(Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton into the first corner at the Brazilian Grand Prix)
So, round 18 of 19 in the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship is done. At a circuit often regarded as a challenging one and certainly one with a lot of exciting memories for F1 fans, Nico Rosberg dominated, fastest in practise sessions, qualifying on pole, and ultimately absorbing race-long pressure from Hamilton to take his fifth win of the season, and keeping himself in touching distance of Hamilton as F1 gears for the finale in Abu Dhabi on the 23rd of November.
I didn’t see all the race, having been at work, but the last half an hour or so was all Rosberg, maintaining a gap of a second or so from Hamilton, who just couldn’t quite close it enough for a viable overtaking opportunity.
Further down the pecking order, I did rather enjoy Kimi Räkkonen displaying some fight against Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso – Kimi’s season has not been great, even taking into account a difficult car, and Alonso has eclipsed him quite easily, so it must have been confidence-boosting for him to even remotely fight off Alonso for a few laps. Local hero Felipe Massa got third in his Williams, much to the delight of the home crowd at Interlagos, and Jenson Button took fourth for McLaren, comfortably out-performing his teammate Kevin Magnussen once again.
In the battle for the title, Lewis heads Nico by 17 points going into the last race, which would normally mean he could afford to finish as long as sixth, even if Nico won, but with double points being awarded at Abu Dhabi, Lewis must finish second if Nico wins. Still, given the performance of the Mercedes this season, it seems highly unlikely (barring accidents or technical drama) that Lewis will be lower than second.
I can’t wait to see what happens, and I hope Lewis wins!