The 2016 Japanese Grand Prix is in the books and it was a lovely day for Nico Rosberg as the Mercedes driver moved one step closer to clinching his first-ever world championship with a mostly unmolested victory after starting in the first row with the fastest car. His Mercedes teammate, however, had a different day. Lewis Hamilton also started in the first row but completely botched his start and had to eventually scramble to settle for third. Sandwiched in between them was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The top ASN points for the 2016 Japanese Grand Prix are awarded to Rosberg for his easy win that merely required that he stay awake long enough to complete the 56 laps around the Suzuka circuit. Same for Verstappen, who claims two points and just had to follow Rosberg around without crashing into anybody. The third place single point goes to Sebastian Vettel, who almost got third but had to settle for fourth when Hamilton came charging back from his starting error.
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award undoubtedly has to go to Hamilton for botching yet another start – presumably while busy Snapchatting – and possibly torpedoing his chances to claim the 2016 championship as Rosberg moves 33 points ahead in the standings.
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing!” Award was a tough call for this race. Nobody had a standout thought over the radio during the race. Several drivers complained about the lack of vehicles being blue flagged or blue-flagged vehicles ignoring said blue flags and with so many drivers complaining about having the blues, ASN had to pick a winner, so we go with the category namesake who rather matter-of-factly noted that “It’s not too hard to let people past.”
Finally, The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award has to go to its namesake as well for Snapchatting photos of himself and others during the pre-race press conference and then backing up his supposed boredom [or passive aggressive temper tantrum, however you choose to view it] with his poor race start – there is a reason he leads this category handily.
2016 ASN Formula One Driver Standings [after Japanese Grand Prix]
1] Nico Rosberg – 32 points
2] Lewis Hamilton – 19 points
3] Sebastian Vettel – 15 points
4] Daniel Ricciardo/Max Verstappen – seven points
6] Kimi Raikkonen – six points
7] Fernando Alonso/Sergio Perez – three points
9] Jenson Button/Carlos Sainz, Jr. – two points
11] Valtteri Bottas/Romain Grosjean/Nico Hulkenberg/Daniil Kvyat/Stoffel Vandoorne – one point
2016 Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after Japanese Grand Prix]
1] Hamilton/Rosberg – three points
3] Kvyat/Verstappen – two points
5] Alonso/Bottas/Hulkenberg/Palmer/Raikkonen/Vettel/Wehrlein – one point
2016 Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing! Award [after Japanese Grand Prix]
1] Raikkonen – four points
2] Hamilton – three points
3] Ricciardo/Vettel – two points
5] Alonso/Button/Kvyat/Rosberg/Verstappen/Wehrlein – one point
2016 Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award [after Japanese Grand Prix]
1] Hamilton – five points
2] Bernie Ecclestone – three points
3] Brazilian kidnappers/F1 stewards/Force India pit [Perez]/Malaysia/Mercedes/Red Bull pit [Ricciardo]/Renault pit [Palmer]/Singapore/Verstappen – one point