Well, we learned that Rosberg has the mental strength to resist Hamilton and that the two Mercedes drivers are streets in front of the opposition. And when I write “streets ahead” I mean it. Third placed Massa (Williams) was 41 seconds behind the Mercedes duo.
The battle at the front was interesting, without being nail-biting, quite frankly. It was obvious that Hamilton could catch Rosberg, but was never so close as to make a pass anything but optimistic.
Massa was given a five second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, and at that point it looked as if the diminutive Brazilian’s hopes of a podium were dashed. However, he recovered and continued, and then survived going into the McLaren box instead of his own, but this was probably because he couldn’t see over the dash? Whatever, it was a very popular podium for the Brazilian crowd.
With the driver pairings at McLaren still not made public, Jenson Button, now an old man in F1 terms, has been trying very hard and has bested his team mate recently, and his fourth place was the result of an intelligent drive. Whilst Kevin Magnussen has done a sterling job, he has been eclipsed by the very experienced Button, and if one has to go to make the place for Alonso, results would say to keep Button. However, how much does Button think he is worth, compared to how much he will accept?
Vettel, who is off to Ferrari next year, had a steady drive without being switched on at all. He seems to be just stroking it home and ready to say goodbye, if he hasn’t done so already.
Alonso put in his normal 110 percent drive, but it was noticeable that the Ferrari pit wall did nothing to help him when he was bottled up behind Raikkonen. If they had made Kimi move over Alonso could have challenged Button. Fernando is no longer the shining light at Maranello.
Raikkonen woke up for Brazil and tried for the two stop strategy, which almost worked. How will he go next year with Vettel alongside? I predict it will be back to sleep again. Enzo would not have put up with such flouting of the Ferrari rules.
The last driver on the same lap as the leaders was Nico Hulkenberg in the Force India, coming in behind the two Ferraris. When will someone give this driver a good car?
What was noticeable was the lack of penalties for having four wheels off the racing surface. There was one particular corner where everyone was cutting off the apex with all four wheels off the racing surface. Stewarding not consistent (as usual).
Finally, tyres again. With the soft tyres not lasting, most drivers had to come in and change for the more durable compound after only five laps. Race rubber that lasts five laps? Give me a break, Mr Pirelli. That is ridiculous.
So the WDC goes on to the final race at Abu Dhabi with the very contrived points available for the last GP of the year. Hamilton is in the box seat with a 17 point advantage, and he only has to finish one place behind Rosberg and the title is his. With the Mercedes dominance, it is almost a foregone conclusion that they will return with a 1-2, which again gives Hamilton the title, even if he is second.
So now we go into fortune telling mode, trying to work out who will have the best car for 2015, and who will be sitting in it? Looking at this year, you would have to say that Mercedes has the best platform to work from – but we shall see.
During the three month layoff, the powers that be (read B. Eccles) and the FIA have to work out what to do about the dwindling number of teams being financed by the dwindling number of sponsors with dwindling purses. The free lunches are well and truly over, gentlemen.