It’s amazing what a little water can do. Formula 1 has been panned this season for being a dreary Mercedes-only series that was all but over at the first race in Melbourne. But thanks to Hurricane Patricia, the weather in Austin made this year’s US GP an absolute classic.
Not to focus solely on Formula 1, MotoGP hosted its penultimate round of the season at Sepang, and to say that that was underwhelming would be calling a Michael Bay movie subtle. And it really did feel like a movie script, but we’ll get into this later.
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For now, have a look at our motorsport roundup in its entirety below:
1. Formula 1: Austin plays host to one of the all time great grands prix
Changeable weather: it’s like a party switch in Formula 1, at least for fans. After the entrails of Hurricane Patricia brushed past the Austin circuit, the weather on Friday and Saturday was perfect for Formula 1 Powerboats. Qualifying was postponed until Sunday morning, which gave fans a rather eventful and exciting day of racing.
With Rosberg on pole, Hamilton second and the two Red Bulls behind, the German got off to the better start, but Hamilton beat him forcefully into turn one.
Essentially, I can’t remember just how many passes, lead changes, skirmishes and off track escapades there were in this race, but it was one of the greats.
Hamilton somehow won, with Rosberg finishing second (after making a mistake and dropping from the lead), with Vettel (who started 13th, mind) rounding up the podium. A very frosty podium at that too.
Subsequently, Hamilton became one of a select few drivers to win three World Championships.
2. Formula 1: Rosberg bitter, Hamilton over exuberant on the podium
It’s being called #BaseballcapGate on Twitter, but it felt a lot like the Vettel/Webber “Multi 21” moment in Sepang a few years ago.
Hamilton, collecting the caps from the podium room table tossed Rosberg’s cap to him. The German took it the wrong way, and pelted it back at Hamilton who seemed to not give much of a care.
Ultimately, it seems that the Rosberg/Hamilton feud will only get more intense as the season draws to a close.
3. Formula 1: Red Bull woes continue, talks with VW confirmed
In a stellar first few laps, the Red Bulls were running alongside and passing the Mercedes cars, but as the track dried, Ricciardo slipped back to 10th while Kvyat crashed out.
Overall, it was a massively promising race from Red Bull and Renault, but the team has mentioned that talks with Volkswagen for a possible engine deal is possible. More likely though, it seems that Red Bull and Renault will kiss and make up before the 2016 season begins in earnest.
4. MotoGP: Pedrosa wins with the best performance of his career
In what must be the most overshadowed victory of living memory in any motorsport series, Dani Pedrosa led from start to finish at Sepang, embarrassing the rest of the squabbling MotoGP field in the process.
Speaking of embarrassing…
5. MotoGP: Rossi kicks Marquez off his bike after the scrap of the century
It was easily the most intense scrap we’ve seen this year from Rossi and Marquez, made especially tense after the Italian suggested that the young Spaniard was aiding Jorge Lorenzo in his title challenge.
After going at it for more than a few laps, swapping positions a number of times, Rossi took Marquez into the second-to-last corner, hung him out to dry, and judging by camera footage, kicked him off his bike.
It was about as blatant a move you’ll ever see.
Although Marquez was turning into the Italian, Rossi did multiple double takes as if to see where Marquez was on track.
As a result, Rossi received three penalty points on his licence, forcing him to start last in Valencia, with a seven-point gap between him and Lorenzo going into the final round.
6. Formula E: At least Renault’s dominating in one world series
Sebastian Buemi destroyed the field in the first race of Formula E’s second season in the Renault.
The Swiss lead from start-to-finish with the new e.dams Renault, which was easily the class of the field. Each manufacturer can now design and produce their own powertrains (with the batteries and body work the only standard equipment), so we’ll likely see a larger gulf between the various teams.
7. WRC: Ogier wipes out on the Power Stage gifting Mikkelsen first win
If there ever was a rally that Sebastien Ogier just threw away, it was this weekend’s Spanish rally. The French Champion was the class of the field yet again, until he dropped the car in the final few stages on Sunday. As a result, his VW teammate Andreas Mikkelsen was handed his maiden WRC win.
8: NASCAR Sprint Cup: Logano’s finding it very difficult to lose races right now
If you thought Formula 1 and MotoGP were controversial this weekend, you should’ve seen the final NASCAR Sprint Cup contender round race at Talladega. At the fastest track on the calendar, Logano pipped Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the flag after Kevin Harvick was judged by his peers to cause a wreck on the final lap, eliminating many Chase-contenders in the process.
Nevertheless, it was Logano’s third race win in a row, and he clearly goes into the final rounds as the favourite to win the Sprint Cup.
9: V8 Supercars: James Courtney claims brilliant Gold Coast 600 win
While the first race was won by Shane van Ginsbergen but it was the second race on Sunday that featured the most amazing heroics from James Courtney and Jack Perkins.
In his first race back from injury, Courtney chose a daring pit strategy during a safety car period which propelled him into the lead. There, he remained.
It’s was a brilliant performance from a man who just a few weeks prior was suffering from a muscle tear.