30 HAMILTON MALAYSIAN DISASTER
WHEN: OCTOBER 2 WHERE:
If you dissected the F1 season searching for the most defining moment of the year, you’d most likely stop at this one.
The moment the title swung firmly toward the German side of the Mercedes garage, and there it remained, all because of a single pesky bearing.
Lewis Hamilton was almost home and dry, leading the Malaysian GP by 20 seconds with just 15 laps to go, when it all went south.
That bearing in question – of the big-end variety – failed, leading to a loss of oil pressure, smoke, flames, and a despairing Hamilton crying “oh no, no!” over the radio.
What was certain to become a slender championship lead for the British star suddenly became a gaping 23-point deficit with just five grands prix to go. After a win in Japan, Rosberg could afford to finish second in each of the last four races and claim his maiden world title, and he did exactly that. RL
still don’t really know who would have won that rally as the real times of the drivers was masked by receiving the bogey time.
It left a sour taste in the mouths of teams and drivers with future champion Elfyn Evans labeling the event a joke.
The organisers apologised and hopefully the issue will be corrected for next year. JB
If you hadn’t heard of Lando Norris before the start of the season, he did his best throughout the year to make sure his was a familiar name by the end of it.
Norris contested FOUR championships in 2016, but showed no signs of fatigue as he went on to win three of them. Then 16, Norris began his year in the best possible fashion by claiming the Toyota Racing Series crown, which included victory in the prestigious New Zealand Grand Prix, and backed that up with the Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC titles.
That, plus his exploits in the BRDC British F3 Championship (where he won four races in four rounds) meant Norris was an obvious choice as a Mclaren Autosport BRDC Award finalist. He duly capped his season by winning the award – “stunning” the judges on some of his assessment runs. If you weren’t doing so in 2016, make sure you watch this space. JC