It’s true what they say. To destroy is easier than to create. And to put it in F1 terms, you can’t win races in an instant, but you can most assuredly lose them. Nico Rosberg will have known this anyway, but he really knows it right now. His German Grand Prix weekend was going majestically, but it was all undone in seconds.
For much of it he was on a plateau. Top in every practice session, then bagging an amazing pole position in real adversity. After all of his team mate Lewis Hamilton’s astonishing recent form, turning Nico’s 43 championship point lead into a six point deficit, it looked here at least he’d get something back. Particularly when Lewis after qualifying appeared like he had one of his moods on – reckoning that pole was his for the taking but for his own mistake. He was monosyllabic, not entirely in the room.
What a Difference a day Makes
That was then. When the lights went off to start the race in an instant the day had changed. Irrecoverably. Nico’s start was a stinker and he ended up fourth at the first turn, not only behind Lewis – now leading – but the impressive Red Bull pair too. Immediately, it looked like Lewis was not going to be headed for the rest of the day, and he wasn’t as he cruised to a win, maintaining a never gaping but always healthy advantage over the guy next up.
And as he bounced around the podium anteroom, tossed his trophy in the air on the rostrum, then spoke later about his inimitable philosophy on life, the contrast with 24 hours earlier could not have been greater. But that’s Lewis – as James Allen noted after qualifying when he’s up; he’s up and when he’s down; he’s down.
As for Nico, he would be forgiven for wondering about any recent broken mirrors or black cats crossing his path. His day not only started badly but got worse from there. He got past Max Verstappen which looked enough to salvage second, but picked up a penalty for it that many thought extremely harsh. Then when serving his penalty the Mercedes team’s stopwatch broke (really), meaning he actually served eight seconds when all he needed to serve was five. Apparently his set-up was poor too, overheating his tyres. It never rains… He at the end was in the fourth place he was in at turn one. Now he has an entire four-week summer break to think about it all. Whether that’s a good thing or not can be debated.
Lewis Looking Hard to Stop
Lewis’s title lead now is 19 and for several reasons you’ll struggle to find anyone who thinks anyone else will be 2016 champion, even though an engine penalty grid drop is probable for him at some point in the next two rounds. The man himself described the turnaround as “crazy”, and that it seemed a mere couple of weeks since the Spanish round when he faced the cliff edge-like deficit mentioned.
He also insisted that he isn’t unbeatable. Maybe not. But right now though he hardly needs it there is an overwhelming sense that all is steadfastly going his way.