The 2016 Russian Grand Prix is in the books and it was alternately interesting and mundane as Mercedes collected another ho-hum 1-2 finish but not before some early fireworks where Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was once again responsible for four-time champion Sebastian Vettel’s early exit from the race – thus clearing a free and easy path for Nico Rosberg to win his fourth race of the season and seventh in a row dating back to last season – by 25 seconds over his Mercedes’ teammate and defending champion, Lewis Hamilton. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen came in a distant third, 31 seconds back, as only five cars finished on the lead lap.
The first lap was the most interesting lap of the entire race as Kvyat, just as he did in the previous Chinese Grand Prix, came storming up to Vettel’s Ferrari – the only difference this time being that, instead of taking an evasive maneuver to avoid being rear-ended, Vettel held his ground – and for that, Kvyat made him pay as he plowed into him not once, but twice, with the second hit sending Vettel flying into the retainer wall and out of the race. For the debacle, Kvyat was assessed a 10-second penalty and his race was essentially over as he wound up finishing 15th – but the carnage he created, allowed Hamilton to eventually move up to second.
For the race points, ASN awards the top spot to Rosberg, who had another easy, unchallenged drive in the park, and runner-up points to McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, who clearly benefited from Kvyat’s clearout of Vettel as well. The final point goes to Raikkonen for staying reasonably close to Hamilton – only seven seconds back – despite being in a less powerful car. Rosberg holds a commanding eight-point lead over Vettel for the season.
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award can only go to one contestant – Kvyat – and we are almost tempted to award him double points for his double hit on Vettel.
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing” Award also can only go to Vettel – for his outburst after being doubled up by Kvyat: “Oh, for f-k’s sake! Who the f-k? Oh, I’m out. Crashed! Somebody hit me in the rear [at] turn two, and then somebody hit me in the f-king rear again at turn 3. For f-k’s sake, honestly! What the f-k are we doing here?”
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award goes again to F1 chief crusty barnacle, Bernie Ecclestone for proclaiming Russian authoritarian/nutball/dictator Vladimir Putin to be another Winston Churchill.
2016 ASN Driver Rankings [after Russian Grand Prix]
1] Nico Rosberg – 12 points
2] Sebastian Vettel – four points
3] Kimi Raikkonen – three points
4] Fernando Alonso – two points
5] Romain Grosjean/Daniil Kvyat/Stoffel Vandoorne – one point
The Pastor Maldonado Driving School Award [after Russian Grand Prix]
1] Alonso/Valtteri Bottas/Nico Hulkenberg/Kvyat – one point
The Kimi Raikkonen “Leave Me Alone! I Know What I’m Doing! Award [after Russian Grand Prix]
1] Kvyat/Raikkonen/Rosberg/Vettel – one point
The Lewis Hamilton Doofus Moment Award [after Russian Grand Prix]
1] Ecclestone/Hamilton – two points