Five European Grand Prix Talking Points

Nov 1, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (44) of Great Britain and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (6) of Germany are interviewed after Rosberg wins the pole position during qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2014; Austin, TX, USA; Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (44) of Great Britain and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (6) of Germany are interviewed after Rosberg wins the pole position during qualifying for the 2014 U.S. Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

The European Grand Prix returned to Formula One with another victory for Nico Rosberg, struggles for Lewis Hamilton and many other issues worth discussing.

There were plenty of issues worth talking about from this weekend’s European Grand Prix. From Rosberg reasserting his control over the title picture to Hamilton’s radio issues, F1 fans have a lot to chew on from the latest round of competition.

Below are our five talking points to come out of European Grand Prix action:

1. Nico Rosberg Extends His Lead In The Championship

Though he’s won the majority of the 2016 races so far, Rosberg appeared in desperate need of a win heading into last weekend.

Since Spain his form had dropped away somewhat. He barely had a lap to prove himself in Catalunya after crashing out alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton, and at Monaco and Canada the championship leader was relegated to second tier scraps with the middle teams.

Hamilton won both these races and in turn reduced what was a 43 point deficit to Rosberg to only nine points come the start of the European Grand Prix.

With a little bit of luck and a dash of skill, Rosberg was victorious at the European Grand Prix and slowed down Hamilton’s advancement in the championship standings. Hamilton still managed to finish fifth overall but Rosberg now enjoys a 24 point advantage. With the season ticking away, the German will be hoping his run of bad luck is behind him.

2. Radio Ga Ga, Yes Or No?

One of the biggest talking points (ironically enough) that will linger in the paddock long after the teams have left Azerbaijan is the recent clampdown in radio chatter between the pit-wall and the driver.

As viewers we hardly experience the goings on inside a cockpit, and as such, the new radio rule didn’t seem significant. But come the chequered flag at the European Grand Prix, the fans got a taste of how frustrating these regulations can be.

Hamilton managed to place his car in the wrong engine mode sometime during the race which in turn severely limited his power output. And when he asked his team what to do to remedy the situation, they could do next to nothing due to the new radio guidelines.

Many complained that the ‘show’ and spectacle had been ruined, but in fact it just added to the drama. However, given that it happened to Mercedes and to a certain extent, Ferrari, it won’t be surprising to find that the rules have been relaxed somewhat come Austria.

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3. Sergio Perez To Stay With Force India

In just two races Perez has taken his second podium of the year. It’s becoming abundantly clear that he is most definitely a top-tier driver worthy of a racing seat at a championship-caliber team.

However, a post-European Grand Prix report from SkySports quotes Perez as being “happy” with Force India, though he hasn’t yet made up his mind on his future. It’s safe to say that they won’t be winning championships any time soon, so the idea that he might stay could seem foolish.

But in Formula One you can never truly know what the next year will bring. Brawn GP, Red Bull Racing, and even Mercedes have all been surprising championship contenders and winners in recent years. Force India may have something up their sleeves for 2017 that Perez is in the know about, so let’s hope that he won’t wind up being another talent wasted.

4. The Human Rights Debate

The Baku circuit is beautiful and a great addition to the Formula One calendar, but not since Bahrain has so much controversy surrounded a Grand Prix.

From the moment it was announced that Azerbaijan would be hosting the European Grand Prix, many were left scratching their heads. They were perplexed that a country with a questionable human rights history would be given the opportunity to host a global event. And the more the spotlight remained on Azerbaijan, the more people became aware of the country’s chequered human rights past.

Whether or not Azerbaijan should’ve been given the rights to stage the European Grand Prix will no doubt be debated for the entirety of its tenure. But it’s now time to focus on what happens next. The Formula One circus brings with it some considerable benefits for any host country, most notably a reputation boost.

If Azerbaijan decides it wishes to keep its race when the time comes to extend its current contract, it’s then that human rights organizations, alongside Formula One, would have an opportunity to “influence and publicly call on the Azerbaijani authorities to end their crackdown on human rights”. But will they? Should they? That’s a matter for debate.

5. McLaren Pace a No Show

Just when it was thought that McLaren were taking steps forward in their engine development, Baku revealed that the team may have floundered once again.

McLaren are a multiple championship winning team that are not used to fighting for the tail end of the points. Neither are their drivers Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. And though on paper it would appear that the team have the perfect recipe for a title contending team, out on track it’s just not coming together.

That isn’t to say they aren’t trying, but after a year and a half you’d think that all that hard work would be translating into good results. It’s hard to say when McLaren will be back to their race-winning form, but if the European Grand Prix is anything to go by, that seems like it will be a long way off.

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What were your favourite moments from the European Grand Prix? Comment below and let us know!