Suc­cess isn’t a four-let­ter word

F1 Racing - - MEXICO DEBRIEF -

Hamil­ton’s win in Mex­ico was as im­pres­sive as Se­bas­tian Vet­tel’s com­mand of An­glo-Saxon

Bernie Ec­cle­stone has long lamented the dam­ag­ing ef­fect of reg­u­lar Mercedes one-two nishes on For­mula 1’s view­ing gures, so he must surely have ex­pe­ri­enced a fris­son of delight this week­end. Yes, Lewis Hamil­ton won from pole po­si­tion in Mex­ico, con­trol­ling the race beau­ti­fully af­ter an open­ing-lap scare, but in do­ing so he kept the world cham­pi­onship battle alive; and, even bet­ter, a sple­netic ra­dio rant by Se­bas­tian Vet­tel en­sured that the events of an oth­er­wise rel­a­tively pro­ces­sional race re­ceived top billing world­wide.

The Mex­i­can Grand Prix was a slow burner, largely be­cause the se­lec­tion of tyre com­pounds avail­able pointed al­most un­avoid­ably to a on­estop race. Red Bull tried to buck the trend with an op­por­tunis­tic early stop for Daniel Ric­cia­rdo, tak­ing ad­van­tage of a Safety Car pe­riod, but in the nal reck­on­ing he (on track at least) crossed the line in the same po­si­tion he would prob­a­bly have oc­cu­pied had he stopped just once.

Hamil­ton was on edgy form this week­end, un­de­ni­ably fastest in rst prac­tice but then fail­ing to top the timesheets un­til qual­i­fy­ing. Even when he set pole po­si­tion, tidily clear of his Mercedes team-mate and cham­pi­onship ri­val Nico Ros­berg, he mood­ily dis­missed Q3 as “my worst ses­sion this week­end”. Ros­berg, though, never quite got on top of this track and was fourth in the nal qual­i­fy­ing ses­sion un­til a nal all-out ef­fort el­e­vated him to a sur­pris­ing sec­ond place ahead of the two Red Bulls.

Most teams viewed the soft Pirelli as the ideal tyre on which to start the race, to be fol­lowed by a long stint on medi­ums. That all de­pended on whether or not you could make the soft tyre

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