The 2016 Italian Grand Prix is in the books and – surprise, surprise – a Mercedes won. In this case, the only genuine surprise was that it was the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg who won over the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton after Hamilton started the race with the pole position and promptly kicked himself in the nuts with the poorest start humanly possible and dropped all the way back to sixth place by the first corner. This required him to use the majority of the race to get back to second place and, of course, he never did catch Rosberg, who drove off into the Italian spaghetti Western sunset with another easy victory like the one he had last week in Belgium.
For the official AutoSportsNation point allocation purposes, Rosberg gets top points as the winner while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel gets the next slot as he claimed the third and final podium position and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo gets the final point for bringing his outmuscled car into a respectable fifth place.
With Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat taking a temporary break from crashing into anybody willy-nilly, the Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award must go to Hamilton for his horrific start that even had Freddy cringing about his nightmares.
With the race being virtually a non-contest from the get-go, the radio banter was light, but it cannot get much lighter than the response of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso to his pit warning him that Haas’ Romain Grosjean might drop back to him while both were in meaningless double digit placing territory. Alonso’s response of – and we are paraphrasing here – “Hahahahahahahaha!!!” – is our winner of the award for the coveted Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award.
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award was the only real contested award battle for this race as it came down to the Green Room behaviors of Hamilton and Vettel – with Hamilton acting like a pouty child and Vettel grabbing the wrong hat – but with Hamilton’s behavior being obviously intentional, ASN goes with Hamilton in his signature category.
2016 ASN Formula One Driver Standings [after Italian Grand Prix]
1] Nico Rosberg – 25 points
2] Lewis Hamilton – 19
3] Sebastian Vettel – 12
4] Kimi Raikkonen – five
5] Daniel Ricciardo/Max Verstappen – four
7] Fernando Alonso/Sergio Perez – three
9] Jenson Button/Carlos Sainz, Jr. – two
11] Valtteri Bottas/Romain Grosjean/Nico Hulkenberg/Daniil Kvyat/Stoffel Vandoorne – one
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after Italian Grand Prix]
1] Rosberg – three points
2] Hamilton/Kvyat – two
4] Alonso/Bottas/Hulkenberg/Palmer/Raikkonen/Verstappen/Wehrlein – one
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing! Award [after Italian Grand Prix]
1] Raikkonen – three points
2] Hamilton/Ricciardo/Vettel – two
5] Alonso/Button/Kvyat/Rosberg/Wehrlein – one
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award [after Italian Grand Prix]
1] Hamilton – four points
2] Bernie Ecclestone – three
3] Brazilian kidnappers/F1 stewards/Force India pit [Perez]/Red Bull pit [Ricciardo]/Renault pit [Palmer]/Mercedes/Verstappen – one