Hamilton’s spin costs him race win, puts pressure on for Abu Dhabi

3 Comments

Lewis Hamilton has taken the blame for a spin that cost him a possible race victory at yesterday’s Brazilian Grand Prix, and is now facing increasing pressure to win a second Formula 1 world championship in Abu Dhabi at the end of the year.

With a sixth successive victory today, Hamilton could have ensured that a fifth-place finish would have been enough to win the title in two weeks time regardless of teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg’s result at Yas Marina.

However, a spin on the lap before his second pit stop meant that Hamilton had a seven second gap to recover as the race passed half distance.

Although he did manage to reel Rosberg back in, the Briton ultimately fell 1.4 seconds short at the flag, and rued the mistake in the post-race press conference.

“I think ultimately it cost me the win,” Hamilton admitted after the race. “I mean, I was much quicker up until that point and on that lap I’d gone a second quicker whilst Nico pitted and I thought I was going to pit at the end of that lap so I used everything of the tires.

“The next lap, I had nothing left. Either way, at the end of the day, I made a mistake, I locked the rears into turn four and with the under-rotation, just spun me around. Second time it’s happened this weekend.

“So, no-one’s fault but mine. Still, a great result for the team. Nico drove really well, great, defensive, no mistakes and ultimately we got a one-two. I really was pushing right to the checkered flag, which is what motor racing’s all about. So I really enjoyed it.”

As a result of his second place finish, if Rosberg does win under the lights in Abu Dhabi, Hamilton must finish second to win the championship. Finishing third would see him lose out to his teammate by three points, assuming that Rosberg does take a sixth win of the year.

For all of the championship permutations, be sure to check out Tony DiZinno’s article here.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
0 Comments

Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.