Whether or not Nico Rosberg’s concession of the Italian Grand Prix to Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was a secret punishment for the German’s indiscretion in Belgium may not be confirmed for some time, but the latter is unlikely to ever receive such generosity again.
Rosberg’s second slalom through the run-off area at Monza’s first chicane on Lap 29, after getting away with the same move 20 laps previously, killed the race as a contest and brought in a first Mercedes 1-2 since Austria back in June.
The German outfit now have a practically unassailable lead in the constructors’ title race, but Rosberg still heads the 2008 champion by 22 points and rates a cracking bet at 10/11 to be top of the pile when the season ends in Abu Dhabi.
Now that the watching world has witnessed his unburdening, deliberate or otherwise, Rosberg should feel no further guilt about crashing into Hamilton in Spa-Francorchamps, and by sailing into second the former Williams driver made sure the damage to his title tilt was minimal.
Hamilton must be avoided at 5/6 favourite odds, as he’s not driving nearly well enough to claim a second world championship; after capturing pole for the first time in eight races the Stevenage native was back in fourth quickly thanks to stalling somewhat at the start.
Over the past eight races, brake failure has twice let Hamilton down in qualifying, although the Brit raced hard to gain podiums, while his sole victory between early-May’s Spanish Grand Prix and Monza came after he botched Saturday at Silverstone, starting sixth on the grid.
The 2014 Formula One season still feels like it belongs to Rosberg, who has been by far the most consistent driver and will now be free to set his own agenda again in search of a first title.
Rosberg’s 22-point lead with six races to go means Hamilton needs a few significant slices of luck to overturn his teammate this term.
Good fortune was in such supply for Hamilton over the summer, and there’s little evidence yet that the momentum is back with him.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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