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Lewis Hamilton dominates Chinese Grand Prix ahead of recovering Sebastian Vettel and charging Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton
Posted By: Alex Kalinauckas  |  09 Apr 2017   |  9:10 am GMT  |  629 comments

Lewis Hamilton scored his fifth Formula 1 career Chinese Grand Prix victory with a commanding performance in Shanghai to come home ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

The British driver moved level with Vettel at the head of the drivers’ championship as a result, while Verstappen scored Red Bull’s first podium finish of the season.

After much of Friday’s practice running was lost when low cloud prevented the medical helicopter from operating as required, there was much speculation that the race could be disrupted as it took place in similar conditions.

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

That situation was avoided as the FIA arranged for the necessary neurosurgery staff to be transferred to a hospital closer to the circuit, but rain had fallen in the build up to the start and all the drivers – except Carlos Sainz – set off on intermediates.

Hamilton held his lead from pole position on the run to Turn 1 as Vettel, who had lined up strangely to the side of his grid box, defended hard from Valtteri Bottas through the long right-hander, while Daniel Ricciardo passed Kimi Raikkonen for fourth place.

Verstappen, who had started down in 17th after he suffered an engine problem in qualifying, had made it well into the top ten by the end of the first lap, which was disrupted by a collision between Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez at Turn 10 that ended the Canadian driver’s race.

Lance Stroll

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed on the second lap of the 56-lap event while Stroll’s car was recovered and most of the field – including Vettel for new soft tyres – chose to come in and switch to slick tyres. Hamilton, Bottas, Raikkonen and the two Red Bull drivers stayed out on their intermediates.

Shortly after the VSC ended, Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed heavily on the pit straight for the second time in two days. The Italian lost control of his C36 as he ran onto the still-wet grid and smashed into the pitwall, which triggered a full Safety Car intervention.

As the marshals recovered the wrecked Sauber, the field had to drive through the pits and the leaders took their chance to switch to slicks – softs for the Mercedes drivers and Raikkonen, and super-softs for the Red Bulls.

Antonio Giovinazzi

The timing of the Safety Car worked out badly for Vettel who dropped from second to sixth due to his early stop under the VSC, but he was given one place back when Bottas went off before the restart and dropped down to 12th place.

When the race did get going again, Hamilton maintained his lead and for the first few laps the top five were covered by less than three seconds.

But the triple world champion began to pull clear as Ricciardo held up his team-mate and the Ferrari drivers. The two pairs of team-mates fought each other for a while before Verstappen dived up the inside at Turn 6 and pulled off a stunning pass late on the brakes at the tight right-hander.

2017 Chinese Grand Prix

Verstappen scampered off after Hamilton – who continued to pull clear – while Ricciardo thwarted the Ferrari drivers. For almost ten laps they could not find a way by, as Hamilton extended his lead.

Vettel eventually launched a similarly bold move to Verstappen’s at Turn 6, which got him back past Raikkonen – who was complaining of power problems on his team radio – on lap 20 and up to third. Two laps later he attacked Ricciardo at the same corner with a thrilling move around the outside. The pair ran side-by-side on the run to Turn 7 and briefly clashed wheels before Vettel sailed into third place and set off after Verstappen.

Hamilton continued his march as Vettel reeled in Verstappen and at the halfway mark he went past him when the Red Bull driver locked up at the Turn 14 hairpin and ran wide.

Sebastian Vettel

By this stage Hamilton had a solid 12-second lead and was asking his team if he would have to go to the end on his soft tyres. But after Verstappen and Ricciardo came in to replace their super-softs, both Vettel and Hamilton did come in for their own fresh tyres.

Vettel took four seconds out of Hamilton’s lead by pitting two laps earlier and although he managed to reduce the deficit on a few occasions, the Mercedes driver always appeared to have enough pace to manage the gap over the final stint.

Hamilton came home 6.2s ahead of Vettel to score his 54th F1 win, as Verstappen – furiously complaining about blue flags not being shown to Romain Grosjean – held off a late charge from Ricciardo to take third.

Lewis Hamilton Sebastian Vettel

Speaking after the race, Hamilton said: “It was incredible. Today was very tough for us all. I went out on the inters initially on the laps to the grid and then I tried the slick, which was impossible.

“We all started on the inters and it was very hard because there were a lot of dry patches everywhere – mostly dry with a couple of corners that were wet. Trying to keep the car on the track and look after the tyres at the same time was definitely very tough.”

Raikkonen, who was also angry about how long Ferrari had left him on his first set of soft tyres, eventually finished fifth, just behind the Red Bull drivers, while Bottas caught up to all three of them by the end and finished sixth.

Carlos Sainz

Sainz survived dropping to last off the line and running wide at Turn 1 as he struggled with slicks on the wet grid, then spinning at Turn 2 a short while later and appearing to hit the barriers as he re-joined, to leap up the order and run just behind the lead battle early on. He fell away from the front but kept his pace up and was the final driver left on the lead lap as he finished seventh, best-of-the-rest behind the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers.

Kevin Magnussen beat the Force India pair of Perez and Esteban Ocon to eighth to score his first points for Haas F1. The Danish driver escaped punishment for driving too slowly behind the Safety Car, while no action was taken for the Perez and Stroll incident.

Grosjean finished 11th, ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, who was handed a five-second penalty for overtaking under the VSC and a ten-second penalty for the same infraction under the full Safety Car.

Jolyon Palmer came home 13th in the second Renault, one spot in front of Williams’ Felipe Massa, who dropped down from sixth on the grid. Marcus Ericsson was last of the drivers to finish the race, one lap down in 15th for Sauber.

Fernando Alonso

McLaren suffered a double retirement as a fuel problem stopped Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso’s race was ended with what he reported as a driveshaft problem over his team radio. Alonso had spent much of the race running in the top ten and had been fighting Sainz shortly before the problem occurred.

The only other driver not to finish was Daniil Kvyat, who pulled off the track to retire on lap 20.

Chinese Grand Prix results:

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h37m36.160s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +6.250s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull +45.192s
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull +46.035s
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari +48.076s
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +48.808s
7 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso +1m12.893s
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 +1 Lap
9 Sergio Perez Force India +1 Lap
10 Esteban Ocon Force India +1 Lap
11 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 +1 Lap
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault +1 Lap
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault +1 Lap
14 Felipe Massa Williams +1 Lap
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber +1 Lap
DNF Fernando Alonso McLaren
DNF Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
DNF Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren
DNF Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber
DNF Lance Stroll Williams

What did you make of the Chinese Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JA on F1 Facebook page for more discussion.

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Shame the safety car affected Vettel & robbed us of a battle between him & Hamilton on a track where you can overtake. Would’ve been great to see them fight for the win right till the end with overtakes. A lot of people saying this track & cooler temperature would suit the Mercedes more & warmer conditions suiting the Ferrari but that Ferrari looked very fast to me during quali & the race with having similar pace as the Merc. Brundle said he thinks the Ferrari will do well on every track & in any condition plus is more planted to the track compared to the Merc. Interesting how Bahrain will go for both cars as it’s a warmer climate. Hamilton saying that they struggle to keep their tyre temp when it’s warmer is an issue for them. Look forward to a great battle between the two during the whole season.


Does anyone else miss watching Rosberg pressure Hamilton, I know Ferrari are a match for MB this season which is great but can you imagine if Rosberg were still here adding to the Ferrari pressure, now that would have been exciting. MB can say goodbye to constructors if Bottas keeps bringing in 6th place. Lewis is so ecstatic because the inter-team pressure is entirely gone with Bottas nowhere near a match for Rosberg.


How do you guys think Ocon has fared so far with Force India based on the first two races?


He”s doing alright so far.


Seems like the safety car thwarted what would have been a good fight between hamilton and vettel. I enjoyed this race. Was wishing it was a few laps longer to see what ricciardo could do against vest.


Decent race featuring some really tremendous driving by several of the competitors. Hamilton looked imperious across a race weekend that was made to look far less tricky than it really was. It would’ve taken something really special to threaten him on that kind of form, and Vettel went a long way towards delivering that. I think any remaining doubts about Vettel’s ability to fight wheel-to-wheel can be put to bed. You have to wonder what might have been, had Ferrari’s strategy not proven sub-optimal. Verstappen’s drive will grab a lot of headlines and deservedly so – his charge to third was one of those drives that seemed to redefine what’s possible in an F1 car, like Senna, Hamilton and Villeneuve have done previously.

Elsewhere, Kevin Magnussen can be very happy with his performance and I suspect Ocon will, too. Perez might be a little disappointed to only take ninth after a barnstorming first half of the race. Carlos Sainz was a lucky, lucky boy but I was impressed by how he put those nearly-calamitous opening laps behind him and seized the opportunities that came his way thereafter.

Dan Ricciardo will probably have mixed feelings about his weekend, but it’s interesting that we once again saw a ‘tortoise and hare’ kind of race between teammates, with the hard charging ‘hare’ in the early part of the race being gradually reeled in by the tortoise by the finish. Last time out it was Hamilton and Bottas, so it’ll be interesting to see if this is a particular quirk of the new tyres.

Quite a few bad weekends out there, though. Bottas and Raikkonen were both badly shown up by their teammates and both need to get a handle on that ASAP. It was an utterly miserable race for Williams, after a decent qualifying. Stroll’s collision was a total racing incident – it was naive of him not to turn in like that on the first lap, but you also have to say Perez should’ve known better than to risk his nose like that with such a green driver in the other car. More worrying will be Massa’s lack of race pace. Something seems amiss there, given that they have a powerful engine and this is a bit more of a power circuit than Australia. Could they not get the tyres switched on with the green track? Is their mechanical grip not great? It’s not a good sign.

McLaren will likely come away from China with mixed feelings. Another double DNF, offset by the knowledge that Alonso can get them into the points as soon as they can deliver him a car capable of completing the distance. Renault won’t be happy, though, and Nico Hulkenberg should give his head a wobble after two mistakes that a driver of his experience simply shouldn’t be making.

All in all, a decent race, with some great driving not translating into quite as much action as you might hope. Ferrari were closer to Mercedes than I thought they would be, given that Shanghai should favour the Merc’s strong PU more than Melbourne. This weekend has only reinforced my initial belief that we’re in for a real humdinger of a title battle, one that will be a real feather in the cap of whoever comes out on top.


Excellent impassionate posting, started reading diagonally being too long, then I realised that is a good one. Thank you.
Yea, in my mind Perez was more at fault than Lance, it was about an experienced and decently good driver racing against a green one, precaution should have prevailed.


Anyone know what happened to the new on-screen graphics we saw for the Australian qualifying? It was missing this time around. Showed little dots that indicated whether each driver was improving in each sub-sector. I thought it was a really nice addition, but perhaps not everyone agreed.


Faultless clean set of heals from Lewis.
Nice to see Vet with his elbows out and Ves is clearly the class of the field in the wet, although he seems to have trouble with back markers that are 3 seconds down the road ;). Ric showed his fighting qualities at the end. The Finns are faltering are are showing they are not in the elite class (anymore).

Still a concern that the final podium spot was filled by a car 45 seconds behind the leader and there was only 7 cars finishing on the lead lap…


Hi James.

Clarity on vettels starting posiiton?

Also when will you develop a JAF1 App ?


Why do you need an app for? What shall it do?


Well at the early moment Lewis chose to stay out it looked like another blown strategy call. TIMHO the safety car saved his goose. Other than that another processional race with a wee bit o excitement at the end courtesy of Ricciardos chase. This is shaping up to be a looong passless season.


What a race!Ferrari still believes they have the fastest car on the grid but Lewis put in classy drive.
That will not go well for Ferrari if Mercedes sorts their tyres issues out.I still tip Mercedes to win both championships.


Are we poster minions more influential than we think?
Specifically, are our posts on JAonF1 being read on a regular basis by drivers and team bosses alike? And do they in fact sometimes base actions/decisions/inclinations on that?
l would almost tend to say yes. Bear with me:
– In the Pascal Wehrlein discussion I recently argued here that he did not so much suffer a back injury but in fact serious neck trauma. The next day Toto Wolff felt compelled to issue a statement precisely stating that.
– In another post I observed ‘Max abbreviation has been changed to VER this season, except for Lewis who keeps referring to him as THI: “this guy”.’
And Lo and behold, to my amazement Max on the podium today complained to Lewis, “You keep calling me ‘this guy’!”.
Should I go and charge you, Max for social interaction advice rendererd?


One thing that hasn’t been discussed anywhere above is the difference in decisions after the Giovinazzi accident.

Red Bull saved Verstappen from ‘queuing’ behind Ricciardo by making DR drive through the pits on the first time and then change his tyres on the second trip through the pit. This saved time for Max. In other words they pitted Max first.

However Mercedes made Bottas queue (which i didn’t actually see but confirmed by Ted Kavitz) and he lost places, even before his mistake behind the safety car.

Great decision by RB which i believe helped Max as well.


Allow me to say Dominant drive from Hamilton today! So many superlatives. challenging track conditions, made it look easy, even with Ferrari being perhaps fastet car. 54 career wins, second of all time, won at least one race for each of his 11 years, only to be referred to curiously as Lucky by some? With no mind to previous, I realize that I am privileged to observe someone who is truly special. As for vettels vsc strategy call, absolutely correct at the time. As for Raikkonen, no judgement made about his talent or ability, he was having power issues with the car, and the car setup isn’t to his preference at present time. As for Ricci-ardo, he may have lost more than just a podium position today?


I don’t agree with the assertion that the overtakes in this race were all not assisted by the DRS. The fact is the DRS at the end of the straight offsets the dirty air from the leading car on the entry to the straight. Without the DRS assistance many times the overtaker would not have been close enough to even contemplate the overtake let alone complete it.

It does appear, early evidence of course, that the new wider cars (especially the front tires) with more downforce don’t benefit quite as much from the DRS. It enables them to get close enough for an overtake under brakes or into the corner. But not so much that they simply blast past down the straight. That’s of course against cars with similar engine performance, not those suffering huge power deficiencies (we all know who), where the DRS isn’t even necessary.

On Williams, it confuses me that they don’t sacrifice some of their straight line speed for a bit more downforce. Cranking on a couple of degrees of front and rear wing, would make a huge difference to their downforce with a small sacrifice in top speed. They could easily give up between 5 and 10 kph and make a huge difference to their downforce. It’s like they don’t even try it, as they seem to top the speed trap speeds most sessions. Especially on wet/drying track like this one I would have thought that they would at least give it a go. Or are the solely relying on their simulations rather than trying it in the real world?


Provided both Merc & Ferrari keep development race identical up to Abu Dhabi, it’s up to Hamilton & Vettel to cement their legacy as legendary as Senna & Prost, irrespective of which one of them grabs the title. Both are currently at their prime, have fastest cars, de facto both teams’ ‘numero uno’, best of the bests on the grid at the moment, what else you can say more!?
Now we want more – to witness their wheel 2 wheel battles)
Really can’t wait Bahrain.


A few more races like this and Daniel Ricciardo will see his name changed to “Ricciardo Patrese” (Very good driver who had the poor fortune of being teammates to phenomenal once-in-a-lifetime super drivers).


I don’t think dominate is the right word, controlled yes but not dominate.

Hamilton was given an easy ride due to the fortunate timing of the safety car for giovanizzi. With vettel in second place at that point and having to sit behind his past-it team mate it would have been a much tougher afternoon for him, with every chance that the ferrari was faster over the race distance.


People keep saying Ferrari were faster. How much faster do you reckon they were? On what are you basing this?
Regarding the safety car is it not fair to say that would have been lucky to benefit from the VSC had the Sauber not crashed? Has Vettel never benefited from a SC?


Very good drives from:

Massa should retire bcs he’s old and not fit enough for the high g-forces.
Stroll should retire too.

So far didn’t hear all radio messages, but I’m glad that Vettel didn’t ask Ferrari to bypass Kimi.

If GiovaLiuzzi had not crashed, Vettel would probably hv won.

Merc = Ferrari
RBR 1 sec. behind on race pace.
RBR will decide who is the championship as they are a pain to overtake.


RBR not hard to overtake some drivers find it hard to overtake them within two laps Vettel was past Ricciardo, notwithstanding being on the faster SS tyres.

Not at this moment will they have an impact on the WDC!


Lewis was stuck behind Verstappen in Australia.
Vettel lost time behind the Ricciardo train in China.
So, IMo, yes.
RB traffic was a factor in both races.


Haha Massa did retire! But he was begged back! Good move? Probably not!


James, do you know why no further action was taken against Vettel for his grid position? Article 35.4 states the cars will be 16 metres apart.


The FERRARI strategy at the time was the right and correct one, if it wasn’t for the Antonio Giovinazzi safety car which most probably cost Vettel his race win, Vettel would have ended at least five seconds in front of the others after they had pitted for tyre change.


Yep and then it would have looked like a masterstroke. Even though it didn’t work out, I am happy that they were bold with the strategy call and hope it continues in other races.


Is it me or the coverage was a bit odd. We didn’t see the merc pit and missed botass’ spin among other things


You could see bottas spin in e background, the commentators missed it


Weren’t you all boared by Raikkonen’s constant moaning over the radio? What’s wrong with this guy?


He’s past it and has been for the last 4 years. End of.


Race was boring.
I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for something exciting to happen, but it never did!
Still resembles a managed championship.
Contrary to Maxie’s … (there’s no better description it) whining, the blue flags were used fairly and judiciously.
But credit where credit is due, Max did provide much of the extremely limited passing, and Vettel must be noted for his passing prowess, also.


“I was on the edge of my seat, waiting for something exciting to happen, but it never did!”

Danny Ric fan, I presume?


Didn’t watch the whole race, however, it seems that SV can overtake. On the other hand, LH was a bit lucky overall. This was not a characteristic circuit or race of 2017. So, let us wait and see what happens in the following races. If LH wanted a close competition, after 2016 I don’t think so but anyway, here it is. I think SV means business.


How come there was no mention of RoGro’s awesome pass around the otherside of turn 1, 2 complex. It was, in my opinion the overtake of the race. He went in fully committed, carrying plenty of speed. Massa had no answer. It was stunning to say the least.


Hey C63. You didn’t do this weeks race checklist
Us hamfosi can’t drop the ball.

søren christensen

What a great race. Start with new fast, demanding cars on a damp track with challenging corners, and add a little bit of virtual safety car. Then you have a recipe for 2 hours of good entertainment, where the talented can overtake, also without use of DRS. Race controls are still a bit silly, but the worst childish punishments are gone.
But poor GIO. A weekend from hell, and gone is the chance of Ferrari seat in 2018, and possibly also more races in 2017. (Sauber cannot afford this)
2 weeks ago GIO was the hero – now he is……
I bet Wehrlein is fit next week


Frothing at the mouth. This season looks to be a blinder. Two cars capable of winning and champions chasing history. If this isn’t what f1 is about then I don’t know.


It will be very interesting to see what measures Ferrari will take if Kimi doesn’t start performing up to their expectations. I don’t think they can yank him this season.

Vettel is pretty much running the show so to speak and he likes Kimi and for good reason – Kimi accepts his role as the number 2 driver. Would Ferrari bring in
RIC or the like and possibly upset the applecart?


Nope, contrary to F1 tradition, Kimi and Seb are friends, friends enough, both stated that. They respect each other and enjoy working together. Now, tell me if there is another similar case on the grid now?


Almost no track time pre race for Max because of the fog and engine problems. They made changes to the car after qualification without a chance to test if it works. Then start at the back of the field in wet conditions with a RBR which is a like a sec slower per lap. Still on the podium. Some luck involved and strategicly RBR did everything great, but still driver of the day if you ask me.


Vettel’s overtake on Ricciardo was the highlight of the race for me.

That’s what I call a REAL racing overtake, not one of those “open the DRS” and “sail past gimmickry” we have got used to over the years.

I absolutely don’t understand the fuss and complaints which were being dished out after Melbourne about the lack of overtaking.

Personally, I would prefer QUALITY over quantity when it comes to overtaking in F1.

Today, Verstappen and Vettel both pulled off fantastic overtakes.

I wonder what effect Verstappen’s performance will have on Ricciardo in the coming races?? Verstappen driver of the day for me.


Well Hamilton not being able to overtake Max was the cause of the faux outrage, now others have shown it’s possible !


stood on the top step of the podium for his national anthem to be played to the world, fasted lap, took pole on saturday, made no mistakes all race, wins my driver of the day’s trophy. vettel shut many up with his battle with his teammate and verstappen’ s teammate. verstappen danced well, pulling an electrifying move passed his teammate but locked up under pressure vettel, giving away his position. grosjean was also impressive with his limited resources. sainz didn’t do too badly either. shame alonso couldn’t make it to the end for some points.
another race race next weekend?


Isn’t that great that we only need to wait another few days until they’re out for practice again! Season is already more interesting than last.


Vettel can overtake.


@Fedor.. 2014 British Grand Prix.. Alonso Vs Vettel was epic!


He needs to be quick and gain as many points as possible…..Kimi will be gone by mid-season replaced by Alonso




ferrari had a great strategy , the safety car triggered by Giovanazzi ruined the chance…thinking about it…
great overtakes by Vettel and Verstappen.
Kimi is a lemon lately with the race car setup… he needs to work it out…
Hamilton only won because of that SC… when Vettel got out of the pit stop in 6th place, the front 5 runners where in intermediates, they would have pitted in the next 2-4 coming laps…that would have given Vettel a clean first place and clean air…but sometimes you get it right…but luck turns it around…


Isn’t that interesting? He needed four championship titles in a row to learn.


Another impressive weekend by Giovinazzi.


@gpfan.. well for a Ferrari reserve driver.. he litrally screwed thier chances at a win today that Giovinazzi kid 😉


I thought Giovinazzi was Ferrari’s test driver not their car crash dummy!


Stroll also made his mark !

Stroll’s total cost price / race minute to his ‘private sponsor’ must certainly be up there around a world record so far. ;o)


And this very website was saying he might be replacing Kimi next season!! LOL…


This has cost Ferrari crucial championship points..Not sure why Ferrari didnt pit Kimi to put on Soft tyres or SS tyres immediately after they pitted Vettel. MV and DR had already pitted and where on SS gaining seconds every single lap closing pitstop window. Who in the right mind suggest that Kimi will be on podium with such BS strategy (this is to Martin Brundle and Kimis engineer!!) ?? Or Am I missing something? I stopped watching and went to sleep when Kimi pitted so late and it was worth it.


You missed a lot, my advise is to root for a few drivers instead of Kimi only (my guess). There are so many talented drivers to pick from. You cannot be wrong if you grow on Max, the guy will floor anybody in a good car. I don’t like rain racing, but start liking it since Max and his Brasil powerful demo was like no other. I have read many things about his brutal father and I think he might have played a role in his hugely impressive performance.


I wasnt rooting for Kimi..he sucked in first comment is targeting ferrari…they are now behind Merc due to their own blunder for not pitting on time (in my opinion) and now finding scapegoat in Kimi..thats a shame for the Italian team


Fantastic grandprix.. Particularly enjoyed wheel to wheel action. Grosjean turn 1 overtake on hulk is probably best. Vestrapen and vetted moves on their teammates are also great..


Kimi is a joke, so so slow, couldn’t even stay close enough to be ahead of Lewis when he pitted again. Lewis in that Merc in clean air is an easy win without really racing or trying.

Bottas is as poor as expected also.

Get rid of Kimi and Bottas.

Imagine F1 with Lewis and Max at Merc, Seb and Alonso at Ferrari and Carlos with Dan at RB! Liven up the show and the racing.


@Clarks4wheeldrift… So you are saying F1 should get rid of the Fin(n)s?


Nice play @Nomad… he does like the Finns Finnish-ed. Or you may have referred to the (Shark) Fin(n)s, on radar for change/removal?


A real shame about Bottas spinning. I have no great affinity for him but I was interested to see how he – and the Mercedes – would have fared in a pack that featured cars slower than the Merc (RBR) and equal (Ferrari) around him. He could have done the Merc team a real favour for the WCC had he been able to get ahead of the RBRs and keep at least one Ferrari behind him. Let’s hope he can improve relatively quickly…. and at least stay ahead of Kimi.


Well that was exciting wasn’t it? Loved the two Red Bull boys Duking it out at the end, Ricciardo lost out today, he cannot let that happen too many times. Lewis had to work for the victory, great driving in difficult conditions at the start, and a very polished measured run to the flag. Seb could have been closer if not for the pit stop error at the start, but maxed out the package today. Kimi and Valterri shown puny their team mates it has to be said, maybe young Sainz caught somebody’s attention with a great drive to “best of the rest” position.
I can’t remember a better Chinese GP to be honest, loving these new cars, but not loving the lack of on screen graphics. Is there a problem with showing the gaps?


Agreed Tim,
I think we can come to expect magic from Max whenever it’s moist. He clearly has the confidence and feel to drive the wets/inters at a pace that generates him more heat and grip.
I don’t think Danny needs to be reaching for the razor blades as he still has Max’s measure in many other driving conditions and on one lap pace.
The point is though….they are so closely matched that when they get the renault engine operating at it’s prime (and bridge the gap to MB and Fer) they may very well end up stealing points off each other. If there is convergence between the top 6 and we end up with a season like 2012 -having a double stud driver line up may end up being problematic for the drivers individual quests for a WDC.
I think RIC will realise this before they even offer him the b-spec wing and hopefully will be arranging a seat fitting at maranello…


LKFE, I predicted pre season that the Red Bull boys would provide the most exciting inter team battle this year, and it is certainly looking that way. Dan is very good, and can beat Max, but he has to make the most of the opportunities that come his way. His demeanour in the post race interviews tells me he knew he didn’t do that yesterday, but the season is long. I would love to see Dr in a Ferrari, but I don’t see it happening while Seb is there, hope I’m wrong though.


Tim / LKFE:

Agree with all your points especially that Max is showing superiority in the wet.

I think Dan may have an edge in Qualifying pace and it remains to be seen how they stack up in different tracks in the dry. Bahrain this weekend will provide a first indicator.

The expected engine upgrades are meant to allow both drivers to compete for wins but with no restrictions on in-season development other teams won’t be standing still with their development. So really there can be no guarantee that 2018 will be successful for RB. Should this be the case I can see at least one or both drivers wanting out depending what’s on offer. This being the case no doubt Jos Verstappen will be lobbying for his son to go to Ferrari where he’s wanted him to go all along. If Dan gets better results the Italians may prefer one of their own, via the Land Down Under of course.


Adrian, I doubt that Renault will turn up with a Pu as good as the Ferrari or Mercedes to be honest, I would love to be wrong about that as the more the merrier at the sharp end for me, but I can’t see them managing it.
I wonder how long RB can keep hold of Max, he must be on a decent contract, and he said last year that he wanted to stay, but if Renault continue to under deliver then he will have to leave.


Tim………..You know what, while I hope you’re wrong I’m starting to think the same. The RB deficit to Merc and Ferrari in F1 terms is substantial. I really don’t understand why Marko is so confident that he expects them to be on a par with these two teams by Canada. How can he know this with any certainty? As I said there is no restriction on in-season development and depending what Merc and Ferrari do in RB may still be in a deficit. So instead of Dan and Max competing for wins they will instead be competing for 4th places and the occasional pole that’s ‘given’ to them like Shanghai.

If Renault can’t produce a winning engine and RB the rest of the package it won’t be long before Jos is on the phone to Marchionne or Wolff.

BTW providing reliability is not an issue the reason why Lewis will take it this year is a comment that I read Jensen Button made about him and he should know being a former teammate…….that being that Lewis was one of the quickest he had ever seen. “Frightfully quick” were the words he used.


Adrian “Frightfully quick” love it! I hope he does win it, obviously because I’m a fan, but also because I think Lewis deserves a 4th WDC more than Seb deserves a 5th. To be honest I think Fernando deserves a third more than either of them, but clearly that isn’t happening this year!
Renault have always been the weak point of the Red Bull package, they simply will not allocate the resources required to compete at the top level, they got away with it in the V8 era, but not anymore. Red Bull deserve better service, I hope they manage to get another manufacturer on board, apparently VW will have a representative at the next round of FIA talks on future engines, so maybe that deal could be done. It wont just be drivers wanting out of the team cant challenge for wins and titles, tech staff will be lured away as well, this is what happened at the once all conquering Williams, it would once have been unthinkable that they would be permanent midfield fixtures, but that is all they are now. Red Bull must avoid the same fate by taking decisive action on the engine front, Renault have over promised and under delivered yet again, time to show them the door.


Tim…….I have a mate here that is also an F1 fan and of course follows the fortunes of DR. Unlike me he has a mechanical background being a qualified road car mechanic, heavy duty diesel mechanic and mechanical fitter. He’s also built kit sports cars imported from the states so he has an idea how F1 cars work. He’s been a vocal Renault critic for years and I showed him your post above today and while I don’t want to pump up your tyres here is what he said:

“Mate. This bloke has hit the nail right on the head. Renault need to either get serious or get out. Too many promises and too few deliveries. When I was the depot maintenance manager for Transperth back in the day, we bought 100 or so Renault buses. We had much the same problem with Renault as RB are having. Requests for engineering backup and warranty process were simply ignored. It was only when Transperth stood up and started seriously barking that they took any notice. Obviously, they haven’t changed. It would be interesting to see if VW could get in on the game and what they could produce with Porsche under their belt.”

If RB don’t meet expectations THIS YEAR perhaps even Mateschitz will want out!! He won’t be wanting to spend his fortunes on something that’s underachieving.


Adrian, my tyres get deflated on here on a daily basis, so it all equals out in the end! The problem for me is that Renault have had success in the past using the “on the cheap” method. My favourite stat from the previous manufacturer era was that if you arrange the teams in order of expenditure, it is the exact reverse of a list of the same teams achievements, Toyota spent the most and achieved the least while Renault spent the least and achieved the most! They did this in my view by inheriting the Benetton technical expertise and getting Alonso while he was still cheap. Similarly with Red Bull they rode on the backs of Newey’s genius and Dietrich’s deep pockets to win, but now their luck has run out.
One rumour that came out over Red Bull’s attempts to ditch Renault a couple of years ago was that they were on the brink of signing a deal with VW, only for the diesel gate scandal to blow up and for then VW boss Martyn Winterkorn to resign, thus scuppering the deal as MW was the prime mover behind it. This was one of the reasons given for Mercedes refusing to supply Red Bull as apparently they only wanted Merc power for a season or two while VW got their PU designed and developed, and Mercedes didn’t want to hand any data to one of their biggest rivals. I don’t know if all that is true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. VW recently said that they don’t rule out entering F1, which is a different tune to the one they have sung in recent years, and they will have that rep at the next engine meeting, so heres hoping!


Bottas’ spin aside, he theoretically has the same equipment as Hamilton but looks no- where near as threatening. Perhaps​ Lewis’ tenure and experience with Merc spells all the difference? Time will tell.


Mr Giovinazzi, did you ever meet that nice fellow driver from Venezuela?


Looking at Raikonen in the post race interviews he looked like a man who can see the end of the road and knows there are no turnings off of it. It is his last season, certainly in a top team and possible completely as there is a lot of young talent queuing up to get in the cars.


You mean young talent like Giovinazzi, Palmer and Stroll ?


Vettel is just behind MSC when it comes to team building and development and sharpness.

Great overtakes by Seb, Hamilton only won because of the SC.


Very enjoyable race. Great to see a happy podium – in my opinion the best three drivers in the world at the moment, but not necessarily in that order!


Good race. Thoroughly enjoyed the battles we had; I’ll take 10 skilful manoeuvres over a 100-pass DRS fest any day. As Martin Brundle said in commentary, if the drivers are committed enough it can be done, as Vettel, Verstappen and others proved.

Lewis was faultless – made the right calls and didn’t put a wheel wrong all weekend. It was great to see how much he loves interacting with his fanbase too; I suspect it may grow a lot by the end of this season. I’ve been as sick as anyone of seeing his name at the top of every other timesheet these last few years, but you just gotta appreciate the guy. All-time great, without a shadow of a doubt.

Seb drove well, I’d say he was faultless too but his positioning on the grid was a bit puzzling – I can only assume the damp track obscured his grid box from clear view. Either way I don’t think he gained any advantage from it since it would probably have been damper there; I dare say the team would have had their hairdryers out on his grid spot. His overtaking moves on Raikkonen and especially Ricciardo were top notch and he really looks up for the fight this year, which is great.

Max was a demon in the mixed conditions again. Daniel’s tyre management in the final stint was better, but I doubt he’ll take much comfort from that after having been passed so easily and left for dead earlier on. He’s really gotta dig deep in the next couple of races to try and get some momentum going on his side of the garage – right now it’s all with Max, despite that lairy moment going into the hairpin while he was busy looking at Vettel in his mirrors.

Looking forward to Bahrain!


Heck yeah, make them work for the pass. If they want that championship or that win or that point then find a way past! #NoMoreDRS


Well said Tom.
I don’t think Ric needs to be tripping over his bottom lip too much. The one thing that we know is that Max is the best wet weather driver in the field. We can expect Max to out perform everybody in those conditions. I still think Ric has him covered in dry conditions and has been consistently 0.3-0.5 faster in the practice and qualy sessions that we have seen so far. His race pace in the second half was also superior.
I don’t believe the team will pull a Webber on him, as they are equally invested in both drivers and don’t really have an alternative just yet.
If RIC signs with Ferrari, we’ll obviously see a shift, and i think that will play out through everybody’s body language.


LKFE, second best….


Well written tom👍🍻


The most noticeable thing for me was that Red Bull are the only team right now with a closely matched driver pairing. If they improve… and I believe Renault have strong engine improvements by Canada, then they might still have a shot at the constructors.

Kimi is a joke right now (he has been for some time), at least Bottas can say he’s in a new team. But I guess if that is what Ferrari want then so be it. I think Red Bull will be pleasantly buoyed.. they know they have an engine deficit but if that had been improved it is looking better than Australia.


It sure the RBR drivers are that evenly matched to be honest. Ric beat a noninterested vet and rose to fame and has had the occasion good race since. Web had some good races too.


Good comment Cheesy.
The problem is they are in the 3rd best car, so 3rds and 4ths (27pts per race) won’t get them the constructors while Seb and Lewis are pulling in the 25 and 18pts per race, along with what the scraps their team mates pick up.
Their race pace looks decent, but they are miles off in qualy.


Am I the only one who finds Hamilton’s constant talk about relishing the battle with Ferrari this season utterly disgusting? I mean, the guy is so garrulous. We should wait till the end if the season to see if this turns to soar grapes for him and I hope he does, so he can shut up for good


What on earth is he supposed to say?


He is talking about a battle with Vettel being so close in this race! He never saw Vettel in his mirrors!!!


Talk about his race and move on like every other driver is doing!


Yes, you’re the only one. But you seem like one of a kind. Well done👏


It will probably take a year or two for Hamilton to get over been beaten to the WDC by his own teammate.


Think as a hamiltonian show, the way he is walking the dog in the paddock, that will be easy for you to take. He is doing it on purpose with a clear goal.


I am a Hamilton fan,you are not. I don’t care about his dog,but you do..


Funny, in physics the Hamiltonian is the energy operator. Could be said of Lewis I guess…


Called my attention:

– Vettel deserved a penalty for his deployment at the start
– Ferrari had to pronounce the words: “Sebastian is faster than you” on Kimi
– Hamilton is competing alone for the WDC, Vettel isn’t
– Definetely is more difficult overtaking this season


Man, I admit that was a very strange car position for the start, what was Sebastian thinking? However, the stewards decided corectly, Vettel drove straight, so he did not have any advantage from that.


“- Vettel deserved a penalty for his deployment at the start”



What was Kimi doing during the S.C.? A gave DR a free pitstop and that is what caused Vettel to being unable to catch Lewis in the end. It did however hand Max 3rd place (and offcourse a stunning drive from Max),


Wouldnt go over the top with the stunning drive bit. The seas seemed to part for him. Why can’t that happen on my Playstation? Driver of the day nonetheless. Can’t see DR doing too much smiling this year.


Not sure of Hamilton dominating the race. If it wasn’t for the safety car, I think it would have been Vettels again. But that’s the luck of the draw. Great driving by all top three.


Yeah, luck of the draw like Australia? Hamilton coming in early to change his tires! You can’t have it both ways, dude! That’s racing!


Because his tyre was done according to him, it wasn’t bad luck mate stick to facts and not alt facts!


And Vettel’s intermediates where done too in China. I watched him say that on British channel 4 highlights.


Totally different, Vettel put pressure on Hamilton and made him pit earlier, on China vettel pitted because strategy which didn’t pay because of a real safety car, nobody put vettel on pressure


You think a safety car incident is the same as what happened in Australia? Yeah right.


So we have now seen two races in the new format my impressions are not all that good as a spectacle, very hard to over take and very processional reminds me or seasons past.
Merc v Ferrari if Seb and Ferrari are to win the championship it will need to be done in the first half of the season they have a poor in season development record and I think Merc has a super start team in the back office
Hamilton has a qualifying advantage over the rest of the field this will enable him to keep in touch early season and then take advantage later on to win his much sort after fourth championship.
Drivers market is very interesting I think Red bull will lose at least one driver properly Rick. I see not point in Alonso going to Merc to much money and aggravation and getting on better going for someone like Carlos Sainz a better long term fit and while Hamiton is delivering why upset him.


Processional? In what way was that processional? Easy win for Lewis, but plenty of overtakes throughout the field. Max came through from 17 to third with some great overtakes. Vettel passed Rai and Ric and Ver on track as well. For me it had a good balance of being difficult but not impossible to overtake, giving the car in front a chance to defend as well.


Excellent comment, aezy_doc! Overtaking shouldn’t be easy.


Come on it wasn’t that bad! Do you prefer 4 or 5 really good quality passes in a race or 25 DRS assisted passes?


I do wish I wouldn’t get so wound up when a safety car robs us of a close race at the front… but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

Fingers crossed it’ll be a clean race at the front next week!

Well done Max, fantastic drive. Seb’s overtaking was top notch too.


James another thing this 2 stop race proves is that you were to quick to jump to conclusions in Melbourne by saying this years Pirelli’s are too durable and wrote this:


The China GP was unusual because it was a wet race with no usual data gained from practice. If it had been a routine race I very much doubt that it would have been so racey as most of the overtakes were from cars on markedly different strategies and compounds. Just look at Ricciardo’s struggles to overtake Verstappen when clearly quicker than Verstappen at the end. This season will make track position key above raw speed.


Is it possible that a 2 stopper was needed because the first stop came very early on? We shall see what happens in future races. That said, l hope that one stopper won’t be the norm. Marc

Ricciardo Aficionado

Someone put Max in a Mercedes, PLEASE!!


But very likely Ham will veto it, because Ham doesn’t think he can overtake Max as he ranted over the radio in Australia. Btw, nice analysis by Paul di Resta on Max. Especially how Max saves the car from spinning (at 1:45 in the video link below), this is prodigious and also the following pass on Rai, he is catching the car while overtaking…he seems to have uber feel for the grip, very Senna like. He is the most exciting driver on grid right now period.


Max is such a dangerous driver… a great overtaker….and it’s almost impossible to pass him…because he MOVES UNDER BRAKING!


Max is coming and all F1 teams are gonna fighting for him. I am a fun of other drivers, I am growing on Max too, but I rate Max as the best and most exciting F1 driver. Period.


Where he will be firmly put in his place by Lewis in a way Ricardo seemed incapable of.


Do you think Max is faster than Lewis?


I don’t think nobody on the current grid is faster than Hamilton!

Ricciardo Aficionado

That’s what I want to know. Lewis is in his prime right now, settled in at Merc and arguably unbeatable. But Max is special. I’d like to see how special. Lewis and Merc are the yardstick atm.


No, leave Max right where he is!


And put Alonso back in the Ferrari so next season we can have Vet & Alonso vs Ham and Max in a massive four way bruise up.


Alonso should go back to Renault, re-brand thier team in blue and then make one last strike.


I’ve watched every F1 race since 1976 and Max is the most talented I’ve ever seen – including Senna. Awesome!


Well, obviously you have seen only a few races during that time period, because your assessment is completely off pace. Max is a good driver and one day he might be one of the greatest but let’s not get carried away.


I don’t get carried away – I choose my words carefully. I said Max is the most ‘talented’ driver I’ve seen, I neither said nor implied he was the ‘greatest’. He still has much to do to become a ‘great’ let alone the ‘greatest’.


Are you saying that so he’ll start humbling Lewis instead of Danny?


Found Ricci’s dad’s account ^^^


Under the safety car when Ricardo kept his inter tyres one extra lap y have not Ferrari and raiko closed the gap to have a chance to pass him next lap if he switch to super soft in the pit? Which he did .


Im liking the way DRS doesnt work much with these cars. Martin Brundle was spot on saying its forcing the drivers to now overtake instead of waiting for drs!


Agreed, hate DRS.


Yeah it felt more like a proper race today. Because they had to work for their passes! Loving these new cars – just need to make ’em a bit noisier and I’m happy!


I think we will live to regret this as I prefer having overtakes in my races than no overtakes at all – artificial or otherwise. At least with the DRS we have seen the overtaker get overtaken again because of DRS….I sense procession in our future.


@Kurik.. i sense a Blue Ray disc labelled “Max V strategies for overtaking” Hamilton has already invited Vettel for a session analysing the disc while on the podium.


Hamilton inviting Vettel to a session? Hamilton is the only guy in a race winning car that has failed to overtake thus far


Lewis seemed in control and did what he needed to do the whole race, needless to say didn’t expect many Grand Slams this season!

Vettel was obviously held back by the pit call, seemed needless to me and left himself open to getting shuffled out of position.

Max again showed his skill in the wet, and good close racing between the Red Bulls; I think Max will win that battle over the course of the year.

Bottas made a bit of an amateur hour mistake, he can’t afford to be finishing sixth when Lewis romps to victory too often…

Shout out for Kevin Magnussen, although we barely saw him he drove a great race, hopefully the strategy report can shed some light on how he did it 😀


Seb’s pit call under VSC was spot on. imagine, regular pit stop is ~23 seconds, under VSC, you will save at least 8 to 9 seconds. if there was no safety car, in all possibilities, Seb would have come out first. Given everyone switched to slicks 2 laps later, we know that it was close to crossover time. in this case of SC and that too driving thru’ pits, it just took 5 to 6 seconds for the lead cars to switch tyres – so obviously it didn’t work well for Seb.


But safety cars happen, and you leave yourself open to them screwing your race if you run a strategy like Ferrari did. You can’t put under a VSC and gain an advantage, but then throw your arms up when there’s a safety car and say “Well this was totally unforeseen!”

Also, not to want to be too confrontational, but if the call was “spot on” how come he lost out so badly?


Where did I throw up my arm!!

If Seb didn’t do anything different he would have followed Lewis all the way. With what Ferrari did, he had a chance to win – unfortunate the events that followed didn’t go his way… he still got his P2. If I look at probability of safety car happening in next 2 laps, it would have been minimum… so it’s a right call.


It’s hardly certain that he would have been forced into following Hamilton home, it was a two stop race and if he had the pace to leapfrog Hamilton he had two opportunities for the undercut, let alone get close enough to overtake on track. Ferrari tried to win it all at the start and got burned.

And again, if you take a risk and then lose out because of it, it’s not the right call, pretty much by definition.


Let’s agree to disagree!!


Where’s the fun in that…


Vettel was obviously held back by the pit call, seemed needless to me

It was the sort of dice rolling usually seen by teams/drivers further back. I appreciate there was an element of luck with the SC but it was clearly a conscious decision by Mere not to pit either driver under the VSC.


Back to winning business for Lewis Hamilton – absolutely sublime. Give him an inch………..and he’ll take the win. Still the fastest driver in the business, even driving a car that is perhaps not the absolute quickest, albeit probably only a tenth lacking in pace (but then a driver of Hammy’s class can make up that 10% difference in sheer driving ability, ala Senna).

It’s tempting to give young Max DOTD and that would be justified after a fantastic fighting performance through the field including mugging a certain Australian – ala Brazil 2016 – but The World’s Fastest Beard in his uncompetitive McHonda performed heroics – again! – and the fact is Honda’s woeful lack of power means the Spanish bruiser’s talent is wasted ATM. I know I’m repeating myself, but the way he pumps himself every time he steps into the cockpit of such an uncompetitive machine is amazing, if unfortunately, not rewarded by points or finishes.

Wally of the Weekend – has to be Bottas. Rookie mistake from an experienced campaigner – misplaced.


The self-promotion of Alonso is getting embarrassing now, I must say.

The wife has been known to watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette series on TV … who knows how many there have been, but in each new season and episode it’s always “stay tuned for the most controversial rose ceremony ever!”, etc. Of course that guy is being paid handsomely to say that repeatedly with a straight face … what’s Alonso’s excuse? I realize he wants to remain in the headlines, and be relevant, when his car won’t let him in the normal race car driver sense, but really now … how many superlatives can he use, to one up each of his races?


Alonso’s fastest lap of the race was 4.1 seconds slower than the fastest. Stoffel’s was 6 seconds slower. Alonso was running 6th and 7th before failure. The Mclarens race pace was far weaker than the cars behind them except for the Sauber. But I guess he shouldn’t answer a question posed to him… meanwhile I’ve seen you and a band of others handle Lewis’ promotion on here for zero dollars. He doesn’t dictate what makes a headline, he just answers questions and that’s his right. You don’t even bother to see if that’s the full interview or bits taken out of context. No bitterness there..


So what is the full quote from Alonso then? I just think it’s a little much from him at the moment. Too much “look at how great I am in this POS car!” Everyone knows he’s in a POS car … he loses the value of that fact by constantly reminding everyone of that.


@KRB I won’t even bother to look up the entire quote, there are many interviews post race that show positivity, but even I know he would not single himself out in the blatant manner you claim. I’ll quote the rest of the interview below, where he quotes benefitting from others’ mistakes, and routinely refers to ‘we’ instead of himself. But don’t be fooled, you can’t hide if you are [Mod], just don’t pretend not to be. Gaz Boy mentioned Alonso in a comment and you took the opportunity to gripe on his character, nothing about his driving. Last week Stoffel complained about the car’s woeful pace to the media, and he’s a rookie in his first year and already complaining. Alonso if he wanted could complain a lot more being in his 3rd year in the twilight of his career with no time to waste. It takes a special kind of F1 fan to criticise a driver that is placing his car far higher than it should be, something that is obvious to anyone without bias. A 4.1 second deficit on fastest lap, and a 14+km/hr deficit on the straight…. but you can compare him to The Bachelor host. You must be a true F1 fan. The quotes from Alonso are below….if those are criminal and make someone look bad, then I have nothing more to say.

When asked if he was happy with his performance in Shanghai, Alonso replied: “Yeah, incredible. I thought Australia would be unrepeatable and here it was the same or even better. The conditions helped and so we took advantage of that.

“People were spinning left and right and we were gaining places more or less for free, and then when the track was damp we were keeping the pace of the best with a top speed deficit that’s pretty incredible.”

“Sometimes you are happy with your race, happy with your performance, happy with how the team as a group we deal with the conditions. And I think today is one of those days. We should be happy, we should be proud that we were understanding and reading the conditions in the first part of the race.

“When it was down to the pure performance of the cars with a completely dry circuit, we were dropping off the pace, but I think the points, P8 P9 was possible today. With the level of performance we have today, I think this is a little miracle. I think the team is doing the best job we can.”


All this rant because you think no other driver’s so called character should be questioned , but hamilton’s. .You talk nonsense about Hamilton’s fans promoting him.Hamilton’s fans mainly respond to the disingenuous attempt to distort him and his achievements in particular. It is not your place to try to dictate to Hamilton’s fans, or anyone for that matter, what the scope of their support for any driver should be. Did Hamilton’s fans tried on this site to devalue Vettels win in Australia? No. It was turned into an opportunity to undermine Hamilton about some pit stop.There is an attempt here to nitpick and peddle that his victory in china was luck. Vettel said he stopped after his intermediates started graining.There are no Hamilton’s fans accusing him of being harsh on his tyres and all sorts of nonsense. It is bizarre that you are accusing kRB of something you incessantly indulge in against Hamilton.


@Inshaallahhura Have you looked at yourself? Literally every comment you make is a one-sided bleating rendition criticising others and proclaiming your hero. You sound like a 50 year old with a child’s judgement. Not interested, or interesting.


You are not interested, but interested enough to read amd reply. I posted on substance,while you replied with useless and futile personal insults. This is your modus operandi: one sided,disingenuous,double standard, nitpicking at Hamilton with often unsustainable arguments,and when challenged and snookered,you either throw in the towel or as you have done here, respond with meaningless insults.


Sublime? ok if you see it that way, but I find that a little overboard. He was never under much pressure after the SC and drove a good race like the seasoned pro that he is. But sublime? Not this race at least. Marc


Ahem. Sorry had to clear my throat. The man got, pole, led every lap, fastest lap and win. Yet you’re struggling to call his driving sublime? Are you serious.


When I next see a sublime performance on track by anyone I shall indicated to you so you might better understand the meaning of the world. Like I stated a couple of times already, Hamilton did a very good Job last Sunday, but sublime in my understanding of the world it was not. Senna beating Prost to Pole at time by over a second in the same car was a case of sublime as a classic example. Marc


Did Senna have a sublime weekend that weekend? If Lewis did the same, I think we all know what the comments would be, eh?


Yep Wally of the Day is VB 🙈🙉🙊.


Is he regretting going to Merc already? Even without the spin we would have been way down


So out of 4 starts, McLaren have no finishes but none were due to Honda failures??


I think technically Stoffel finished in Oz. But I was thinking the same thing. I saw one of the Mclaren pit stops was 4 seconds long. Sub par as a team. Guess we don’t know if it’s the engine causing the issue but.. when we saw Perez overtake Alonso on the straight it looked like the easiest overtake.. I’m not sure he even needed DRS.. it was over well before the end of the straight. Fuel problem for Stoffel…. pretty abysmal. Alonso has driven well but I think he’s only been able to sneak into the points because of the learning curve at start of the season… that’ll end very soon and the reality is both Mclarens will be outside the points. I hear by Monaco there is an engine upgrade.. new rear wing for Bahrain… but everyone else will have engine upgrades also.


Good point, but hard to be certain. Alonso allegedly had a driveshaft problem – but what if this problem was caused by the vibration of the Honda PU, which apparently is a serious issue.


When will Alonso sign a new contract?

To go somewhere else next year…!
No signs at all that McHonda will get it right any time soon.


As usual the Ferrari strategy team lost the race for Vettel and Kimi. While we can cut some slack for pitting Vettel during VSC, why was Kimi not pitted when everyone up to P5 already pitted is beyond any reason? It was obvious that he will not keep that place if he had not pitted – but somehow Ferrari with all its computer simulations and in wisdom thought that he could go to the end of the race without pitting. When Raikkonen asked where he would finish, they said P3! Even he was thinking, “how an they be so stupid”. They are always so poor in decision-making – remember putting Kimi on inters on a dry track? They also lost Alonso that championship in 2010. Almost every other race they always come on the losing side of the strategy. They were never very clever or bright or out-think the opposition – either always reactive to situations or whenever proactive always doing the wrong thing. Anyway, with such a team, whatever Vettel, Kimi do on the track or whatever the R&D team do with the car, it is all useless as points will be easily given away in the race just by wrong decision-making. They will not win a WC with such a strategy team. Rant over.


If Kimi couldnt overtake a slower Redbull how would he fight against Bottas behind whom he would have come out if Ferrari had pit him??? And Mercedes wouldnt have pitted Bottas again as long as he could Keep Kimi behind him. In fact the strategy was the optimal one which would need both Max and Riccairdo needing to overtake a slower Kimi on track, and which if it had worked would have netted him 3rd place on the podium


Aaron, even Horner and Brundle agree that Kimi’s strategy made no sense when he was made to do extra 5 or 6 laps on old tires and then asked to get P3 with a 15 seconds gap to recover in 20-odd laps. Had they pitted him earlier, which he was asking for, he could at least fight for P3 with them. Ric was just ahead of Kimi, so he would have ended up right behind him (not Bottas).


Inters on a dry track was advised by Schumacher. Better not say more on that for the sake of his fans……


They came up with the winning strategy one race ago…


Ferrari’s strategies may have been sub-optimal, but its pretty hard to make such decisions consistently accurately unless you have a crystal ball or with the benefit of hindsight. In any case to say they are not very smart is quite offensive.

About Kimi – a better strategy might have helped, but the real problem clearly lies elsewhere.


In Sri’s rant there is a bit of truth, Ferrari strategists suck more often than not.


@AlanF1 – Agreed that other top flight teams seem to make better strategy decisions. But that’s a long way from saying that the Ferrari strategists are no-hopers outsmarted by the average pundit lying on his couch on a Sunday morning, as implied by the original poster.


To be frank, it is true that avergae pundits lying on couch seems to do better than Ferrari sometimes – more frequent than it should be. You can disagree with me, but I am fairly confident of numerous times Ferrari could have done better – they tend to focus more on the lead driver and give sub-optimal strategy for the other without trying to maximize both. In yesterday’s scenario, even Horner said they left Kimi in no-man’s land. As a professional team. you expect better from Ferrari.


Suppose there hadn’t been a safety car. VET on Slicks going faster than Kimi, both Mercs and both Red Bulls when they needed to get rid of their inters … Ferrari’s strategy might have looked inspired.

The thing with strategy is you notice it when it goes wrong (HAM in Australia, or Monaco ’15; RIC Monaco ’16, VET Australia 16), but less so when it goes right.


Well said, well said. Absolutely agree.


Redline, most of the times, just like today, it is obvious even to a layman like me what to do but not for Ferrari. We don’t need experts to see that a driver who was doing high 1:39:00s when others were going at 1:37:00s behind him with 20 laps to go and having only a gap of 10s, needs to be pitted. Even Brundle was saying that of all the drivers it was Raikkonen who was asking to be pitted, while all others were given a pit stop, he was not. You expect much better professionalism from a team like Ferrari.

I understand the benefit of hindsight as you said, but when it comes to strategy, it is always more likely that a RedBull or Mercedes doing something right than Ferrari – obviously I don’t have statistics to back that up – but this is just an observation over years.

Yes, I do agree with you that Kimi is slow these days and also he does not even try to overtake.


Even when i watched the race, I questioned Ferrari’s strategy. It was only later when I saw the lap charts I realized why they held him back. Horner will be more focused on his team and their results. Brundle is talking now stop commenting on a race. You think both have time to analyse what Kimi is doing and the reasoning for Ferrari’s strategy calls? Maybe If you asked Redbull’s chief strategy officer he might have given you a different answer.

Like i said before. If they pitted him very early he would be stuck behind Alonso Sainz, and Bottas. If they pit him just before Riccairdo he still would come behind Riccairdo because the track was cold and it would take him 2 laps to warm his tyres for the undercut to work.. It was one of those catch 22 situations. The best solution was to leave Kimi on track until the end of the race because in the worst case scenario he would finished 6th and in the best case 3rd.

Actually Ferrari gave Kimi the same ammunition they gave Vettel last year i.e leaving him to run longer in the first stint even if he is losing time to others so that he could attack them later on fresher & faster tyres.(Mexico, AbuDhabi, USA) i.e the strategy most Kimi fans said was only used by Vettel and never given to kimi(“Vettel always got the prefered strategy”) KImi was never given such strategy last year because he was always complaining about his tyres while Vettel was given that strategy because he made it work by using his fresher and faster tyres at the end of the race to attack the redbulls(USA, Mexico) & even Mercedes(Abu Dhabi). Yesterday proves Kimi wouldnt have been able to do anything special even with the alleged better strategy because he was slower than Vettel on his faster and fresher tyres yesterday(after his last stop and both cars in clean air).

I guess the lack of running in FP 1 & FP2 hurt his race preparations. For your sake and kimi fans sake lets hope he wakes up by the next race or its bye bye Kimi. My own prediction is that Kimi will have a similar year like 2015 against Vettel


There’s another reason why they left him out that will be covered in tomorrow’s UBS Race Strategy Report


Ferrari left Kimi out to slow down Hamilton after his pitstop. Problem was that the gap was too big and Hamilton rejoined the track in front of Kimi.


Kimi was complaining 12 laps before he pitted. If they had to bring him in, he would have come out behind Alonso Bottas and Sainz. All of which would have made it more likely that Bottas would have beaten him to 5th because mercedes would have kept Bottas out until Kimi was able to pass him on track. Kimi would also have to do another 30 laps on the softs they wouldnt risk the supersoft for 30). The only way for him to beat the Redbull’s was on track because even if he had to pit and take on the Soft, Redbull would have responded the next lap, pitted Riccairdo and taken the SS or soft. Because the Soft takes longer to get up to speed compared to the SS Riccairdo would have still managed to keep his position ahead of Kimi. Vettel had not tyre issues while Kimi was complaining but Ferrari had to cover Redbull just in case there was any safety cars later. Vettel had nothing to lose as once both Riccairdo and Max pitted there was no one to hinder him after his stop. Even though initially the Redbulls’ were very quick the dropoff was massive withing 5 laps so by the time they reached Kimi both Max and Riccairdo would have struggled to overtake Kimi. Look at the lap charts you’ll see how Riccairdo Max and Kimi’s tyres fail to match the pace of both Hamilton’s and Vettel’s soft. So it was definitely possible Kimi would have been able to keep both the Redbull’s behind once they chewed up their rubber trying to catch up to him. Kimi using a faster SS tyre and running in clean air was actually slower than Hamilton and Vettel running on soft.


@Aaron – niceeee!!

Regardless of whether I agree or not (I do…) – this is exactly the kind of well thought out informative post that is much needed on here. Much better that the typical “xxx team don’t know what they’re doing” or “xxx is a joke” unsubstantiated opinions that are often bandied about.

Thanks for the effort!


I was surprised at Vettel’s positioning on the grid. What are the rules in that regards if anyone knows? Marc


The rules are quite simple in the new Liberty Media era of F1. Don’t ruin the show with penalties for indiscretions that don’t affect other cars. The viewers wanted to see a Hamilton/Vettel battle so Vettel was never going to be given a penalty for being out of position on the grid. Good idea.


It happened with VER and RIC in the past, Mercedes asked for clarification and Withing said that common sense should be applied and if the majority of the car is within the lines it is OK


I’m guessing it was planned – he didn’t decide it on spur of the moment?
If so, I hope that there is team process for assessing the rules.
If not, its very amateur to risk a penalty for very little pay-off….


It was stupid! and he should’ve gotten a penalty!


@michael.. Vettel himself says he is geeky and brushes up on the details in the rules manuals, and he probably did it because he may have not liked the grip offered at the normal spot during the warm up lap start. So may have just moved it as a gamble to see if the side was any better as long as it was more or less whithin the box. (I am more or less sure he had some idea about the legality of it.)


@ Nomad…..what i now want to see is 20 cars, all lined up outside their designated box as per vettel’s on sunday. If he can get away that why can’t 19 others do the same ? Then we’d see some interesting starts from all the drivers. Could be good hahaha.


@Kenneth.. under dry normal conditions, it would not make sense for the racers to line up offset with thier “box” because they would have less grip outside. With all the previous and support race cars starting and leaving rubber roughly whithin the box.. its better to start whithin the box. Max Grip !

Yes if it rained.. or if there was a bit of oil… then it makes sense to be a bit offset.. but remember Vettel didnt start very well by being where he was.. but it could have been worse from whithin the box 😉


Seb knows the rules very well – I agree with you. Remember his overtakes on pit lane?


“Ferrari Intervention Agency” helped out on that. He got away with it. If that was Lewis he would be penalised and given a drive through and points deducted from his super licence and blamed for all the conflicts in the world. FIA and that stewards seem to give Ferrari a helping hand👋 while others get shafted☝.
Plus China 😈govt likes to help anyone beat the Brits 😉


Last year in the Japanese GP Riccairdo did the same thing if I am not mistaken


The Brits? No help needed beating poor ol’ McLaren 😉


Please, show the rule he infringed


I’m not sure that there’s a rule in place for this. But being so far over to one side surely reduces the distance he needs to travel to get across and in front of the driver one aspires to overtake or defend from. It’d be interesting to learn more about what the rules are on that, or whether this is simply something that isn’t covered in a sufficiently well defined manner in the rules.

I wouldn’t think that a punishment would be warranted in such cases, but then I’ve often thought the same about drivers exiting the pitlane with a wheel or two on or over the exit white line. I imagine the advantage is similar.


Why paint those lines if they mean nothing??


Yeah, exactly. Imagine if row 1 was 40% out to the left, and row 2 was 40% out to the right, and so on, all the way back? It would look a total mess. The regulations say the cars should line up WITHIN their grid slot. If it had caused an aborted start, then the penalty is quite draconian, necessitating that the car that caused the aborted start would need to start from the pit lane after the extra formation lap.


Apparently there is no rule about parking on your grid slot as Vettel did, but there will have to be one now. If there isn’t that nice line up will be more like a saw blade than a knife and some smart alec is bound the take it to extremes with one tyre on his white line and the other wheel half way across the track.


There was a directive on this last year … looking for that.

In the Sporting Regulations, it’s covered by Article

36.9 When the cars come back to the grid at the end of the formation lap (or laps, see Article
39.16), they will stop within their respective grid positions, keeping their engines running.
There will be a standing start, the signal being given by means of lights activated by the


I would read “… stop within their respective grid positions…” to mean as long they don’t move up closer to the car in front, they are within the rules. If they move left or right of their grid box, they are technically within the rules because they are still in their respective gird position.

However, if it grid line ups like Vettel’s happen frequently, I am sure they would re-clarify (re-interpret) the rules in a driver’s briefing and make sure the drivers keep within their grid box.


@ Colin…grid position is defined by the dedicated painted yellow lines. That is the grid position, not anywhere else.


Being a pedant for rules. It does not say “Wholly withing their marked positions” So provided he is not over the line and overlaps his box, I’d expect him to get away with it. No one seems to have asked him, but he may have seen standing water and opted to go to one side to avoid it. I don’t think he gained an unfair advantage.


@ james encore….The ‘grid position’ is a box…it has four sides which are precisely measured to contain the car dimensions. They don’t have just a front and back line do they? Vettel shifted to get some perceived advantage and if that’s the case then all other 19 drivers are entitled to do just that. Do you think that that is justifiable and not a breach of the rules?


Last time I looked the line is a [ shape which shows the front and left and right sides. There is no back line painted and the left and right don’t extend the full length of the car. If there was a box precisely the size of the car then the driver would have to position themselves with millimetre accuracy … and a driver who was out by a tiny fraction would get a penalty. I’ve only ever seen penalties for being in a totally different box (e.g. at a restart when a car was missing) or moving too soon.

Read the part of the rules which KRB quoted. Does it say the car must be *entirely* within the box, or does that wording allow for “mostly” within, or “slightly overlapping”.
I agree that cars *should* be entirely within the box and lined up square and not pointing into the path of the next car. But that is not what the wording says.
So by the letter of the badly drafted law, every driver can slightly left or right if they feel there is an advantage. I’m usually one of the first to shout about Ferrari cheating if I think I can see it, but I can’t see it here.


Or perhaps Vettel saw the conditions in that box were dangerous and he could have spun out in the front row causing a massive chain reaction behind him ruining the show.


And Withing said that if the majority of the car between the lines there is no problem, So, I repeat, what rule he infringed to talk about “Ferrari Intervention Agency”?


Now imagine if Kimi was the senior driver on a Vettel salary while a newcomer came into Ferrari this year -like Bottas at merc- taking his time to adjust to the new team… we would have thought the Ferrari was 45 seconds off the Dominating Merc pace for another year.

Same reason why I think the WILLIAMS is much faster than what a retired Massa and rank novice like Stroll can get out of the car, week after week. Perhaps in a few races either may randomly show its true pace. But where is the relentless consistency?

For Kimi, even if setup is data driven, it’s based on COMMUNICATION from the driver to his engineers, so last few years in Ferrari, often we find Kimi and his crew not have a setup figured out in between themselves in time for when it matters. For those that point towards equal with Vettel last year, Vettel was making stupid frustrated mistakes last year with the championship sliding away. Look at the two years before that. Justifies the difference in salary! The pay masters are not random when they choose salaries.

Little drops of water adds up race by race, Kimi needs consistency in performance throughout the year. That’s why he got the door shown to him last time at Ferrari. I hope he can get atleast two wins this year. It’s not a big ask for some us waiting since the first race of 2013.


I actually thought that Kimi was let go (put on garden leave) by Ferrari because they signed Alonso and Alonso insisted to be a number 1 driver?


ferrari didn’t let raikkonen go. they insisted he couldn’t drive for any other team so he went rallying.


@Aveli- In the words of Luca Di Montezemolo: ‘I’m speaking of the twin brother of Kimi, because the driver we had racing for us wasn’t the one we hired. 😉 that was his take on Kimis first exit from Ferrari.

And while re-hiring Kimi along with Alonso this is what he had in mind for Kimi in Ferrari again: ‘From Raikkonen I am demanding victories, consistency, podiums.”

Niether Victories have come, nor consistancy and a lot of podiums are also slipping by.

oh and the fans… its a winning car right? So the fans want for him to win Win WIN 😀 unless he is ok being the number 2 driver but that is a sad way to end for a Champion.


we don’t have long to go for the next fix..


Yep another disappointing race for Kimi combined with sub par strategy. He did say after qualifying that the washout on Friday meant they didn’t really solve the issues from Australia and they’d have to properly fix it in Bahrain.


Kimi will be back very strongly. I will put my neck on the block and say from Spain on he should be on the podium regularly and may bag a couple of wins [or more !]. I haven’t checked but off hand I seem to recall that set up issues take a few races to sort out. Even 2005 and 2007 the early fly aways were not stellar [excepting Oz 2007 of course] and in those days Kimi actually had to work hard with Slade and with Chris Dyer to fix the understeer.


I would be good if he won at Italy and announced this year as his last during that weekend. Great way to say bye bye.


Hello mister hydra! It’s been a long time kimi has been underperforming. How many heads do you have left?


Phil…..if i had a pound for everytime ive heard that about kimi… be very rich or very overweight….
Its time to face the harsh reality that its been some time since kimi cut the mustard at the very top level….2007? Cat B driver now im afraid and its been that way since Alonso made him look very ordinary in the same sub par ferrari. If people just accepted he is not a top driver anymore it would be better for all concerned i think and may just allow him to race without this tag as a class A driver? Just my thoughts.


Give him a couple more races, I really think not running on the Friday was the last thing he needed as they couldn’t try address the understeer he’s been moaning about since Australia. If he can’t sort it out at Bahrain or Spain at the latest then even as a fan I am afraid you’re probably right.


Well, Bahrain is one of his best tracks, along with Spa, so he really needs to do well this weekend. Kimi’s ace used to be his race pace … you could forgive his quali shortcomings because of it. Yet now that seems to have deserted him. He needs a good race this weekend.


Like you say he always goes well at Bahrain and he needs a good weekend which means at least beating Bottas to the last step on the podium.


in 2005, Mclaren itself was god awful in the first 3 races. It wasn’t even good enough to beat williams in those 2 races, they had minor turn around in race 3 & from race 4 onwards, they looked quick.


Nice Lewis

Bahrain should/will be dry and is a similar circuit to China. There we will see who is the fastest driver methinks.

Game on….!


I think Lewis & Seb are going to be close to each other in every single race


Bahrain is rear-limited and hot, both things that will aid Ferrari. I think it will be a Ferrari track.


Good race that was for me even if my favorite did not win. Hamilton did nothing wrong and managed his race perfectly. Vettel possibly got a bit unlucky to pit when he did but if the SC had not happened, he would probably have had a go at the top spot. Great move from Vettel on Ricciardo. Max first part of the race was something really. He is really something special in damp condition. DOTD was rightly given to him. Ricciardo will be a bit upset i would think after today even if he had a good second half of the race. Kimi, not sure what to think again. Ferrari might have wanted to pit him earlier but still i am slightly disappointed with his performance.
It seems that cars were able to follow each other at close range with out affecting the tires. All the complaining after the first race seemed to have been a bit precocious, at least that would appear so to me. We had a fair amount of overtaking moves without the help of the DRS as well. Well done overall. On to the next race in a week’s time now, on to a track that is given as favoring Ferrari. Let’s see. Marc


I believe they should close the pits during a VSC, as it usually cuts the pit stop hit in half. It’s totally arbitrary.

Or add 5 or 10 secs to any pit under the VSC. That would make things fairer.


Extending that logic, they should do the same for SC… in fact post SC, they shouldn’t let the car bunch up so that gaps are retained!!
Its same for everyone – so how does it matter? it is fair as it is.. you are fortunate with some & lose out on others.


Good comments Marc…

Kimi and Ricci are rapidly burning through their start of season goodwill bonus. They really need to shift gear, or questions will rightly be asked…


Funny race.

Superb driving fro VER, SAI, ALO, HAM and VET


Haha, the stars keep Hamilton and Vettel away by 10 seconds again for the last stint. All those extra run off areas coming up in Bahrain later this week 😉


Had it not been for the bad timing of the SC, I doubt if Hamilton would have won from Vettel. This is purely down to luck and he has his hands full this season. Even on a track they say favours Mercedes, he needed that luck. Its going to be a red season..


More tantrums about so called luck, which everyone is entitled to,but which becomes some kind of abomination when Hamilton benefits.


“Luck” seems to be your favorite word when it comes to Lewis. Very amusing👍


And the VSC wasn’t luck from which Vettel tried to benefit to you?


Sure it will! Keep hope alive! lol


We won’t know. Hamilton looked quick though – it would have probably been a good fight.


Absolutely, one of those lucky Grand Slams we all know just fall into people’s laps.


Lol – it’s amazing how lucky he’s been 🙂


Yeah, 3 world titles lucky!


Really ? Or is it🍇 sour grapes ?🍇
Don’t reckon.
Vettel got away with no penalty for his grid infringement.
Lewis won fair and square. As for ifs and buts it’s a subjective opinion.
Lewis won that must burn that’s the only reason you would state that.
Mercedes all the way.


The natural order of things have been restored! There will be no red season!


Sounds like very sour grapes!


It was investigated


Even if Vettel got a 30sec penalty, it would change nothing. Nobody predicts safety cars, and that’s what gave Hamilton the advantage today. It won’t happen many times this season. Things would have been entirely different had he had Vettel bearing down on him in the first stint, instead of Ricciardo


Actually with the damp conditions and so many cars on slicks a safety was indeed very likely. So not exactly a certainty but highly probable.


And Vettel will be nowhere if Ricardo was at Ferrari. Ricardo gave Vettel a serious beating at Redbull.


Just as Lewis was given the beating of his lifetime by Rosberg last year. At least, in Vettel’s case, it was in a slow car that couldn’t win a championship. Lewis got beaten in a championship-winning car… Live with it

Tornillo Amarillo

2 championship-winning cars, but 1 with reliability problems.


A beating of a lifetime??!! Rosberg hung on for that championship! 1 more race and there would’ve been no championship! He was so mentally exhausted he retired!


Ha ha ha,Lewis was given the beating of his lifetime by Mercedes, who littered his campaign with mechanical problems left right and centre. I bet they are quaking in their boots now.A repeat of that against their best driver, and he is likely packing his bags. Doubt him? Remember 2012? Fortune favours the brave.Live with it.


Ricciardo beat Vettel on straight performance. Rosberg only bested Lewis last year because of unreliability. Their unaffected race points-per-finish values were pretty much identical to 2014 & 2015, at 21 for HAM and 18 for ROS. There’s a reason why Lewis won more races, and scored more podiums, yet still lost out. It’s called unreliability. Any fair-minded person would easily see the difference between VET vs RIC in 2014, and HAM vs ROS in 2016.


You are taking no prisoners, I’m loving this!


A beating like Button and Nico gave Hamilton. Yawn.


You mean button who could never achieve his goal of being a world champion as long as he was Hamilton’s teammate? 2010/2012,nowhere to be found in wdc contentions, you know,what really matters. And Rosberg who was never in charge of his own destiny,and had to rely on his teammate suffering numerous misfortunes. You can only mark Hamilton down with disingenuiity here.


Cheesy proof, or a beating like Button gave Alonso, yawn…


Maybe….but we’ll never know! Ham had the luxury of controlling the race, who knows if he could have gone quicker if the pressure was greater?


🏁👏Get In There Lewis 👏🏁
Bit of a mess by his team mate VB but good points in the end.
Ferrari Intervention Agency helping Vettel get away with starting from half a car lenght out of his grid position. If Lewis had done that he’d be penalised given a drive through and have points on his super licence.
But we’ll done Vettel.
Kimi is no where near his team mate. The old man is running backwards and moaning on the radio.
Well done Max definitely far ahead of DR and now Driver No.1 whatever DR believes.
The teenage angst radio messages are hilarious.
Well done Alonso shame about the drive shaft failure. He will be at Ferrari or Renault next year. Selling himself to prospective teams. Mclaren look in a downward spiral.
All in all an OK race still needs more overtaking.


I remember Vettel copping quite a few penalties last year some of which were pretty harsh.


Big mention to the younger Spaniard, Sainz Junior put in a very accomplished performance today. Obviously being Spanish and being clean shaven means reliability and finishing in the points………………..Fernando Alonso should take note……………


Half a car length? Don’t you mean width? Agree that it looked strange though. The Ferrari assistance has long been lost if it ever was real. I remember a certain car being craned back onto the track with its driver in. Talk about assistance. Marc


Re: the crane, that was a part of the rules at the time. It was incredibly dangerous, so they got rid of it. It didn’t make a difference on that day (EUR07), did it?


Would not know if it was part of the rule or not in 2017. I remember rules of old that stated that a car could only rejoin a track unassisted. No matter that was 10 years ago. My point when l mentioned it was that Ferrari is not the only beneficiary to decision made at time. Marc


Hamilton [Mod] :p
A bit less than half a car-width outside the slot is more a reality, and no unfair advantage, so why would 5s and license points penalty be needed? Max was a few car lengths ahead of RIC, so I wouldn’t call it FAR :p


The FIA put out a directive either last year or 2015, saying that it was illegal to line up at an angle in your grid slot. Vettel was 40% over to his left … sure he wanted pole position, but that was ridiculous.

As for Max, he went P16-P3, whereas Ricciardo went P5-P4. Max’s first lap was one of the best ever.

Tornillo Amarillo

Yes, but most like a video game, like the cars were giving him the space, a lot of space from the onboard perspective.
Planets were aligned for him…. It’s great to see it!


@ KRB…. and last year where did ricciardo finish after being 17th on lap4?


That was an unexpectedly interesting race. There was a lot of uncertainty in the middle stages when no one new how long the tires would last. I think when Red bulls changed tires and the performance improved dramatically is when it was a bit clearer how things would unfold. I really wanted Riccardo to get the podium over Vestappen though but the kid defended well so kudos to him. There isn’t much difference between the Merc and Ferrari based on the last two races now so it will be cracker to see them go at it for the rest of the season. Looking forward to it.


When oh when is Croft on Sky going to realise that the vast majority of viewers understand F1 and nearly all of us are not blind and therefore can see what is happening and do not need a never ending stream of babble describing what is self evident on the screen. The Peter O’Sullivan impressions should stop.


If you understand french, check RTBF coverage (AFAIK free to air in most countries) Gaetan Vigneron is worth it and he invites guests who actually know F1 (last year it was often Vandoorne who was in the second seat)


he talks too much doesn’t he? so much so that he runs out of things to say and starts describing what he sees in front as if he was a radio presenter. he needs to learn to be quiet and listen to the engines..


I don’t know who Peter O’Sullivan is, but other than that i couldn’t agree with you more. Surely Mark could tell him to shut up, or at least unplug his mile for us! (but rather Crofty than Jonathan Ledgard)


Peter O’Sullivan was a horse racing commentator on the BBC


I wouldn’t mind if Croft got it right, but so often he is so hysterical that he loses track of what is going on, and far too often Brundle has to gently correct the nonsense he comes out with.

Sky would be in a poor position without Brundle and now the blossoming DiResta as part of the commentary team.

Ricciardo Aficionado

This is a problem with all broadcasts. Commentators seem to be perennially pitching to new viewers. They live in hope, I guess, while they annoy the actual fans watching.


“Crofty” is so annoying; I wish he would just shut up so I can listen to the cars w/o his constant babble. And the faux excitement, screaming about “Perez making a movie on Kvyat!!!!” or whatever. I simply can’t take it. Brindle, on the other hand is good in the both; calm and analytical.


I assume you are watching on Sky – as you find Crofty’s never ending verbal onslaught irritating – why don’t you press the red button? That’ll get you race control and you can choose the commentary – I’m sure there is an option to just listen to the cars without commentary (certainly used to be). I should warn you though, it’s not as good as you might imagine – without the commentary it’s much harder to follow what is going on. They feed us an awful lot of information which isn’t on the screen.


For me that was a race similar to the races I grew up with in the early 90s,

Authentic F1 racing. Nice fast cars that could push for the whole race. One or two pit stops. Holistic passing moves.

DRS nicely neutralised.

You could feel it at the end of the race. The drivers knew it – you could see the respect between Vettel and Hamilton was more pronounced than before at the end of the race.

Max was clearly very fast again in the wet – although Ricciardio did manage to push him at the end.

Could clearly see the difference between the best drivers and the rest. Bottas was a long way down, even acknowledging that he didn’t have the best of luck at the start. Vettel is a different class from Kimi clearly at this present time.

The podium didn’t lie today.

Here’s for a full season of Ham vs Vettel – who would have been really at each other again if it wasn’t for the safety car.

And we know now that they can race properly on the better tracks.

So were they lapping faster that last year’s pole time at the end of the race? That’s what I’m taking about!

And the next race is free to air!

Tornillo Amarillo

My friend SAINZ was funny, amazing, doing his job extraordinary, getting results, P7, Wow!

That puts some extra pressure over Ric?


Not sure about that. I think Kvyat seems to be broadly matching Sainz so far (barring mechanical issues). They can fight over RIC’s seat when he goes red next year?

Tornillo Amarillo

Magnussen P8 was a timely relief, he had a car and delivered, well done. Uf!
I hope he is in the game again.

Tornillo Amarillo

What the Hulk?

2 penalties, overtaking while VSC and SC is deployed, did he get crazy? Explanation please…

Tornillo Amarillo

I feel bad for Giovinazzi… It’s a new big crash alone and a lost chance this weekend, everybody in the team could being calling Pascal to say hello with a wide smile… asking if he is ready for next week.


The worst part will be if Pascal is back next weekend – he has to live with it till he gets a chance to prove again! it might be a while…

Tornillo Amarillo

I feel bad for Lance…
In the blame-game I think he was 40% responsible, Perez 60%.
But a step forward this weekend for him, clean in FPs and qualifying 10th.
Realistically, I think his target every race should be P8 in race day.


You can’t take a corner like that on the first lap on a damp track! Maybe he’s taking lessons from Massa, as he would do the same thing and then use the same “it was my corner” explanation afterwards.

Tornillo Amarillo

PEREZ had an unusual bad start and then too greedy in that corner 10 I guess.

But Lance should learn, because finishing the race is paramount for him. Give extra space to everybody for now.

Obvious Lance is a classic rookie, it’s not solid like others have shown like Magnum or Vandoorne in their debuts, and not the kind of raw talent like Hamilton, Vettel or Max, but I think hopefully he could be like Button, Rosberg…

Tornillo Amarillo


The Podium shows 3 greats of this era, incredible Max is there so young, who can deny he can eclipse the other two?

Bottas underperformed for a Merc driver, he didn’t reach the Podium, just finishing P6 at 48 seconds behind, but he can still recover next time.


Great racing and overtakes this time, it means it’s possible proper racing maybe, lets see what happens next time if the weather doesn’t mix things up.


That was a great race and Lewis and Seb are very evenly matched. Hoping this continues thru’ the season!!!

Can’t stop wondering if safety car hadn’t come, how close it would have been between the 2. I was happy to see Seb / Ferrari being that aggressive on lap 2 – they are willing to do anything to win and are not playing it safe. Very very disappointed with both Bottas and Kimi – rookie mistake from one and other for whatever reason is making Ferrari look lot slower than it is. At least they should have released Seb lot sooner. Having said that, if Ferrari paid a little attention to his race they could have got him on podium by pitting him immediately after Max’s mistake / Seb overtake. He would have had clear air jump them both.

And finally, I love these overtakes much more – the drivers had to put in a lot more work!


Without the full safety car, Lewis would’ve needed a very decent recovery drive to get to the podium. The sector times of those on slicks will tell us more, but if I recall it correctly, the slicks were already 3.5 s / lap quicker.
He had lady fortune in his pocket, today, more than Vet down under.


so what!!!! you could argue LH was unlucky in australia unable to pass Vest. I’m impressed with Vest overtakes and judgement is still out if LH is in same overtaking league. Max is still Young and has that Attack attitude whereas LH seems to me to have lost or grown out of that do or die charging attitude. But if he wants to win this years WDC I reckon he’s going to have to find it as Vettel did today. At the moment I’m not convinced that LH has that, hope I’m wrong.


It’s kind of ironic that Ferrari’s test driver ruined Vettel’s strategy!


Yeah, I didn’t think of it that way. But you’re right, Giovinazzi crashing did cost Ferrari too, besides Sauber.


he won the race in real life. no need for fantasies..


The point is, while it worked put, Mercedes took an unnecessary risk by exposing Lewis. That’s two races in a row where they made tactical errors. But let’s wait and see what James will say about this: I can’t verify sector times and have to work on what i saw during the race and remember now.


George,….yes, fair point but the same applies to VET and his pit under the VSC. He tried to take advantage of that situation and Lewis took advantage of the full SC. So….was he fortunate? Lewis was peerless today, not a single error and Grand Chelem to boot. I would put good money on nobody else achieving the same feat in this nip and tuck season. As VET was better in AUS, HAM was better in CHI. Shaping up to be a season to remember.


Pitting under the VSC was a risk as Vettel did. Had it not been for the timely accident it might have paid off. We can’t then say Lewis deserves credit for Pitting under the actual Safety car because everyone did that, you’d have to be crazy not to. Don’t think the two moves are comparable. One was a calculated risk and the other was an obvious norm.


Nonsense , Vettel said he pitted because his intermediates where graining,or shall we say he panicked and is not good under pressure , he he.If we are talking substance,then the Ferrari potentially has problems with wet/cooler climes.