Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hamilton beats Rosberg for Mercedes 1-2 in Shanghai

Hamilton beats Rosberg for Mercedes 1-2 in Shanghai

Mercedes came back to familiar race results with Lewis Hamilton winning the Chinese Grand Prix at Shangai and Nico Rosberg finishing in 2nd position. Sebastian Vettel of Redbull came in third behind the two Mercedes drivers.

Sebastian Vettel’s Malaysia win had shocked the F1 world, and Mercedes would be breathing easy now after this win in China. However, the victory by Mercedes was not one-sided as it was in Australia. Sebastian Vettel was not far behind and there was danger of Nico Rosberg losing the second place to him. The Mercedes team even urged Lewis Hamilton to quicken his pace, as he was cruising at a steady pace instead of the full pace that his machine was capable off. Mercedes even told Lewis Hamilton that if he did not increase his pace then may be forced to allow Nico Rosberg to the pits before Lewis Hamilton. It is an accepted fact that the leading driver of the team gets the first chance to pit before his team-mate. Infact Rosberg’s tyres were bad so he finally got a chance to pit before Hamilton, but Lewis Hamilton took the chance to quicken his pace and score a fastest lap.

Ferrari’s pace was not good in the medium tyres which they took in the last stint. They were a match to the Mercedes in the soft tyres. The race finished with the safety car as the youngest driver on the grid, Max Verstappen of Toro Rosso had to stop his smoking car on the pit straight and surprisingly it couldn’t be removed in time. This definitely impacted the race results as the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was charging fast and could have snatched the third spot from team-mate Sebastian Vettel, as Kimi had fresh tyres on his car and the gap between the cars had dropped to only 1.3 seconds. When a car is within one second of the preceding car, it can deploy the DRS in the designated DRS zone and overtake. Kimi, a good friend of Vettel might be cursing his luck.

The Williams cars of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas came in fifth and sixth confirming that they have fallen behind Ferrari as well. Last year Williams were just behind Mercedes and were dreaming of a race victory, especially in Brazil where Felipe Massa was leading.

Romain Grosjean, the original bad boy of 2013, finished in seventh and got the first points for Lotus. 2014 was a forgettable year for Lotus with their team principal moving to McLaren and Kimi moving to Ferrari. They had financial trouble as well. This year after moving to Mercedes engines from Renault engines, they are having a better time.

Felipe Nasr of Sauber finished in eighth ahead of Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull. Ricciardo had a dreadful start to the Chinese F1 Grand Prix as he accidentally hit the auto stall during the start. He somehow held his nerves and showed a gritty performance to finish in points in 9th place. He must be happy that Verstappen of sister car Toro Rosso, who was scheduled to finish in eighth had to retire with a smoking Renault engine. Despite the much higher budget of Red bull, the sister cars of Toro Rosso are doing better.

Marcus Ericsson must be very happy moving to Sauber as he finished in points by claiming the 10th and last points paying position. He was one lap down. Sergio Perez of Force India came in 11th.

Jenson Button made a mistake and hit Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus car from behind. Button accepted his fault and was penalised with 5 seconds. So he finished in 14th and his team-mate Fernando Alonso finished in 12th. Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso was 13th.

It must be a very sad day for Fernando Alonso, who left Ferrari to join McLaren, as Ferrari is doing well this year and the Ferrari cars lapped the McLaren of Alonso.

Both the Marussia cars managed to finish the race and would be very happy with the reliability. They couldn’t race in the season opener at Melbourne. In Malaysia they only ran one car. At Shanghai in the Chinese F1 Grand Prix, Will Stevens lead his team-mate Roberto Merhi for a 15th and 16th position finish.

Retirements in Chinese F1 Grand Prix

Max Verstappen                Toro Rosso
Pastor Maldonado             Lotus
Daniil Kvyat                     Red Bull
Nico Hulkenberg              Force India

No comments: