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Posts Tagged ‘Nico Rosberg’

The Mercedes Dilemma

It has again been a while since I have taken the time to write a blog but as with much of life, finding time is always the issue.

I recently posted this on my Facebook wall: “On reflection. Mercedes did play the situation wrong. Rosberg’s attacking skills are somewhat average at best. He is not as clinical a driver as others out there. Merc really had no reason to ask Hamilton to move over. Split strategy, yes, but they would come back together due to degradation. All it would do is create Rosberg with a smaller gap to close, something like 10 seconds over 22. Still prefer a Rosberg champ over Hamilton but to me it more so illustrates just how good Alonso is and how Ricciardo is fast becoming one of the best drivers in the field.”

I wanted to elaborate on this more and felt going back to my blogging would be the ideal way to approach this.

The 2014 season has turned in to a straight Mercedes fight for the Drivers World Championship while the team romp off with the Constructors Championship. I find you can understand a driver or a person more when then they fight through adversity. It is when their skill, talent and mental capabilities are tested to the maximum.

Lewis Hamilton has been tested pretty significantly now throughout this season and to be fair has actually done a remarkable job to keep his title chances alive. Arguably showing his strength mentally but then also shows utter frailties when it comes to the media which a more closely associated with throwing toys out of the pram. So, how does a guy that seemingly has the mentality of a yo-yo overcome someone that appears to play cool-calm-collected?

Quite simply we saw the Hunger in Hungary. Hamilton’s all out driven, balls to the wall, bin it or win it shows that he will stop at nothing to win the 2014 championship. Hamilton said his hunger is greater than Rosberg’s due to his background and upbringing “”I come from a not great place in Stevenage and lived on a couch in my dad’s apartment,” said Hamilton.
“Nico grew up in Monaco with jets and boats and all these kind of things – so the hunger is different.” This entire statement is utter nonsense really and just a psychological tactic and a pretty poor one at that.

Hamilton’s direct ignoring of the Mercedes team wall of team orders to move aside for his team mate and championship rival showing that his tenacity prevails over any team need. The phrase “team player” seemingly lost on Hamilton but in a sport that is the most individual team sport, do you blame him?

Mercedes stance is that they tried to maximise both strategies to get the best for the team. That is fair but also the team are fighting for a World Drivers’ Championship therefore a driver is not just going to back down. Not in the current position. I do believe there is a time and place for team orders but they are circumstantial not just a one set rule. Evaluating the whole picture is required.

I am not a Hamilton fan, I never will be a Hamilton fan but I have a level of admiration for the job he is doing, even if that is through gritted teeth. Rosberg for me is not clinical enough. He does not have that natural rawness of a Champion. He plays the media well and wins a lot of media fights. Let’s be frank here if Hamilton had not had his troubles then the Championship would be long gone. Rosberg though in truth is kinder to his car and deals with heated situations and moments better, at least until Hungary.

Hamilton during qualifying seemed incredibly calm even through a burning backside. His calmness over team radio was personified during the race. So my question is has his mentality changed? Is he now viewing things differently and simply believing he is better than Rosberg anyway and the title will come to him? Well if he does not already, he should.

Sounds like I am backing someone I do not like? No, not really. I would actually prefer a Rosberg win for the sport. I think across the first half of the season he has achieved the maximum possible during Hamilton’s difficulties and that speaks volumes also. If we evaluate this though what real challenge has he had? Williams in Austria could be viewed as a challenge but that was more patience than a challenge.

So to Rosberg’s credit he has done everything he can. To Hamilton’s credit he has fought with all his might to stay in the title. Who deserves it more? Alonso. But that is for another blog.

@Nico888

The Racing Edge #2 – Malaysian F1 GP Podcast

March 25, 2013 Leave a comment

This is our second podcast and we take a look at the antics that went on between the Red Bull and Mercedes team mates along with a brief review of the race. We are looking to get as many people involved and round table discussions open. Please like and comment below and we look forward to reading your comments out on the next show.

The Racing Edge #2 – Malaysian F1 GP Podcast.

Well… that was awkward…

Now that the Malaysian GP has ended a new race has begun, one which isn’t exactly overt but is sure to be happening. The race I am speaking of is the one where the viewers are all racing towards their computers in order to duke it out on their favorite F1 sites, facebook pages, group forums, etc over the controversy witnessed at today’s race within the Red Bull and Mercedes camps. While a race to express your opinion isn’t one that can really be won, the anxiety still exists to get an opinion out there as if it could. Unfortunately I fall under that group and as I begin to hear the birds chirping in my rural midwestern town that morning has come, a part of me wishes that I was racing to my bed. However, unlike some of us out there, I am honoring my team orders and keeping up the good fight.

The title of my post pretty much sums up the race for me.  From Alonso’s decision to stay on track in order to test unique front wing designs to Hamilton’s exemplary lesson on how subconscious desires override common sense, I couldn’t help but think how awkward this race was. Don’t get me wrong, the excitement was there. This was a proper Malaysian GP with it’s changing conditions, retirements, epic wheel to wheel battles, and dramatic turn of events. Yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that the race just felt off in a lot of ways. I just knew that some bullshit was right around the corner.

Unfortunately, I turned out to be right. The podium ‘celebration’ and subsequent interview said it all. Even if things had went smoothly and the drivers decided to just toss their champagne bottles aside and take a piss on the crowd before them, I still don’t think it would have been as awkward as to what we witnessed.

I wouldn't be surprised to see this happen

It needs to happen

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see Mark Webber yet again receive unequal treatment and support (i.e. get screwed). One only needs to take a look at the 2010 season to confirm such things. Now before you naysayers stone me to death, I am not saying that Webber’s troubles and inability to secure a championship are down to just faulty team mechanics. He certainly has a variety of weaknesses that he has to take responsibility for (which he does). However, when a driver gives 110 percent effort it isn’t asking much to receive at least 90 percent support from his own team managers. You can get it all right and then some, but if those calling the shots aren’t fully in your corner, then there isn’t much you can do to overcome those odds. Webber wasn’t kidding when he responded to Helmut Marko’s criticism and said that “.. everyone at this level has their own agendas and it’s been evident for a long time now that I’ve never been part of Marko’s.” Oh how the anger rises inside me when I think about the final round in 2010 at the Abu Dhabi grand prix where Helmut Marko spouted off a bunch of fluff regarding the team’s views on honoring the spirit of competition and how drivers should have equal treatment as long as they still have a mathematical chance to win a championship. All talk and no walk.

Look, I understand the purpose of team orders and can accept that they happen in racing. I even support the implementation of them to an extent. However, it speaks volumes when Webber has always played the honorable role and is denied the same respect he has given countless times in the past. Some people out there may think that this is what makes Vettel one of the greats, that he will do everything it takes to get that win. But I would contest that what makes one great isn’t simply winning, but how one goes about achieving such a win. There is a reason why the ideas of honor and sportsmanship are highly praised.

Mark Webber knows that the odds have always been stacked against him. I only hope that history eventually shows this to be true. Simply put, I am not convinced that Vettel is superior to Webber as much as I am convinced that Vettel has received the greater support in both covert and overt form. Vettel’s on track actions seemed to express a belief that he can ignore team orders and act with impunity. The sad thing is that this is probably true.

The crazy thing is, this wasn’t even the most awkward thing that happened in today’s race. I think that award goes to Lewis Hamilton. Pit stop antics aside, did anyone catch how Lewis Hamilton openly admitted that Nico Rosberg ought to have been on the podium rather than himself? Kudos to Hamilton, he nearly killed me from the shock that overwhelmed my body from hearing that. It was the last thing I expected to hear from him but was certainly a pleasant surprise. At least we were able to witness some form of honorable action to help balance the dishonorable ones that took place.