The Spanish Grand Prix on Sunday saw a bright young star claim his first win. Max Verstappen became the youngest ever race winner in the sport on his debut for Red Bull following his recent move from Toro Rosso.
But the weekend will really be remembered for the clash of the Mercedes drivers at turn 4 of the opening lap.
Lewis Hamilton led off pole but teammate Nico Rosberg slip streamed him into turn one to take the lead.
Hamilton was eager to take back the lead so charged after the German. To his surprise Nico was going slower than expected (due to him being in the wrong and slower race mode). Which meant Lewis gained considerably on his rival and as he went to make the pass up the inside towards the right handed turn four, Rosberg moved across to block the pass.
Lewis was already alongside his fellow Mercedes driver and was forced onto the grass. What followed will be remembered the entire season. Hamilton lost control and went into Rosberg, taken them both out of the race and into the gravel.
For me, I think it was a racing incident that both drivers were to blame.
Rosberg realised Hamilton was going for the overtake so he reacted by moving across to slam the door, however due to Hamilton’s speed advantage, he was alongside him quicker than anticipated.
This then forcing Lewis to go onto the grass.
From another perspective, it was a narrow gap that Lewis was trying to go into, and although he did have the speed advantage, there was only ever going to be one outcome and Rosberg would not have given up the place by allowing his teammate down the inside.
Rosberg clearly wanted a penalty for Hamilton but I feel both are to blame. The Brit was maybe slightly too eager, and the German slightly too aggressive.
This has now re-sparked the rivalry that we saw back in 2014. Not so much in 2015 as Rosberg couldn’t keep pace with his faster teammate.
This will surely mean an exciting battle ahead, with Monaco only a few weeks away. And we all know the controversies that Mercedes have had at their last two races at the iconic circuit.
Can Hamilton fight back to win the championship?
I think it is a tall order. 43 points behind his teammate and the likelihood of him receiving a 10 place grid penalty at some point during the season is inevitable. It’s a big mountain to climb for Hamilton, but if anyone can do it… He can!
Stay tuned for what could well be an iconic scrap for the world title as the season continues in Monaco later this month.
Source: The Guardian.