You must know when things are going for you. That as early as the exit of the first turn your three credible challengers already have their days irreparably damaged. That from that point it’s a case only of bringing it home to triumph. That loosely describes Nico Rosberg’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
And it continues a situation in which things are going for him generally. That’s now two wins from two in 2016, giving him a firm early lead in the standings. Also taking the end part of last season he’s now won the last five. It was pointed out too that no one has ever put together such a run without winning a title at the campaign’s end.
Bahrain GP 2016 – Rosberg On A Roll
It’s early days of course and Nico was keen to point out that this is but the second of a marathon 21-round season. It’s also undeniable that he, so far, has had the luck. But he also has looked impressive with it. And in the Bahrain weekend, aside from his team mate pulling out an astonishing lap at the conclusion of qualifying, Rosberg was consistently ahead of the rest. Whatever the case, he is right now, as Martin Brundle opined, a man who can’t stop winning.
As outlined, the fates delivered this race to him early. Sebastian Vettel, expected to go well here, didn’t even start, his engine going pop on the formation lap. Ferrari reliability has been iffy since pre-season and F1 tends to bite at the worst moments. Then neither Seb’s team mate Kimi Raikkonen nor Nico’s team mate Lewis Hamilton got good launches, and to make things worse for Lewis an errant Valtteri Bottas hit him at the first turn. He could keep going but worse still his car was damaged, costing him around 0.8 seconds a lap. This condemned him to damage limitation. After turn one, Kimi was fifth and Lewis seventh, while Rosberg cleared off unchallenged. The day was done.
F1 Shows It Still Provides A Spectacle
As in the Australian season-opener the race was entertaining and there also were a number of fine drives out there, not least from young guns such as Max Verstappen, Pascal Wehrlein and the McLaren supersub Stoffel Vandoorne. The freshman Haas team also did one better even than its great Melbourne result, Romain Grosjean finishing fifth. All-in-all it showed that in its race entertainment at least F1 is getting it right in 2016.
Kimi and Lewis also recovered well from their early mishaps, Kimi indeed created some waves by somehow getting to within about four seconds of Rosberg after the latter emerged from his final stop. But Nico had it all well under control, in the time-honoured style of Prost, Stewart et al he was merely taking as little as he needed out of his car in order to retain command. The result wasn’t in doubt, and hadn’t been since that first turn.
But with Rosberg there always is doubt, somehow. Even with the run outlined and its historical implications, it’s still tempting to see it as an aberration. But what if it’s not? In other words, what if it’s much more than just things going for him?