THE MISSES OF THE 2016 F1 CAM­PAIGN

FLASH­POINT OF THE YEAR

Motor Sport News - - Review: F1 Season - Photos: LAT

We knew it was com­ing – the in­evitable shunt be­tween Lewis and Nico – we just didn’t know where or when. But we didn’t have long to wait: round five, lap 1, Turn 4 to be pre­cise, the point at which Lewis Hamil­ton launched an op­por­tunist move on team-mate Ros­berg as he fought to make up for an im­per­fect get­away.

Lewis had started from pole, but Ros­berg got the drop on him and passed on the out­side of Turn 1, stay­ing ahead through 2 and 3.

Then things got in­ter­est­ing. Ros­berg was seen to make a small ad­just­ment to a steering wheel dial with his left hand, in an at­tempt to rec­tify an en­gine mode prob­lem that had left him down on power on the exit of Turn 3. Nico de­nied he’d been dis­tracted but re­gard­less Hamil­ton sensed his op­por­tu­nity and drew along­side. But Nico wasn’t hav­ing it. He edged Lewis to the track perime­ter and be­yond, to the point of no re­turn. Hamil­ton, grip­less, dropped it and both cars crashed into re­tire­ment.

Their elim­i­na­tion set up Maxver­stap­pen’s un­for­get­table first win, but more sig­nif­i­cant in the con­text of the cham­pi­onship was that Ros­berg had laid down a marker:“no more Mr Nice Guy”.

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