Coming at you late because I was on vacation and had to DVR qualifying and the race to watch when I got back. I can’t tell you how difficult it was to avoid social media so the results wouldn’t be spoiled for me.
Qualifying couldn’t look more different than race day. But that’s racing. The crashes from the with track were crazy to watch, but I’m glad everyone was able to make the start, even if just barely.
I can’t believe I finally get to say Hamilton got an amazing start off the line. Rosberg had pole (curse you yellow flag in quali) and while both the Red Bull’s jumped and attacked, Hamilton managed to sneak through it all and take the lead outside of Turn 1. Then he got a lightning fast pit stop the first go around to keep his lead secured.
Ferrari and Red Bull had some great battles in the mid race… and even McLaren was in the mix. Unfortunate that Button got a drive through penalty for violating the radio rules, but for once the FIA applied rules consistently. Nico got it last race for basically the same comments.
So, in the 30s for lap count, there were a couple radio communications that Hamilton might not get to pit first because he wasn’t putting his foot down and getting a larger gap. How does he respond? Doubles the gap on Rosberg. I still can’t believe Mercedes managed to pull off signing both drivers through the 2018 season. Most important detail of that bit–IF they both stay, it would be the longest two top tier drivers stayed on the same team in the history of F1. Which is why I don’t think it’s going to happen. But in the end, Hamilton got to keep first pit stop between the teammates.
And as a side note, Vettel’s constant Mayoral directing of race traffic has been cracking me up the past few races.
It was fairly dull until Raikkonen and Verstappen started battling for 5th on lap 56. Kimi juked, then Verstappen made two moves. And while I may personally feel it’s still racing, F1 rules allow for one move. Kimi was rightfully pissed, but had to continue on without the left side plate of his front wing. Verstappen responded by tattling on Kimi for going beyond the track limits, which wasn’t well received by the commenters, but I kind of agreed with them. Worry about your own race, kid. Kimi wasn’t going away and had every right to jump all over the Max for points and position. As much as he tried, Kimi just didn’t have the tires or the downforce to get past Verstappen after that initial contact.
Hamilton took the win and with that the world championship. The podium rounded out with Rosberg and Ricciardo. Hamilton is now Mr. Hungaro-ring.