Rosberg takes five
Rosberg’s winning streak continues as he overpowers his team-mate for a fifth consecutive victory
When a driver admits that he and his team have chosen “the safest strategy” for a grand prix, you know they haven’t exactly had their toughestever day at the ofce.
So it was for Nico Rosberg, comfortable, composed winner of the 2016 Bahrain GP, now a back-to-back victor this year and author of a verace winning streak stretching back to Mexico last November. Can this be the foundation for his rst title? Certainly he couldn’t have hoped for more from the rst two grands prix of the season.
But questions still remain as to the fundaments of Rosberg’s victories. At the end of last year, as he rattled in a MexicoBrazil-Abu Dhabi hat-trick, we wondered if his achievements had been the result of superior performance or whether they were more the consequence of a post-title lifting off the gas by the hitherto dominant Lewis Hamilton. This year it must be noted that both of Rosberg’s wins, immaculate though they have been, have followed start-line problems for Hamilton.
The charitable will say that the innately analytical Rosberg will have understood the potential for mishap introduced by the newfor-2016 single-clutch start procedure, and prepared himself to be best practised for the change. Those who believe Hamilton more gifted will simply think: “Wait till Lewis nails it.”
These two remain terrically closely matched, with the slightest advantage in any area of performance, be it mechanical, psychological, emotional, enough to tip the balance in either man’s favour. For the past two seasons that edge has favoured Hamilton, particularly so in 2015.
This year… well, let’s just say that when the 21 races are done, maybe we’ll look back and realise that the tiny start-procedure advantage Rosberg found over the 2015-16 off-season had been sufcient to see him to a world title. Maybe.