As we look to the Russian Grand Prix in Sochi this coming weekend it’s a time to reflect on the last race in China, where the young Russian Driver Daniil Kvyat caused the main talking point of the race and left us once again wondering what might have been for Ferrari.

F1 China 2016c

At this point in the season I am a little concerned for the first corner at Monza given that we are yet to have a full grid make it cleanly through an Grand Prix opening lap. China was the latest scene where Red Bulls Kiviat lived up to the Senna motto of if I see a gap I’ll take it, as he dove on the inside of turn one in an attempt to undercut Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Unfortunately for Vettel this played out with Kimi Raikkonen’s motto of, if in slightly off track I’ll get back on the track and I don’t care who may be coming down the road. Having nowhere to go after correcting to avoid hitting the Russian, Vettel ended up in the side of his teammate severely damaging his front wing and fortunately not causing both cars out of the race.

F1 China 2016d

Really it was nose cones that suffered the most in the Chinese Grand Prix as the ripple effect from this collision at the front even saw Lewis Hamilton completely lose his front wing in the pile up. He too was luck that that was not the end of his race.

The only car not effected from the first corner mishaps was current leader of the pack Nico Rosberg who, after a fairly good start, was clean and clear to race unchallenged for the remainder of the Grand Prix. This firms up his championship contention for some time with Hamilton left to pray for mechanical failures if he has any hope of retaining his championship for the fourth time.

F1 China 2016a

For the fans, we are again left not having realised the potential of what Ferrari can deliver against the might of the Mercedes F1 team. With a second damages wing keeping Vettel from fighting for the top spot on the podium and Kimi simply not fighting past the Red Bulls

In fact Red Bull are easily the dark horse of this championship with Daniel Ricciardo holding on to third place in the drivers points behind Lewis Hamilton despite having a terrible race in China. Sebastian Vettel is easily on the back foot after not starting in Bahrain and struggling in China.

F1 China 2016b

The question is whether the Russian circuit will provide Ferrari with a chance to shine or if the feisty Russians Red Bull will remain on the charge in front of his home fans? But let’s not forget about Hamilton who still has a lot to prove this season having been out performed by his team mate at every session this year. Will we get to see Hammer Time any time soon?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


Roger Baillie (@RustyRoj)

Driver Championship Points

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 75
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 39
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 36
4 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari 28
5 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari 33
6 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 22
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 21
8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 18
9 Max Verstappen Scuderia Toro Rosso 13
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing 7
9 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India 6
12 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso 4
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 0
14 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 0
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Roger Baillie
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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