Suzuka Sunshine – the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix 

This is going to be a brief review of the race itself, as I was away at the weekend and haven’t seen it. I know of the result though, and I know the ramifications for the title battle. 

Nico Rosberg is nearly there. He needs only finish second to Hamilton in the remaining four races to be crowned world champion (thus emulating his father, Keke Rosberg), and it would appear only a colossal mistake or mechanical failure can deny him that achievement now.

Hamilton might lament the problems he’s faced this year. He’s had four races compromised by problems outside his control. The points lost from these problems have hurt him, there’s no doubt of that. However, he has also made a number of errors, the latest one coming in Japan, that have arguably had a bigger impact on his title challenge. 

Assuming that he didn’t challenge Rosberg for wins in China, Baku and Singapore and Japan, second places here would see him 15 points behind Rosberg at this stage, instead of 33. Had he converted his pole positions into victories, he might even be leading the championship. Instead, Hamilton has repeatedly been his own worst enemy, whilst Rosberg – despite wobbles of his own – has generally been quite composed. The title battle is not over, but Hamilton is relying on factors outside of his control now.

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