After the thrill that was the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Chinese Grand Prix seemed almost subdued at a glance but despite the comparison it was a good race with plenty of action on the track unless you were Lewis Hamilton who showed masterful control throughout the race, bringing his Silver Arrow home for his first Formula One hattrick.

f1 2014 China 1

The race itself started off in spectacular fashion as cars bumped wheels into the first turn. The most spectacular of which was Felipe Massa who cut across the circuit into the side do Alonso’s Ferrari. Amazingly neither car suffered from the wheel on wheel impact though Massa’s race suffered later from a faulty wheel hub nut in the pits, dropping him severely down the grid.

McLaren also failed to be competitive despite some amazing overtaking maneuvers by Jenson Button, due largely to the aero package of the car that seems unable to work well with the tyres, causing early degradation of the rubber.
A problem McLaren home to solve quickly with an aggressive upgrade program over the European Grand Prix races.

f1 2014 china 2

Hamilton has now closed the gap in the Championship to just four points behind his teammate Nico Rosberg who, despite having to make it through the entire race with no telemetry, made his way back up the grid from a terrible start to come home in second ahead of Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso.

Drivers Championship Standings

DriverTeamPoints
Nico RosbergMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

79

Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team

75

Fernando AlonsoScuderia Ferrari

41

Nico HülkenbergSahara Force India F1 Team

36

Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing

33

Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing

24

Valtteri BottasWilliams F1 Team

24

Jenson ButtonVodafone McLaren Mercedes

23

Kevin MagnussenVodafone McLaren Mercedes

20

Sergio PérezSahara Force India F1 Team

18

Felipe MassaWilliams F1 Team

12

Kimi RäikkönenScuderia Ferrari

11

Jean-Éric VergneScuderia Toro Rosso

4

Daniil KvyatScuderia Toro Rosso

4

Adrian SutilSauber F1 Team
Esteban GutiérrezSauber F1 Team
Max ChiltonMarussia F1 Team
Jules BianchiMarussia F1 Team
Romain GrosjeanLotus F1 Team
Pastor MaldonadoLotus F1 Team
Marcus EricssonCaterham F1 Team
Kamui KobayashiCaterham F1 Team

Alonso showed great pace in the race. A huge boost in performance from the previous three races this season giving hope that the Italian team can be a championship contender after all as the calendar turns towards Europe and Alonso’s home race in Spain.

“We did improve the car a little bit compared to the first three races, so we felt more competitive and now in the race being here on the podium is some kind of surprise for us, a nice surprise finally. Happy with a podium finish today. I think I’m third in the Drivers’ Championship behind these two guys. So we didn’t have the start of the season that we would like but at the end of the day we’re still in the fight.” – Alonso

f1 2014 china 3

As the Championship starts to take form, the silver Arrows of Mercedes look hard to beat but we can expect other teams to hot on their heals over the coming races as they come to grips with the aero, tyre balance. For now however the. Most fierce rivalry is within the Mercedes camp as teammates battle for the Championship lead.

Race Results

1. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 54 laps 1hr 33m 28.338s
2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 18.0s
3. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 23.6s
4. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 27.1s
5. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault +00m 47.8s
6. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes +00m 54.3s
7. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes +00m 55.7s
8. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 16.3s
9. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes +01m 22.6s
10. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap

11. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
12. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault +1 lap
13. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes +1 lap
14. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault +1 lap
15. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes +1 lap
16. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +1 lap
17. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap
18. Kamui Kobayashi Japan Caterham-Renault +1 lap
19. Max Chilton Briton Marussia-Ferrari +2 laps
20. Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault +2 laps

Rtd Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 30 laps completed
Rtd Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari 7 laps completed

Fastest lap:

Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.402s lap 39

all results unofficial

 

Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)

Images and Race Results via Crash.net

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Brought up in a world of Mini's, road trips, rallying and tinkering it is unsurprising that among my passions, since I can remember, cars have been something very special to me. The way they look, the way they smell and especially the way the sound.This passion has grown over the years from a spectator's seat at Formula 1 and WRC events to active participation in events such as the Cannonball Run NZ and Stance Off Events. My current love affair is with a slightly tuned Mk4 Golf GTI which brings me nothing but joy on the road.This love for driving and cars has led me start a Podcast dedicated to my love of driving called Drive Life NZ where I hope to share my story while exploring the varied stories of other enthusiasts. Dispelling the myths surrounding car people and celebrating our diversity.

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