2016 Germany Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: And the beat keeps going for Hamilton. And the wheels keep falling off for Rosberg.
EVENT: It's good to have the German Grand Prix back. It's also good to see a better crowd than last time. But, it's not good the crowd still pales in comparison to the Schumacher era. And it's not good ticket prices are forced to be extremely high even for the best economy in the European Union.
TRACK: Bring back those long excursions into the Black Forest. Heck, don't even pave them. That would make it even more fun...
QUALIFYING: Rosberg shines in his home country, Hamilton returns to his petulant self, Haas once again misses Q3 by one spot, and Kvyat is nowhere to be seen.
START: Hamilton pulls it off again, Rosberg gets a crap start, Verstappen pulls a (successful) banzai move ... on his own teammate, and Massa's race essentially ends.
RACE: Again, not a scintillating race. Not as much strategy either (unless you call backing off to save fuel, strategy, but we sure as hell won't). But, there were some real good, albeit brief, battles with some superb passing moves.
HAMILTON: Lewis definitely lives by the famous A.J. Foyt quote: You get out in front - you stay out in front.
ROSBERG: The little extra after the move on Verstappen was unnecessary. And immature. The penalty was probably warranted. But what we really want to know is why does the FIA penalize everybody for driving infractions, but not Verstappen?
MERCEDES: A broken stopwatch?! That's why you held Rosberg for eight seconds for a five second penalty? A broken stopwatch? Seriously? How big is your budget and you can't find a stopwatch that works?
RICCIARDO: Drinking champagne out of a shoe?! You Aussies are weird. But we sure love you, Daniel.
VERSTAPPEN: No doubt, Max will not give an inch to his teammate. This fight between the two down the road, especially when a championship is on the line, is going to get very, very interesting.
RED BULL: Now that they are doing well, they are no longer Team Whining Babies.
VETTEL: Once again defied team strategy orders. This whole program is falling apart. Rapidly.
RAIKKONEN: Kimi started Sunday happy. Ended not so happy. This whole program is falling apart.
FERRARI: James Allison left (though, more for personal reasons). They are getting slower, not faster, Their number one driver isn't listening to his chief engineer. The pressure is mounting. The last thing management needs to do is make a knee jerk reaction. Which is exactly what they will probably do...
HULKENBERG: Finally, a solid race from "the other" Nico.
PEREZ: Nice job taking the fight to Alonso. Talk about not being intimidated by a two-time world champion.
GUTIERREZ: Once again Esteban, we're going to give you a tipster, because you don't seem to be listening. Worry about your own driving and whether you are going to keep your ride rather than whether a grand prix winner was saying "inaccurate" comments on his radio about you.
FIA: So, after months of digging their heels in and making the radio rules stricter and stricter, they all of a sudden, without any warning, throw out the rule altogether. Now, that's what you call good, firm leadership ... NOT!
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Shoe.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 0 -- The number of penalties handed out for breaking the radio ban rule.
HISTORICAL STAT OF THE WEEKEND: Brits have won the German GP many times, 18 to be exact. But the first British driver to take the event was the most politically intriguing and controversial one. In 1937, with the rise of Nazi Germany as a major power on the eve of World War II, using racing to prove Aryan supremacy, Dick Seaman signed onto the Mercedes-Benz team against his mother's wishes. He won the 1938 German GP on the original Nürburgring Nordschleife circuit. He gave the Nazi salute on the podium.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: Lewis Hamilton isn't the only one who gets upset with Esteban Gutierrez over blue flags. Daniel Ricciardo is another who said on his radio, dripping in Aussie sarcasm, "I just love Esteban. He's my favorite."
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Lewis Hamilton perfectly encapsulating the state of his mind as the season heads into the summer break, "I'll be on a beach, in the sunshine with a pina colada, and I will be smiling."
SCHEDULE: The four races in five weeks, all in July, stretch is finally over. Now, they go on a much needed break. Not just for the personnel involved in the sport, but for the fans as well. Even Deep Throttle. Enjoy the Olympics (hopefully, without any kidnappings). See you at the end of August.
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