The Formula 1 World Drivers Championship looks all but over after a dominant Lewis Hamilton victory secured a perfect weekend for the Brit. Powered by the new-spec Mercedes engine that failed on teammate Nico Rosberg in Friday practice, the power advantage gifted to Hamilton proved to be the deciding factor at the historic Monza circuit. With over 75 percent of the lap spent at full throttle, Hamilton dominated qualifying and led what turned out to be a relatively dull race from start to finish.
The major drama actually came after the race, when Hamilton’s victory was brought into question over an alleged infringement of the minimum starting tyre pressure on his car. Hamilton’s tyres were found to be at the correct pressure at the time of fitting and started the race 0.3psi under the legal limit, not enough to warrant any further action from the FIA, and his victory stood.
It took 49 laps of actual racing to provide a major talking point on the track, after the old engine swapped into Nico Rosberg’s car spectacularly failed while he was running in third place. You can’t help but think that this all but ends Rosberg’s title hopes, with Hamilton in possibly the best form of his career going into the Singapore GP in a fortnight.
The weekend proved to be one of mixed fortunes for Ferrari, with almost the entire field and Tifosi tipping them for an upset victory after qualifying seoncd and third on the grid. Second-placed Kimi Raikkonen had his race ruined before his wheels had even turned, after stalling on the grid and finding himself at the back of the field in a matter of seconds. ‘The Iceman’ produced an insatiable performance which many felt justified Ferrari re-signing him for another year earlier in the week, clawing his way through the field to finish fifth.
Teammate Sebastian Vettel produced a typically composed drive to finish a confident (and incredibly popular) second, while the teammates of Williams Mercedes proved aggressive enough and came home third and fourth.
The trend of French dominance in World Rallycross continued at the home race of much of the field, with Tommy Hansen bringing home the victory for Peugeot at the World Rallycross of France. Championship leader Petter Solberg brought his name back into the mix by not only making an actual final, but also finishing a strong second place in his Citroen to tighten his grip at the top of the table.
A 75,000-strong crowd descended on Loheac, the hometown of Peugeot, as World Rallycross continues its explosion onto the motorsport scene and increases in popularity. Could it be the next big thing in the world of motorsport? It certainly seems to be providing the racing that makes one think so. But for now…
It’s the crash of the week!
The crash of the week takes on a decidedly airborne nature this week, after Habsburg presumably one too many red bulls before his World Series by Renault race at Silverstone this this weekend. Fun fact: Habsburg – aka Archduke Ferdinand Zvonimir of Austria – is the eldest son of Karl von Habsburg, now head of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine. He is thus the heir apparent to the headship of the House of Habsburg and the Sovereignty of the Order of the Golden Fleece. He is the great-grandson of Emperor Charles I of Austria through his grandfather Otto von Habsburg. Needless to say, it’s been a while since an Archduke has been that shocked.