Nico Rosberg has won the European Grand Prix in Baku thereby extending his lead with current champion and current Mercedes teammate.
The European Grand Prix in Baku was going to be a prang-fest, it was said, with wrecked cars, bruised bodies, multiple safety cars and damaged medieval walls on this tightly cornered street circuit.
However, the only talking point after Nico Rosberg had won on Sunday for the fifth time this season, to extend his lead over his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to 24 points, concerned radio messages between teams and drivers.Hamilton looked like a helpless, “Mayday, mayday, mayday” screaming radio ham as he struggled to get any information from his pitwall. He was seen fumbling with a steering wheel that has 45 individual controls, and thousands of possible options overall. Hamilton started back in 10th place on the grid but still had realistic hopes of coming second after making quick gains in the opening laps; he finished fifth, taking only 10 points to Rosberg’s 25. Hamilton lost power in the second half of the race and, when he asked his engineer Pete Bonnington for information, he was told it could not be given because of a clampdown on radio messaging at the start of the season.
By the time the problem had been solved only 12 laps remained and Hamilton’s hopes of a podium finish were long gone. It ruined a run of form in which he had won the previous two races, in Monaco and Montreal to cut Rosberg’s lead from 43 to nine points. But now the pressure is on the world champion to come back once more, in the next race in Austria in a fortnight.