Brought to you be TJ13 contributor @F1TheaJ
Mean Reader Score: 7.10
Not surprisingly, this year’s reader score was way higher than the score for the equivalent race from last year (4.42.) By this time last year both the Constructor and Driver championships had been settled. Mercedes had run away with the former and Lewis Hamilton had taken his third WDC and gone off partying elsewhere (although his body did turn up for the race.)
Not so this year: there was still a Driver Championship to be settled. Would it be WDC4 for Lewis or WDC1 for Nico?
Verstappen initially put himself out of the running by colliding with Hulkenberg. Even so, by L20 (due to most others having pitted for fresh tyres) Verstappen had made it back to P2 but Rosberg made a dramatic overtake and snatched it from him.
The best, however, was saved to last: Having fresh supersofts, Vetel charged through the field, overtaking Raikonnen, Riccardo and Verstappen to take P3 and was described by Mercedes as ‘an imminent threat’. With a couple of laps to go Rosberg, defended P2 bravely: so much so that his team reminded him that he only needed to come home 3rd to clinch the WDC.
Hamilton, however was running very slowly and the podium finishers all crossed the line within a second of each other, with Hamilton winning the race, Rosberg the championship and Vettel F1 Driver of the day.
Driver of the weekend: Lewis Hamilton: 27.47% of reader vote
Controversy is never far from Hamilton! Heading the leader boards in FP1 and FP2, he seemed on good form to take the win on this last race of the season. How would he do it and more importantly, could he also clinch his 4th WDC? He drove very slowly this race. Not quite slowly enough in some parts, but too slowly in others….
It was not that he backed up the pack that was controversial, but more the way he did it and more specifically WHEN he did it that ruffled his team’s feathers. We all know that if Hamilton won the race then Rosberg had to come P4 or lower for Hamilton to get the WDC as well.
To cut a long story short, Hamilton waited until all the pitstops had been completed (no undercutting the lead away from him) before he really started dawdling at the front. He ignored several messages from the team to get a move on (otherwise the charging Vettle might win the race) but managed to win the race by a narrow margin, loosing the WDC but winning our Driver of the Weekend in he process.
Could his radio message of ‘Right now I’m losing the world championship whether I win or lose this race’ out sell Kimi’s ‘Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing’ if tee shirts were printed?
Should Hamilton be disciplined for insubordination? Please vote and leave your comments below.