It rains in Spain… also in China – Chinese GP 2017
The second round of this ongoing F1 season was far more exciting than the first, even if Hamilton did lead the race from start to finish. Both a virtual and a real safety car and lots of slip ups on the wet circuit.
- Lewis Hamilton – As mentioned above, a flawless race from start to finish.
- Sebastian Vettel – Vettel chased down Hamilton after overtaking Ricciardo late on but simply couldn’t match the Mercedes’ speed. Let’s hope this isn’t the best Ferrari is capable of (albeit, the weather probably gave Lewis an advantage).
- Max Verstappen – Verstappen also made a daring rise all the way from grid-16 and passed his team-mate to take the podium. Well done, Max!
- Daniel Ricciardo – Danny boy had a rotten time getting passed during the race progression. Still, his finish ensured a solid result for Red Bull after the disastrous season opening round.
- Kimi Räikkönen – Räikkönen was not a happy-camper, with his tires wearing out as the race wore on.
- Valtteri Bottas – During the real safety car after Giovinazzi’s crash, Bottas spun out in the line-up and fell behind. The end-result was quite embarrassing considering Valtteri had been fighting for a position in the Top-4
- Carlos Sainz Jr. – Ran wide at the very start, spun out a little later on, but then went on to beat his country man wheel-on-wheel and took valuable points for Toro Rosso. This is easily the best drive I’ve seen from Sainz during his F1 career thus far.
- Kevin Magnussen – Magnussen can put the horrible Australian round behind him with this excellent 8th place result meaning he was the top-dog at Haas.
- Sergio Perez – Perez wrecked his chances early on by running into Lance Stroll on the opening lap. Later on he battled furiously with Kvyat and Massa to regain some valuable points for Force India. Not the Mexican at his best though.
- Esteban Ocon – Perez’s team-mate brought his team another point for the second race in a row. Ocon’s results aren’t much to write home about, but they are helping to keep Force India in the top-5 of the Constructors’ Championship.
Golden Pineapple Award: Romain Grosjean, Haas
The Frenchman started all the way from the back with a grid-penalty and didn’t really wow me today.
Drop-out count: 5
Once again, most of the retirements were due to technical issues. Daniil Kvyat pulled off the track with an undisclosed issue. Stoffel Vandoorne had to retire with a fuel problem after a promising start. Fernando Alonso‘s oil pressure also disappeared in the middle of the race, soon after his furious battle with Sainz. So once again, McLaren came home empty-handed.
Lance Stroll had made some very good progress up the field on the start, so it was depressing to see him and Perez collide on the first lap. Tough luck for the Canadian. Stroll’s accident caused the deployment of the Virtual Safety Car.
Substituting Pascal Wehrlein for the second time, Antonio Giovinazzi was driving another so-and-so race when he ran wide on the home-stretch, hit the wall, littering the main-straight with debris. The safety car was forced to lead the cars through the pit-lane as a result. Wehrlein is due to return in Bahrain. Let’s hope things will begin to pick up at Sauber soon, since the Chinese round was an utter disaster for them.
Back of the Lot News:
Renault fumbled the ball big time in the Chinese round with The Hülk dropping from the Top-5 at the start to 12th. Jolyon Palmer and Nico Hülkenberg both pitted early during the Virtual Safety Car and gained no real advantage. Instead of a positive pick-up from the terrible Australian round, Renault are instead still without points.
I have no idea what happened to Felipe Massa later on but he fell all the way from 6th at the start to 14th at the finish.
Dead Last: Marcus Ericsson – The Swedish F1 driver really has to start picking up the slack. This is his fourth year in the sport and even though Sauber isn’t exactly the peak of performance in this series, you’d think Marcus could at least try to overtake someone on-track. Unless his performance picks up this season, I’m beginning to think this season will be it for Ericsson.