Chinese Grand Prix 2015 Recap

Lewis Hamilton restored the order of things for Mercedes after he cruised to victory in Shanghai and claim his fourth Chinese Grand Prix win. His teammate Nico Rosberg claimed the second spot on the podium while Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished third. Before the race, many hoped to see an exciting and unpredictable battle, but that didn’t happen as Mercedes dominated this race from start to finish again. The Ferraris gave them a scare but it wasn’t big enough to let things slip out of hand for Mercedes and they finished the race with another one-two. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened in Shanghai.

Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton took the pole again after he beat his teammate Nico Rosberg by just 0.042 of a second in qualifying. This is the third consecutive time that the Briton will start the race in Shanghai from the pole. He also started all the previous races this season from the pole. Rosberg took the second spot while Sebastian Vettel will begin the race on third. McLaren continues to struggle as Button and Alonso will start on 17th and 18th places respectively.

Racing Conditions

After the hot and humid climate in Malaysia, the drivers will now race on cooler temperatures. On race day, the track in Shanghai has temperatures of around 20 degrees and the weather is sunny with no chance of rain. This is definitely good news for the drivers especially those who are from Europe.

The Grid

The Race

Unlike in the two earlier races this year, all the 20 cars in the grid on Shanghai were able to start the race without a hitch. Hamilton grabbed the lead early on while Rosberg trailed behind him. On lap 3, the leaders are as follows; Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel and Raikonnen-that’s Mercedes for the first and second, and Ferrari for the third and fourth.

It’s game over for Nico Hulkenberg on lap 9. He parks his car on the gravel and told the Force India crew that he had a problem with his gearbox. Smoke begins to come out from his car moments after he walked out from it.

Many drivers begin to make their first stop on lap 13. Among them is Vettel who has now switched to the soft compound tyres. Hamilton decided to make his first stop on lap 15. Rosberg and Raikkonen made their first stops on lap 16.

On lap 17, smoke begins to come out from the back part of Daniil Kyvat’s car. The Red Bull car driver was forced to park his car on the gravel. It’s game over for him, too. On the front, it’s still Hamilton followed by Rosberg, Vettel and Raikkonen.

Hamilton continues to lead on lap 29. He now has a 3.1 second lead over Rosberg. Vettel makes his second stop on this lap and changed to the medium compound. This is crucial to the race. Rosberg had his change to medium tyres on lap 31. Hamilton made his change to medium on lap 33.

On lap 36, Hamilton establishes a commanding 5.8 second lead over Rosberg. The Ferraris still continue to trail behind them. Changing to the medium compound didn’t have much effect to the race as previously expected.

The race continues with no change in the race leaders. On lap 50, Maldonado had to retire after his car was damaged from a battle with Button earlier. The two drivers will be given a penalty on the next race in Bahrain.

With just two laps to go, Max Verstappen of Torro-Rosso was forced to retire after his car’s engine failed. He pulls his car over just after the grid and the marshals have to let the safety car out. The race will finish while the safety car is out on the track. This is very anti-climactic for an F1 race.

After Thoughts

After Vettel’s win in Malaysia, many hoped that the race in China will be more exciting to watch, but it turned out to be another snoozefest. Without the retirements, we can say that nothing much happened during the race. Hamilton, Rosberg and Vettel began the race first, second and third respectively and ended the race in that order, too. The next race will be on Bahrain two weeks from now. Let’s see if that will also have the same result as this.