F1: Another Perspective – Mercedes set to conquer Russia again?
Although Lewis Hamilton’s fight to defend his World Championship is not quite over yet, Mercedes are set to take advantage of Sochi’s fast-paced circuit once again to wrap up the constructor title with four races remaining.
Given that there has been much room for improvement (utilised with varying results) amongst the other construction teams, Mercedes may not enjoy such as stroll as last year’s formality. The Silver Arrows have proven fallible on several occasions this season, and sharp progress must resume over the summer if the crown is to be retained in 2016.
Lewis Hamilton negotiated Suzuka Circuit with disquieting ease at the Japanese Grand Prix. Alongside the Monaco and Malaysian Grands Prix, Suzuka is well renowned as the most testing circuit on the calendar, and the nature of Hamilton’s win suggests that he is truly a man back on form after his Singapore nightmare.
Once again, the focus will be on the battles further down the grid.
Just Another Day at The Office?
While this should prove a formality for Mercedes it is worth remembering that, for all the Silver Arrows’ pace, it was in fact Williams driver Valtteri Bottas that recorded the fastest lap en-route to a highly creditable third place finish.
Bottas has previously been touted as a potential replacement for Nico Rosberg at Mercedes, and the young Finn has enjoyed another strong season with Williams. His recent form gives good cause for encouragement, and another strong performance is expected. He may, however, find himself upstaged by two drivers that are also in form.
All Kvyat On The Western Front?
Under the subtropical skies of western Russia, home driver Danniil Kvyat will be one young upstart to watch. The 21 year old from Ufa has performed with greatness of racing spirit amidst a war between Red Bull and Renault.
Realistically, Kvyat only ever stood an outside chance of claiming points at Suzuka, and the seven-point surge from the very back of the grid was reflective of a driver that has unbreakable self-confidence. Prior to the last race, Kvyat was proudly reflecting on a run of nine points-finishes from the previous ten, and this weekend’s race represents a huge opportunity for one of Red Bull’s most gifted young stars of a generation.
Respect Where it’s Due
Purist F1 fanatics are enjoying every scintillating moment that Toro Rosso driver Max Verstappen spends on a circuit. Every race day, without fail, second-generation driver Verstappen performs unprecedented manoeuvres to gain positions with courageous and uncompromising racing style.
A points-finish at Suzuka (in 9th place) on his very first attempt is a sure sign that Verstappen is set for stratospheric heights under the right constructor. Sochi’s challenge is an entirely different one, which should play into the hands of Verstappen due to its even balance between pace and precision.
Predicted Top 10
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