Nico Rosberg sitting in a chair, staring blankly, while Lewis Hamilton savouring his third championship before leaving the podium at the Grand Prix of the united States. The british would strip their fellow a cap of Pirelli, you make him wake up, and the German, visibly annoyed, the returns sharply. It was the only time in which Rosberg seemed to be present of mind and body in the Circuit of the Americas. The rest of the time, since your partner was crowned until his last appearance in public (the press conference), seemed absent, as if his mind was in another place.
, Maybe I was in 2014, and a great opportunity lost. The past year got more than half of the poles, led the championship at several stages of the season (came out to lead the world in 12 of the 19 major awards), and squandered an advantage of 29 points before the other Mercedes driver. Was not champion, and this course has not had the option at any time: 10-3 in wins against Hamilton (tied with Vettel), 11-4 in polls and has not led the table throughout 2015 (even Vettel has snatched the second position). Maybe Rosberg is realized, in Austin, after losing a win that he had in his hand, that he will never be champion. That was 2014, or never. And played never.
Other examples of the ‘never’
Rosberg enters into a select club of pilots who once were close to being champions and did it ever. In favour of the German is there to say that he still has a career ahead to do so, and is the best team in current that, except surprise, it will be favorite the next year. But, and at least that image he gave in the united States, you can’t do while sharing a team with Hamilton.
Michael Schumacher was the greatest asset of Ferrari in 1999 to recover, 20 years later, the world championship of pilots. Came as runner-up to the british Grand Prix, eighth round of the season, but after a strong accident suffered an injury that kept him off the courts for six great prizes. Eddie Irvine, second pilot, became the first applicant ferrarista to lay claim to the title to Mika Hakkinen, who had already been champion the previous year. The british was the leader of the world in the absence of a test, with four points advantage over the McLaren, a Formula 1 that gave out 10 points to the winner, 6 to the second and 4 the third. The finn won the final race, and if Schumacher (2nd) would have gone to Irvine (which was very far away, and 3rd), the Ferrari and Mika would have tied on points, but the title would be to Hakkinen for a greater number of victories. Two points separated the Irvine of glory, which never came to cherish: from that runner-up position left Ferrari and was 13th, 12th and 9th before retiring.
Felipe Massa was also able to win with Ferrari in 2008. He was more close to even than Irvine. To a curve end of the championship, Felipe was the champion. When he crossed the finish line, his father and his mechanics celebrated for a few seconds, and the sky rainforest of Brazil turned to see a fellow countryman winning the title. However, something escaped the cameras, and it was the overtaking of Hamilton Timo Glock (who survived in the rain with dry tires) for fifth place, which made Lewis world champion. The team of Italian did not do a good car in 2009 and when he had a car to at least fight for the win, Fernando Alonso won the brazilian at all times, until he went to Williams.
In 2010, Alonso was leading to a lack of a career, Mark Webber was second to 8 points and Vettel third to 15 (as with the system of current score). However, he came to Abu Dhabi, and Vettel beat his teammate and Fernando, taking his first title. Webber, who had already accused the pressure being fifth in qualifying, never returned to have options, and lived in the shadow of Sebastian while the German became a four-time champion. He retired in 2013. It was an example similar to that of the argentine Carlos Reutemann, that in 1981 was not the champion by a single point (behind Nelson Piquet) and in 1982, after two races, retired. He had arrived at the last grand prix as a leader, but Piquet he overcame in the final.
Photo: Williams. Carlos Reutemann
1982, Didier Pironi was runner-up. The French had a fifth place as the best final classification, but that season came to the last race to just three points, who finally was crowned, Keke Rosberg. A year later, René Arnoux came with slight options to the last race, but was unable to complete the feat and finished third behind Piquet and Prost. It lasted one more year at Ferrari and subsequently was in the Ligier, never with the possibility of ‘campeonar’. Very close by was the title Clay Regazzoni in 1974 with the Ferrari, just three points of Emerson Fittipaldi. Came tied to the test that closed the championship, but Fittipaldi won in the united States and Regazzoni was second. And, from there, not rondo the trophy more times.
Only five points separated the Jacky Ickx (Ferrari), champion of 1970, Jochen Rindt, but the austrian was champion in the absence of two races, posthumously. Rindt had died in the Italian Grand Prix, three races before the end. Ickx tried to overtake him and, although he failed, it was the closest that he was. He played several more seasons in Formula 1, but would not achieve the sweetness of success until they switched to the Endurance World Championship (won it in 1982 and 1983, the year in which he took the Dakar Rally) and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he managed six wins, a record that stood until 2005. 1970 Ickx was like in 1974 Regazzoni, 1981 for Reutemann, 1982 for Pironi, 1999, Irvine, 2008 for Massa, 2010 for Webber and 2014 to Rosberg, his ‘now or never’. And, as in other cases, left never.