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.
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.
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
|Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari|
|Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
|Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing|
|Valtteri Bottas||Williams F1 Team|
|Jenson Button||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes|
|Kevin Magnussen||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes|
|Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
|Felipe Massa||Williams F1 Team|
|Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari|
|Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team|
|Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team|
|Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team|
|Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team|
|Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team|
|Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team|
|Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team|
|Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham 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
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.
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
. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 40.402s lap 39
all results unofficial
Roger Baillie (@Rojn8r)
Images and Race Results via Crash.net