|Max Verstappen claims his maiden victory|
|8||+1||Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso||1128||+23|
The (obvious) big winner in the ratings was Verstappen, pulling almost level with his teammate on only his first outing. Verstappen's former teammate, Carlos Sainz Jr., also had a strong race, finishing sixth. As big as Verstappen's boost was from winning, Kevin Magnussen's drop was as large from finishing 15th after causing a collision with his teammate.
Speaking of causing collisions ... let's talk Mercedes for a minute. Both drivers got a great start off the line, but Rosberg managed to draft Hamilton down the long straight and make an amazing pass on the outside of turn one. From there it appears that Rosberg bungled his engine settings, giving Hamilton a 17 kph speed advantage coming out of turn three.
The above video shows the collision. The race stewards determined this to be a racing incident, with neither driver at fault. Hamilton appeared to be more accepting of the stewards' decision than Rosberg, but perhaps that's just because he's gotten more practice at dealing with bad luck this season. Both live and after-the-fact, I was of the opinion that Rosberg cut across too late and too aggressively, forcing Hamilton off the track even after the Brit had pulled alongside the German.
|Screenshot from YouTube video of the collision.|
Hamilton is alongside Rosberg, but Rosberg continues to veer right.
In the end what's done is done, and Mercedes will have to continue to manage their drivers. Qualifying showed that the team still has a sizable advantage in pace over the rest of the field, they just need to tamp down on the bad starts and the bad luck. This weekend proved, at least, that they may have a handle on the former. We'll need to wait another ten days to see if they've done anything about the latter.