F1: Five Talking Points From The Spanish Grand Prix

Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today /
Photo Credit: USA Today
Photo Credit: USA Today /

From colliding silver arrows to conquering young bulls, the F1 Spanish Grand Prix proved to be one of the best in years.

Trouble In Paradise…Again

What would F1 be like if the Mercedes team were taken out of the equation? It’s a question that’s been on the minds of many a fan the past two and a half years, and it finally got an answer. What’s now been deemed a racing incident by the stewards saw Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton collide on the opening lap of the Spanish Grand Prix, subsequently bringing both of their races to a halt. Rosberg had set his engine to a different/wrong setting, and therefore had a lack of pace coming out of turn three on the opening lap. As a result of this, Hamilton was much faster than his team mate and closed the gap between Rosberg and himself in a matter of moments. Not wanting to lose the lead he had just gained, Rosberg aggressively defended his position as Hamilton dived for the inside line. Equally determined to win back the lead he had lost, the Briton never lifted his foot and continued on even though the gap between Rosberg and the barriers grew shorter and shorter. Hamilton hit the grass, lost control of his car, and then proceeded to wipe out Rosberg’s car after his own silver arrow spun widely back on to the track. If there are going to be any long term effects, either negative or positive, caused by this event they may take time to manifest within the Mercedes garage. The immediate effects of the collision? One fantastic, nail biting race to the chequered flag. With no one dominant team, fans were treated to one of the best and closest races in years.

Max Verstappen, Future World Champ?

Verstappen winning the F1 Spanish Grand Prix was a long shot at best. But to his credit, the eighteen year old got the job done in superb style. Team mate, Daniel Ricciardo inherited the lead after the two Mercs crashed out, and seemed to be set for another race win if he could successfully hold off Sebastian Vettel in the closing the laps of the race. The closing laps would be the most important for both Ricciardo and Vettel as they had both chosen to run a three stop strategy. This meant that they would have to overtake the two stoppers Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen on their way to the finish line, but with much fresher tyres. All calculations had Verstappen’s and Raikkonen’s tyres falling ‘off the cliff’ with at least four laps to go, but to the surprise of all watching, the cliff never came into view. Vettel couldn’t challenge for anything higher than third, and Ricciardo, regardless of his late race puncture seemed stuck in fourth regardless. This left Raikkonen as the only challenger to Verstappen up front, and somehow the Dutchman kept the Iceman at bay long enough to claim the title as the youngest ever Formula One winner. Watch this space as a future champ might’ve just been born.

More racing: F1: Race Day Rewind: 2012 Spanish Grand Prix

Red Bull Give Ferrari Reason To Worry

Even if Red Bull hadn’t claimed the win, and Raikkonen/Vettel somehow managed to overthrow young Max, the Spanish Grand Prix would’ve been a massive victory for the team. From start to finish, both Red Bulls fought on level terms with the Ferraris. A win was thought impossible at the start of this year for the Austrian team, but so was fighting side by side with a Merc or Ferrari. Five races in, with some good luck mind you, and they’ve done both. Mercedes or no Mercedes, the Spanish Grand Prix revealed that Red Bull are right on the heels of Ferrari and don’t appear to be slowing down. Winning another race before the season’s end may be a tall order, but pipping Ferrari to second place could now be a real possibility.

Carlos Sainz Won’t Go Easy Into The Night

Having seen his now former team mate being promoted the sister team, Sainz would’ve been forgiven for feeling slightly dejected. Not as much as Daniil Kvyat of course, but still disappointed nonetheless. Well, if he was feeling a little glum, he clearly channeled all that negative emotion and turned it positive. The Spaniard was seen holding off both Ferraris for a number of laps in the opening stages of the race, showcasing the very talents which attracted Red Bull to him in the first place, and ended up finishing in a very respectable sixth place. Though Verstappen may be the shining star for now, Sainz has the will and the talent to shine just as bright.

Is The Championship Rosberg’s?

With both Mercs not scoring a single point in Spain, the deficit between Hamilton and Rosberg remains the same at forty three (Raikkonen has actually jumped ahead of Hamilton and is now second overall). There’s still a large amount of races left in the 2016 season, but even if Hamilton consistently finishes first ahead of his team mate in second, he won’t lead the championship until Germany, Round 12. Anything can happen, including Rosberg hitting a bout of bad luck, that would reduce that time frame dramatically. But the way the German’s been driving of late, it’s hard to see his form dropping away. Is it too early to say 2016 is Rosberg’s year? Probably, but there’s good reason to think otherwise.

What were your favourite moments from this classic F1 GP? Comment below and let us know!