HAYDEN PAD­DON

Motor Sport News - - Review: Wrc - ROUND BY ROUND

6

Car: Hyundai i20 WRC Team: Hyundai Mo­tor­sport/ Hyundai Mo­tor­sport N Wins: 1Podi­ums: 3 Cham­pi­onship po­si­tion: 4th A sea­son that promised so much for the Kiwi sadly didn’t de­liver. A stunning maiden win in Ar­gentina should have been the spring­board. He has the abil­ity, the ap­pli­ca­tion and the at­ti­tude to be a World Rally cham­pion but con­sis­tency was his prob­lem this year. A rare teary-eyed glimpse of vul­ner­a­bil­ity af­ter his rally end­ing off in Sar­dinia showed how much this game means to Hayden.

MARCH 20

Lewis Hamil­ton took his 50th ca­reer pole but both he and team-mate Nico Ros­berg were jumped by the Fer­raris at the start. The race was halted on lap 17 af­ter Fer­nando Alonso had a mon­ster shunt. Kimi Raikko­nen re­tired while Se­bas­tian Vet­tel was de­layed in a botched stop. Merc claimed a 1-2.

Re­sult:

Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (Fer­rari)

APRIL 3

Hamil­ton started from pole but Ros­berg beat him to the first cor­ner. Things got worse for Hamil­ton, who hit Valt­teri Bot­tas’s Wil­liams, drop­ping to ninth. Raikko­nen was on form and fol­lowed Ros­berg home, with Hamil­ton re­cov­er­ing to third place at the flag. Ros­berg is 17 points ahead in the ti­tle race.

Re­sult:

Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Kimi Raikko­nen (Fer­rari) Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes)

APRIL 17

Ros­berg takes his first pole of the sea­son while Hamil­ton was forced to start from the back af­ter an ERS prob­lem in Q1. Ros­berg was fur­ther helped when Hamil­ton made first-lap con­tact with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber and was forced to pit for a new front wing. He would re­cover to sev­enth at the flag. Ros­berg led Vet­tel and Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat home.

Re­sult:

Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Se­bas­tian­vet­tel (Fer­rari) Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)

MAY 1

There was more me­chan­i­cal woe for Hamil­ton, who was lim­ited to 10th af­ter a hy­brid prob­lem af­fected the turbo. Ros­berg, how­ever, was un­trou­bled as he claimed pole, the win and fastest lap. Hamil­ton re­cov­ered for sec­ond ahead of Raikko­nen, but a first-lap shunt be­tween Vet­tel and Kvyat pre­cip­i­tated the end of the Russian’s ca­reer at Red Bull.

Re­sult:

Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) Kimi Raikko­nen (Fer­rari)

MAY 15

Hamil­ton got bogged down from pole po­si­tion and Ros­berg pow­ered around the out­side of him in to the open­ing turn. How­ever, the Ger­man made a small ad­just­ment to the map­ping of his en­gine at Turn Three, and Hamil­ton seized the chance to dive for the lead. The pair col­lided and both were out. Max Ver­stap­pen, pro­moted to Red Bull, pow­ered ahead to win from Raikko­nen.

Re­sult:

1 Max Ver­stap­pen (Red Bull) 2 Kimi Raikko­nen (Fer­rari) 3 Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (Fer­rari)

MAY 29

Daniel Ric­cia­rdo was supreme in qual­i­fy­ing, land­ing his first pole. His chal­lenge in the race was thwarted when Red Bull did not have tyres for him at his stop. That al­lowed Hamil­ton, who had been let ahead by Ros­berg ear­lier on, in front in the slip­pery con­di­tions as he went straight from wet tyres to slicks. Ros­berg was sev­enth.

Re­sult:

Lewis Hami­ton (Mercedes) Daniel Ric­cia­rdo (Red Bull) Ser­gio Perez (Force In­dia)

JUNE 12

Hamil­ton made an­other poor start and Vet­tel jumped into the lead. Hamil­ton and Ros­berg brushed go­ing in to Turn Two and the Ger­man ran wide, drop­ping to ninth. Hamil­ton took the lead when Vet­tel pit­ted for a tyre swap that com­pro­mised his tac­tics. Hamil­ton led home the Fer­rari and Bot­tas. Ros­berg bat­tled to fifth.

Re­sult:

Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (Fer­rari) Val­terri Bot­tas (Wil­liams)

JUNE 19

Ros­berg was to­tally hooked up dur­ing the race week­end in Azer­bai­jan and took his fifth win of the sea­son. Hamil­ton had crashed in qual­i­fy­ing and was forced to start in 10th spot and he bat­tled back through the pack for fifth place at the fin­ish de­spite an elec­tri­cal prob­lem that the team was un­able to help solve due to new ra­dio rules.

Re­sult:

Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (Fer­rari) Ser­gio Perez (Force In­dia)

JULY 3

Hamil­ton, who had been slowed by a tardy pit stop, made a last-lap lunge on race leader Ros­berg at Turn Two and the pair made con­tact. The front wing of Ros­berg’s car was se­verely dam­aged and he dropped down to fourth place at the flag, be­hind the for­tu­nate Ver­stap­pen and Raikko­nen, who picked up the fi­nal two podium spots.

Re­sult:

1 Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) 2 Max Ver­stap­pen (Red Bull) 3 Kimi Raikko­nen (Fer­rari)

JULY 10

A shower at the start meant the Sil­ver­stone race be­gan un­der the safety car. Hamil­ton used a clever strategy and prof­ited from a vir­tual safety car to ce­ment his win. Ver­stap­pen was su­perb in the tough con­di­tions. Ros­berg was later in­ves­ti­gated for team ra­dio mes­sages to help him pro­tect his gear­box and was given a 10s penalty, drop­ping him be­hind Ver­stap­pen.

Re­sult:

1 Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) 2 Max Ver­stap­pen (Red Bull) 3 Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes)

JULY 24

Hamil­ton re­took the points lead of the world cham­pi­onship af­ter a strong per­for­mance, once he had re­lieved his team-mate Ros­berg of the race lead go­ing into the open­ing cor­ner. Ros­berg kept Hamil­ton un­der pres­sure through­out though and fin­ished less than two sec­onds be­hind him. Ric­cia­rdo claimed third place.

Re­sult:

Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Daniel Ric­cia­rdo (Red Bull)

A poor start by Ros­berg al­lowed Hamil­ton to lead into the first turn, and he con­trolled the race from there. Ros­berg dropped to fourth due to his weak start. He bat­tled through and diced with Ver­stap­pen, but was deemed to have put him off track as he grabbed sec­ond place. Ros­berg was given a five-sec­ond penalty at his stop and dropped to fourth. Hamil­ton had to take the pain of start­ing from the back for mak­ing too many tech­ni­cal changes to his car. It was a dra­matic GP with Ver­stap­pen, Vet­tel and Raikko­nen col­lid­ing at La Source, while Kevin Mag­nussen had a race-stop­ping off at Eau Rouge in his Re­nault. All the drama helped Hamil­ton to slice up to third be­hind Ros­berg and Ric­cia­rdo.

Hamil­ton kept his ti­tle dream alive with a win in Mex­ico, de­spite lock­ing up and go­ing wide at the open­ing cor­ner and cut­ting the turn. Fur­ther back, Ros­berg was un­der at­tack from Ver­stap­pen and was over­taken by the Red Bull, but Ver­stap­pen went wide and was later pe­nalised. Vet­tel was pun­ished too for a move on Ric­cia­rdo, so the Aus­tralian grabbed third. Hamil­ton kept his head in a chaotic race, which had to be stopped due to poor weather and a crash by Raikko­nen. As Hamil­ton con­trolled the restart, Ros­berg was forced to fend off a sen­sa­tional Ver­stap­pen, who passed the Mercedes in fine style at Turn Three. Ros­berg later re­gained the place to take a 12-point lead into the cham­pi­onship finale.

1 Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) 2 Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) 3 Max Ver­stap­pen (Red Bull) Hamil­ton came un­der fire for back­ing his team-mate Ros­berg up into the chas­ing pack dur­ing the race. Ros­berg was forced to pass Ver­stap­pen to make sure of sec­ond place, which was more than enough for him to claim his first world cham­pi­onship. Vet­tel put in one of his strong­est per­for­mances of the year to take the fi­nal step on the podium.

Lewis Hamil­ton (Mercedes) Nico Ros­berg (Mercedes) Se­bas­tian Vet­tel (Fer­rari)

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