After nine races of the 2014 Formula One season, Nico Rosberghad outqualified his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton 5-4, and each driver had scored four pole positions. At the same point this year, about halfway through the season’s 19 races, Hamilton has outqualified Rosberg 8-1 (the two Merc drivers have swept the front row of the grid seven times and taken all nine poles).
The Formula One Strategy Cartel…er, Group…met again last week in London, producing an idealistic press release that is short on details. Before everyone gets too excited about sprint races and a return to eardrum-shattering noise, though, let’s remember that just because the group discussed something, that doesn’t mean it will actually happen.
After Lewis Hamilton threw away victory with an ill-advised pit stop at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, Mercedes’ strategy was flawless at Silverstone Circuit on Sunday, enabling Hamilton to overcome a poor start and that inevitable English rain to win the British Grand Prix—his fifth victory in nine Formula One races this year.
Imagine if Manchester United received a special payment each year from the Football Association, just so they would show up for their Premier League matches. Or if the Dallas Cowboys took a cut off the top of the NFL’s television revenues in exchange for them not dropping out and forming a rival league with the NFL’s most popular teams.
Twice in the last four Formula One grands prix, Nico Rosberg has done something he struggled to do at all in 2014: He has beaten his teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton head-to-head in a fair fight.