“You can’t keep a Mercedes down, sport.”
And the Formula 1 season is back! And it didn’t suck! That in itself is an achievement in its own right, especially given the general feeling after yesterday’s ridiculous change to the Qualifying system. Isn’t it amazing how F1 just seems to pull these kind of races out of the fire, often in the face of adversity. But one thing still remained – F1 is a sport where 22 guys take 22 cars around a weirdly shaped oval, and in the end, Mercedes won. But boy, did they have to earn it.
Mercs won a Strategy Battle. What?!
I know, I’m as shocked as you are! Mercs clearly have to work on their clutches, because it was another dream start from Ferrari as Vettel had the early lead, Hamilton stuck in 6th and Rosberg 3rd. But after that enormous Alonso/Gutierrez wreck, the Red Flag was pulled out. Ferrari kept the new set of Super Soft’s on Vettel and Raikkonen’s car, while Mercedes decided to run to the end on their mediums.
Turns out Mercs made the right call, Vettel ultimately not having the speed to break Rosberg on the Super Soft’s and had left it too late to recover on the new Soft Tyres at the end, the dirty air probably saving Hamilton’s 2nd in the final stages.
So, Mercs won the war, but Ferrari had their best threat for a good while, and while the P3 was ultimately bittersweet, there’s some positives that they can take away from it all. Now, if I’m honest, on paper, I can see why Ferrari made that call. They said themselves they had no idea how well the Mediums would perform. Mercs have won 32 out of the last 38. You’re not going to beat them in a straight dogfight, so why not roll the dice with what you do know?
Sure, it was too aggressive, and in this instance in the context of current F1 and dirty air, track position was king today, but that’s just how it goes sometimes. I understand Ferrari’s call on this one, even if it wasn’t the best on the day. I think with people, it’s easy to criticize, but hindsight is also the world’s ultimate double edged sword. Not to mention, this was the first race with