November 15, 2015

F1 Update: Brazil 2015

Here's what sort of race we had today from São Paulo: we spent the entirety looking at the sky, praying the distant clouds would make their way over the circuit and drop just a little bit of rain.  Anything.  Please.  We beg you.  THIS is your F1 Update! for the 2015 Grand Prix of Brazil!

We watched the race live.  We've read a bunch of post-race reaction.  We even went back and watched the 15 or so laps we missed when we dozed off (the F1U! team slept neither long nor well last night; by the time the 10am start came around, we'd already been up for four hours and were running on a similar amount of sleep).  We cannot come to any other conclusion but this: the 2015 Grand Prix of Brazil was a dud.  The Mercedes of Nico Rosberg led wire to wire except during the pit rotation, and even then he was out of the lead for a total of two laps.  Teammate Lewis Hamilton had nothing for the polesitter, unable to mount a substantial challenge at any time.  This includes the start, where Rosberg simply got off the line better and faster and held a gap into the first turn... no pushing and shoving beween teammates this time around!  The closest we came to a Hamilton challenge to Rosberg's dominance was late in the race.  The reigning Champion cut the lead down as close as 1.3 seconds with something like 10 laps to go.  It was a false image however, as Hamilton had to light his rear tires on fire to accomplish it.  He wound up nearly eight seconds back when the race finished.

Which put paid to the so-called storyline of the race.  In the runup to Brazil, the F1 press was full of Hamilton's desire to win at Interlagos, home of his hero Ayrton Senna.  He's never won in Brazil, though it's the home of arguably his greatest moment, his first world championship.  On and on they went about Hamilton wanting THIS victory.  And he didn't get it.  And nobody really is surprised by this.  Hamilton is a great driver, maybe the best on the grid right now, but he's not so much better that he can will himself to win.  When Hamilton is behind Rosberg, he needs his German teammate to make a mistake.  Sometimes Lewis can force that mistake, often he can't.  This isn't a knock on Hamilton, nor praise for Rosberg.  It's just an observation.  Today, Rosberg didn't make a mistake that Hamilton could exploit.

Rosberg's victory also locked up second place in the driver's championship for him.  Seb Vettel, who finished third in the race, had very little room for error today.  He was 21 points behind his countryman, but with only 50 points left available he had to make sure he kept that gap from growing.  The Mercs were too good today, however, and he should be commended for only being 14 seconds behind Rosberg at the end.  His teammate, Kimi Raikkonen finished in fourth, and how dominant the Mercedes were should be evident by the information that he was the last driver on the lead lap.  That's right, the silver cars lapped the field up to Valterri Bottas's Williams in 5th today.

We also saw the Constructor's Championship pretty much finished up to 5th place today as well.  Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Red Bull and Force India are locked in, and how amazing is it that Williams is in third?  Two years ago, they had a grand total of five points, good for 9th place in the constructor's championship.  It's great that the second most successful team in F1 history is back... now if only they could challenge for wins.

If it sounds like we're struggling to find things to talk about regarding the 2015 Grand Prix of Brazil, it's because we are.  This wasn't just a bad race, it was a boring race.  Particularly when compared to the two that came before it, Mexico and the US.  Hopefully the finale in Abu Dhabi will be better, but we have our doubts.  And then the season will, mercifully, be over.

We'll see you in two weeks!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 10:15 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 What I think is most astounding is that the two Mercedes cars and the two Ferraris lapped the entire rest of the field.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at November 16, 2015 01:26 AM (+rSRq)

2 Well, Raikkonen was 47 seconds back, so he probably hadn't gotten up to Bottas et al, but your point is sound.  There's two legit teams, then Williams and Red Bull.

Posted by: Wonderduck at November 16, 2015 08:37 AM (a12rG)

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