Grand Prix 2017 Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Welcome to Shanghai International Circuit. 5.451 Km long , 16 turns, 56 laps and a side order of communism. Just the second of our fly away's for our 14th visit to The Peoples Republic of China.

But first lets look at the season opener. The race in Australia was hopefully a good pointer for how the season will go, although it does throw up unusual results from time to time. From what we have seen it looks like the Mercedes and Ferrari are very evenly matched. The Red bulls aren’t too far behind Ferrari either.

Arguably Mercedes threw the win away with a poor strategy call in a very early stop that saw Hamilton come out behind Max in his Redbull. Seb in his Ferrari took full advantage and went longer on tyres to get the ‘over cut’. Cue the ‘finger’.

Daniel had a nightmare home grand prix and is after one race already a gear box and an engine down. Max done good and was worrying Kimi towards the end. Bottas had a decent first race for Mercedes. Kimi almost never turned up. Massa made Stroll look like a rookie in his first race weekend. But Giovinazzi was a class act considering how little warning he had that Pascal was still unable to race. I think we have a decent fight on for Williams, Haas and Force India in the midfield. Renualt, Sauber and McLaren trying to not be last. I despair when I think about McLaren, dead last and a DNF. How the mighty have fallen.

All in all, a slightly duller than average first race. The lack of overtaking in particular was rather telling. It looks bad for the rest of the season. The regulations have managed to make things worse in my opinion.

So on to China. Mercedes have won here the last 3 years, the long straight very much playing into their power advantage. In-fact a Mercedes powered car has won here 6 years out of the last 7 which is rather an ominious statistic if you are anyone but Ferrari.

Last years race scored a respectable 7.14 in the CTA out of ten ratings. Mostly due to Lewis and Seb having to battle through the field from the back. Fingers crossed we get a decent race this time as well.

Tyres for this race are supersofts, softs and the mediums. So one stoppers all round I would think.

I’m looking forward to this. Hopefully we will get some more overtakes this time out on a proper race circuit. And I hope some of Shanghai’s 34 million inhabitants help fill out the grandstands.

Here is the TV schedule. Another early one for us in the UK.

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Now they are discussing having the race on Saturday...
We really have to ask is anyone in F1 aware of the effect weather can have on a race weekend?
If so, is anyone in F1 aware that weather forecasting actually exists and can predict with a certain degree of accuracy a week or more in advance...
So scrap FP3, after everyone did about 3 laps in FP1 and nothing in FP2. Have qualifying in the morning and the race in the afternoon?

Here's an idea FOM, don't take races to countries where there is so much shit in the atmosphere that it stops the emergency helicopters flying. This isn't a weather problem this is simply due to the fact that F1 has chosen to have a race in one of the most polluted countries in world in the chase for more money. I seem to recall there were similar issues in India a few years back, another nation not noted for stringent controls on atmospheric emissions. No one thinks through the whole thing do they?
The post Suzuka 2014 safety paranoia has continued once again

I'm sure this is how all this morning's stuff will be reported. It's the F1 equivalent of saying 'It's political correctness gone mad' however it's simply not true. The medical helicopter was unable to land and therefore the emergency medical procedures were not in place and racing could not take place. This has been the same rule and regulations in every major series for around the last 30 years and rightly so.

But yeah try and make out the sport has gone soft or something.
Given the improved safety of F1 cars since Senna's day, and that the on-track hospital facilities are more than comprehensive, why not relax this outdated rule a bit? Allow the drivers to race, just warn them that if they crash badly it might take longer to get to a specialist hospital. It's only bloody practice. Pathetic.
This would never happen if Bernie was in charge.

I seem to recall Bernie stopping some parts of an F1 race weekend from taking place as their wasn't a suitable helicopter ambulance available. Or were you suggesting Bernie would have sorted out the weather?
I seem to recall there were similar issues in India a few years back, another nation not noted for stringent controls on atmospheric emissions. No one thinks through the whole thing do they?

Where do you think your products come from? What do you think Europe would look like if a lot of factories hadn't been sold to Asian countries? What does Paris look like on some days due to emissions?
Start producing all the stuff the world needs in Europe again and the air and rivers will be polluted, the prices will rise but at least the people there won't have to suffer anymore.
why not relax this outdated rule a bit

Couldn't disagree more. Rule is in place for the safety of human life. Now risks are being taken by individuals who have signed up for that but they've signed up within certain perimeters. Making then go outside of this for our 'entertainment' is not something I'm comfy with.

The real issue here, as snowy has said and as was in Japan 2014, was that F1 hasn't bothered to plan ahead and maybe try and rearrange things to fit in with conditions. But it seems fans are more upset they didn't get to watch practice at the time they usually did.
Agreed RasputinLives, the rule was put in place for the safety of life. But since the ruling, tracks have become safer, cars have become safer, and this is a practice session, not a race. I fully expect to be in a minority on this one (perhaps a minority of 1!), and of course safety is paramount. I wonder what the drivers think.
This is probably not the place for a detailed discourse on the ethics and environmental impact of globalisation Rutherford but suffice to say that India and China burn the dirtiest, cheapest coal they can find which is not the case in Europe. Emission controls, health and safety, and employee welfare are desperately lacking in these countries (and many others).

I agree with you that the demand for cheap goods has driven capitalist driven economies to far flung parts of the world where belching toxins in to the atmosphere and rivers is uncontrolled but the onus is then on us, as consumers, to boycott these goods and look for ones which have been more ethically produced.

Also, it doesn't get away from my primary point having these races in places where you are potentially victim to more than just inclement weather hasn't been considered by those running the show. The Chinese closed down all industry around Beijing for a month before the Olympics to ensure that there would be clear blues skies rather than a pall of toxic fug hanging over the city. Their F1 race is not so important from a PR perspective so we should expect man made problems to happen or, alternatively, we take the races to countries where they can't.

Oh, and by the way, if you care to look at the Environment Agency website you will see the multitude of rules and regulations which producers in the UK have to conform to compared to an equivalent factory in India or China or Bangladesh. It can be done, with some impact on the bottom line, but some countries just choose not to.
Bernie would be talking about fining the Chinese by now. But to be fair to Liberty they didn't set up the Chinese GP. Bernie did.
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