Last race performed at Abu Dhabi confirmed Nico Rosberg is in a great shape and Mercedes is capable to do whatever it likes but without too many distractions. Ferrari is becoming clearly the second most competitive team of Formula 1 Circus.
In fact, Kimi Raikkonen was third getting a nice podium after a season with some bad days but at 20 seconds from the Mercedes. There is a doubt about Sebastian Vettel and what he was able to do if there was not a problem during his qualifying even if it is clear any race is not done by a “if”. His fourth place is pretty good keeping in mind he started from a 15th place on the start-line.
Race start has been quite busy with Nasr who hit Vettel and finally he pushed Alonso during first turn with the Spanish pilot unable to avoid to finish against Maldonado who was before the Ferrari driven by Vettel. After nothing important happened and things went pretty fair. First pit-stop were advanced just by those who started with Pirelli super-soft and cleared track to Ferrari’s driver Sebastian allowing him to show all improvements of his car. It looks this is scaring a little bit Mercedes who fired a bullet against Ferrari asking FIA some clarity about the red team wind tunnel. FIA investigated and they did not discover nothing illegal.
Mercedes dominated this Grand Prix but without being able to relax too much. Lewis Hamilton was allowed to be free to choose his strategy and he was let free to carry on when Nico Rosberg stopped to do a second pit-stop at 31 lap. Final consequence, it was Hamilton started to accumulate a big delay when his tires started to decrease their performance while it was too early to use super-soft. There were still 14 laps to go and it was possible to use super-soft only from lap number 8. So far, we have seen Mercedes is not like Ferrari when they have to manage their tires and if Hamilton was going to carry-on when Rosberg overtook him leading the final stage of race, he might be possible Raikkonen was going to beat him too. So Hamilton’s engineers decided to call him in and change quickly his tires and terminate safely the Grand Prix. At the end, his alternative “tactic” forced him to finish at 8 seconds from Rosberg. This is a proof that a different strategy from the ideal one it is not automatically going to be successful: it is like to play at the roulette.
Romain Grosejan is another one who managed pretty well his race using super-soft during final stint and achieving a nice 9th place. Before the French, there was a Felipe Massa using his Williams to the top and getting a nice final result. His team-mate Bottas could not get to the same performance.
Internal fight between Red Bull and Toro Rosso , this time gave a good result to our Daniel. He got a good 6th place while Kvyat finished 10th after experiencing some technical problem with his ERS. Carlos Sainz finished behind the Russian but constantly competitive and at just 6 seconds from Massa: this time without having any technical problems.
Max Verstappen was criticized because he was too aggressive. Nice the fight with Button but he was not fair when he crossed over the board of track and he did not give his position like he did not follow the order given by some clear blue flags. Those mistakes were finally punished with a penalty of 5 seconds and 3 points on his license…
This season finished with another comical radio communication done by Fernando Alonso who said
If safety car is not coming-out, I am going to stop
This was when he was driving in last position and after a stop to change his front wing and to pay a drive-through because race director believed his incident with Pastor Maldonado was his fault. Perhaps, this holiday until next season will help him to accept his mistakes and frustrations.
See you in 2016