TURN 1, SUZUKA AND AUSTIN

F1 Racing (UK) - - INSIDER -

Our fi­nal key mo­ment is a dou­ble: Ja­pan, Turn 1; Austin, Turn 1. They were iden­ti­cal in their ex­e­cu­tion – and in their ef­fect.

Lewis made quick starts to both races from the dirty (P2) side of the road, and on both oc­ca­sions found him­self on the in­side of Nico as the first cor­ner ap­proached. As so­phis­ti­cated as F1 can be, there are still mo­ments when in­alien­able truths come to bite. To wit: no one is go­ing to turn un­til Lewis Hamil­ton de­cides to turn.

On the Mercedes pit­wall, and in the garage, they gasped. Lewis per­fectly con­trolled the cor­ners, brak­ing late (but not too late), turn­ing in wide (but not too wide) and ex­it­ing ex­pan­sively (but not too ex­pan­sively). Nico, un­will­ing to con­cede un­til the track width dic­tated no other al­ter­na­tive, in­evitably ran un­com­fort­ably over the kerbs, los­ing yet more track po­si­tion – and mo­men­tum.

In Ja­pan, Lewis pow­ered away to another de­ci­sive win. In Austin, trou­bled by un­der­steer and flick-over­steer on the in­ter­me­di­ate tyres, Lewis con­ceded the lead first to Daniel Ric­cia­rdo and then to Nico. Then Daniel faded, Nico caught an edge… and Lewis won his tenth race of the sea­son (and the 2015 cham­pi­onship). Those moves will live long af­ter the 2015 sea­son is over: they’ll stay with Nico Ros­berg over the win­ter – and they’ll be within his psy­che as they line up again in 2016. What hap­pened in Ja­pan and Austin de­fined Lewis Hamil­ton also as the racer of 2015. SUZUKA TURN 1 AUSTIN TURN 1 TRIPLE CHAMP

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