Brazilian GP Debrief: Rosberg continues upswing at Interlagos

Ben Stevens

100RPM
Mar 22, 2014
102
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For the second race in succession, Nico Rosberg capitalised on his superior Saturday pace to earn his fifth win of the season

And thus the Nico Rosberg Consolation Tour™ continues.

Taking pole for the fifth race in succession, the German was able to deliver once again on his promise with his second straight victory since the US GP – coincidentally, the race where his title hopes were officially extinguished.

Compared to the man who spun out in the final laps in Austin, the Rosberg of recent times is looking much like a renewed man. Back is the fast-but-composed driver who gave teammate Lewis Hamilton such a challenge in last year’s championship fight, and Sunday was no different, with the Brit unable to find a way past after his customary first-corner challenge was dealt with.

Whether this run has actually done anything for the German’s battered ego is a question only he can answer, but it’s certainly added some intrigue to what was supposed to be a three-race victory lap for his teammate. So read on for a look at the latest saga of Hamilton v. Rosberg, and some of the other big talking-points from the 2015 Brazilian Grand Prix.

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Rosberg the man whilst Hamilton left wanting more


You’d think with both championships locked up we might get a break from controversy at Mercedes. Eh… Not quite.

Throughout a weekend which saw him play second-fiddle to teammate Nico Rosberg for the second race in a row, Lewis Hamilton seemed more perturbed than a Monegasque national waking to find his car sideswiped by a purple Zonda, first no-showing the post-qualifying photo-op on Saturday, before criticising his team’s refusal to put him on a contrarian strategy on Sunday.

Speaking on the podium post-race with Sky’s Martin Brundle, Hamilton relayed his frustration at having no available “plan B” to challenge Rosberg, saying: ““if there are any other strategies, let’s do it, let’s take a risk, let’s do whatever” and they’re like “look after the tyres”, and I’m like “No, I’m racing””.

Given Rosberg had the pace advantage heading into the race – and certainly seemed to reinforce that at the start – it’s fair to suggest Hamilton’s closeness was helped by the German simply managing his own race. However, from a fan’s perspective Hamilton still brings up a good point. Mercedes already has its name on both 2015 trophies, as far as the car and the drivers go, there is nothing left to prove. If Rosberg needs help beating Sebastian Vettel to second in the driver’s standings even with the advantage of pole, that shouldn’t become Hamilton’s problem. Team boss Toto Wolff has on several occasions made known his willingness to let his drivers battle on track, not letting them do the same on strategy when there is nothing of consequence at stake is equally frustrating. If Hamilton believes he had the pace to win, let him prove it under such circumstances. It can make the difference between a race like Sunday’s being considered “boring” (as it was by many) or entirely memorable, and more of the latter is something the sport could definitely do with.

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Williams’ day dampened by Massa exclusion


As has been the case all season for Williams, even when they have a banner day, they can’t seem to get everything right.

After securing third in the constructor’s standings for the second-straight year, news broke that Felipe Massa’s eighth would not stand after breaching the FIA’s regulations on pre-race tyre pressures. And while Williams have lodged an appeal, they look unlikely to be granted the reprieve granted to Mercedes at Monza, with the FIA having closed the loophole used by the latter pertaining to testing procedure.

In the long run, the outcome of Williams’ appeal will have no serious impact – the team sealed third with Valtteri Bottas’ fifth regardless – but it is fascinating that these sort of cock-ups keep happening at the Grove-based outfit. Williams is a team who for two years now, have been on the cusp of returning to the winners’ circle, and it’s unforced errors like these that could cost them, should that opportunity present itself. As the team shifts its focus to 2016, perhaps a look at who is calling the shots is in order, because if they do manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, they are sure to never hear the end of it.

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Force India secure best-ever season finish


For a team that didn’t get its 2015 chassis on the track until the final test in Barcelona, it’s safe to say Force India have made the most of a difficult situation.
With Nico Hulkenberg’s sixth-place in Brazil, Vijay Mallya’s underdog team has managed to cement fifth place in the constructor’s standings, marking the best finish in the team’s eight-year history.

It’s a massive accomplishment for a team that has had to walk a financial tightrope in recent times, with reports in October of the team asking for an advance on their 2016 payments. Moving up from 2014’s sixth may not seem like the biggest leap to most, but the extra cash could make all the difference with the current payout structure of F1 as it is.

The team deserves particular credit for the job it has done since introducing the B-spec version of the VJM08 at Silverstone in July – in the preceding eight races, the team averaged a meagre 3.875 points per race, but have over doubled that since, with 89 points in the last 10 races.

On the downside, it’s apparent the Silverstone outfit can’t afford to rest on its laurels if it is to maintain its position in 2016. With the expected increase in performance from McLaren-Honda and a possible works budget for Lotus, they’ll have to punch even higher above their weight financially. Deputy-team principal Bob Fernley and technical director Andrew Green have shown what they can do on a limited budget with the VJM08B, the challenge next year will be putting a quality car on the track from the get-go in Melbourne.

Were Mercedes right to disallow Hamilton’s request for a different strategy? Is there an underlying problem with race-management at Williams? Can Force India hope to consolidate their holdings in 2016? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
 

Vimal Ana

Always racing, Always flying
May 1, 2013
333
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Awsome to see Nico win! It was a fair and square victory and I was shocked when Ted asked " any technical reason" for the victory. I really hope they were not lying when they said no.
 

Cote Dazur

1000RPM
May 21, 2013
1,581
1,046
Very happy for Rosberg, well deserved!
Hopefully Lewis will take the opportunity to prove he's a real champion and not just a fast driver by demonstrating sportsmanship, it is already borderline that he acted many times without class to climb the championship ladder on the track this year.
It is enough to have a Jorge Lorenzo in the professional racing champion circle.
 

Dan Allen

I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.
Dec 29, 2013
862
273
Very happy for Rosberg, well deserved!
Hopefully Lewis will take the opportunity to prove he's a real champion and not just a fast driver by demonstrating sportsmanship, it is already borderline that he acted many times without class to climb the championship ladder on the track this year.
It is enough to have a Jorge Lorenzo in the professional racing champion circle.
This.

Anyway, it's all very well saying well done Rosberg, but where the hell was he for the rest of the championship? Lewis probably gave up after winning the championship, it's not like it makes any difference to him now.

Just another silly season IMHO
 

Tim.E

4000RPM
Oct 27, 2014
4,609
1,597
This.

Anyway, it's all very well saying well done Rosberg, but where the hell was he for the rest of the championship? Lewis probably gave up after winning the championship, it's not like it makes any difference to him now.

Just another silly season IMHO
I indeed had the sort of feeling after Lewis won the championship he didn't really feel the need to perform as well as he did back then. On top of that you've got the partying till 4 am in the morning, crashing a car of 2 million euros.
 

Benutzername

I breathe a lot. I guess i just really like air.
Oct 10, 2011
8,523
2,761
I indeed had the sort of feeling after Lewis won the championship he didn't really feel the need to perform as well as he did back then. On top of that you've got the partying till 4 am in the morning, crashing a car of 2 million euros.
And i dont like that attitude.
Normally race drivers have a passion for what they are doin, they want to win, no matter what.
If he really is not as competitive due to partying, well.... He lost further credits for me. Same as Marquez, who seemingly doesnt wanted to win either, or at least tried to make one driver champion.
 

Tim.E

4000RPM
Oct 27, 2014
4,609
1,597
And i dont like that attitude.
Normally race drivers have a passion for what they are doin, they want to win, no matter what.
If he really is not as competitive due to partying, well.... He lost further credits for me. Same as Marquez, who seemingly doesnt wanted to win either, or at least tried to make one driver champion.
Well this is F1 we're talking about, MotoGP has a whole different situation behind it with driver etc, whereas Hamilton is already champion and didn't get help from his teammate
 

Bernd Graf

500RPM
Nov 30, 2013
695
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When Hammy is under pressure...he becomes a pouty, whiny little prick. No matter how tough things got for Nico, he was always the sportsman, never quipped, questioned the rules, offered jibes, rarely missed photo ops or press interviews, and always gave plane debriefs to his fans. THAT, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, IS WHAT WIFE AND CHILD DOES. CHARACTER.
 
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