Welcome to Formula 1 observations, where I write about my observations and share with you my take on the F1 weekend. In case you missed the first edition about the Malaysian GrandPrix, you can find that here. Lets see what Shanghai brought us.
Mercedes had a wake-up call last time around. They stepped it up a this weekend dominating both the qualifying and the race. Ferrari got close on the softer tire but they manged to pull quite a gap at the end. Biggest issue this weekend was the irritation over the radio with Nico. Being pushed to stay close to Vettel during qualifying or he might not cross the line in time. During the race the team told him the gap to Lewis, with his reply being he was looking at the back of Lewis car so he knew the gap. If these are the biggest issues, you have an easy 1st and 2nd place finish.
Solid performance, they had Mercedes worried for a bit there. Whatever Kimi lost en route to Shanghai, he found it back in time. Overtaking bot Williams in the first lap and having a smooth sail from there. If not for the Safety Car finish, he would have fought Vettel for 3rd place. A lot smoother 4th place finish than last time around.
The Power of Dreams
Honda may be the power of dreams, there are not the Power of F1 and not the stuff dreams are made of either. Getting stuck in the first part of Qualifying again, there is a long way to go. Still they are improving. Fighting with Red Bull at the start of the race, way at the back of the field. Really Red Bull, what are you doing back there? At the end Button even managed to find enough speed to drive into the back of Maldonado at the end of the straight. Now that is a Mercedes powered Lotus, well done Jenson and McLaren for finding the speed! Sure Pastor needed to miss the pit lane entry and try to run over a couple of marshals finding his way into the pit and have a big spin on track to fall that far back. But Maldonado be Maldonado.
Renault is glad that Honda joined this season, at least they don't supply the worst engine package of the field. Or do they? Sure they are a bit faster, but both the engines of Verstappen en Kvyat went up in smoke, Sainz Jr. had electrical gremlins in the gearbox and Ricciardo was not the fastest guy out there either. At least both McLaren Honda drivers finished the race.
Makes you wonder what Renault has to gain by staying in F1. There is no link what so ever to their road cars. They don't have a sports car in their lineup. They don't even sell world wide. Renault - Nissan partner Nissan has the LMP1 and the GTR GT cars so it is not likely they will re-brand the F1 engine either. A Renault exit out of F1 is becoming more likely every race.
Driver of the race: Max Verstappen
Max did a good job again during the race. Qualifying might have been a bit disappointing, he showed his racing skills today. Overtaking on track and giving faster cars a run for their money. A real shame that the car went up in smoke and completely locked the rear axle with only 2 laps to go. Would have been hard fought points and a reward for the effort he put in.
Don't know what caused more damage though, the engine blowing up or the marshals trying to push the car through the wall instead of the hole in the wall.
The Shanghai Grand Prix offers great service for those who love Chinese food. No need to go out and get your takeaway, the delivery guy will bring it to you at the pitwall during free practice. The guy is so fast with his frogger moves there is no need for a ¨Led Frag¨ either.
Next week Bahrain. Lets see if Ferrari can really challenge Mercedes again. Red Bull Honda? Will Maldonado crash?
Photo credit: Getty Images
News items: Stef Schrader - Black flag
Odin is an electrical engineer with an interest in cars, racing and technology. Having a real name that is hard to pronounce, he chose this writing name because Thor was taken. He wrote this piece about himself and is determined to keep writing posts about F1 and Car related topics. Unless the weather is too nice or he actually gets a day job.