Martin Brundle should be handed an award for his prediction with around 12 laps remaining at yesterday's Austrian GP. With both Lewis Hamitlon and Nico Rosberg pitting in preparation for a final surge to the finish line, Brundle stated that 'toys will be thrown out the pram' at the end of the race, suggesting a confrontation between the two was inevitable.
Lo and behold, the commentator was spot on. On the final lap, with Lewis Hamilton pouncing on a first corner mistake by Rosberg, the German took matters into his own hands by attempting to ram the Briton out of the race on the second corner. Unfortunately, or poetically, depending on your viewpoint, Rosberg failed in his desperate attempts. In doing so, he handed Hamilton victory, ceded points in the drivers championship table, inflicted heavy damage to his car and ended up finish fourth. A costly mistake for what was quite frankly the actions of a desperate man.
On-board footage of Rosberg is damning: the German made effectively no attempt to turn into the corner until contact was unavoidable. The problem with the action, which also resulted in a 10-second penalty, is that Rosberg chose the wrong man to barge. Hamilton is far too wily to fall for such a tactic; the Briton is a master of it himself (see Austin 2015) and surely must've expected a collision. He was lucky to get away without damage, but this will surely be a moment to look back on when the Drivers' Championship title is lifted at the end of the season.
You can't help but wonder what psychological effect the showdown will have on the two drivers. Rosberg did not act like a man in control, a champion-elect. Instead, he resembled more a desperate man attempting to cling on to what he has. Hamilton, on the other hand, has regained favour within the Mercedes camp, clawed back vital points on Rosberg and once again knows he has the German in his pocket. Perhaps I'm looking far too much into one incident, but the ramifications could affect the outcome of the championship this year.
On a seperate note, what a drive from Pascal Wehrlein. The young German delivered Manor Racing's first point of the season with a P10 finish, which has potentially earned his team millions in performance bonuses and kept them from extinction. The young driver is incredibly highly rated at Mercedes; how long before we see him charging down a straight in a silver arrow?