I know what you’re thinking, predicting the man who has just won 3 out of the last 4 Grand Prix’s isn’t exactly stepping out on a ledge. It wasn’t to long ago we were crowning Nico as the 2016 Champion. 4 Races in Hamilton trailed Rosberg by 43 points. Even after Hamilton had gained some momentum, winning in Monaco and Canada, Rosberg responded with a dominant victory in Baku. That said the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix convinced me Nico doesn’t have it in him to beat Lewis.
In case you missed it here’s a quick recap what happened. Lewis was caught out on the wrong tire strategy which means even though he was in the superior car, he found himself behind his teammate going into the last lap. During the turns leading to the white flag Rosberg’s brake by wire system failed, severely compromising the German’s ability to slow the car down. It did not take Hamilton long to catch his teammate. Going into turn 2 Nico in a desperate attempt to nurse his wounded car to victory protected the inside line. Lewis, clearly faster went to the outside to make the pass. Nico, then made nearly no attempt to make the corner, running his teammate wide. When there was no where for Lewis to go Nico hit him. In a rare form of poetic justice, Nico’s car was damaged and combined with a 10 second penalty forced Rosberg to finish 4th. Hamilton would go on to claim victory.
When you combine this desperate act with his block attempt gone wrong in Spain, Nico doesn’t have the stones to beat Lewis. Both times Nico’s car was not performing optimally. Both times Lewis chased him down. Both times Nico panicked. I have no doubt that in both cases it was Nico’s actions that caused the incidents. This demonstrates Nico’s lack of poise. Poise needed to become a champion. Let’s use Sunday’s incident as an example. Nico had to know given his braking situation he couldn’t hold off Lewis. He should have realized 2nd place points were better than the alternative. He should have tried to minimize the amount of points Lewis gained on him. What he actually did was the actions of a desperate and senseless man. Nico drove Lewis off the road. He had to be thinking worst case scenario they both crash and Nico would maintain his points advantage. Best case, Lewis avoids contact, goes wide, covers his tires in clag and is unable to catch back up to Rosberg. Unfortunately for Nico his plan backfired. Nico wounded his car while Lewis continued on, eventually passing him and going on to win the race. Nico limped his car, now featuring a freshly broken wing to 4th place. Nico cost himself 6 points, and his margin over Lewis is now only 11.
Nico’s defense for his actions? Blame Lewis.
“I went a bit deep into the corner, but that’s fine because I’m on the inside. I dictate,” Rosberg told TV crews after the race. “I was very surprised that Lewis turned in and caused a collision.”
This has to be the leader in the clubhouse for biggest pile of bull S*** spoken by any driver after any race in the entirety of 2016. Yes Nico you had the inside line, but Lewis did not turn into you. No Sir, you didn’t make any effort whatsoever to make the apex of that corner. Hell, you barely made any kind of attempt to turn the car at all. You ran your teammate wide and when he tied to abide by the track limits and actually make the corner, you were there, going straight, trying to take your teammate out.
This is just the latest incident that proves to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that when mano a mano vs Lewis, Nico doesn’t have the poise, polish, patience, etc… to beat Lewis. Mark my words, in a race not long from now Nico will see Lewis charging at him. He will feel the panicked dread associated with Hamilton’s impending pass. Nico will make a mistake and Lewis will pass him. This is why Lewis (barring an unfortunate unforeseen injury) will win the Championship this season.