In Abu Dhabi, Sunday comes the final chapter of the Mercedes-internal duel between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. Especially at the beginning of the season, the German was able to make a comfortable advance on his teammates. After the last three consecutive victories, however, before the final race, the Brit sits closer to his neck than ever. strong>sport.de takes a look at the individual stages of the duel. Today in Part I of the F1 Chronicle: the first ten seasonal races from Melbourne to Silverstone.
GP from Australia (March 20th)- The Alonso crash
The new season brought with it some news: more sound, more choice of tires, more races, new drivers and a new team. But for the first time everything remained the same. Nico Rosberg won after a spectacular 57-lap at the Albert Park Circuit in front of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. The turning point of the race: Fernando Alonso’s Horror Crash in Round 17. The race was interrupted, Mercedes changed the strategy from Vettel’s first stalker Rosberg and was rewarded.
GP from Bahrain (April 3rd)- The psycho war begins
After Hamilton missed the start and Valtteri Bottas drove him into the car with a somewhat over-optimistic action, Last year’s World Champion had to settle for third place behind Sebastian Vettel. Early in the season, the psychowar between the two Mercedes pilots began. The British explained that he had lost 0.8 to 1.5 seconds per lap due to the accident. Rosberg replied: I had always been in control of the race and I did not complete a single round.”
GP of China (April 17th)- Double hat trick
Besides his winning hat trick, Wiesbaden could also celebrate the hat trick from the fastest race round, pole position and GP victory. Sebastian Vettel and Daniil Kvyat completed the podium. For Lewis Hamilton, it was a rough weekend. In qualifying, the British did not succeed in a valid round. The subsequent pick-up in the race was then prevented by record suspects from five pit stops, so that the seventh place almost resembled a damage limitation.
GP from Russia (May 1st) -Rosberg on Schumacher’s tracks
In the year 2004, Michael Schumacher won seven races in a row. In the end he became a world champion. With the fourth victory in the fourth race, Rosberg strongly recalled the former dominance of the most successful pilot in history. Hamilton became second, but his silver arrow again had technical problems. When the British champion then even a little recklessly raised the question of why before the season the mechanics of the two pilots would have been replaced “for no apparent reason”, the hour of conspiracy theorists had finally arrived. At that time Rosberg was already 43 points ahead of his closest opponent.
GP of Spain (15th May) – Super GAU for Mercedes
The winner was not Nico Rosberg for the first time this season on the Circuit Catalunya de Barcelona. The reason: Both Mercedes pilots shot each other off the track in the first round. The winner was the first 18-year-old Max Verstappen in the Red Bull, who advanced to the youngest Grand Prix winner of all time. The Ferrari of Kimi Vrikkunen and Sebastian Vettel.
Rosberg had decided to take off especially in Barcelona. Hamilton tried to counter in the second corner, attacked, but collided with the Boliden of the German. From round one.
While Wolff wanted to sell the crash as a “racing accident”, Lauda bet against Hamilton: “Unacceptable to me”.
GP of Monaco (29th of May) – First exclamation point of the incumbent champion
Due to heavy rain the start took place under the protection of the safety car. Only after ten rounds was the race properly cleared. Daniel Ricciardo first used his pole position to get off the field. But a breakdown in the Red Bull box at the second Ricciardo stop cost the Australian in the battle with Hamilton the victory with which the World Cup leader Nico Rosberg had nothing to do with the brake due to problems with the brake and ended up only in place of seven.
“I felt like on raw eggs, and once you hang back in Monaco, that’s what it was,”Rosberg described the race from his point of view.
GP of Canada (June 12th)- Hamilton wins in Tire Crime
Nico Rosberg travelled to Montreal with 23 points head start in luggage. On the return flight, the cushion had shrunk to nine points. While the German fell back in curve one after a contentious situation and did not come out of fifth place at the end, his teammate succeeded in the second consecutive victory.
After a true tire crime between Hamilton and Vettel, the Brit saved five seconds in advance of the goal by removing rubber. The third will be the Finnish Valtteri Bottas. If Nico wants to get back what he lost today, he has to win Baku. Lewis got his bearings back. Now it will be interesting,”Niki Lauda summed up the title fight.
GP of Europe (June 19th)- Rosberg benefits from Hamilton’s weakness
Said, done. Nico Rosberg dominates the entire Baku race weekend. Hamilton, only starting from square ten, ended up in fifth place. Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez completed the podium. So the lead was back to 24 points! p>
GP of Austria (July 3rd) Hamilton’s last-minute victory
From Baku it went on to the Austrian Spielberg. Nico Rosberg was ahead for a long time, the last attack of the world champion Hamilton did not survive the German. The two Mercedes pilots collided and Rosberg then fell back to rank four.
“It’s very disappointing to lose the race like this,” said Rosberg.
GP of Great Britain (10th of July) – The radio talk affair
Suddenly it was just one point ahead. By postponing a 10-second sentence for an illegal wiretap, Rosberg fell from second to third place.
Hamilton won his home GP in return in the rain of Silverstone.
On Saturday morning in Part II of our Chronicle: Rosberg’s golden autumn and the eternal battle of Lewis Hamilton…