Well the first thing that I thought of after the fireworks started was – why doesn’t he let Lewis past? Then I realized two things. First, Nico did not see how bad the situation was, second, he was still going very fast.
I think the key question is: Why didn’t Lewis pass on his own? I see two possible explanations.
a) Lewis was not fast enough. But this would also mean that Nico was not too slow either, so why moving aside?
b) Lewis could pass, but preferred not to for some reason. Could be safety, could be something else, but this very reason – if we knew it – would probably also explain why Nico need not move over.
I can think of a few reasons why Lewis didn’t make the pass:
1. He expected to box that lap.
2. He didn’t have the pace to make a clean no-risk pass.
3. If he passed and something happened, Lewis would have been blamed for sure so the pass wasn’t worth the risk.
4. He may have waited for Nico to graciously give up the position just as he had a few seconds before by moving aside.
Obviously Nico was delighted to pass Lewis and I wonder if Nico involuntarily kicked his foot as he passed inside the car causing the front wing failure:-) Of course, he can’t admit that but the fact that it happened just as he was passing Lewis could not have been coincidence. I think Nico triggered this by accident.
I am a big Mercedes fan but must admit the team is underperforing of late. How a single podium place hasn’t been achiveved in the last 3 races is beyond me given the pace of the car. Korea as another example of sloppy strategy, not bringing Lewis in before Nico cost him his place to Kimi, thus it alomost certainly cost them a podium. As Gary Anderson rightly said, it is other teams underperforimng that is making RBR/Vettel look more dominant than they are. I believe this weekend the Mercedes will be very quick given its strenght in high speed corners and front end grip which gives excellent direction change. I believe with a perfect weekend, Hamilton could get pole and win, but given Mercedes recent performance as a team, that’s a long shot.