Since we last spoke, Nico Rosberg has continued a streak that has seen him take two more wins. He’s becoming the driver with the most wins without a championship. After taking three on the trot this season, and six on the trot overall, it’s hard to see him as anything other than the main threat to Hamilton’s crown. Combining a few errors and bad luck has seen Hamilton barely hold onto second in the drivers championship, under threat from a resurgent Red Bull, and a Ferrari that looks poised to be a real threat.
After three flawless races it seems that Rosberg has taken things to a new level and become someone that looks worthy of a championship. Even if the margins aren’t as large, Rosberg looks like he has taken a page out of Vettel’s book of running away from the beginning. His form looks smooth and controlled, and nothing seems to bother him. With all the chaos at the beginning of the race, he managed to slot in behind Ricciardo and wait for his moment. When the tire burst on the Red Bull, Rosberg calmly inherited the lead and stayed there till the end. I’m very impressed by Nico, and the way the team has supported him.
And when we look at the rest of the field, China had some rude awakenings. Haas for example was not only out of the points, but almost at the back. Faced with higher tire pressures the new US outfit struggled all weekend, with Romain Grosjean even wanting to retire the car at the end of the race instead of seeing the checkered flag. Does this show a big issue for the team going forward? I don’t believe so, but it does show them that they can’t reasonably expect to be competitive everywhere. Combine this with their technical partner not being as much of a threat as predicted and the Ferrari engined cars still look a tad bit off the pace compared to the Mercedes factory cars.
And this is where we get to the rest of the season. Where do you think we will go from here? Is this Rosberg’s year? Is Hamilton actually distracted? Will Ferrari threaten for the title? How many questions will you guys actually read?
I honestly think we are in for another cracker of a season. While we don’t have the multitude of winners from 2012, I think the pack is way closer to each other than in any of the other years in our new Turbo era. And with qualifying back to it’s proper way I can see every weekend from now on being better than ever.