he best way to assess Nico’s chances for 2015 is to consider why he wasn’t victorious in 2014, a year in which he drove a winning car for a winning team. Yes, there were mechanical failures: Nico would have won the British GP and could have scored more points in Canada and Singapore but for ERS and wiring-loom issues. But Lewis was aficted just as badly, so Nico should not rely on this philosophy.
Quick though Nico was on Saturday afternoons, when he was at least as fast as Lewis over a season and certainly less error-prone, his weak moments came in the races, often in the second stints when there was less grip. He also faltered in what you could call ‘straight racing conditions’. He spent too many laps behind Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso in Hungary – another day when he should have won; and then there were the secondand rst-lap errors in Belgium and Russia… not forgetting, too, the incident in Q3 at Monaco (and all its ramications).
No driver is perfect, so at this point I should put the above paragraph into the full context of Nico’s excellence in the Australian, Monaco, Canadian, Austrian, British, German and Brazilian GPs. On all of those days – Monaco Q3 aside – he drove like a champion.
His prospects for 2015 are coloured by two elements: one, beating Lewis; and, two, how