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Featured Singapore GP Debrief: Rosberg Snatches Back Championship Lead

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Ben Stevens, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. Ben Stevens

    Ben Stevens
    Premium Member

    rosbergsinpodium.JPG Feeling the heat both inside and outside the cockpit, Nico Rosberg proved more than up to the challenge at Marina Bay.

    From holding a narrow lead on-track to erasing one in the standings, Nico Rosberg got exactly what he wanted on Sunday.

    Four races after surrendering the championship lead to teammate Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg leaves Marina Bay at the front of the pack once more after taking a narrow victory over Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo that could have very well ended in disaster.

    Having dominated the time sheets all weekend, Rosberg was nearly caught out by a flurry of late pit stops that caused his lead to evaporate. While Rosberg elected to take a set of softs 27 laps to the end, the decision by third and fourth-placed Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen to pit with 15 laps to go freed second-placed Ricciardo to do the same. On fresh super-softs, Rosberg’s only saving-grace was the length of the race, holding just a narrow 0.488 second lead at the chequered flag.

    His third race win in a row, Rosberg once again leads the drivers’ championship. Read on for a look at that, and all the other fallout from the 2016 Singapore Grand Prix.

    rossin.JPG Rosberg dominates Hamilton to wrest back championship lead

    Meet the new leader. Same as the old leader. Sort of.

    Having seen his substantial lead at the top of the driver’s standings disappear by Hungary, everything we’d seen of the rivalry between Nico Rosberg and teammate Lewis Hamilton said his chances of getting it back were markedly slim. Without the reliability woes that had plagued him in the season’s early races, Hamilton had simply out-drove the German, erasing a 43-point lead by the summer break. On even terms, it was the same fight as 2014 and especially 2015 – a small, but generally consistent edge to Hamilton that had seen him win two world titles. Now three races into 2016’s second semester, it’s clear this season will not be the same story.

    If his victory at Monza was a sign Rosberg was ready to take the fight to Hamilton, Singapore was Rosberg showing his capability of winning it. Coming into the weekend the Marina Bay circuit was supposedly the one track Mercedes would face a legitimate challenge from other teams, but you couldn’t tell that looking at Rosberg. He dominated qualifying by half a second, and was only challenged in the race by his team’s decision not to pit when Ricciardo did. You could almost forget Singapore was something of a bogeyman track for the Silver Arrows, at least until you saw Hamilton, whose struggles to P3 in qualy and the race served to remind us why it was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who took the victory here last year. The contrast was stark, and coupled with its context in the season as a whole, it was the best victory of Rosberg’s career – he was at the top of his game, and Hamilton simply had no answer for it.

    So with six races to go, the Rosberg-Hamilton rivalry enters very unfamiliar territory, as while this isn’t the first time Rosberg has led the championship, it is the first time you can sense an air of confidence that makes you think: he can really do this. An eight-point lead with six races to go certainly isn’t going to decide anything, but it does put the outcome in his hands, and with the way he’s driving, there’s a very good chance he holds onto it.

    kvyatsin.jpg Kvyat delivers in audition for 2017

    It’s safe to say Daniil Kvyat has had his fair share of disappointment in 2016 – on Sunday, the Russian had plenty to smile about.

    His best finish since being unceremoniously dumped from the Red Bull senior team, Kvyat was back in the spotlight for all the right reasons in Singapore, all while exacting a bit of revenge in the process.

    At one of the few tracks where the 2015-Ferrari-engined STR11 remains competitive, Kvyat was able to extract the maximum on his way to a ninth-place finish that saw him involved in a spirited duel with the man who replaced him at Red Bull, Max Verstappen. Their duel from lap 19 was arguably the highlight of the race, as Verstappen couldn’t find a way past Kvyat, repeatedly snaking alongside only to see the door slammed on corner exit. It wasn’t until lap 49 that Verstappen would find his way past, but by then the Russian had done more than enough to demonstrate the ability that got him a promotion to begin with – and while it probably earned Kvyat no favours from Red Bull, it was exactly what he needed.

    Speaking post-race Kvyat acknowledged as much, saying recent races have been a “test of my passion”, but his ability to keep Verstappen behind for as long as he did “makes me think I’m pretty good”. The truth is Kvyat is “pretty good”, perhaps not Verstappen-quality, but certainly better than the driver he was at Red Bull early in the year. Kvyat probably knows his time in the Red Bull stable – even if extended through 2017 – is running out, and him showing such fight can only help his career prospects as well as his sanity. His hopes of staying in the sport long-term probably rest with the sort of backing once given to compatriots Vitaly Petrov and fellow youngster Sergey Sirotkin, which are entirely within the realm of possibility – it can’t hurt that in one of his few chances to shine, his star was at its brightest.

    chasecarey.jpg Chase Carey Steps onto the F1 Scene

    It’s official: F1 has a new boss. Next stop: the 21st century.

    In a deal that will see US-based Liberty Media acquire a controlling stake in Formula 1 from private equity group CVC Capital Partners, the sport is set for a new “F1 Supremo” as Liberty's Chase Carey takes the position of chairman. And while Bernie Ecclestone says he has been asked to stay on for three more years, Carey’s appointment is certainly cause for optimism in a sport that has been characterised in recent times by its glacial progress in adapting to new forms of digital media.

    The hope is that Carey, who looks like the illegitimate child of Colonel Sanders and Mr. Monopoly, will be as dynamic a figure as his appearance suggests. A long-time member of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation media empire, Carey is about as in-the-know when it comes to the contemporary state of media and content distribution as we could’ve realistically hoped to get in an F1 executive, and boy do we need it.

    It’s no secret that F1’s TV viewership numbers have been sinking for the past decade, and with a wider move towards “cord cutting” among younger demographics that’s not going to change. However, Carey’s early remarks on investing in digital platforms show at least an awareness in the media landscape beyond immediate TV contracts. F1 already lags behind many of sports the American Carey is well versed with (particularly the big four US leagues) in their offering of an online-based, direct-subscription model, and hopefully this is rectified in the near future.

    On the politics side, the first move Carey is rumoured to be making is to sell shares in the sport to the teams itself, which would be an excellent step in the right direction. Teams need to have a vested interest in the sport itself, not just their place in it, and making the likes of Ferrari partners with smaller teams like Force India can only foster that needed unity.

    At least for the first 100 days, don’t expect anything to change as Carey “listens, meets and digests” in acclimatising to his new role, but with a professed desire to grow F1 long-term, things could start to change as early as this offseason. Maybe this is all wishful thinking, and F1 has replaced one out-of-touch executive with another, but at the very least, the flamboyance of that moustache has got me dreaming.

    Is this the best win of Rosberg’s career so far? Has Kvyat done enough to earn himself a drive outside Red Bull? Is Chase Carey the right man for Formula 1? Sound off in the comments below.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2016
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  2. Chris

    Ted Kravitz Appreciation Society Staff Member Premium Member

    Gahhh! One. More. Lap.
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  3. Tim.E

    Premium Member

    Bollocks, shame Ricciardo couldn't snatch it. The late call for fresh rubber was a risky one, even though I think Rosberg could've made his life a whole lot easier by covering Ricciardo and also opt for fresh tyres. If he did I think the gap would've been more or less the same. I'm only glad he didn't, it proved for a spectacular/tactical masterpiece. Even though Singapore isn't described in the books for it's entertaining races, this one surely got me on the edge of my seat for the entire race.

    Also Max Verstappen finally got a piece of his own. Stellar defending but fair from Kvyat who seemed to have really flourished this weekend. It was a great weekend by Seb, have to give it to him. From last on the grid to 5th over the line is just outstanding on a circuit which isn't known for it's overtaking opportunities.

    Finally a neat weekend by McLaren and especially Fernando, it just proves that the McLaren chassis has improved massively and is up there with the likes of Toro Rosso in terms of the chassis. If only they could get rid of their GP2 engine....... :(

    Rosberg now heading into the championship lead with 6 races to go, hmm......... I think this year is his best chance looking at the recent form of Hamilton. I'm just tend to think that when Hamilton can step up his game again, Rosberg has no chance of beating him, which is exactly that now Hamilton has a lack of form, Rosberg should get every point he can achieve. In the end I still think Hamilton will get the title.
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  4. Andrew Harper

    Andrew Harper
    Premium Member

    Well done to Nico, he drove a solid race around a difficult track. Coped well with the curveball that Red Bull tried throwing at them as well! :)

    Will be interesting to see how the new owners control F1. I would love to see something like the WEC app where you can pick live timing, onboard selection, tv feed, etc. Even the free Blancpain app is miles better than the F1 version. My concern is they will see F1 as a major money spinner even more so that Bernie, especially if they are linked to the Murdoch empire.

    Most importantly though I want F1 to be given back to the fans a little more, grand prix are not cheap to attend any more (especially if you are a family) and as a long time fan I want to have the opportunity to meet the drivers, see the cars up close more.

    For £20 I got to go onto the grid for the Blancpain race at Silverstone, it was amazing and I loved every second of it. I'm not saying that should be available for everyone attending an F1 race but I think you all understand what I mean when I say that access is something that should be sorted.

    I laughed at the screen when I saw an interview with a footballer before the grand prix on Ch4 about how he thought the access was amazing. Yeah that's because you've been given a £7,000 paddock pass you daft twit ;) The real fans are behind 40 foot high fencing :roflmao:
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  5. Boby Kim

    Boby Kim
    There is no spoon...

    Well...the bad start of Max has lead to the best action on the field. Besides that..:sleep:
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  6. I root for Rosberg. Compared to Hamilton at least. (no special reason just think that Hamilton got enough of titles and too much wins, looking at these nowadays numbers he "beat" some true F1 legends)
    But, really, let's be realistic... everytime he wins - Hamilton has some qualifying problems/penalties/bad starts. I can't really remember the last time he beat him fair and square - on sunday. Or I have very short memory. That's not excluded too, I ain't getting any younger. :unsure:
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2016
  7. A brilliant drive from Nico. Proving why he's a world class driver and why he would be a worthy champion. Beating Hamilton by 7 tenths is no mean feat at all!

    Ferrari continue to piss me off. They are so incompetent. This car was meant to be a "revolution" but it's an average, unreliable piece of ****. Their strategists need to be fired, they are one of the biggest jokes in F1. Can they simply not **** up for once. Why the hell did they pit Raikkonen when they knew they would lose track position if they pitted. Also Arrivabene is ****ing clueless. At Monza he laughed when criticised, and said they were aggressive. "Oh damn, he really got us there, that strategy was so aggressive and they really took the fight to Mercedes!" Oh piss off. Ferrari are the Max Verstappen's who can't take criticism and learn from mistakes. It's a simple concept, track position is vital in F1! Why can't they get that into their thick skulls! Ferrari just simply don't care anymore, and I've lost all respect for a team I once loved dearly!

    Ricciardo outperforming Max again. Max being a hypocritical brat when battling Kvyat, which makes me dislike Max even more.

    Kvyat I think will be the new Perez. All it takes is another team to take a gamble on him and begin to rebuild him again. He has the desire and fight in him, and did an awesome job sticking it to Max. There is hope for him. Perez was rebuilt by Force India, why can't a team rebuild Kvyat. Kvyat has the passion and the fight to fight his way back up the field.

    Good jobs from Alonso, Magnussen and Gutierrez (who deserves a point finish soon!)

    Bad starts do not equal bad luck! People need to understand that. If Nico gets a better start and then controls the race, that is a well deserved win and he's beaten Hamilton fairly and squarely. He beat Hamilton clean at Australia, Bahrain, Baku, Italy and Singapore. The last races of last season where Nico began his streak were all fair victories, and he had victories in 2014 and 2013 he deserved. He can beat Hamilton fairly, because making a better start does not mean the other person is unlucky

    Rosberg can win the championship as long as he has learnt to deal with pressure and it doesn't rain. Rosberg is a different driver from what he was in 2014, and has almost adopted the "do everything to win" mindset Schumi had.
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  8. i'll bet a quid on NR for the DC this year; this performance wasn't luck, LH had no answer for the pace. This happened for the last 3 races of 2015 too -- rosberg was unbeatable.
    Strange how every one of these drivers go through phases of good form followed by a period of relative mediocrity -- right now NR is the one to beat while hamilton isn't really turning up. Needs to turn that around very quickly.
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  9. When Mercedes was forced to run the adequate minimum tire pressures, Nico "dominated" Lewis. It was refreshing to see him not complain about the brakes or the difficult situation with the RBR chasing him down.
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  10. Well, I don't stand corrected. :rolleyes:
    Hamilton doesn't have the pace ?
    Do we talk about same racing series ?
    2016 FIA Formula One World Championship I'm talking about here, you ?
    I mean, c'mon.... have you seen him when he's not behind ...someone ?
    But he messed up thing for himself in last 3 (and in some before) in one or other way. His mistake tbh.
    Simply put, if they were alone on track - I'll put my money on him. You ?
    Heart doesn't matter. This is serious business. :D
  11. When did anyone say Hamilton doesn't have the pace? He didn't at Singapore but he's obviously fast enough.

    Well, Lewis should work on his starts then. Simple
  12. I think this is the silly wheel to wheel prejudice that infects so many people's thinking. If Hamilton has trouble qualifying then he was beaten fair and square. If Hamilton has a bad start because he can't seem to hack it on starts then he was beaten fair and square.

    Yea, its not Prost and Senna in a knife fight at Suzuka, however this is all racing. Racing isn't just the flashy Verstappen BS, its about managing tires, its about managing strategy, its about track position and pit stops and all the rest of it. Most of the time we say Hamilton is better because of his raw pace at the front when he makes no mistakes then say Rosberg is second best because he makes mistakes, the same mistakes that Hamilton makes and then we say is the reason we can't say Rosberg is winning fairly.

    Its pretty warped thinking in my view. Everytime Rosberg does everything perfect its seen as Hamilton having bad juju, but everytime Rosberg does anything wrong its his talent and Hamilton's clean drives are sublime genius.
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  13. Well that's some really nice speech right there my friend P*Funked, you can really make something ...mediocre turn into something ...outstanding. :thumbsup: Say... can I book you for a similar speech at my funeral ? :sneaky:

    Anyway... I pray for a day that all you count as a "not that important" in (F1 in this case) racing - one day become the most important. Like it was... long time ago. Not so long ago for me, I was there.
  14. Mmmm...As usual, the drive of the day is not mentioned!
    From stone last to 5th on a street circuit at night..can only be the top dog, Vettel drove the race of the day (Pity about the %^#@@ car though).
    All things being equal, he would beat them all.
    And now for the backlash.....:cautious:
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  15. He was completely thrashed by Ricciardo at Red Bull in the same car, so maybe he'd be second is everything was equal ;)
  16. Speaking about Vettel, I mean Raikkonen...
    I don't know what's ...wrong with him, he seems always lack a little bit of ...something. (*alls you say?:rolleyes:)
    He's not agressive anymore, he didn't pressure Hamilton (like he wasn't Max in Spain FOR A WIN!) enough and only thanks to that huge mistake he manage to pass him. Once. And that was it. Imagine Mad MaxTM on his place ? lol, no neither can I.
    Now Vettel comes into play... well I just thought somewhere into race "oh hell, too bad they didn't switch their luck on saturday"... :unsure:
    Guess with certain age (and perhaps marriage state) you lost that ...edge.
    I know, I was Jacques Villeneuve fan.
    I still am though. :geek:
  17. Rosberg is married and is leading the championship ;)

    Nah, Kimi has been **** since 2014, and he only got married this year.
  18. [​IMG]
    Enough said!!
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  19. 1. True.
    2. (sad but) True. :D

    What a hilarious gif. :thumbsup: Can't stop laughing.
    And also -
    3. True. :D

  20. Vettel wasn´t trashed by Ricciardo, he was trashed by unreliability and penalties, there were a lot of races that he DNF while in fron of Daniel.
    Kvyat beated Ricciardo as well, as did Vergne and Bourdais.