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Photo courtesy of Jamey Price
Fifteen. That’s the number of points that Force India trails Williams in the Constructor’s World Championship (hence my super catchy headline 😉 ) If the Force India Formula 1 team gains 15 points over Williams within the next 10 races, they’ll finish fourth in the championship. Fourth! That means they’ll finish behind Mercedes, Red Bull, and Ferrari; but in front of McLaren, Williams, Renault, Toro Rosso, and the rest. That’s incredible.
The team that spent the first 24 years of its life in Formula 1 as Jordan went through a fast cycle of name changes in the mid 2000’s. In 2005, it became the Midland team. Not long after, they changed again to Spyker F1. In 2008, Indian businessman Vijay Mallya bought the team and rebadged the apparel to the name we know today. From the beginning, we’ve seen a relatively steady rise in performance, from back marker to solid-mid-pack. These days, especially the middle of the 2016 season, seeing both Force India cars in the points is no surprise.
WCC = World Constructor Championship
Breakout performances from Mexican driver Sergio Perez put Force India on the podium twice this year. Hulkenberg finished as high as sixth. And both drivers earned points in seven of the twelve Grands Prix. Perez has certainly led the charge, collecting 48 points, compared with Hulkenberg’s 33. In fact, performance from Perez piqued the interest of other teams. And rumors abound that he may sit in the Renault cockpit in 2017. I’m not sure that’s a good idea.
In Germany today, Hulkenberg and Perez finished seventh and tenth, respectively, adding seven points to Force India’s tally. At Williams, Bottas only managed ninth and Massa DNF’d. Even more stark, in the last three grand prix, Force India scored 22 points, compared with Williams earning just 4. At this rate, Force India may well surpass Williams and take fourth in the championship. In 2016, Renault sits ninth with six points. As a factory team, they will certainly improve in 2017. But how much is a risk. Just ask Pastor Maldonado. My advice? Stay where you are, Sergio Perez. Ride the Force India wave for another year, who knows where it might take you.
Photo courtesy of Jamey Price
In Q3, Rosberg had but one chance. In the opening minutes an electrical glitch forced him to pit for a quick fix. Once Mercedes fixed the car, there was barely enough time to complete two laps in succession. Turns out he only needed one. While Engineers and mechanics went to work on the German’s car, Hamilton set a new lap record, a blistering 1 minute, 14.470 second lap around the 2.8 mile (4.6 km) Hockenheim circuit, the Briton comfortably ahead of everyone. But in the waning minutes, on Rosberg’s first flier, he set the quickest sector one and sector three times and went on the set a 1 minute 14.363 time. Pole by a tenth. Hamilton had time to respond and attempted to do so. Indeed his sector one time beat Rosberg’s by a tenth, but a lock up in sector two cost him time, which he was unable to recover in sector three. Rosberg won Pole, his 27th all-time and 5th of the season.
Hamilton responded with hilarious, thinly veiled disgust. During the post qualy interviews, he could muster no more than simple, 4 or 5 word answers to questions and refused to admit to any issue with the car or mistake in his driving. Instead of looking Rosberg in the eye, or saying his name, or acknowledging his existence, Hamilton continually rubbed his eyes and face with the white towel on the table. I can only conclude that Hamilton infuriated himself and headed to the interview table red-hot. Because circumstances left no one else to blame, emotions boiled over. It was either sit stilted and awkward, or throw dinner plates against the wall. And Hamilton couldn’t find any plates.
Why? Hamilton, you’re three times Formula 1 World Champion. You’ve won more races this season than many drivers manage in a career. More often than not, you outperform Rosberg. In fact, many fans consider you to possess the most natural talent of anyone on the grid today, a few think ever.
So often Rosberg has to take your better pace on the chin. How many times have we heard him say, “Hamilton was faster today.” It’s Rosberg’s home race. He’s fast here. He won the last race at Hockenheim. Give him this one. I read in Autosport that you feel like you let your mechanics down. I’m sure they forgive you. Now forgive yourself and take a moment congratulate your teammate for goodness sake.