Rosberg fends off late Ricciardo charge for Singapore GP victory


Nico Rosberg moved back into the lead of the Formula 1 drivers’ championship for the first time since the middle of July by taking a hard-fought victory in Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix, his eighth of the 2016 season.

Rosberg appeared to have the race sewn up after the leading drivers came in for their second pit stops, the idea being his rivals would go to the end of the race on the soft tire.

However, when Mercedes opted to bring Lewis Hamilton in for a third stop late on, it set off a chain reaction that allowed Ricciardo to go on a late charge, catching Rosberg at multiple seconds each lap on fresher, quicker tires.

Late traffic stunted Ricciardo’s charge, though, leaving him just a second shy at the flag as Rosberg clinched his first Singapore win.

The start saw Rosberg make a perfect getaway from pole, retaining his lead ahead of Ricciardo and Hamilton. Max Verstappen dropped back after a tardy start, but was fortunate to continue after Nico Hulkenberg smashed into the wall on the main straight after contact with Carlos Sainz Jr. The incident sparked an immediate safety car period as the debris was cleared.

Swift work from the marshals ensued the race could resume on lap three, with Rosberg immediately opening up a lead over the chasing pack. Despite being warned about his brake management by Mercedes, Rosberg was able to pull out a seven-second lead over Ricciardo in second through the first stint of the race.

Ricciardo was the first of the leading drivers to pit, coming in at the end of lap 15. Hamilton followed him into the pits line astern, with the two drivers opting for different strategies. While Red Bull handed Ricciardo another set of super-softs, Hamilton took on soft tires, allowing him to go for a longer second stint. Hamilton was less than impressed, though, telling his team: “I needed a strategy that could get me past!”

Rosberg followed suit one lap later, retaining his advantage over Ricciardo despite Mercedes’ pit crew costing him a couple of seconds while attaching his front-right tire. Now on the soft tire, Rosberg knew that Ricciardo would have the pace advantage through the next stint of the race.

Ricciardo put his super-soft tires to good use, eating into Rosberg’s lead while opening up a gap of over 10 seconds to Hamilton behind. The Briton now found himself falling into the clutches of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who moved to within a second on the super-soft tire.

Another battle raging on through the second stint of the race was between Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen, the pair who swapped seats earlier in the year. Kvyat refused to let Verstappen past, forcing the Dutchman wide on a number of occasions with some hard but fair moves. Verstappen was left frustrated and eventually came in for a set of super-softs without having passed Kvyat, the Russian scoring a moral victory in their scrap.

Ricciardo managed to whittle the gap to Rosberg down to less than four seconds, but his super-soft tires began to wear as the race passed half-distance, allowing the leader to pull away again. Red Bull opted to cut its losses and bring Ricciardo in at the end of lap 32 before the gap grew too big, fitting him with soft tires that would take him to the end of the race.

Mercedes reacted immediately to Red Bull’s move, bringing Rosberg in one lap later to also take a set of soft tires. Further back, Hamilton’s difficult weekend continued as he locked up and allowed Raikkonen to move up into third place. The pair pitted within a lap of each other, Raikkonen retaining his advantage heading into the final stint.

With the threat of Red Bull’s tire strategy options now seen off, Rosberg found himself five seconds clear of Ricciardo up front with just over a third of the race to complete, knowing that so long as he kept his cool, a maiden Singapore victory was his to take.

Things soon became a little less predictable though. Keen to become the first team to take a one-two finish in Singapore, Mercedes rolled the dice in a bid to get Hamilton up the order. The three-time world champion was told he had been moved onto ‘Plan B’ and to push hard, catching Raikkonen quickly, before diving in to the pits with 16 laps to go for a set of super-soft tires.

The move piled pressure on Ferrari, who decided very late on to mirror Hamilton’s move and bring Raikkonen in one lap later. A rapid out-lap from Hamilton meant Raikkonen emerged from the pits staring at the Mercedes’ diffuser – the undercut had worked perfectly for Mercedes.

Inspired by Hamilton’s move, Red Bull opted to bring Ricciardo in one lap later for super-soft tires and make life difficult for Rosberg at the front. Mercedes gave Rosberg the hurry-up, only to keep him out and not mirror the rest of the field, believing his 25-second lead to be enough to get to the end of the race.

Ricciardo quickly began to ramp up the pressure on Rosberg, running almost three seconds per lap quicker heading into the closing stages, setting up a nail-biting finish.

Ricciardo managed to close to within five seconds of Rosberg entering the final few laps, only for traffic to get in his way and give Rosberg some breathing space once again.

The pair crossed the line separated by less than half a second, but it was Rosberg who finished ahead to record his third straight victory and re-take the lead of the drivers’ championship.

Hamilton rounded out the podium in P3, fending off Raikkonen in the fight to the line, but now trails his Mercedes teammate by eight points in the drivers’ championship.

Sebastian Vettel perfected his strategy to charge from 22nd on the grid to fifth at the flag, while Max Verstappen ended up sixth for Red Bull.

Fernando Alonso was McLaren’s sole point-scorer in P7, finishing ahead of Sergio Perez who failed to make an aggressive two-stop strategy work.

Daniil Kvyat and Kevin Magnussen both ended their barren runs of form to finish ninth and 10th respectively. For Kvyat, P9 marked his best finish since he hit the podium in China, while Magnussen’s point was Renault’s first since Russia.

Esteban Gutierrez finished 11th once again for Haas ahead of the Brazilian pair of Felipe Massa and Felipe Nasr. Carlos Sainz Jr.’s race was ruined early on by a barge board issue, leaving him to finish 14th ahead of Jolyon Palmer. Pascal Wehrlein was 16th for Manor ahead of Marcus Ericsson and teammate Esteban Ocon.

Valtteri Bottas was forced to retire from the race early after an issue with his seatbelt and a minor engine problem, while Jenson Button also parked up in the McLaren garage with 18 laps remaining.

Romain Grosjean’s miserable weekend ended early after a brake problem on his Haas VF-16 car prevented him from starting the race.

Vicki Golden and 805 Beer tell a unique story from an Inverted Perspective


Vicki Golden has earned a career worthy of a thousand stories and 805 Beer tells at least one of them, as “Inverted Perspective” premiered March 30 on the company’s website and YouTube channel.

Golden did more to break the glass ceiling in SuperMotocross than she ever thought possible. She knows this because riders have never felt the need to explain any of her accomplishments with the disclaimer, “for a girl”. 

At this point in Golden’s career, she’s been the first woman to finish top 10 in AMA Arenacross Lites, the first woman to qualify in the Fast 40 in Monster Energy AMA Supercross and the first woman to compete in freestyle Moto X competition, earning a bronze medal by doing so.

Her love for moto came from childhood while she watched her dad and brother ride. By seven she was on her bike and making waves throughout Southern California. 

Golden, 30, is still madly in love with the sport and has no plans on moving away but her career is already one to talk about. 805 Beer’s film series wanted to do exactly that.

“I’m taken aback by it all,” Golden told NBC Sports about the documentary. “It’s just crazy to see your story, it’s one thing to live your life and battle everything that comes about but it’s another to just sit there and talk about it.”

805 approached Golden about the feature by asking, “Do you even realize that what you do, and your story is special?”

Golden took the question as a blank canvas to map out the highs and lows of her career and life. 

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The title “Inverted Perspective” came from a brainstorming session with Dominick Russo and it highlights Golden’s outlook on the sport of SuperMotocross and her life in general. 

“My whole life, my whole career was thinking differently and looking at things that shouldn’t be done and aren’t there, while being able to make a place for myself, where no one thought there should be a place,” Golden said.  “It’s inspiring someone to think in different ways. It sums up my life.”

Vicki Golden is not “fast for a girl”; she’s just fast. – 805 Beer

While Golden is no stranger to the spotlight, this was the first time she’s been fully involved with the storytelling and creation of a feature about herself. 

“It’s not like a full new experience,” Golden said. “Obviously, you get your standard questions about your upbringing and accomplishments, but I’ve never really put into perspective things that happened in my past with my dad and putting that to light. Also, certain other things that maybe got overlooked in previous interviews or films. I wanted to touch on these and Dom wanted to create a story. It’s just cool to see it come to light, it’s a nearly impossible thing to tell somebody’s life story in 40 minutes.”

Golden’s father was left paralyzed after an ATV accident, robbing him the opportunity to ride again. This happened a few months before the father-daughter duo was set to compete in the Loretta Lynn’s Amateur Nationals when Vicki was 12. While she might have been unable to grasp the severity at the time, it’s something she carries with her. Golden continues to ride in his honor.

Years later, an accident in 2018 nearly sidelined the then 25-year-old Vicki when a freestyle accident almost resulted in the amputation of her lower leg. 

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Golden 805 Beer
Vicki Golden has ridden a variety of disciplines in SuperMotocross, which gives her a unique perspective. – 805 Beer

“Inverted Perspective” highlights her father’s diligence in helping Vicki continue with her career and the kindness and strength he carried while fighting his own battle. 

“My dad was the entire reason that I started riding in the first place,” Golden said. “So, to honor his memory and to honor what we went through and how hard he pushed to keep our dream alive and keep everything going – in that sense then, it was really special to be able to honor him and talk about him.”

The 40-minute feature was filmed entirely in black and white, a stark contrast from the oversaturated world of motocross where the brighter the suit the easier it is for fans to find their rider and follow him in the race. By filming in monochrome Russo and Golden had the chance to focus on the race and track from a different perspective. 

“It was cool to be able to film it differently,” Golden said. “It created a challenge in the sense of what was going to be more visually impactful for the film.

“I couldn’t be here without the companies that back me but at the same time, it’s not like the logos or colors disappeared, it’s just different lights shed on different spots. It’s just a cool way to do it and to take color away and still be impactful. When you think of black and white, you think of old school, the OG way of doing things.”