Taking his first win since June, Nico Rosberg’s ability was on full display as he took a commanding victory in Mexico City With the 2015 driver’s championship officially off the table for Nico Rosberg, Sunday’s race went a long way to prove just what he’s capable of. Starting on pole for the fourth time in as many races, Rosberg was able to banish the curse that had plagued his previous three starts, taking his first victory since the Austrian Grand Prix over five months ago. Coincidentally, that happens to be the last time he bested teammate Lewis Hamilton in a race they both finished. A race that originally had a 95% chance of rain, instead we were given a bone-dry afternoon that lacked much of the excitement from its tumultuous Austin predecessor, with two early incidents and a late safety car doing the most to spice up an otherwise-routine race. Nevertheless, the 2015 Mexican Grand Prix had its fair share of talking points, so let’s get to it. Rosberg bests Hamilton for four in 2015 Say what you will about Nico Rosberg, but no one gets the better of him from pole four straight times. Having conceded his initial P1 to Lewis Hamilton by the end of each of the last three races, Rosberg was finally able to deliver on his Saturday pace with an equally impressive Sunday drive. The German started in the best possible way, with a smooth launch off the line that allowed him to both keep the lead and cover off the middle of the track, leaving Hamilton nowhere to deploy his customary aggression. Whenever Hamilton comes out on top between the two, it’s easy to point out Rosberg’s lack of an answer for whatever his teammate is doing, so it’s only right to highlight when the roles are reversed. After winning the race to the first corner, Rosberg was in complete control, matching Hamilton for pace and forcing his teammate to back off early so as to manage brake and tyre temperatures in the unforgiving Mexican heat. Maintaining his edge through the pit-window, Rosberg was as comfortable and composed as he’s been all year. And while the timing of Rosberg’s performance may not help his championship aspirations, it was somehow only right he brought his “A-game” in Mexico – it’s about time a German did something to make up for the Zimmermann telegram. Lost in Hamilton’s march towards a second straight title, Rosberg should be given credit for lifting his game even as his championship prospects have dwindled. What made those previous races so disappointing was that he wasn’t completely lacking for answers – as he had been for much of the season – but could never effect a solution either. Today was a different story, and he couldn’t have been more impressive in writing it. Mexico leaves its mark in return to F1 Perhaps best known to the wider world for their iconic cuisine, Mexico proved this weekend that it has a sizable appetite for Formula 1 also. Always making up a sizable contingent of fans at previous GPs in Texas, the Mexicans were out in full force for their first race in 23 years. Considering the reception the drivers got, it’s a wonder why F1 didn’t get back here sooner. Throughout the weekend TV viewers were greeted with amazing scenes of packed grandstands cheering on the drivers (local boy Sergio Perez getting the sort of reception to rival any favourite of Monza’s tifosi) and just generally relishing the sport’s return to their country. However what really stood out to someone watching from over 14,000km away was just the positivity displayed by the Mexican fans. In particular, their chanting of “Nico! Nico!” after Rosberg parked in parc ferme was fantastic to see – if only he’d taken his earplugs out, he would’ve enjoyed it even more! Still, it made a nice change to some of the post-race booing we’ve experienced in recent times *cough*Aussie fans*cough*Seb Vettel*cough*. Unfortunately the on-track action wasn’t anywhere near as good as those fans deserved – on the basis of this race alone, the track would seem to not be among the best for passing, despite its heavy braking zones – but as we saw in Sochi, impressions can easily change. Still, its exceptionally thin air and heat forced drivers to manage gaps so as to cool their brakes in clear air – but that could also work in its favour, especially with the proposition of three tyres compounds to choose between from next year onwards. Maybe the one thing that needs immediate examining is the timing of the race in relation to the US GP. The FIA’s provisional calendar for 2016 currently has the race set for two weeks after CotA, but that might not be enough to allay attendance concerns at the American race its closeness did this year. Ideally F1 would give singular attention to both races, as it is clearly a market ripe for the picking. Rivalry brewing between Bottas and Raikkonen? Despite Nico Rosberg’s victory on Sunday, his rivalry with Lewis Hamilton remains settled, at least for this year. At the same time however, there’s one that’s just starting to heat up – the Ice Man versus the Nice Man. Coming together for the second time in three races, Finns Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen find themselves locked in a battle for both on-track righteousness and championship standing. In a close facsimile of their clash in Sochi, Sunday’s episode saw Raikkonen knocked out of the race after turning in on a diving Bottas, who had managed to put half his car alongside going into turn 5. Where Mexico’s incident differentiated was in Bottas’s positioning prior to the corner, as he managed to draw his car alongside well before the pair entered the turn. This was no opportunistic lunge, but such moves are always a high-risk/high-reward game, and Raikkonen was obviously having none of it. An unfortunate racing incident for the elder Finn, but sometimes fortune favours the bold. What this incident is most notable for is not just its sense of déjà vu, but the situation it encapsulates between the two drivers, and the ramifications it could have for them heading forward. Currently on 126 points in the driver’s championship, Sunday’s result gives Bottas a three-point lead heading into the final two races of the season, and very much sets up the younger Finn for a “changing of the guard”, in every sense of the word. Bottas is known to be a potential target to replace Raikkonen in 2017, and beating Kimi in a less-consistent car would only solidify his candidacy. As things stands, both drivers have everything to fight for. Were you impressed by Rosberg’s victory? Where do you rank Mexico in recent additions to the F1 calendar? Which Finn will finish the year on top? Sound off in the comments below.