It's been a while since we saw an episode of McLaren's animated series Tooned (and even longer if you discount the dodgy Mobil 1 nonsense) so imagine our delight to see a fantastic episode featuring the new lineup of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. These two have great chemistry and it's a great script, making this one of the better episodes of the series.
Hamilton was fastest in the first session, as both Mercedes drivers were well ahead of the field. Daniel Ricciardo managed to break into their dominance a little in the afternoon, however, splitting the pair, with Rosberg finishing on top.
This time last year Rosberg was 73 points behind Hamilton, dispirited and doomed to watch his teammate achieve his second title in Austin. Fresh on the back of a DNF the rest of the season must have looked very bleak indeed. This time last year Sebastian Vettel was second in the championship and all the insiders and experts were talking about how 2016 would be the year where the Prancing Horse finally took the fight to Mercedes and might even win the duel in the desert. This time last year Max Verstappen was in 12th place with 33 points and had never yet stood on the podium. What a difference a year makes.
For a relatively new entry to the Formula One calendar, the US Grand Prix has bucked the trend and provided some pretty good racing over the last couple of seasons. However, last year was something of a washout, with qualifying delayed until just a few hours before the race itself! This year, all fingers are crossed that we can have a sensible weekend, as there's enough going on in the sport to be concentrating on without the weather intervening to that degree.
This week appears to have been all about Red Bull, as they got both their drivers in the garage doing a variety of weird and wonderful challenges in an attempt to find out just how fast their 1.92 second record pit stop was. I've chosen just a couple of the videos to give points to, but there are loads!
It was rumoured a few days before the announcement but finally it became official as Nico Hülkenberg tweeted a picture of himself outside the Renault motorhome indicating his new friends for next season. The German has been with Force India for six years, with a brief sabbatical at Sauber in 2013. After four consecutive seasons with barely a podium to show for it, Nico has opted to move to the French squad for a multi-year deal.
The focus was on the front but the action was further behind with great overtaking moves and tense tactical battles in the midfield. 13 thousandths made a big impact on the championship battle, as Nico Rosberg secured pole and Lewis Hamilton made a terrible start, slightly impacted by a damp gridslot, from which he would never fully recover and taking the championship hunt out of Lewis Hamilton’s hands.
It's a massive week for rankings this week, as the Japanese Grand Prix weekend appears to have brought out the more relaxed side of our drivers. We've got videos galore, of bursting balloons, folding paper, and sitting face to face with the BBC's Tom Clarkson. There's also points for messing about with a cherry picker, and being the man in the terrifying mask.
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|1||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team||593|
|2||Red Bull Racing||385|
|4||Sahara Force India F1 Team||134|