Lewis Hamilton wins!–again.
It’s hard to stay excited about the F1 races in this final stretch of the season knowing either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg will win. And while F1 fans are excited to have another actual contender for the World Drivers’ Championship, it’s grown rather dull that it has been between the two…Mercedes drivers…and Hamilton has fallen back into a pattern of winning, again.
It’s not a bad thing, but the last few races have lent to be rather dull podium-wise (and race-wise a bit…) due to the newly formed pattern. It is great to see Hamilton putting effort into races after a slow start to the season, but we’ve fallen back into habits.
At least Hamilton’s win means a delay for Rosberg’s possible win of the Drivers’ Championship, so we get to hold out on that win for yet another race, which I think is delightful. However, Hamilton appeared to have an easy drive for the race, with Rosberg enough of a distance behind that he wasn’t too threatening. I’d like to think for this particular grand prix, Hamilton was driving around with elevator music accompanying his drive–just soothing and easy to listen and drive to.
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen was busy keep Rosberg on his toes, which showed with Rosberg’s continually improving lap times. With all that happens to Verstappen after the race, it’s good to see he had some positive influence during it.
And then there is Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, which if we had to put music to this trio, it would be a heavy metal thrasher track.
The accompaniment would be particularly fitting for the trio’s eventful last four laps, which felt chaotic, hectic and somewhat cruel. Beginning with Vettel’s “rendezvous” with Verstappen on lap 68, which led Verstappen to cut through the grass (a move reminiscent of the one Rosberg attempted in the beginning of the race), which cost him his podium due to an FIA-issued 5-second penalty before the podium ceremony.
Vettel’s second tango, with Ricciardo, was another to question, with wheel contact as Ricciardo tried to pass Vettel on lap 70. It made for a heated Vettel, and an even more heated last lap.
The real heat of the race followed the actual race, after Verstappen was pulled out of the staging area to bring a rushed Vettel to replace him for the podium. Another ruling following the ceremony was issued for the Vettel-Ricciardo incident resulting in a penalty for Vettel as well, giving Ricciardo third over both Verstappen and Vettel. Verstappen would fall to P4 and Vettel to P5. Embarrassing for both Red Bull and Ferrari, but at least the Red Bull teammate would snag the third place finish and grab points for the team.
One other quick note outside of those five drivers we’ve written so much about (especially this season), Nico Hulkenberg was having an incredible race in Mexico, much like he did at the U.S. Grand Prix last week. Kimi Raikkonen attempted a pass late in the race and caused Hulkenberg to spin out, resulting in his loss of a position. He did finish 7th overall, so the spin hadn’t caused too much harm, but the Sahara Force India driver is showing he is and could be a force to be reckoned with if not in this season, potentially next.
And if ever we could give an award for most entertaining driver of the day, Vettel would have won. Between his exceedingly colorful language on the radio communication, complete with a naughty, scolding waving finger at Verstappen at the finish, along with his overall grumpy comments on the radio, it’s difficult to choose a favorite, old-man Vettel moment from this race.