Grand Prix 2016 Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

I just had a look back at last years race review on Wiki. This was when the cracks started to appear between Hamilton and Rosberg as Nico accused Lewis of deliberately slowing down in the middle stint to compromise his race and then got a right sulk on telling Hamilton he only cared about himself. Wah, wah, wah. Other than the race finishing under the safety car I can't see anything else which is memorable, although Jenson Button was found to have caused an accident with Pastor Maldonado. Go figure!

On to 2016. It's hard to see past a Mercedes pole, fastest lap and race win but which car? Nico Rosberg is 2 and O for 2016 and heads the championship by 17 points from his team mate who's had a few problems at the start in the first couple of races. No bitching about your team mate so far this season eh Nico? Lewis was almost certainly faster in Bahrain but his tangle with Bottas destroyed any chance of a win. Third with a bent car was quite some achievement.

Ferrari will, of course, offer the only (semi) serious opposition to the Mercedes pair but they haven't enjoyed the best reliability with two engine failures as they push to catch up. Kimi look to have a bit of his mojo back in Bahrain. No one will know whether Vettel could have done better but I suspect not.

What else can we look forward to? Romain Grosjean should finish fourth to maintain the sequence and this means he will win in Monaco... Hass have impressed, at least in RoGro hands, as has Pascal Wehrlein at Manor. Red Bull and Williams will scrap over the minor points, although Toro Rosso (even with last years Ferrari engine) look quite racey. You have to assume they will be battling with Force India though.

At McLaren I believe Van Doom will continue in place of Alonso as he still has a hurty rib, bless. Quite a race for the Belgian, the last driver to score points in a mid-season d├ębut in F1 was Sebastian Vettel. Whatever became of him? Button will head Manor and Sauber, assuming Sauber find enough cash down the back of the sofa to get the cars to Shanghai.

Probably the biggest question for the race weekend though is what qualifying format will be used? I've no idea and I suspect that those that control (I use that term in its loosest possible sense) don't have either. Let's see what occurs when the lights go out to start Q1. My money, regardless of the format, is a Mercedes 1-2 and Ferrari 3-4. The fastest guys should start at the front, that's what happens in all forms of motorsport and forcing them further down the grid just for the sake of "the show" is bloody stupid. No matter how interesting it is to see someone coming through the field, deliberately putting them there makes no sense whatsoever.

Well, there's my two pennuth. Let's have yours.

Edit - I forgot Renault. They won't figure greatly.
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Podium Finisher
Il_leone it does prove that Rosberg is not just a journeyman or 2nd driver. It does mean little for his chances on the WDC. There's no guarantee at all that he will get it. There's still 18 races left. In most past years that's more than a season!


Champion Elect
Wombcat I can sense a bit of momentum shift within Mercedes. This is going to take a lot more effort for Hamilton than his last two years. If its a fight he wants and its a fight he has really got


Valued Member
Winning the title with a 36 point deficit over an 18 race season is not easy. In general, the vast majority of championships have been won from the front.

Hamilton's only issue this season has been that by turn 4 of all three races he's been two or more cars behind Rosberg. That's what needs to stop. Very little he could have done about that throughout the Shanghai weekend though.

If anyone can do it...


FOTA VIP, I've got the avatar to prove it :)
I'm in a quandary. On the one hand I'd love Lewis to equal Seb or go for Schumachers record. On the other I'd love Nico to be WDC.

I'd be happy with either but knowing Lewis has achieved his dream makes me want Nico to achieve his.


Points Scorer
I wonder whether Hamilton could've done better if not for some very strange pit decisions? I have no idea why he went onto super softs fairly early on and then pitted again a few minutes later to go onto softs. The decision to go on mediums around lap 30 perhaps wasn't the greatest idea in the world either, especially as he seemed to be doing his best to ruin them as early as possible.

The reason given, was the Mercedes team wanted to get the second tyre choice out of the way under the safety car as he lost no time. However due to the damage to the front of the underfloor/teatray area (when the wing went under the car), " a chunk of front down force was missing" to quote Toto, which meant he was destroying his tyres at a much faster rate; forcing him to go onto the Mediums anyway.


Champion Elect
Great race 3rd in a row the 3rd tyre rule is brilliant & seems like its consistent instead a 1 off, although id say Bahrain & Australia were better because it die down with the last 15 laps but 3 rounds in its like the summer 2014 deja vu with all the bad luck Lewis has had already, if it can go wrong it has, now this is Nothing against nico rosberg but I still don't think we can say whose favourite for drivers title because its not like he's won opening 3 races because he's been the best driver its more thru luck other misfortune
  • Australia - Alonso crash ruined Vettel strategy. As without SC comfortable Ferrari win
  • Bahrain - once Vettel engine blew on the parade lap & Bottas hit Lewis with a gap that was always going to close. rosberg had it in the bag
  • China - today all his Christmas's came at once, Lewis had his engine failure in qualifying, vettel crashed into his team mate & then never needed to pass for lead as Riccardio tyre punctured. He all but had it handed on a plate
Nice to see Vettel in that post race room that he hadnt being stewing on that 1st lap pass for the previous 2 hours. But Kyvat did nothing wrong & an experienced driver like him should know you need eyes everywhere on the 1st lap as 3 a breast isnt uncommon. Funny how his opportunistic move in pitlane lane but Kyvats is the crime of century.

Although the best bit the weekend was Teds qualifying Notebook. It was So funny seeing him trying to wrestle an umbrella & then when his notebook starting flying down the paddock. I was in stitches laughing


Podium Finisher
Perhaps the team should be penalised for engine and gearbox problems rather than the driver, no points for a change on that race for that car in the constructors championship. That will stop any favouritism on vehicle defects for individual drivers ( as has been suggested with some teams in the past) the driver is there to race, the constructor is there to enable him to race, neither should be penalised to the detriment of the other


Race Winner
Il_leone .... I haven't heard any fighting talk from Hamilton. He's acknowledged he needs to improve his starts but feels he's got time to turn it around, his interviews have been polite and he's been very measured in his comments. The statistic of a driver who wins 3 in a row going on to become World Champion is meaningless. There has never been a season of 21 races. There are still 18 to go which was the number that made up a complete season not many years ago, thats plenty of time and 450 points to race for.
Regarding starting off the back, if your one of the best and you've got 20 plus very good drivers in front of you why wouldn't you trust yourself and to a degree the other drivers. The decision would have been discussed with the team and made collectively. The safety car negated the choice they made anyway, the only negative that came from it was possible damage that slowed his progress later in the race, but even that may have been more tyre related. The day a driver of Hamilton's ability stops taking calculated risks or chances, by trusting his own skill, we may as well stop watching.


Podium Finisher
Good start did fade towards mid race. Some noteable points.

Vettel caused his own shunt with a little tank slapper prior to the coming together.
Cracking response from Kvyat, it's called racing Seb & no swear words too.
Loved Sebs overtaking on the pit lane.
Watching Button in the pit lane, was close to watching dodgems.
How many Mercedes pit stops does it take to change a light bulb?
Wonder if Nico remembered to pick up some Sudocrem on his way home?

6 for me,


Champion Elect
Kewee That was after Bahrain where Hamilton was a bit dismissive of Rosberg's accomplishments and likening himself to Muhammad Ali in the situation

Yes there has never been a 21 race season BUT we can forgive Hamilton for taking his foot off the gas last season when Rosberg won 3 in a row and now he's won 3 more . Luck does play a part in it but it does seem like everything is going Rosberg's way

By starting in the pitlane he avoids unnecessary risks like someone stalling in front of him and then him running into the back of them


ATL11 I'd like to add what is going with Force India this weekend? Seems like the news coincided with VJ facing possible money laundering charges has affected the team

They did not fit Hulkenberg's wheel properly and then in the race they got him to dangerously back everyone in the pits forcing Vettel to do a dangerous but legitimate passing move

Then Perez was released unsafely so all in all a disastrous week for a team who should be fighting Williams in the midfield
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Champion Elect

All in all it's been a horrible week for Force India and it seems like the last two races they've had scrappy races. It just seems their fabled long stints to get track position strategy aint working now there is a 3rd tyre to pick

Williams have disappointed me immensely and have fallen backwards. Its time they change their driver line up because they need fresh impetus. Massa is doing his best but aint getting younger and Bottas now looks very overrated and really does not want to be at Williams


Points Scorer
^Who would they bring in? The only drivers better than their current line up are already in a better team. End of last year I might have said Nasr was a good choice, but he's been dreadful this year. He has been pretty vocal about his chassis being sub-par, but who knows how much truth there is to that.


Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Hmmm, not sure about this, there are better drivers outside F1 than Bottas & Massa.
Lucas di Grassis, The Moose, Nick Heidfeld.
Bruno Senna.
Hahahahahaha!!!!! No!! He's ****ing shite.
But, even so, there's an enormous amount of racing before those decisions can be made.


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
I agree with gethinceri that there are better drivers than Bottas and Massa outside of F1 (Sam Bird, Robin Frinjs, Vandoorne) but at the same time I Don't think the driver line-up is Williams problem in the slightest.

They've been relying on the advantage of the Merc engine for the last few years and that advantage has lessened this year. Simple as that really.


Points Scorer
I don't think there was any question Kvyat was in the right, and I think most of us enjoyed the post race "discussions", I wonder if Seb feels the same after seeing this video?


Mostly bacon
Premium Contributor
Vettel doesn't need to prove his class. But the Kvyatt episode shows he perhaps has a tendency to shift the blame when under pressure. If it hadn't been his team-mate he wouldn't have made such a fuss, plus Marchionne was in the garage, plus he was (I think) surprised by Kvyatt even being there to the point that he over reacted in steering away into Kimi, plus he was embarrassed and probably did feel some responsibility but simply failed to deal with it very well. As a Vettel fan I accept his faults when they arise and hope that he learns from it. It'll be interesting to see if he changes his tune having seen the replays.
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