Normal service has been resumed in China after Ferrari’s unexpected Malaysia victory with Lewis Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg home for a Mercedes 1 – 2. At least the midfield teams, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Sauber, even McLaren livened things up with some good battles away from the sharp end.
After the first two laps, there was nothing of note that happened in the top six, Hamilton, Rosberg and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel got away cleanly, while team mate Kimi Raikkonen passed fellow Finn, Valteri Bottas into turn 6 for fourth which wrong-footed Bottas allowing Williams team mate Felipe Massa to get ahead and claim fifth place coming out of turn six and that’s the way it stayed to the chequered flag!
Daniel Ricciardo had an absolutely terrible start falling back to 17th place from his starting position of seventh, but did well to fight back to ninth place with entertaining results in a less than stellar car, while Red Bull team mate Daniil Kyvat failed to finish suffering a spectacular power unit blowup on lap 16.
Romain Grosjean claimed the first points of the season for Lotus finishing as best of the rest after Mercedes, Ferrari and Williams in seventh. A very solid drive from the Frenchman while team mate Pastor Maldonado had a hero/zero kind of race. He started off well making some solid overtakes before failing to make the pit-lane entrance, having to be pushed back. Then had a spin a few laps afterwards, tangled with Jenson Button, which was 100% Button’s fault before pulling out of the race with rear brake failure.
Sauber had a better weekend in Shanghai, finishing in eighth and tenth places, Felipe Nasr had a solid race to earn his 8th place, although Marcus Ericsson was fortunate to claim 10th place through Max Verstappen’s retirement. Toro Rosso ended up claiming zero points after Verstappen ground to a halt on the pit straight with engine failure, which brought out the safety car and comical chaos ensued as marshals bashed his Toro Rosso into the wall attempting to recover the car through a gap in the pit wall.
So the race ended under safety car conditions although the battle for the top six positions was over way before the safety car came out. I really, really hope that Ferrari, Williams or Red Bull can out-develop Mercedes to make this season a fight, I so do not want to see another one horse (team) race in 2015.
2015 Chinese Grand Prix Results
1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:39:42.008
2. Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) +0.700
3. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +2.900
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +3.800
5. Felipe Massa (Williams) +8.500
6. Valteri Bottas (Williams) +9.800
7. Romain Grosjean (Lotus) +19.000
8. Felipe Nasr (Sauber) +22.600
9. Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +32.000
10. Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) +1 LAP