It's back onWhat a difference a gearbox failure makes. Just 24 hours after Lewis Hamilton appeared to have made another costly error in qualifying, Nico Rosberg's gearbox started to fail and with it the championship battle took its latest about turn. Hamilton knew he had messed up on Saturday night, that much was clear from his press conference, but by Sunday evening the title battle had been reset, with four points between the two Mercedes drivers and ten races remaining. Psychologically it was exactly what Hamilton needed, but after the race he said he was still keen to take the fight to Rosberg to prove he was the faster man. Neutral fans will also have felt hard done by not to see the battle unfold, with Hamilton's original plan to switch to a set of mediums for the final stint to attack Rosberg, who would have been on the hard compound. It would have been a reversal of the Bahrain battle, but with the more attacking driver making the moves from second place while the shrewd operator defended his lead. It would have been a magnificent battle. The good news is that the pair will no doubt be matched on track again, and as each round passes the stakes are getting progressively higher.
Radio rants ruin real racingIn lieu of the battle for the lead, the fans at Silverstone were treated to Fernando Alonso going wheel-to-wheel with Sebastian Vettel over fifth place. It was some of the best racing this season and further proof that not much is wrong with the current formula when the drivers are let off the leash and the track allows overtaking. The only negative to come out of it was the whining from both drivers over the radio. The nature of the battle meant that the two were pushing the boundaries at every opportunity, but the quality of the battle meant they never pushed too far. Nevertheless, Alonso was not happy that Vettel was exceeding track limits to get a run on him in the DRS zones and Vettel felt Alonso was doing the same to keep him behind on the exit of Copse. Niki Lauda said after the race that the issue was not with the drivers, but the rules they are trying to manipulate: "They are used to complaining to get the stewards working. But it should all stop, we should let them race like in the past but with all the safety we have nowadays. Let the drivers be personalities, they should decide if they want to hit each other, without always worrying that the stewards will do something. Under investigation … why is everything always under investigation? Let them race unless there is a huge bad accident, only then you have to do something." Spoken like a true racer…
The big oneNiki Lauda was less complimentary about the other Ferrari driver, saying Kimi Raikkonen should have thought twice before returning to the track at high speed over a patch of grass. The impact with the wall that followed was recorded at 47G and left Raikkonen bruised, as well as flinging his Ferrari into the path of Felipe Massa. If a rookie had caused such an accident he would have been penalised or possibly banned, yet Raikkonen appears to have got away without punishment for what was clearly a driver error. If drivers are to be allowed to race as Lauda suggests, they need to show that are responsible enough to do so without endangering themselves and others. Raikkonen, who really should know better, did not do that on Sunday.
Power gamesAlthough driver market speculation has yet to hit its peak this season, the pieces of the 2015 jigsaw are slotting into place. Ahead of the British Grand Prix weekend, Tony Fernandes finally confirmed he was selling up at Caterham with unnamed Swiss and Middle Eastern investors buying into the team. That in itself was not a surprise, but it coincided with Renault announcing major changes to its management, including the return of ex-Caterham team principal Cyril Abiteboul. Meanwhile, it is all but confirmed that Lotus will switch to Mercedes power next season, giving Renault greater flexibility to concentrate its efforts on Red Bull, who have been cosying up with Abiteboul since the start of the season. Over at Ferrari there are rumours that engine boss Luca Marmorini is on his way out as Marco Mattiacci looks to set his team straight behind closed doors. The extent of the failure of Ferrari compared to Mercedes is inexcusable this year and changes are being made. What's more Ferrari has now struck up a deal with Haas Automation, which is expected to lead to a very close technical partnership when Gene Haas' F1 team makes the grid in 2016.