Photo by: www.kymilman.com/f1

After a Mercedes 1, 2 in the first three races of the season, you’d start to think that the mystery pace that F1 pundits and fans saw from Ferrari in pre-season testing may have simply been Mercedes sandbagging.

The Chinese Grand Prix was all Mercedes. Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has been gnashing teeth in the press since the beginning of the season talking up Ferrari and how his team will struggle to keep up with them. That hasn’t been the case yet, Bahrain withstanding, and Mercedes have nearly double the constructor points in the championship.

Win

Little doubt that Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton had a big win and while there wasn’t the prolific overtaking like Bahrain, the Chinese Grand Prix was a battle of the high-speed corners and that’s where Mercedes did well. Lewis won F1’s 1,000th race.

A win for Max Verstappen who finished 4th and did so in a car that the team says is struggling and with an engine that I am not 100% sure is delivering the kind of power that Merc and Ferrari are. Equally, after a tough season so far, Pierre Gasly managed to claw his way forward to 6th for a decent result and a result that he desperately needs.

A win for Daniel Ricciardo who has struggled at his new team, Renault. A 7th place finish means he is at least in the hunt and scoring points.

A win for both Alexander Albon and Kimi Raikkonen who both made it into the top 10 for points. They had good drives and passing and Albon recovered very well from a disastrous crash in FP3. A win for Toro Rosso’s mechanics who had their work cut out for them to get that car put together.

Fail

A fail for Ferrari who just didn’t have the pace to match Mercedes. Some suggested they added more wing to try and give them a chance in the corners but it didn’t help. They just weren’t quick enough.

Ferrari came under pressure from fans who weren’t happy about the team asking Charles Leclerc to move over for Sebastian Vettel. The reality is that Set was slightly quicker than Charles and they had to try something because Valtteri Bottas was getting away from them. The race was moving away. They made the change and while Seb was slightly quicker, it wasn’t a bunch and the move put Leclerc into the clutches of Verstappen. Heck, it put Vettel int eh clutches of Verstappen too so it’s hard to suggest it just impacted Leclerc’s race. It nearly impacted Seb’s race too.

A fail for Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who clouted both McLaren’s and ultimate ended Lando Norris’s race. He received a penalty but I’ll be honest, I’m not sure it was one of those former bone-head moves to be honest, I think it was wrong place, wrong time racing.

A fail for Renault who managed to leave Nico Hulkenberg out int eh cold with a DNF.

WTH

A WTH for Haas F1 who I thought would do much better than they did. They’ll need to avoid this notion of “good on certain tracks” type of performance if they want to be best of the rest.

Williams. Enough said. Also, Racing Point is struggling to but I’m curious if all of the change isn’t playing a part in the performance drop this year.

Chinese GP results:

POS DRIVER CAR LAPS GAP
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 1h32m06.350s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 6.552s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 13.744s
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 56 27.627s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 56 31.276s
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 56 1m29.307s
7 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 55 1 Lap
8 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 55 1 Lap
9 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
10 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 55 1 Lap
11 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
12 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 55 1 Lap
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
14 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 55 1 Lap
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 55 1 Lap
16 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 54 2 Laps
17 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 54 2 Laps
18 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 50 Not running
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 41 Retirement
Nico Hulkenberg Renault 16 Retirement

Driver’s Championship

POS DRIVER POINTS
1 Lewis Hamilton 68
2 Valtteri Bottas 62
3 Max Verstappen 39
4 Sebastian Vettel 37
5 Charles Leclerc 36
6 Pierre Gasly 13
7 Kimi Raikkonen 12
8 Lando Norris 8
9 Kevin Magnussen 8
10 Nico Hulkenberg 6
11 Daniel Ricciardo 6
12 Sergio Perez 5
13 Alexander Albon 3
14 Lance Stroll 2
15 Daniil Kvyat 1
16 Antonio Giovinazzi 0
17 Romain Grosjean 0
18 Carlos Sainz Jr. 0
19 George Russell 0
20 Robert Kubica 0

Constructor’s championship

POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 130
2 Ferrari 73
3 Red Bull/Honda 52
4 Renault 12
5 Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 12
6 Haas/Ferrari 8
7 McLaren/Renault 8
8 Racing Point/Mercedes 7
9 Toro Rosso/Honda 4
10 Williams/Mercedes 0

 

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jtr
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jtr

I wouldn’t call that a win at all for Gasly. Sixth place is the very least that should be expected out of a driver in a Red Bull, and Gasly never gave the slightest threat to be able to attack fifth place. If you give him back 20 seconds for the late pit stop to go after the fastest lap, he had about the same gap ahead of him to Leclerc as behind him to Ricciardo. So he’s just as close to being caught by the midfield as he is to catching up and competing with the big boys. This… Read more »

The Captain
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The Captain

So ATT finally showed up. Congrats!

Just so you know, the grass is not greener on the Comcast side of the fence.

Slipstream
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Slipstream

How long it will be before Sergio (You like my pace?) Perez is sacked for showing to much pace and making Lance look bad.

Fabio
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Fabio

And his start as well. He went from 12th to 7th in half a lap.

B52RockLobster
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B52RockLobster

I’m really enjoying watching Lance struggle. I sort of feel bad that I’m enjoying it so much….sort of.