There was a great deal of anticipation and intrigue going into the Grand Prix in Sepang, Malaysia. Entering the tail end of the season, there was still a lot up for grabs in the Championship.
Could Mercedes secure the Constructors’ Championship? Would Lewis Hamilton be able to close the gap on Nico Rosberg? How would the battle for third and fourth pan out? None of these questions were being answered come Sunday.
While many, including myself, thought that the race would he a straight shoot-out between Hamilton and Rosberg, especially after both securing pole and second on the grid after strong qualifying, neither driver had the race many envisaged.
“If Rosberg wins one out of the five races, and follows Hamilton home in the other four, that will be enough for the title”
It seemed impossible that Hamilton wouldn’t win especially after Rosberg fell to last place after getting into a crash with Vettel on the first corner. However, despite Hamilton’s exuding class and control throughout, his car once again let him down. On lap 41 his engine burst into flames, leaving him out of the race and even further behind Rosberg.
Nico drove a fantastic race after his poor start, recovering to finish third and extending his gap at the top of the championship. He now has a twenty-three-point title lead and with five races to go, and it will be an extremely difficult task for Hamilton to surmount and hold on to his title.
If Rosberg wins one out of the five races, and follows Hamilton home in the other four, that will be enough for the title. However, if Rosberg fails to finish in Japan and Hamilton wins then it will be Hamilton who goes top of the table, so it is still all to play for.
— Nico Rosberg (@nico_rosberg) October 2, 2016
Looking back at the weekend, Red Bull took a surprise one-two. Max Verstappen raced excellently, taking an early pit stop and taking advantage of Hamilton’s misfortune. He defended extremely well to fight off team mate Daniel Ricciardo who finished second.
Verstappen has shown in bits that he has all the makings to be a top driver, with a bit more experience and less youthful vigour, he can be a contender for the championship in coming years.
Words by Amar Metha
Image courtesy of LG via flickr.com
Video courtesy of youtube.com