This Formula 1 race, in a most beautiful setting, was quite boring until the last few laps. The starting grid was: Hamilton, Hulkenberg (Formula India), Button (McLaren/Honda, a pleasant surprise), Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Rosberg, Bottas, etc.
When the lights went out, Hamilton was off to a great start followed by Buttin, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Rosberg. Hamilton began to pull away from the field and by lap 12, it was Hamilton by 4.3 seconds over Raikkonen, Verstappen, Vettel, and Ricciardo. By lap. 17, a very light drizzle had hit the track and Rosberg put the hammer down and began his charge. Rosberg pitted early, with a very quick stop. He resumed his charge and on lap 22 Hamilton pitted. His stop was slow and when he got back out, Rosberg was ahead of him. On lap 27, Vettel crashed out when his right rear tire exploded (he had not yet pitted). The safety car came out until lap 31. At the re-start it was Rosberg, Hamilton, Verstappen, Ricciardo and Raikkonen.
Rosberg was looking pretty solid as he began to pull away from Hamilton and the rest of the field. However, Hamilton eventually began to close on Rosberg and by lap 50, it was Rosberg by 1.7 seconds over Hamilton followed by Verstappen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen then Button. Hamilton then pitted on lap 55 and Rosberg pitted on lap 56 coming out just ahead of Hamilton. By lap 68, it was Rosberg by .63 seconds ahead of the closing Hamilton followed by Verstappen, Raikkonen and Ricciardo. By lap 69, Hamilton had closed to .46 seconds behind Rosberg and things were getting pretty interesting.
Then on lap 71, the last lap of the race, Hamilton made his move on Rosberg and the Mercedes teammates wound up colliding with each other. How crazy was this? Somehow, Hamilton managed to keep up his pace. However, Rosberg’s front wing was shredded and he limped to the finish line in 4th place. Check out my video above to see the collision in action.
The finishing order was Hamilton, Verstappen, Raikkonen then Rosberg.
The powers at Mercedes were clearly beside themselves. I think one of these drivers will not be around at Mercedes next year.
The current standings are:
Rosberg – 153 pts
Hamilton – 142 pts
Vettel – 96 pts
Raikkonen – 96 pts
Ricciardo – 88 points