Who would’ve thought that Hamilton would be leading the Drivers’ Standings going into the summer break, I certainly didn’t but after today’s German Grand Prix in which Hamilton won and his team-mate Rosberg finished 4th, that’s what’s happened.
Starting off right at the start of the season, Hamilton finished 2nd in the Australian Grand Prix and 3rd in the Bahrain Grand prix after receiving front-wing damage on the first lap and in the Chinese Grand Prix didn’t set a time in qualifying thanks to a mechanical problem (hybrid system failure) and had to start the race from last. He fought his way back up to 7th place.
Top three after three races:
- Rosberg – 75 points
- Hamilton – 39 points
- Ricciardo – 36 points
In the fourth race at Russia it was all going well for Hamilton until Q3 where he had yet another hybrid system failure and had to start the race from 10th with his team-mate Rosberg on Pole Position. On the Sunday, Hamilton drove a fantastic race and finished in 2nd place. The Spanish Grand Prix was Mercedes’ worst nightmare as both of their cars collided on the first lap. At the Monaco Grand Prix, Hamilton took his first win of the season as Rosberg didn’t have a good race as he couldn’t get to grip (literally) with the wet conditions and finished 7th.
Top three after six races:
- Rosberg – 106 points
- Hamilton – 82 points
- Ricciardo – 66 points
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Hamilton took his second win of the season while Rosberg could only finish in 7th, could it be that the Spanish Grand Prix was a turning point in the season? At the next race in Azerbaijan, Hamilton clipped the wall in qualifying during Q3 and broke his front suspension while Rosberg managed to put his car on Pole Position. During the race it seemed Hamilton was in the wrong engine mode and was losing power and most importantly, time. He tried to fix it himself and asked his pit-crew how to fix it but the strict radio ban didn’t allow this and Hamilton couldn’t figure out what was wrong. He finished in 5th while Rosberg won the race.
Austria was next and Hamilton comfortably took Pole Position but the race was a different story. Although there was a decent gap between Hamilton and Rosberg, Hamilton’s pit-stop was slow and it allowed Rosberg to overtake him. On the last lap Hamilton got a great drive off of turn one, got the slipstream from Rosberg’s car and went for the overtake into turn two, however, Rosberg went straight on and they collided yet again. Hamilton didn’t get any major damage but Rosberg’s front-wing was hanging off and he lost positions to Verstappen and Räikkönen.
Top three after nine races:
- Rosberg – 153 points
- Hamilton – 142 points
- Vettel – 96 points
It was Hamilton’s home race next and during Q3 Hamilton set the quickest time but it was disallowed for not respecting track limits, the pressure was on as the clock was counting down but he still managed to put his car on Pole Position, over three tenths faster than Rosberg. It was a wet race and all cars were on the full-wet tyres and the race itself was started under the Safety Car. Towards the end of the race, Rosberg was heard on team-radio saying he had gearbox issues and was told to avoid seventh gear, he managed the issue well and finished in 2nd place while Hamilton took the chequered flag. After the race, the stewards looked into Rosberg’s radio communication between him and his pit-crew and it was deemed that he and his team broke the rules as he was told how to drive the car which isn’t allowed, he was given a 10-second timed penalty which demoted him to 3rd and promoted Verstappen to 2nd.
At the next race in Hungary, Rosberg managed to get Pole Position with Hamilton in 2nd. Hamilton got the jump on his team-mate at the start of the race, maintained the gap and comfortably won the race with Rosberg 1.9 seconds adrift. This time it was Rosberg’s home race in Germany and after leaving it very late in Q3 to put his car on Pole Position he got a terrible start on the Sunday and lost positions to Hamilton, Ricciardo and Verstappen. Hamilton, again, controlled the race from start to finish while Rosberg couldn’t make up the places he lost and finished in 4th behind the two Red Bull’s.
Top three after 12 races:
- Hamilton – 217 points
- Rosberg – 198 points
- Ricciardo – 133 points
So that is how Hamilton has overcome the 43 point deficit. He had some very bad luck at the start of the season and will have to take a penalty at some point (which might be at Spa or Monza) thanks to all the mechanical failures he’s had. We go into the summer break now and we’ll welcome Formula 1 back with the all-famous Spa-Francorchamps race circuit in Belgium on the 28th of August.
Since they collided in Spain, Hamilton has won six out of the seven races and although Hamilton has to start from the back of the grid (at least 20th) in at least one of the remaining races, don’t bet on him not winning his fourth Formula 1 World Title.