Wednesday - Aug 23, 2017

Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Monaco Grand Prix to make for a classic two horse race

Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the Monaco Grand Prix to make for a classic two horse race

With last year’s ending up with the result being a foregone conclusion almost two thirds of the way across the season, this year’s championship looks like being a completely different story, with the only certainty that Mercedes will win the Constructors World Championship, and that, unless something really dramatic or unforeseen happens, the winner of the Drivers World Championship will be either Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg.

Yesterday Rosberg succeeded in putting himself back in contention for the drivers championship eventually comfortably winning the Monaco Grand Prix, with this time around Hamilton finishing in second place.

Much of the controversy this year in Monaco happened before the race got underway with enormous tension reported in the Mercedes camp between Hamilton and Rosberg following the controversial outcome of qualifying. Lewis Hamilton complained Rosberg forced him onto the escape road, which after investigation was declared by race stewards was put down to innocent driver error, caused by the German on his final qualifying lap. As a result Hamilton was unable to complete his own final lap, affecting his pole position.

Despite Rosberg’s advantage, Hamilton succeeded in closing in on Rosberg although he never looked likely to catch him, even falling back towards the end of the race, and almost being caught by Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull for second place.

As the checkered flag went up for Rosberg, it marked the first time this season that the German had actually finished ahead in a Grand Prix, with his only previous victory coming in Australia in the first race of the season, when Hamilton was forced to retire with an engine problem, although Hamilton went on to win four races in a row, in Malaysia, Bahrain, China and Spain.

Niki Lauda, non-executive chairman of the Mercedes F1 team for this season, when interviewed on the subject, conceded that Mercedes were well aware of the “Bad Blood” between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, which has reached a point the two drivers refused to shake hands or even celebrate together afterwards, despite landing their fifth straight one-two result of the season, with Hamilton stating that he and Rosberg “are colleagues but not friends.”

A situation that is liable to continue, at least until the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, on the eighth of June.

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