On tap this week:
- Rosberg's Charles Atlas moment
- Girl racers still face barriers
- Ricciardo hoping for history repeat
- IndyCar looking at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park?
- Quote of the Week: Hinchcliffe gets squeezed
- Two Canadians to watch in NASCAR trucks
Charles Atlas would be proud of Nico Rosberg after yesterday’s Belgian Grand Prix.
A month after teammate Lewis Hamilton ran Rosberg off the track late in the previous race in Hungary, the German’s actions on Sunday at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit made it clear that he will no longer let anyone kick sand in his face .
Two laps into Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix, Rosberg flexed his muscles and refused to give his teammate room early in the Belgian Grand Prix, standing his ground on an overtaking effort which ended in a flat left rear tire for Hamilton and a broken front wing for Rosberg, not to mention boiling tempers among the Mercedes bosses.
Rosberg recovered to finish second after needing a new nose cone, while Hamilton’s damage was much worse and he retired from the race with a few laps to go. Rosberg now holds a 29-point lead on Hamilton with seven races left in the 2014 season. Drivers get 25 points for a win.
According to Hamilton, Rosberg told his teammate in a Mercedes meeting after the race that he did not back down “to prove a point.”
And whether Hamilton fans like it or not, it was a point Rosberg needed to make.
The July 27 Hungarian Grand Prix, before the series’ month-long summer break, wasn’t the first time Hamilton bullied his teammate and it was time that Rosberg emulated the 97-pound weakling who gets sand kicked in his face by bullies and then bulks up to wallop his tormentors in the iconic 1940s Charles Atlas body building system ads.
The difference is that when Hamilton pushed his teammate off the track earlier this year in Bahrain in a move that Rosberg called “over the line,” the German backed off and drove home to second rather than risk another pass attempt. It now seems perfectly clear that Rosberg won’t be too eager to swallow hard and follow his teammate home again.
Interestingly, Rosberg may have foreshadowed the events in Spa when he told reporters in the run-up to the Belgian Grand Prix that he had learned from what happened the race in Hungary when Hamilton refused to obey team orders to let him pass to optimize his strategy before running him off the track later in the grand prix.
It was a point he stressed again when asked after the race if the team had outlined what is and isn’t acceptable to its drivers.
“The battle between us is something that we have discussed many, many times, yes of course, and the guidelines from the team – we know what they are and they’re quite clear,” Rosberg said.
“In fact it wasn’t that specific to Hungary at all, just generally, of course, it’s been discussed, yeah, especially after Bahrain, for example. That was a discussion topic.”
Random Thoughts: Young women in racing now have several role models to emulate, whether it’s ground breakers like Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James and Shirley Muldowney or the most recent crop of successful female drivers like Ashley Force, Danica Patrick, Simona di Silvestro and Susie Wolff.
And you would think that having women competing at the highest levels of racing makes it easier for those getting into the sport.
But it’s not always so says Amy Castell, who insisted that being a girl racer sometimes means being saddled with added baggage.
“I think starting it was more that you had to prove yourself but I think that’s more in our heads coming in as girls,” said Castell who races in the Toyo Tires F1600 Series.
“No one really cares here [in the F1600 Series] because there have been a few girls coming through here who have been really good; you have to prove yourself as a driver here, not as a girl. But you don’t get that everywhere: In karting, I didn’t have that and had to work really hard to be one of the guys.”