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More Defiance From My Son

Breaking The Rules

The level of disappointment I have for my son is off the scale right now. I recently wrote about how he consistently lies to my wife and I. Now we have issues at school coupled with defiance of our wishes.

At the end of last week, I get a phone call saying that he was placed in the D & F list at school for failing grades. It later turned out that he had done the work in the class that he received an F and that changed to an A as his teacher allowed the assignments to me handed in late, one was over two weeks late.

If it wasn’t for the notification from the school; we would never have known and it would have remained an F. Our son just does not care about school, all he cares about is video games and computers; he does his school work to get to the electronics, without that to incentivize him, he’d fail every class.

Yesterday, I received an Email from his math teacher explaining that when the kids finish their math tasks early, she allowed free-time on the school Chromebooks. She continued on to say that our son kept pestering her to use the Chromebook several times daily and then he became argumentative when she said no. To add insult, our son threatened to not do any school work unless he got Chromebook time.

I printed out the Email and made my son read it and his response was “I guess I won’t get any Chromebook time then”, completely unrepentant. When my wife arrived home and we tried to talk to him, he simply stared at us impassively, like what we had to say was not important in the slightest.

The third issue, remember, all this has happened since 9/16, our son has continued to use up his lunch account to eat breakfast in school, despite us telling him to stop, he had plenty of time to eat at home. Bottom line, we told him two weeks ago to stop eating school breakfast, if he continued, we would not refill his lunch account, he ignored us, now he’ll go hungry for the rest of this week, he had been warned!

Our son is 12 years old; he knows exactly what he is doing. I’m sick of bailing him out, he will have to face the real world consequences, which in this case is having to go hungry while at school. Maybe this will pull him back to reality, I will not tolerate any more of these behaviors. He’s about to be a teenager, it’s about time he took responsibility for his actions and stop making excuses for his behavior.

Update [Sep, 22 2016, 17:28]: Now I am pissed off with the school, despite having no funds in his meal account due to the issues above, the school has allowed him to keep charging the account despite it being -$8.65, it’s now -$10.95. I didn’t authorize these charges and I don’t intend to pay, I will be visiting the school tomorrow. My daughter’s school has a better system of calling when her account is negative.

I’m also pissed at my son, who made the decision to ignore me and take lunch anyway. Ultimately I don’t like the system, charging the child’s account regardless of whether parents have the money or not is unacceptable. If an account is negative $8.65, chances are that they cannot afford to pay, so adding more charges to the account makes the problem worse and could end up going to collections, ruining lives.

Our situation is different, I am trying to teach our son a life lesson, clearly a lesson that won’t be learned because the school gives him lunch and bill us despite being almost weeks worth of meals in arrears.


Time To Move Upto A Prosumer DSLR?

Canon EOS 80D DSLR

As a real estate marketer; photography is a big part of my work and I feel I have reached the limit of what is possible with my current setup. Currently I have a Canon EOS Rebel T3i coupled with an EF-S 10-18mm lens, which definitely fall into the consumer arena. I have been feeling like I need to take the step up to the next level for about a year now, the limitation of consumer DSLR’s is becoming apparent to me.

Of course I would love to move upto a full frame DSLR like the Canon EOS 5D MK-IV but $3,500 just for the body is out of my price range. Also, I would have to replace all my lenses as EF-S lenses are designed specifically for APS-C sensors and not their 35mm equivalent full frame counterparts like the Canon 5D.

I have been looking at the new Canon EOS 80D which offers upto 7 AE bracketed shots, my T3i only has the option for three AE brackets. This is important to me as I use HDR to maximize the dynamic range of the shot, e.g. correctly exposing the room while being able to see the view out from the window.

I would also like to upgrade my ultra-wide angle lens to a Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens, my current EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM lens has issues with flaring of light sources and falls into the budget end of the spectrum at $300, not to complain, it’s less than half the price of the EF-S 10-22mm.

The total outlay for the EOS 80D and EF-S 10-22mm lens would be about $1,850 which seems like a lot, but given that the camera body for the 5D is $1,650 more than the 80D and 10-22mm lens and I can still use all my existing lenses, it represents excellent value given the jump in quality and features.

No-one has complained about the quality of my photography, infact most have been incredibly complimentary about my work. So from a professional standpoint I do not need to upgrade, it comes down to my personal need to improve my photography. I am incredibly critical of my own work, I am never 100% happy with my own work, I always believe I can do better, a character flaw you might say.

It will be a battle within myself, I do want better equipment to improve my photography; but the frugal nature of my being fights against spending any money unless absolutely necessary. Adding close to $2,000 to my credit card balances is not something I want to do, but I also want new camera equipment.


How Can I Stop My Son From Rule Breaking And Lying?

Breaking The Rules

I always write this first when writing about my 12 year old son; he is a high functioning autistic child although I don’t believe this issue is related to his autism diagnosis. We have had issues for years in regards to breaking house rules and lying; and talking to him seemingly falls on deaf ears every time.

I’m all about action and consequences; for every action, there is a consequence. We have set up a system where our son has to make his own decisions and take the consequences of those decisions. We allow him 14 hours of “electronic game time” per week, which he can use as he pleases; but after that time has elapsed, there’s no more game time for that week, this seems to be working well overall.

But I recently discovered that he has been using his blu-ray player to indulge his gaming, let’s call it obsession. Watching YouTube videos of other people playing video games. He spends all his time in his room when not playing video games as we don’t allow tablets, consoles and laptops in his room.

Each time we enter his room, knocking first and waiting a few seconds, I see him frantically changing video sources on his TV. But he gets caught as it’s an older LED TV that takes 5-7 seconds to change source. Every time we ask what he is doing and he has used such excuses as “you scared me”, “it was an accident” and “I pressed the wrong button”. We have expressed how suspicious this looks, if he is not doing anything wrong, then why does it happen one or two times nearly every day?

Our son clams up because he knows he is a terrible liar and gets busted every time; so this time I forced the issue telling him I am taking his TV away if he doesn’t tell me. Again, he says nothing until I go to his TV and start pulling out cables and suddenly he says “I was watching PLEX”. Something I know was a lie as our home PLEX server was offline at that time. The net result was the removal of his TV and “game time”.

This is when the penny dropped for me; I realized that his blu-ray player has YouTube built into the firmware. I quizzed my son about it and he admitted that he was watching YouTube; something he knows is only allowed as part of his game time as he only ever watches video game content; usually others playing, he had taken a broken PS3 controller into his room, pretending to be playing the game.

It’s easy to say “let him go; he’s not doing any harm”, but I disagree with that sentiment. We all have to abide by rules; and he needs to be taught that even as adults, we cannot simply ignore rules; there are consequences to our actions. I honestly think there is a general lack of respect for adults by children given the way kids act today, I would never had dreamt about acting like that when growing up in the 80s.

I feel that if we let him get away with it; this behavior will snowball as without consequences, it only encourages this kind of behavior. Autistic or not; children need boundaries, without these boundaries, we end up with someone like Donald Trump, who will lie, cheat and take no responsibility for his actions. My son is heading that way, it’s someone elses fault or he doesn’t believe the rules should apply to him.

I find our son’s behavior disappointing and frustrating; I find myself not taking what he says at face value anymore. I always fact check what he tells me as he has lied so much that I can not trust what he says anymore. I know this is a horrible thing to say about your own child, but what else can I do, I can’t live life with my head buried in the sand, pretending everything is hunky dory when there is clearly a problem.

We are at a loss to what to do to combat this rule breaking and lying. I have read articles that say we should not punish an autistic child, instead talk to them, explain what they did wrong; which in our case does zero to curb the behavior. We have not raised him to be like this; I see this as a lack of respect for us as parents given that he knows he is breaking the rules, his trying to hide his actions and lying proves this.

I don’t think he’s a bad kid; I think some of it comes down to genetics, his biological father who has had zero relationship with him has the same traits. How can we combat genetics if that’s whats causing him to lie consistently. He has lied about everything, last year it was school grades and bullying related.


Formula 1 Italian Grand Prix 2016

First Chicane, Italian GP, 2016

The luck really seems to be with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg after the mid-season break with a second easy victory on the trot to bring the world drivers championship gap to Lewis Hamilton down to two points.

Polesitter Hamilton made it easy for Rosberg with a terrible start exiting the first chicane in 6th place behind Daniel Ricciardo. Both Ferrari’s jumped ahead into second and third place with Sebastian Vettel coming out ahead; while Max Verstappen also made a bad start dropping back to 12th place off the line.

Hamilton passed the Red Bull of Ricciardo around the outside of Curva Grande between the first and second chicanes to move upto 5th place on the second lap highlighting the power difference between the Mercedes and Renault power units. On lap 11, Hamilton then dispatched Williams’ Valteri Bottas using DRS down the main straight after staying close through Parabolica to move upto 4th behind the Ferrari’s.

Hamilton eventually overhauled the Ferrari’s through strategy by the second stop to make it a Mercedes 1 – 2. The German team elected to make a single stop while Ferrari went with a two stop strategy. I’m not sure if it was a strategic choice or necessity, either way, it seems that a single stop was the way to go.

The race was fairly dull overall; just one highlight for me and that was Ricciardo’s lunge down the inside of Bottas into the first chicane; excellent driving from both Bottas and Ricciardo to avoid contact. Verstappen made a similar move on Force India’s Sergio Perez for 7th place two laps later into the second chicane, Perez bailed out down the escape road making it easy for the Dutchman to advance.

The Italian Grand Prix ended with a Mercedes 1 – 2, Rosberg leading Hamilton home with a 15 second cushion; followed by Vettel and Raikkonen for a Ferrari 3 – 4. Ricciardo finished best of the rest in fifth place after his amazing pass on Bottas who took the chequered flag in sixth place. Verstappen, Perez, Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top 10 in 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th respectively.

Away from the race itself, the bigger news of the weekend is the announcements that Felipe Massa will retire from F1 at the end of the season after 14 years in the sport. I do think that now is a good time for him to hang up his helmet; in my view, the Brazilian has never been the same since his accident in 2009.

Jenson Button also announced his effective retirement to become a McLaren ambassador; which reading between the lines means he will become a reserve driver to cover for Alonso should he jump ship at the end of 2017. This of course promotes current reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne to a race seat in 2017.

Button’s decision seems like an odd one given that Williams, the team where he started his 17 year Formula 1 odyssey were very keen to offer him a contract for the 2017 season as a replacement for the outgoing Felipe Massa. Whatever his reasons for sticking with McLaren, I wish him the best for the future.


Max Verstappen; Aggressive or Dangerous?

Max Verstappen

Since Dutchman Max Verstappen was promoted to the Red Bull senior team, he has often come under fire for his aggressive driving style which all came to a head at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend.

I believe that Verstappen races hard and pushes the limits; but generally does not exceed those limits. Nothing he did at the Belgian Grand Prix last weekend broke any of the sporting rules and he did nothing that former multiple world champions Schumacher and Senna would not have done. I believe F1 to be a shadow of it’s former self with it’s blame/penalty mentality, hardly anything is just a racing incident.

I would not exactly call myself a fan of Verstappen; but i will defend his driving style, personally I like his driving style; although his off track attitude needs some work. It feels like Verstappen is an old school driver displaced in time, back in the 90s, he would have fit in perfectly as this sort of driving mentality was common and stewards chalked most accidents upto a racing incident, unlike today’s Health & Safety F1.

I believe that Verstappen, given that he is only 18 years old and is already in his second year in F1 has not had the relevant experience in motorsport and sometimes that inexperience shows. Something that both Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton have said this weekend in Monza. To that issue, should the FIA force drivers to have to compete in a lower single seater formula for a minimum of 3 years before driving in F1?

Charlie Whiting, FIA race director has given Verstappen a “gentle warning” about his driving style. This is a warning that I feel is unwarranted as Verstappen did not break any sporting rules at Spa. Hamilton performed a much more dangerous move in Monaco this year, chopping across the front of Ricciardo almost putting the Australian into the Armco barrier, but no-one criticized or warned Hamilton.

I have been thinking; if I had never seen F1 before; would the current ruleset, both technical and sporting have attracted me to the sport and I find the answer to be NO. I found F1 in 1989 where the racing was hard, no stupid limits on fuel usage or tires and it was glorious. In 2016, F1 is dull; most of the little excitement we see is in the midfield, where Verstappen and former team mate Carlos Sainz were battling.

In my view, F1 drivers today are a bunch of pussies constantly bleating on about injustices; and in my view Vettel is the worst of them. Incidentally, Vettel was the driver that caused the first corner incident at Spa turning in on Raikkonen and Verstappen, Raikkonen was giving space to the Dutchman when the German clattered into Raikkonen which caused the contact with Verstappen, the video replays clearly proves this.

I understand that my views are going to be unpopular, but I grew up watching F1 with drivers that battled hard, weaved back and forth trying to break the tow of the car chasing; something that has been dead since the creation of DRS which makes most passes “highway” overtakes, where’s the excitement in that?


Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix 2016

Verstappen, Raikkonen & Vettel collide at La Source, Belgian GP, 2016

After the four week break, F1 restarted in anger and I’m late writing my overview of the race, I guess that I am not as big a fan as I used to be. Anyway, I digress, Nico Rosberg was handed an easy win after team mate Lewis Hamilton elected to take three new engines to ease his engine woes for the rest of the season; meaning he started from the back bar one, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso also took grid penalties.

But the real talk of the race was Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who was involved in the first lap incident that caused the three way collision that changed the race completely and also further incidents with excessive movement blocking the Ferrari’s. Verstappen took a lot of heat from drivers and critics alike for his actions, personally I think the sport has suffered from the nanny mentality with penalties for everything.

Verstappen had wheelspin falling behind Kimi Raikkonen; but Verstappen wasn’t giving up on 2nd place diving down the inside of La Source, Raikkonen gave Vestappen room while Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel turned in on Raikkonen not knowing Vestappen was inside of him. The end result was contact, Vettel sent into a spin and dropping to the back and new front wings for Raikkonen and Verstappen.

Jenson Button’s race was ended prematurely by Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein who rear ended the Briton going through turns 5 and 6, this collision also ended Wehrlein’s race on lap 1. Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz’ race also ended prematurely due to a right rear tire failure which destroyed his wing and suspension.

There was further carnage on lap 6 when Kevin Magnussen lost control of his Renault cresting the top of Eau Rouge spinning backward into the barrier which initially brought out the safety car, triggering a lot of activity in the pitlane, many teams stopping for tires. Meanwhile Hamilton and Alonso stayed out which worked out brilliantly for the former team mates getting a free pit stop due to the race being red flagged.

After the red flag period, Alonso and Hamilton resumed in 4th and 5th place behind the safety car. The race restarted in anger on lap 10 and there was very little actual anger with no change of place happening during the 10th lap. Alonso could not hold off the Mercedes of Hamilton for long, the Briton making the pass for 4th place on lap 12, sadly the Honda power unit is still nowhere near the top power units.

During the next 31 laps, The Ferrari’s made good progress, although Verstappen made life difficult for Vettel and Raikkonen making what many consider to be illegal moves causing the chasing drivers to take avoiding action. Although the stewards saw it differently electing to not penalize the Red Bull driver. Personally I like this way of thinking, stewards need to stop punishing every second ‘incident’.

Force India’s Sergio Perez made a great late charge to move upto 5th place behind team mate Nico Hulkenberg in 4th place. Fernando Alonso eventually slipped back to 7th place losing out to Vettel on lap 35, the German finished in 6th place after falling to the back of the pack on lap 1. Williams instructed Massa and Bottas to switch positions to allow the faster Bottas to chase down Alonso, but to no avail.

Bottas got close, but remained in 8th place while team mate Massa was left vulnerable to attack from Raikkonen losing 9th place to the Finn on the penultimate lap leaving the Brazilian to settle for 10th place. Lewis Hamilton claimed the final spot on the podium, which given the 55 place grid penalty is miraculous. Daniel Ricciardo who had a non-eventful race after the red flag took the second step of the podium.

The talking point of Spa is Verstappen and his borderline maneuvers in defense; which I think were aggressive, but acceptable. I remember when drivers would weave back and forth trying to break the tow of the car behind, now we have the single defensive move rule which stifles racing in my opinion. Drivers are afraid to attack and defend aggressively for fear of penalties, F1 has become a pale shadow of itself.

The second issue for me was the way that rules allowed for Mercedes to replace three perfectly good engines to gain an advantage knowing that grid penalties are not carried over into subsequent races. This is a loophole that immediately needs to be closed; if the FIA intend to keep this loophole in place, let’s just abandon the engine limits and let them use whatever engines they want during the season.

F1 seems to be going down a very bad path, they are doing themselves no favors in their decision making process. We had the stupid qualifying that ended up getting abandoned; then the communication restrictions were relaxed and all but abandoned and now we have this, Mercedes taking the piss out of the sport as a whole changing three engines over a race weekend for a single penalty with limited impact.


The High Cost Of Kansas Public School

Back To School... How Much?

My two kids, one first grader and one seventh grader have gone back to school today, just in time to save my sanity after a three month summer break due to KS schools shortening the school year by 3 weeks. Now it is time to go back to school, I am shocked by the cost to send your children to public school in KS.

Let’s start with the school fees; for my two children it came to $118.50; which is not an insignificant amount of money. Yes, we can afford to pay that amount; but this is just one phase of the costs of attending school in Wichita, Kansas. We are fortunate to be able to cover these fees, but many others in our neighborhood don’t have any money to spare, let alone $118.50 to give to the public school system.

Next up is the school supplies for your children; which is not for your children at all as it seems to become “community property” once it goes to school. We have never had our children’s school supplies come back home at the end of the year. The cost for just the essential supplies for my two children was over $180 plus $40 – $50 in “additional” supplies. Back home in the UK, we were required to attend, that’s all.

Finally, we come to the school uniforms, which thankfully is only required for my 12 year old. We needed pants (trousers for my British readers), polo shirts and gym clothes, which came close to $250 for five pairs of pants, five shirts and five sets of gym clothes. Yes, we could have bought less and laundered more frequently, but we have busy lives and didn’t want to run the risk of running out of clean uniforms.

For the 2016/17 school year, it has cost over $600 to send our kids to school, which I consider to be excessive to send two children to public school. But, let me be clear, I am not blaming the schools themselves, I put the blame squarely on the state of Kansas, more specifically Gov. Sam Brownback, who thankfully can not serve another term after years of tax cuts for the rich while defunding public programs.

Earlier this year, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled the block funding of schools as implemented by Gov. Brownback was unconstitutional and that it unfairly penalized schools in poorer neighborhoods as these schools often have more students compared to more affluent neighborhoods. Normally schools are funded on a per student basis, which ensures that schools get the funding they desperately need.

But like many Republican run states where trickle down economics is prevalent, tax cuts for the rich are put ahead of the local community and parents are bearing much more of the cost of schooling. Trickle down economics have and never will work, tax breaks for the rich results in more money in offshore accounts for the rich, those tax breaks are rarely used to create jobs or investment in the community.


Focus, LLC; Unsolicited High Pressure Sales, Likely Scammers!

Scam Alert

Today, my wife who is a realtor got an unsolicited phone call from Focus, LLC trying to sell a sponsored ad listing in Google. They’re rep was really putting the hard sell on, not letting my wife talk at all, then proceeded to force a sale asking how she would like her ad to appear. At no point was my wife asked if she was interested in the service, which I believe is a scam, I can’t find any evidence this company exists.

When I searched Google for “Focus, LLC”, I found their Facebook page, which lists the same website as they gave us to try to sell their product with one like and next to no content. Given that they claim to be a Facebook marketing partner, why don’t they have an amazing Facebook page? Also they claim to be a Google partner, but they don’t feature on the first two pages of Google under their own company name.

Additionally, when looking up the whois information for their domain name, it came back as registered by Registration Private (Domains By Proxy, LLC), which was really designed for individuals, not companies, every legit company has all their company information listed on their domain names whois.

They asked us to search Google using the term “NW Portland Homes“, which did bring up a website that they claim to be one of their clients. Of course, a single example could be set up as a sales tactic. I work in Internet marketing myself, so I know how easy it is to set up a flashy website to sell a non-existent service.

The thing that raised alarm bells for me is the pushy nature of the sales spiel trying to push the sign up. Of course, once we asked to be sent information before even considering giving credit card details, the rep immediately went into “if you don’t sign up now, you’ll lose out as we have to sell this today”.

The Focus, LLC representative claimed that they only take on one client per location. This in itself does not make any sense as a business decision, limiting your potential market. And I would suggest this is a blatant lie as three other websites appear near the top in the sponsored ad section of Google Search.

I question the effectiveness of sponsored ad marketing, most people I know avoid paid ads instead opting to click the first organic link. I looked at the search rate for “NW Portland Homes” using Google’s Keyword Planner and it showed an average of 320 searches/mo with low competition for that keyword.

My wife mentioned to the rep that I was an Internet marketer and I had been listening in. Which is when I chimed in and said we will not be forced into purchasing any service because we might “miss out”. When it became clear that the rep was not going to get a sale; she took a swipe at me, saying something along the lines of “I hope he can get you better positioning as he won’t let you use our service”.

This is when my wife took it off speaker as my reaction would not have been good. If this is the sort of people who Focus, LLC have working for them, I’d advise you to run in the opposite direction as quick as you can. I will never do business with anyone that cold calls me; nor any company that tries to scare me into buying with time limited offers. That’s not how to do business in my personal and professional view.


Medical Quotes; Not Worth The Paper Their Written On…

Phillips Dreamstation CPAP Machine

About six months ago; my wife went to get assessed for a CPAP machine to help with her sleep apnea and we were quoted a price after insurance of around $200, that’s a price that we could live with. Fast forward about six weeks and we get the bill and the bill isn’t $200, it’s almost five times that amount, $973. I understand quotes are not set in stone, but you’d expect it to be close to the actual cost of service.

We have been in dispute about this for four months, my wife has called a few times, four months ago she left a message and didn’t get a call back. Two months ago, she talked to someone who said the bill was a mistake and the actual cost was $268 and that a new bill would be sent out. We received another bill and it said, yes, that’s right, $973 and it’s now PAST DUE, so today I call them and I finally get an explanation.

I don’t know who my wife talked to about this balance, so I could not name any names in my conversation with Via Christi Home Medical today. What I learned is that most of the balance is a deductible that we had not met on our Blue Cross, Blue Shield of KC insurance. Apparently, the agreement my wife signed stated that projected costs are estimated and is in no way a guarantees the final cost of service.

Obviously, if we knew the cost would be close to $1,000, we would never have agreed to purchase the CPAP machine. We do not have that sort of money laying around and the last few months have been tough financially due to circumstances beyond our control. Now I will have to add another $973 to the already significant balances on my credit cards; our cash-flow is definitely negative at this time.

The worst thing about this whole sorry situation is the hose that connects the CPAP machine to the face mask is damaged which makes it useless as air is leaking from the hose. A replacement would be paid out of pocket as my wife has a new job and doesn’t have primary insurance for a couple more months.

Bottom line; don’t take the word of your medical provider, call your insurance company yourself and check with them before agreeing to and/or signing anything; clearly these medical providers claim to check with insurance and give you an arbitrary figure, while leaving you up a creek without a paddle.

Suffice to say, we will definitely not be using Via Christi Home Medical’s services ever again. Their representative sort of apologized over the telephone saying “I’m sorry IF you felt you had been misled.” As someone who works in marketing / customer relations, I understand these phrases, a token apology without actually accepting any blame. But, those hollow words do not improve our current situation.

This is Via Christi; a company that claims it’s mission is to help the poor. A statement which we know is complete and utter BS from experience. If you can’t pay, they try to force you into high interest loans, then send your account to collections if you refuse. They call themselves a Christian organization; something I call BS on, a Christian organization should not benefit from those less fortunate than themselves.

PS: While looking for a feature image for this write-up; I found that the cost of the CPAP unit was only $449 which includes free two day shipping, now I feel even more aggrieved by this near $1,000 bill.


Formula 1 German Grand Prix 2016

Rosberg Forces Verstappen Wide At The German GP, 2016

We have reached the half way point of the season and despite Nico Rosberg claiming pole position at Hockenheim, he had a bad start that immediately demoted him to fourth place by turn 1. Lewis Hamilton extended his WDC lead over his Mercedes team mate to 19 points going into the mid season break.

The start saw Lewis Hamilton get a good start to lead into turn 1 followed by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; although Verstappen got immense drive off turn one to clean drive around team mate Ricciardo. This, of course pushed Rosberg back to fourth place, down three places from the start.

In the Ferrari inter-team battle, Sebastian Vettel passed Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap and that’s how it stayed, the drivers finished fifth and sixth. Clearly Red Bull have out-developed the Maranello based team in the first 12 races, this is proven by Red Bull taking second place in the constructors championship.

The Red Bull race was decided by strategy; in the first round of pit stops, Ricciardo switched to soft tires while Verstappen went with another set of super-soft tires. Which ultimately put Ricciardo on the faster super-soft tyre for the third stint allowing him to reel in and pass team mate Verstappen for second place as Verstappen had to run the mandated soft tire, Verstappen commented “I took one for the team“.

We know that Rosberg finished fourth and yet again it was of his own making. He was looking good to finish second; but he pulled the same trick as he did on Hamilton in Austria, making a dive down the inside allowing his car to drift wide forcing Verstappen off track. For which the German was handed a five second time penalty; that turned into an 8 second penalty as Mercedes held him too long in his pit box.

A mixed day for McLaren, Jenson Button scored an eighth place finish overtaking the Williams of Valteri Bottas on the penultimate lap. Bottas was on old tires near the end of the race which cost the Finn two places, both Hulkenberg and Button passed the struggling Williams driver. McLaren team mate Fernando Alonso dropped out of the top 10 in the last few laps due to having to run his engine in fuel saving mode.

The final points paying position went to Force India’s Sergio Perez who benefited from Alonso’s lack of fuel issues in the closing laps. Although I did wonder whether Perez would get a time penalty for forcing Alonso off track at the hairpin; but the Mexican got away with it to keep his single point in Germany.

Has Rosberg bottled it? his actions over the past few races have been questionable; twice pushing other drivers off the road, in Austria and Germany, blowing the start in the last two races while Lewis Hamilton has now won four races on the bounce. I honestly think that it’s now Lewis’ title to lose, the momentum is with him going into the mid-season break. However, I’d love to see Rosberg prove me wrong!

Another question is will Maurizio Arrivabene still be in charge at Ferrari when hostilities resume next month? Technical director James Allison has already left, for what reason, we do not know. In recent years, when things are going badly, team personnel change, will this be the case over the summer break?