lewis Hamilton this weekend and thus rightly takes the victory in your vote’… So Lewis should have won all the ones he beat Rosberg and won in?

    Rising briefly out of your own mediocrity just long enough for a commisaratory win against your team mate in an utterly dominant car is not a decent enough reason to win driver of the weekend. On only a few occasions has Lewis deserved it this year, thus it is with Rosberg. Bottas, Kyvat, or Ricciardo… this weekend for me.

  4. Wasn’t really impressed with the circuit, as it was very difficult for any car to follow, so more or less a procession that no one wanted to see. I felt that Mercs didn’t feel the need for their boys to be scraping with each other, in case Lewis got the upper hand, which would have been detrimental for Nico. Would have loved to see the outcome of that race with both one stopping to the end.

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