What a crazy race that we had at Shanghai. Yesterday we said that strategy was really important, but what we didn’t expect was to see Red Bull’s strategy at the final laps of the race. Wanna know what happened today? Check our report!
Sebastian Vettel started on pole at Shanghai with his teammate in 2nd position, but when the lights turned off, Kimi lost positions with Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen, who was running ultra soft compound. A clean start by the rest of the drivers during the first part of the race with so different strategies in the whole grid.
We didn’t see any interesting battle on the first laps, except Fernando Alonso who tried to overtake Grosjean, but the French driver was defending his 10th position.
Strategy was really important during the race, and we saw so many drivers making an undercut. Sainz tried it with his teammate but didn’t work, but Mercedes made a great undercut to both Ferrari, making Bottas to overtake Vettel after his pitstop, and Hamilton to overtake Raikkonen.
Kimi was one of the last drivers to make his pitstop, but it was part of a strategy where Ferrari tried to stop Bottas with Kimi, but the Mercedes driver overtook Raikkonen at the DRS zone, and Vettel overtook his teammate a moment later.
Both Toro Rosso crashed after the first DRS zone and caused the safety car, something that made some chaos and gave us a new race. When the race was restarted we saw so many overtakes like Ricciardo overtaking Raikkonen, and Verstappen trying to overtake Hamilton, but the Red Bull driver lost the control of the car and lost the position with his teammate. Also Ricciardo came from nowhere and overtook Hamilton, taking the podium, and the British driver also lost the position with Verstappen.
The Red Bull boys came really aggressive and Ricciardo overtook Sebastian Vettel. Max Versatppen tried the same, but he crashed into Vettel and both drivers spun, losing a few positions. Verstappen received a 10 second time penalty for that action. Face and tails for Red Bull because while Verstappen received that penalty, Ricciardo overtook Bottas and started to make fastest laps.
During the final laps we had two battles, in one side we had Bottas defending the position against Raikkonen and Verstappen, and in the other side we had Vettel who was losing time and lost the position with Fernando Alonso.
Daniel Ricciardo won the Chinese Grand Prix with Bottas 2nd and Raikkonen 3rd. With Verstappen’s penalty, Hamilton finished 4th and Verstappen 5th. The top 10 was completed with Hulkenberg, Alonso, Vettel, Sainz and Magnussen.
The next round of the championship will be in two weeks at Baku. The championship is getting more interesting and we will see if Mercedes will recover the pace or if Ferrari will increase their advantage.