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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But since the ruling, tracks have become safer, cars have become safer, and this is a practice session, not a race.

OK. I see where your coming from but let's apply this to a real situation. I'm not going to put my son in his car seat when I drive to the shop today because since that rule was made, cars have become safer, roads and road rules have become safer and anyway I'm only driving to the local shop not a long distance. Is that OK?
I heard of rumour to change the race to a Saturday. But i always thought that was a non runner because they would have to get rid of FP3 & would mean that their would be a 1/3rd of the grid likes of Hamilton Perez Ocon Raikkonen Vettel Palmer Giovinazzi & Ericsson whose 1st laps of the weekend (exc install laps) would be in Q1.
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I'm not going to be blasé about other people's lives. The helicopter in Japan in 2014 is a red herring - the accident was unsurvivable - but the act of racing through the storm was a massive problem.
No, no we can't, according to F1 rules it must be safe for a helicopter to transport a person in the event of a sustained injury. This has been the case since 1986.
It's not the first time that a session has been stopped because the helicopter can't take off.
Being over an hour away from a hospital is totally normal for 90% of the world population. Now I'm just being flippant. I blame the whisky.
On the Saturday of the 2001 Belgian GP we arrived at the circuit a few minutes late only to find out that FP3 was delayed due to the mist at the hospital. As time went by and we started to get our sun tans it was further delayed with an announcement that the time had been shifted so that it would finish half an hour before qualifying to make up for some of the lost time. Then it came through that the Free Practice was abandoned but that qualifying would take place even if the mist persisted due to the agreement on timing with the TV companies.

So Mr Ecclestone's pocket was more important that the driver's lives.
So ......... does anyone know, will we have qualifying ? Or not. Should I get up, or stay in bed.
A sensible solution seems to have been arrived at:

"If the medical helicopter cannot fly, organisers have arranged for a police escort so, in the event of a driver being hospitalised, he can be transported quickly by road to the main hospital which is more than 30km away."
Given how Mercedes are performing relative to Ferrari in these early races can we draw any conclusions about the influence of Paddy Lowe within the team?
Let's not get into Whitmarsh!!8-)

But what a race awaits!

Nip and tuck between the Mercs and Ferrari
No p1or 2 to work on race set up
Possibility of rain.
Rain and two rookies on the grid.
Max charging from the back.
A track you can overtake on.

This could be a goodie!
Yes definitely looking at a two horse race ( team wise) at the front. On that, red Bull have car upgrades coming regularly from now onwards and a new lighter engine for canada. They think they'll be ahead :o by Austria. Fighting talk!!

Some close times also between the midfield teams.

Alonso only about a sec off Ricciardos pace. Does that mean the Red Bull is appalling? Or the McLaren isn't that bad?
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