Race Report: Hamilton wins in China

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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:

POSDRIVERCARLAPSGAP
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes561h32m06.350s
2Valtteri BottasMercedes566.552s
3Sebastian VettelFerrari5613.744s
4Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda5627.627s
5Charles LeclercFerrari5631.276s
6Pierre GaslyRed Bull/Honda561m29.307s
7Daniel RicciardoRenault551 Lap
8Sergio PerezRacing Point/Mercedes551 Lap
9Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo/Ferrari551 Lap
10Alexander AlbonToro Rosso/Honda551 Lap
11Romain GrosjeanHaas/Ferrari551 Lap
12Lance StrollRacing Point/Mercedes551 Lap
13Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari551 Lap
14Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren/Renault551 Lap
15Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo/Ferrari551 Lap
16George RussellWilliams/Mercedes542 Laps
17Robert KubicaWilliams/Mercedes542 Laps
18Lando NorrisMcLaren/Renault50Not running
Daniil KvyatToro Rosso/Honda41Retirement
Nico HulkenbergRenault16Retirement

Driver’s Championship

POSDRIVERPOINTS
1Lewis Hamilton68
2Valtteri Bottas62
3Max Verstappen39
4Sebastian Vettel37
5Charles Leclerc36
6Pierre Gasly13
7Kimi Raikkonen12
8Lando Norris8
9Kevin Magnussen8
10Nico Hulkenberg6
11Daniel Ricciardo6
12Sergio Perez5
13Alexander Albon3
14Lance Stroll2
15Daniil Kvyat1
16Antonio Giovinazzi0
17Romain Grosjean0
18Carlos Sainz Jr.0
19George Russell0
20Robert Kubica0

Constructor’s championship

POSCONSTRUCTORPOINTS
1Mercedes130
2Ferrari73
3Red Bull/Honda52
4Renault12
5Alfa Romeo/Ferrari12
6Haas/Ferrari8
7McLaren/Renault8
8Racing Point/Mercedes7
9Toro Rosso/Honda4
10Williams/Mercedes0

 

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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

So ATT finally showed up. Congrats!

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

Scott

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

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

B52RockLobster

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