Nico Rosberg of Mercedes is on
a roll after he clinched his sixth consecutive victory at the 2016 Formula
Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix. As in the recent races, the Chinese F1 race was
also not without its share of intense drama and excitement. Second to clock was
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari while Red
Bull’s Daniil Kvyat came in third for a clean podium finish. Rosberg’s teammate
Lewis Hamilton and winner of 2015 F1 crown, could only manage a distant
seventh. After the race, he blamed his slow car for his performance.
For Nico Rosberg, it was his 17th
career victory – his second at the Shanghai International Circuit, four years
after sealing his first Formula One win at the same venue. The results in China
also marked the 100th podium finish for the Mercedes-Benz Silver Arrows in
1 NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES
2 SEBASTIAN VETTEL FERRARI
3 DANIIL KVYAT RED BULL RACING
4 DANIEL RICCIARDO RED
5 KIMI RÄIKKÖNEN FERRARI
6 FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS
7 LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES
8 MAX VERSTAPPEN TORO
9 CARLOS SAINZ TORO ROSSO
10 VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS
11 SERGIO PEREZ FORCE
12 FERNANDO ALONSO MCLAREN
13 JENSON BUTTON MCLAREN
14 ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ HAAS
15 NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA
16 MARCUS ERICSSON SAUBER
17 KEVIN MAGNUSSEN RENAULT
18 PASCAL WEHRLEIN MANOR
19 ROMAIN GROSJEAN HAAS
20 FELIPE NASR SAUBER
21 RIO HARYANTO MANOR
22 JOLYON PALMER RENAULT
Kvyat’s teammate outperformed
the rest in the field with his brilliant racing, despite the fact that his car
suffered in puncture in the early part of the race. Daniel Ricciardo got the
much needed points for his team Red Bull by coming in fourth. Kimi Raikkonen of
Ferrari came in fifth while Williams’ Felipe Massa came in sixth.
Others who gathered points in
the race in the first ten included Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz
(8th and 9th respectively) while Williams' Valtteri
Bottas came in tenth. Incidentally all the 22 cars completed the race.
For India’s Force India team,
they could only salvage an 11th and 15th position, won by
Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg respectively. The race initially saw a bit of
a bump when Kvyat raced towards the inside of Vettel at Turn 2 which made the
latter to cut to the left and into the path of Raikkonen. The two Ferrari cars
made contact resulting in Raikkonen’s car half spinning and forcing him to pit
with slight damage to his vehicle. Vettel too dropped to eight.
“...Obviously it’s difficult
to judge how it looked from his point of view, but my start wasn’t so great, so
I was a bit on the back foot into turn one and then I think Kimi locked up,
went a bit wide, I wanted to go on the inside to overtake him. I think Daniil
was trying to do the same thing with me, but then Kimi came back and I had to
sort of be in the middle. He was coming with a lot of speed into that gap. I
was very surprised, so I had to steer some sort of left. At the same time Kimi
was coming across and there was no way, so we made contact, which is a shame
because you don’t want the same cars, same colour touching each other. In the
end we were lucky – I could continue, he could continue, but surely not the
best result for the team, so sorry for that. But after, it was a very
entertaining race, a lot of cars that I had to overtake; it was good fun...”
said Vettel after the race.
There were other cars kissing
too when Hamilton lost his front wing after contact with Felipe Nasr of Sauber
as the latter was trying to avoid the track drama. Romain Grosjean of Haas too damaged
his the car’s nose on the Sauber car of Marcus Ericsson.
Lap 3 the drama continued when
Ricciardo's tyre deflated on lap three, forcing him to pit. With debris all
over, all the cars had to pit after the safety car was deployed. It was time
for tyre change too. When the race resumed on lap eight, Rosberg took the lead.
While Rosberg had a clear lead throughout, the fight was between Kvyat and
Vettel, the former keeping the lead till around the 35th lap, after
which a smart dive by Vettel ensure that he stuck to his second position till
the end of the race.
After the China race, Rosberg leads
with 75 points, Hamilton is second with 39, Ricciardo is third with 36, while Vettel
has 33 and Raikkonen 28. In the constructors' stakes Mercedes has 114 points to
Ferrari's 61, Red Bull's 57 and Williams' 29.
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