2016 Russian Grand Prix Race Review

So, we came to the weekend all asking the same question. Will Lewis’ run of horrendous bad luck end? Through all three practice sessions it was looking good. And then the first worry I got was when he was under investigation for not going around the bollard after running wide at turn two. Whilst it was only a reprimand, it was the most stupid reprimand I have ever seen. At the point he started going wide, how was he supposed to physically be able to go around the bollard? It was a stupid decision and now I do fear for a 10 place penalty later in the season. And then again in Q3 we had the same problem as China. At which point I positioned my palm firmly in my face.

Now, I firmly disagree that there is some sort of conspiracy happening at Mercedes about sabotaging Hamilton. My main reason is because if there is one, then they are not exactly being subtle. We’ve been here before with Hamilton in 2014 and the exact same rumours circulated then. If Merc really wanted Rosberg to win a title, they missed their opportunity then.

But, for the first time in forever. I can say that I bore witness to some good luck for Lewis. After being forced wide at turn two and having to take the escape road, he avoided the absolute carnage in turn three and was gifted fifth place. Some people from the pool of knowledge and wisdom that is the internet questioned why he wasn’t penalised. Watching people trying to explain that it is not against the rules to avoid a collision was rather amusing to say the least. It was also amusing to note peoples lack of observation that Lewis was in the process of letting cars back through when the crash happened.

So by some fortune at last, he was up to 5th and we got treated to 15 laps of vintage Lewis Hamilton. He made swift work of Massa before pulling off a stunning pass on Kimi and then finally dispatching Bottas after the pit-stop phase. And then, the clock was ticking. The gap to Rosberg started to fall. First off it appeared to be traffic but even when Lewis reached the queue of backmarkers himself, the gap still continued to fall. I began to believe. However, that dreaded radio call about the water pressure issue caused my heart to sink.

I’m no engineer, but usually I associate pressure loss with a leakage. And I’m a little confused, therefore, about how such a problem can “stabilise”. Did the leak get plugged? I don’t know. So I understand how that has added fuel to this conspiracy theory bandwagon. However, I still think even if Merc were fibbing they could have been doing so in Lewis’ own interest by helping him preserve the engine. I think this is an even more plausible theory given the new, and in my opinion, over-zealous radio transmission rules potentially preventing Merc from advising Lewis to do just that. However, during the race, none of these thoughts occurred me and I was very relieved to see him cross the line in second.

In the overall championship, I am still very much keeping the faith. Even with reprimand and engine penalties further down the line looming, I still back our Lewis to turn it around. For all of Lewis’ woes, he has critically managed to salvage points at each race. This means that should Rosberg fail to score in just one race, Lewis is right back in the picture. This is still far from over.

This is Sabjit signing off, see you after Spain.