Heartbreak in unlikely cars today: Nico Rosberg’s supposedly more reliable Mercedes engine blew right up with two laps to go at the Italian Grand Prix. While it looked like it was powered by jets for a second, this meant that Rosberg had to retire out of the race. Now the team’s been called to the stewards. Huh?
This is a huge hit for Rosberg in terms of his hopes for a world driver’s championship this year, putting him even further behind his teammate in the standings. If the results stand as-is, Rosberg will be 53 points behind his teammate. Oof!
Lewis Hamilton won by 25 seconds as his car was getting pretty shaky. He kneeled by his car after pulling in from the race and rubbed the sidepod as if it were an injured horse that had just barely made it home safe. His team pushed him to build up a larger gap at the end of the race, almost as if they were trying to prepare for a pit stop, but ultimately, Hamilton was able to bring it home safely to a win. Mercedes spotted something sketchy in the data in the last few laps, but refused to comment on what exactly it was to the Sky Sports commentary team, claiming that it was a secret.
Mercedes, what the crap is going on? First, Rosberg had an issue with water in his new engine that forced him to go back to an older one that exploded during this race. Now, something was clearly very wrong at the end of Hamilton’s race. Explain yourselves. What’s happening to the lone bastion of reliability on the grid?
Niki Lauda and Lewis Hamilton didn’t seem to know what was going on with the car immediately following the race. Toto Wolff absolutely did not want to comment. Something is clearly amiss. The team looked as if they were in crisis mode after the race, with Hamilton being instructed not to talk about it.
Later, it came out that low tire pressures summoned Mercedes to the stewards after the race. A tire below Pirelli’s recommended pressure would be a technical infringement, with penalties to be determined by the stewards. Perhaps Hamilton was instructed to go faster to build up tire pressures by putting more heat in the tires? More on this story as we have it.
Tifosi got two reasons to cheer on the podium at Ferrari’s home race, despite Kimi Räikkönen stalling out of contention at the start. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel cruised home to second place, and longtime Ferrari driver (and current Williams pilot) Felipe Massa claimed third place after Rosberg retired in dramatic, fiery fashion.
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