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Rosberg revives title hopes with Barcelona win

NEWS STORY
10/05/2015

In a week in which the British electorate has witnessed Prime Ministerial hopeful Ed Miliband cast a number of his election promises in stone, a la Moses, it is only fitting that we might witness Nico Rosberg mount a title revival of Biblical proportions.

With his teammate taking pole for all four preceding races, and going on to win three of them, the German must today begin his mission to derail the Stevenage Rocket.

Toto and Niki did look down on their warring sons and wondered how it might end, whilst Nico wanted to take down his 'brother', the big question is would he be Abel.

Going into the final stage of qualifying, it was Noah that came to mind; whilst Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams, Toro Rosso and Red Bull went in to Q3 two-by two, so two-by-two were the final rows of the grid decided, with the tribe of Lotus leading the tribes of McLaren, Sauber, Force India and Manor.

With a mighty lap, Rosberg did smote his rival's ambitions, for seeing his was a scruffy lap Hamilton did settle for second, albeit with a slight gnashing of teeth.

Vettel, in his new clothes of bright red colour, did continue to impress and held off the warring Bottas who openly coveted his place on the grid, while the Toro Rosso duo did perform miracles to take fifth and sixth, thereby invoking the envy of their sister (team).

Not a burning bush but a burning blanket was to add to Raikkonen's misery, the Finn seemingly destined for another forty days and nights of team ineptitude and a whole heap of work to do on what should be the day of rest.

Red Bull, previously enticed by the allure and promises of its (engine) partner, did become increasingly weary of the marriage, and with the increasing likelihood of penalties there was much wailing and a great gnashing of teeth.

Envy too at Williams, where Massa did look upon his teammate's performance and realise that he must dig deep and find his inner resolve or perish by ending his career in a Manor not best suited to his talents.

The editor did look down on his opening to the Spanish Grand Prix and convincing himself that it was good, opted not to overdo it and get serious.

The almost perfect symmetry of the grid gives us excellent insight into the pecking order as we head into the summer, for despite the updates, the order for the next few races - excluding the freakish Monaco - appears to be fixed.

With eleven of the previous thirteen winners starting from pole, Rosberg and Hamilton both know what they have to do. However, expect Vettel and Bottas to take full advantage, even though they will be under pressure from the Toro Rossos and Raikkonen.

Last season of the eight times Rosberg started from pole ahead of his teammate, only twice did he succeed in holding him off for the remainder of the race, in Monaco and Brazil.

As ever, the big question is tyres. A three-stop strategy is theoretically slightly quicker but doesn't justify the traffic risks involved. Consequently, a two-stopper is actually more likely: especially for the cars at the front of the grid.

The best strategy would be start on medium, medium again on lap 23, hard on lap 50. The theoretically fastest three-stopper is to start on the medium, switch to medium again on laps 17 and 35, before a final stint on the hard from lap 55.

However, other than the fact that the Mercedes duo and Vettel have saved a brand new set of both compounds, the lack of degradation suggests that the red cars could opt for a two stopper.

Furthermore, Lotus, and to a much lesser extent Force India, could benefit from having two sets of brand new options to play with.

Also, it's worth noting that yesterday was the first time this year that all four Renault powered cars made it to Q3. Interestingly, only once this season have all four made it to the flag - Malaysia - all four scoring points in the process.

At 12:30 the pitlane opens and Hamilton leads the way.

As the national anthem is played the air temperature is 26 degrees C, whilst the track temperature is 44 degrees.

As the field heads off on the warm-up lap all are sporting the option rubber, the Lotus, Force India and Manor duos all on brand new boots. Verstappen's set has already done six laps.

As Rosberg leads the field around on the way to the grid, Hamilton comments that it feels warmer now than at any previous point this weekend.

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1. Posted by F One, 10/05/2015 18:35

"A pretty typical Spanish GP. In other words fairly mediocre."

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