As Hamilton’s march continues, Rosberg is in disarray


It’s quite rare for a driver to win four races in a row. It’s even rarer for a driver to do it twice in the same season. In fact, it’s so rare that Lewis Hamilton became the first driver in F1 history to manage it yesterday in Russia.

Having claimed nine race wins this year, Hamilton is not only squeezing the life out of Nico Rosberg’s championship hopes, but he is also arguably making his teammate a rather forgettable title protagonist.

If Lewis can round out the last three races to win seven on the bounce, his victory margin of at least 45 points will look convincing, even if we have had to go to the final round of the season.

As uninspiring as the race in Sochi was, Hamilton took an important win on his march to the drivers’ championship. It was an easy event for most of the drivers, with Kevin Magnussen comparing it to a “chilled out Sunday drive”. Hamilton went wire-to-wire and seemed very relaxed throughout. There was no mad rush as we saw in Singapore – he took the race by the throat, and with it, the championship.

Rosberg’s race was much the opposite, though. As he tried to find a way through at turn two, Nico locked up his front tires, sending a wave of smoke over the oncoming pack. He did move into the lead after cutting the corner, but fairly gave the position back before ducking into the pits for a fresh set of tires. Making them last 52 laps was a remarkable achievement, and no man worked harder than the German on Sunday, but he still came up short.

It marks Rosberg’s sixth straight defeat, four of which have come at the hands of Hamilton. He has now won less than half of the races that his teammate has (9-4 to Hamilton), and, arguably, hasn’t had the measure of his teammate very often this season, if at all. The only time Rosberg has won when they have both started on the front row came in Monaco.

Consider this: without double points in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton would need to outscore Rosberg by just eight points in the next two races to be champion.

Rosberg has certainly enjoyed the best season of his Formula 1 career in 2014, there is no denying that. He has more pole positions than Hamilton, and his wins in Germany and Austria were particularly impressive.

Until recently, I still firmly believed that Nico would win the world championship, my thinking being that although Lewis is the quicker driver, Nico would make fewer mistakes. Yet his recent form has been marked by a number of errors, with the most recent one coming on Sunday in Russia. As a result, Hamilton has the title in the palm of his hand.

The big turning point came at Spa when Rosberg and Hamilton made contact on the second lap of the race, forcing the Briton out of the race with a puncture. By finishing second, Rosberg extended his championship lead to 29 points, yet the events following the race dealt a serious blow to his title hopes.

When Hamilton revealed to the media after the race in Belgium that Nico had “basically said he did it on purpose”, the psychological battle was won. Ever since, Rosberg hasn’t looked the same. His mistakes could be taken as proof of this.

Maybe it’s the experience of a title battle. Hamilton has one victory to his name from 2008, and was also in the running for titles in 2007 and 2010. For Rosberg, 2014 is the first chance to win a championship. He lacks the experience Hamilton has in this regard.

The mathematical advantage may be the one that counts at the end of the season, but it can be a byproduct of the psychological one. Lewis has both now, thus making him the overwhelming favorite for the championship.

Three races to go and 100 points to play for. It’s been a great season, but the championship may not be as close as we thought it would be come the checkered flag in Abu Dhabi.

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

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Power Rankings after Detroit
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Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points