The Chinese Grand Prix was a roller coaster ride from beginning to end. Here are five talking points that came out of the third round of the 2016 F1 championship.
F1 provided fans with a real treat this weekend when it came to the Chinese Grand Prix. Coming out of the Chinese Grand Prix there are plenty of things in and around F1 to discuss. Below are the five biggest of those talking points.
Nico Rosberg Increases Lead In Championship
Despite publicly appearing indifferent, Rosberg must be pleased that he now sits 36 points ahead of team mate and current world champion, Lewis Hamilton after taking victory in China. The current championship leader appears to have chosen to not count his chickens before they hatch, choosing to ignore comments that suggest his lead over Hamilton has strengthened his 2016 campaign in any significant way. Though it’s true there’s a long way to go before the season reaches its conclusion, every point counts when the chequered flag waves at the final race. If Rosberg ends up winning the championship by a single point, his current lead won’t feel that insignificant anymore.
A Red Bull Comeback?
The former world champions were coming into 2016 with very little aspirations. After a difficult 2015 saw them struggle for decent points on a Sunday, various voices from inside the team had declared this year a write off; 2016 would be a year of building in an effort to be competitive in 2017. Though Red Bull are no doubt still working within those perimeters, their year so far has not been as bad as everyone thought it would be. And it would appear China has solidified this opinion. Daniel Ricciardo pulled an impressive lap out of thin air during qualifying, one which placed him second on the grid. The Australian capitalised on this performance by taking first position before the first corner. A tyre puncture saw him limp back to the pits and drop down to 17th, but the Red Bull driver fought back, driving the best race of his career to take fourth behind team mate Daniil Kvyat in third. Though they didn’t have the pace to challenge for a win, the boys at Red Bull showed that their RB12 isn’t a lemon, and by season’s end, could be a threat to both Mercedes and Ferrari.
Haas Dream Start Hits Reality
Even if Haas don’t score another point for the rest of the season they have already achieved their season’s goals (and a little more) in the first two races. However, post-China it would be permissible for the team to feel a little downbeat after their recent performance. After a fantastic points finish at the season opener in Australia, and a repeat performance in Bahrain, the American team only managed to snag as high as 13th (Esteban Gutierrez) in China, whilst the other car finished 19th (Romain Grosjean). Though they will no doubt continue to grow and improve, the ‘honeymoon’ period for the team may have hit an abrupt end.
Ferrari’s On Borrowed Time
Ferrari CEO, Sergio Marchionne, attended this year’s Chinese Grand Prix, and it seems he’s not happy with what he saw. Ferrari were competitive all weekend despite many thinking Mercedes had the race in the bag. Yet the Scuderia weren’t able to take advantage of this situation and their boss didn’t fail to notice. Marchionne told SkySports F1 after the race that the “team knows that the clock is on and we need to start winning some races”. It’s hard not to read between the lines, Marchionne practically saying ‘if Ferrari don’t start winning, you better start looking for another job’. It’s the staff behind the scenes that have to start picking up their game, so in no way was this warning directed at the drivers…for now.
Williams Are Falling Away
Williams seemed to be on the rise last year, so much so that they were challenging Ferrari for points. Well, it seems that that’s all beginning to become a much cherished but distant memory. Both cars had a relatively clean race yet only finished 6th (Felipe Massa) and 10th (Valteri Bottas). A points finish for both but nothing to write home about. Whilst Red Bull solidified their position as the third ‘best’ team in China, Williams have now appeared to have lost their grasp on that title altogether. They have the best engine and one of the best chassis on the grid, it’s a combination that should see great results. The fact that the opposite is occurring is perplexing.
What were your favourite moments of the Chinese Grand Prix? Comment below to let us know!