e: enquiries @ wdmc.org.uk
Whickham and District Motor Club Limited

Rosberg's Professional Response

A week after handing team mate Lewis Hamilton a third World Championship with an error in the U.S GP, Nico Rosberg responded superbly and won his first race since the Austrian GP in June. He finally converted a pole position into race victory for the first time since the Spanish GP in May. All of the talk before the race would be the run down to turn one, especially with what happened in America the week before. Everyone was expecting fireworks between the two Mercedes, but this didn"t materialise. Rosberg led from lights out, holding the inside line through the long turn one, and built himself a nice two - three second lead throughout the first stints of the race. What was most impressive was that when Hamilton put in the fastest lap of the race, Rosberg seemed to be able to up his pace that little bit more again.

Mercedes seemed to expect that the race would only require one pit stop, however with 25 laps, remaining Rosberg was called into the pits for a second time. Hamilton was also told to come in for a second time but decided to stay out a bit longer whilst questioning whether his tyre wear was bad enough to warrant a second stop. Hamilton"s enquiries and objections fell on deaf ears, and the team urged the World Champion to pit again, claiming safety concerns were the reason for pitting both drivers again. Hamilton"s refusal to pit straight away brings back the question of “is a driver bigger than the team?”. We saw this massively at Red Bull in 2013, with the now famous "multi 21" incident between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. That day, Vettel ignored team orders and went on to claim victory, leading many fans and experts to condemn Vettel"s actions, claiming he was above the team. Although Hamilton"s decision didn"t really effect the race outcome, it is not good to openly defy your team, especially on the grounds of safety.

Behind the two Mercedes, there was a race happening. Valtteri Bottas claimed 3rd place after the most hard and eventful way of getting there. Bottas" Williams collided with fellow countryman Kimi Raikkonen for the third race in a row, putting the Ferrari driver out on the spot. Bottas then battled on completing 62 laps on the same set of medium compound tyres, and kept the Red Bulls behind him in the process - a fantastic effort! Dani Kyvat, who was passed by Bottas after the safety car was out for Vettel"s crash, finished closely behind the Finn for fourth, whilst Daniel Ricciardo in the other Red Bull finished in fifth. Felipe Massa came home sixth ahead of Nico Hulkenberg"s Force India. The man the Mexican fans came to see, Sergio Perez finished eighth, helping Force India tighten their grip on fifth in the constructors championship. Toro Rosso"s Max Verstappen came home ninth whilst Romain Grosjean rounded off the top ten. McLaren"s double race weekend scoring came to an end after a very tough 3 days. Fernando Alonso only lasted one lap whilst Jenson Button only finished ahead of the Manor pair of Will Stevens and Alex Rossi.


Torrid Weekend for Ferrari

To say Ferrari had a poor weekend would be an understatement. Ferrari"s weekend was abysmal. Sebastian Vettel was seen as the driver to take the fight to Mercedes, like he normally would. Unfortunately for Vettel, he collided with Ricciardo going into turn one, which saw the German suffer a puncture.
Naturally, Vettel dropped to the back of the field but, being the fantastic talent that he is, he was able to start fighting his way back through the pack. His race turned again when an uncharacteristic error saw him spin off at turn four and fall back through the field. He stayed out of the barrier on this occasion, but later on in the race he spun at turn four again and ended up in the barriers.

Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen had started from the back row after receiving a 30 place grid penalty for engine changes. Raikkonen was also on a charge and looking good for some decent points until his collision with Bottas. Unlike their previous skirmish in Russia, it was Raikkonen who came off worse this time. This poor afternoon saw Ferrari have neither car classified for the first time since the Australian GP way back in 2006. They will be hoping to bounce back in Brazil in two weeks time.

Mexico's Welcome Return

Formula 1 returned to Mexico for the first time in 23 years. The last time F1 was in Mexico, I was two years old and had no apprehension of what Formula 1 was. After watching the whole weekend"s coverage I have been struggling to understand why F1 left Mexico in the first place. Since its last race in 1992, the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez has had a bit of work done to it, including the renaming of the final corner, which changed from Peraltada to Mansell bend and a brand new pit complex, bringing it right up to date with the more modern tracks in F1.

Okay, so the race on Sunday wasn"t the most spectacular event ever, but after all of the build up and hard work put in, it was definitely enjoyable. What stood out most without a doubt was the Mexican fans. This is clearly a country who loves their F1 and it was clear all weekend. Packed grandstands and incredible noise levels is what F1 is all about. No doubt their hero Sergio Perez"s recent performances were a factor in this as well. To be honest though, even if Perez had retired from every race this season, he would have still had the same amount of support. Support and pressure that he handled incredibly well. A lot of drivers would have cracked under that kind of pressure, but not Perez. It was obvious that Perez was loving the support and attention he received, and didn"t let his fans down with another points finish. Next year"s event should be another cracker for everyone and another Mexican will be on the grid in the form of Esteban Gutierrez, who will be driving for the newly formed Haas F1 team.

© Copyright, Whickham and District Motor Club Limited 2022 Website Powered By tmb