Ida Iannone, Pro-Tech Automotive manager, pairs a fast paced lifestyle with a finger on the pulse of all things Automotive and Motorsport.
With guile, panache and a glorious dose of Max Verstappen drenched joy, two weeks ago Formula One graced its presence at one of the sport’s hallowed grounds: Barcelona.
The circuit, situated just a little way outside of the sprawling Gaudian architecture of Barcelona city centre, is one of small margins. Few pit stops are afforded, few openings occur to overtake the man in front of you, and ultimately, it’s these small margins that make the difference between glory and defeat.
The proof, you ask? Just ask the youngest Formula One race winner of all time, Max Verstappen.
Despite all this - and not to take anything away from Verstappen! - perhaps the important deciding factor of all came at the hands of something that no-one could have predicted before the race had begun. Indeed, a crash between the two pre-race favourites - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - at the 3rd turn blew the race wide open, triggering a frenzy of controversy that since, has dominated the pre-race chatter in the build up to the Monaco Grand Prix on Sunday.
It’s an uncomfortable spotlight for Mercedes, and one you suspect they would rather not have to deal with. Whether it’s questions about the Rosberg-Hamilton crash, questions about Mercedes favouring Rosberg, or questions about Rosberg’s long-term loyalty to Mercedes, it seems that they just can’t escape the limelight regardless of their results on the track. Whilst Hamilton and Rosberg may seem unflappable, it’s important that Mercedes put the emphasis back on to what’s happening on the track, as opposed to the unsavoury backroom politics.
What’s for sure, despite a slightly turbulent championship campaign, Mercedes have two of the best drivers in the business on their books, and a sizeable lead to go with it. With this, despite a difficult climate, things are actually looking very positive for Mercedes. The time has come, however, for Mercedes to put all previous controversy to bed and deliver a mature, cohesive performance this Sunday that reaffirms their position as the foremost team in Formula One.
If they fail to do so, you really wouldn’t put it past one of the chasing pack to start asking some difficult questions. Indeed with a Renault team growing in stature, and a Red Bull team that now boasts the potent duo of Ricciardo and Verstappen, you feel that Rosberg’s grasp over the championship could start to slip away.
For the record, I still make Mercedes strong favourites to take the championship, and with Rosberg’s recent record at Monaco - 3 consecutive wins - I wouldn't look past him and Mercedes to take the victory on Sunday.
Whatever you’re doing this bank holiday weekend, I hope you have a great one.
As they say in France, au revoir!