So far 2016 has been quite an intriguing year for Formula 1, and the venture to the new street circuit in Baku, Azerbaijan, promised much in entertainment, with blistering straights and tight, windy corners – so why is it that the race itself felt quite dull?
It could be the ease of overtaking on the main straight, with DRS making it incredibly simple. Nearly every move was made with the assistance of this mechanism, and it was far too easy for the attacking driver. It could be the ease of Rosberg’s 19th career win, which was made straightforward by Hamilton’s crash in qualifying. Neither Ricciardo nor Vettel were able to challenge Rosberg off the line, and he would race to a dominant win, leading every lap. Hamilton, for his part, started 10th and finished fifth, but will have every reason to be disappointed with himself following his error in qualifying.
Praise needs to be offered to Perez. The Force India driver now has his second podium of the year, finishing in a highly credible third. He actually qualified in second, but a five-place penalty robbed him of starting there. Instead he kept a cool, composed head to claw his way back up the order. He was assisted to a point by Raikkonen picking up a time penalty, but Perez still made the point of passing the Ferrari late on, to emphasise the point.
The end result is that Rosberg has extended his championship lead to 24 points over a dejected Hamilton, and it will be interesting to see where both of them go from here.