F1 – Chinese GP – Race
Nǐ hǎo MiniFans!
The Shanghai International Circuit gets the honour of hosting the 1000th F1 World Championship Grand Prix. Construction on this circuit started in early 2013, and the full layout was custom-built for Formula One. However, did you know that the track layout was intentionally shaped like the Chinese character Shang (上) which is the first character of Shanghai, meaning “above” or “ascend”.
After numerous close battles in qualifying, it would be Valtteri Bottas who starts on pole position ahead of Lewis Hamilton (2nd), Sebastian Vettel (3rd) and Charles Leclerc (4th). Behind them are the two Red Bull’s, Renault’s and Haas cars in a two-by-two-by-two formation start.
As they got underway, Hamilton would get past Bottas at the start, and Leclerc would pass Vettel too. However, down at Ferrari, Vettel was on Leclerc’s tail for several laps and Ferrari eventually made the call for the Monegasque driver to let the former World Champion through. Elsewhere at the start, Daniil “torpedo” Kvyat was in the wars, colliding with both McLaren’s who subsequently had to pit with damage. Daniil would receive a drive through penalty for that move.
The rest of the race was relatively quiet with big gaps between all the cars; certainly not the fanfare that the 1000th World Championship Grand Prix deserves.
Ferrari really ruined Leclerc’s strategy which allowed Max Verstappen to steal 4th. Red Bull would steal more points later in the race too when Pierre Gasly made a late sneaky pit stop to take the fastest lap point. Other than that, I am struggling for things to mention.
Hamilton took the victory from Bottas and Vettel. Verstappen 4th, Leclerc 5th and Gasly 6th. Daniel Ricciardo took 7th – his first points of the season so far – ahead of Sergio Perez in 8th. 9th & 10th went to Kimi Raikkonen and Alexander Albon respectively; both of whom made a large number of solid overtakes today. A very good display of attack-driving. It’s worth noting that Albon started from the pit lane today, so that Toro Rosso really had some pace. Daniil Kvyat wasn’t able to demonstrate their pace though, as he pulled into the pits to retire with technical issues, as did Nico Hulkenberg and Lando Norris.
It’s somewhat incredible that Mercedes have started the season with three 1-2 finishes from three races after the hype about Ferrari’s pace pre-season. Do you think Ferrari can come back as the season progresses? Let us know in the comments below.