History for Hamilton this weekend?
It’s not been the easiest of weeks for Formula 1 but there’s been quite a few of those this season. While the focus this weekend will be on the continuing battle for the title between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, Marussia and Caterham will be sitting on the sidelines watching.
Neither team can take part for financial reasons but Formula 1 is no stranger to financial problems and the talk of the remaining teams having three drivers next season has again started. But is it a crisis for the whole of Formula 1 or just two teams who haven’t exactly set the world alight since they started racing in 2010?
Marussia only started scoring points this season and Caterham are still to break their duck after 93 races. Face it, they’re never going to challenge for a title are they. The simple fact is that the cost of running a title chasing team continually goes up and up and not everyone can afford that cost. It’s like the Premier League where the top teams sign the best players in the world while Burnley chase bargains from the Championship and virtually get lapped.
So while two teams sit at home counting their losses, let’s concentrate on the USA Grand Prix. This is the third race to take place in Austin, Texas and it was Sebastian Vettel who won for Red Bull last year.
Lewis Hamilton starts the weekend with a 17 point lead over Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. That’s a substantial lead with just three races to go but the title race is still likely to go down to the crazy double points last race of the season in Abu Dhabi. That means Hamilton could win the next two races and still fail to win the title if he was unable to finish the last race of the season.
Boss Bernie may be dreaming of a great finish to the season but Hamilton isn’t quite in agreement with the new rules. If the double points rule did cost him the title he says “It would suck if that was the case- big time.” The only people really celebrating might be those with bets on Rory McIlroy winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Hamilton is unquestionably the man in form coming into this race. He’s won four races in a row and that’s the second time this season he’s achieved that feat. Can he make it five? If he did manage to do that this weekend he’d equal or break several records.
He’d become only the third British driver to do so, the others being Jim Clark in 1965 and Nigel Mansell in 1992. A win would also mean he’s won more Grand Prix races than any other driver, currently being level on 31 career wins. It’d also be his 10th win of the season, a figure only previously achieved by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel. Actually ten is a magic figure this weekend because another Mercedes 1-2 would be the 10th this year equalling McLaren’s record set in 1988.
Last year Vettel won with just one stop, that’s not something that Hamilton wants to happen this year. Speaking at a F1 press conference on Thursday he said he’d prefer that not to happen and besides it makes the race more interesting for the viewers. Mind you, most viewers just sit in their living room expecting the weekend to comprise of Mercedes being on pole and then either Hamilton or Rosberg winning the race.
It’s Rosberg who has most to do this weekend; he has to cut out the errors of recent races if he’s to close the gap on his teammate. Hamilton won here in 2012 and another win looks very much on the cards as his momentum continues to grow and grow.