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Felipe Massa’s speed is on the upswing.
But in Monaco and Canada, so too was his
accident rate. The Ferrari driver described
his three heavy wrecks as being “like a
movie.” Here’s hoping the script improves...
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FATE BE ON
principal Ross Brawn
took pains to steer
responsibilty for the
in the controversial
Spanish test of Pirelli
tires onto his own
shoulders, saying it
was his decision to
run a 2013 car at the
private – but not, he
insisted, secret –
test. How that will
play into questions
about his future with
the squad remained
to be seen as RACER
went to press.
Rosberg put it all together in Monaco,
helping open eyes to what has been a
consistently impressive body of work.
Nico Rosberg’s momentous Monaco win prompts reassessment of his place in the F1 order
Historical parallels were a natural talking
point after Nico Rosberg dominated the
Monaco Grand Prix, 30 years almost to
the day since his father Keke did the
same. But while Keke Rosberg was
already a World Champion at the time,
Nico, though a grand prix winner, had
begun to slip from the list of top-tier
Formula 1 aces. He may have fixed that.
The manner of his Monaco win was
comprehensive – pole position, taking the
lead and then maintaining an advantage
of around two seconds for the majority of
the race, whether in tire conservation
mode or showing his true pace. It was
merely the latest example of Rosberg’s
consistent speed this season; unlike in
previous races, however, his potential
wasn’t undone by the Mercedes W04’s
eagerness to consume its rear tires.
Nico’s eclipse of highly-rated teammate
Lewis Hamilton was another talking point.
The 2008 World Champion readily admits
that he has struggled to adapt to the
Mercedes, and in particular to match
Rosberg’s comfort level in the car under
braking. With Hamilton long considered
among Formula 1’s top performers in
that (and pretty much every other) area
of grand prix driving, it made Rosberg’s
relative form appear that much better.
In turn, that led some to reappraise
Michael Schumacher’s performances
during his F1 comeback with Mercedes
from 2010 through ’12, for the
seven-time World Champion had
matched Rosberg’s pace for much of
their three-year partnership.
Unable to get his
desired braking feel
from M-B’s W04,
been his usual self.
STAR IN SHADOW
Whether Mercedes can resolve its tire
issues, both in terms of competition and
its controversial private test (see sidebar),
will be fundamental to its 2013 fortunes.
But if Rosberg can get the best of Hamilton
this year, he’ll at least have improved his
standing, regardless of the team’s fate.