The partially rain soaked Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday was full of intense excitement especially in the final third of the race where the rivalry between teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg has surfaced once again. It all started when Hamilton’s team radio came on with a message that Nico be allowed to pass through as both of them have different race strategy which Hamilton refused “unless he gets close enough to overtake”, Lewis replied.
And Hungaroring was for Hamilton to take with a third place winner, just ahead of Rosberg, after starting from the pit lane. For that, Lewis is indeed, Hamazing. If you are a Formula 1 fans, you know exactly how big the disadvantage when you are starting from the pit lane. Not only 20 cars that you need to pass but you are also starting with a cold car and that’s the reason why there’s a warm-up lap before the race gets going. Tire grip and braking isn’t too good as well with a cold car. And having a damp race track is adding misery to Hamilton’s already bad weekends in a row. It is certainly not helping him in the title race as he is 14 points behind championship leader, Nico Rosberg.
On the other hand, there’s only one bright advantage that Hamilton would get from starting in the pit lane, that is avoiding collision and crashes during the race start as drivers would want to try to overtake. Only if that will happen and if not then you have to work very harder and push like crazy. Although the race start crashes didn’t happen but it didn’t take that long before the first of the two safety cars were deployed. By then, Hamilton’s car starts warming up and with several accidents on the track, the pole advantage was reduced significantly. That allows Hamilton to catch up and is already in seventh place in less than 20 laps only into the race.
As the race track gets dryer and dryer, so thus the gap from the race leader to the third place gets thinner and thinner as the chequered flag is fast approaching. Hamilton, who started from pit lane, was chasing Alonso for the top spot while Ricciardo is doing the same to him and just behind his tail. With only a couple of laps remaining, Hamilton can no longer hold off Ricciardo and eventually passed Alonso too before the final lap. What happened wasn’t a surprise as Ricciardo has an advantage by virtue of having a fresher tire than Alonso and Hamilton who struggled with worn tires. But the day doesn’t end just like that, as Rosberg was chasing the pack so fast and lapping more quickly
Although I’m not convinced yet by the Mercedes camp’s reported conspiracy theory, that the Germany owned team allegedly favored their German driver than their English driver. But when Hamilton was told over the radio to let his teammate and championship rival, Nico Rosberg, pass him had me thinking otherwise now. And seems the conspiracy theorist may have a point given the successive misfortunes that Hamilton has suffered that all started in Monaco. It will be interesting to watch what will happen to the Mercedes camp over the next few weeks.
Image from www.gqitalia.it
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