With the final paddock round-up from Shanghai, Michael Lamonato brings you all the raceday news items you may have missed.

Daniel Ricciardo won his career sixth Formula One grand prix, extending an unlikely trend of never winning from the top three on the grid. He started from sixth this weekend, and his previous victories came from 10th in Azerbaijan last season, though he recovered from 17th early in the race; fourth at Sepang in 2016; fifth at Spa in 2014; fourth at Budapest in 2014; and sixth at Montreal in 2014.

– Red Bull Racing took third place in the constructors standings after its horror race in Bahrain. It now sits 30 points behind Mercedes and 29 points behind Ferrari.

– Daniel Ricciardo moved up to fourth in the drivers standings, 17 points behind Sebastian Vettel, six points behind Lewis Hamilton and three points behind Valtteri Bottas.

– Valtteri Bottas was a surprise temporary race leader after undercutting Sebastian Vettel. He had a half-second slower in-lap and was substantially faster on his out-lap, particularly in the middle sector, where he gained an entire second on the Ferrari. Vettel later said he was surprised he lost 3.5 seconds in the space of two laps.

– If the race was decided by Red Bull Racing’s topping behind the safety car, the then leaders Valtteri Bottas and Sebastian Vettel have a right to feel hard done by, with the safety car deployed moments after they passed the pit entry, meaning they never had the choice to make their ‘free’ stop. Lewis Hamilton, however, could’ve made a tyre change, but Mercedes didn’t think the soft tyre would be as quick as the medium.

Kimi Raikkonen also had reason to feel hard done by, with his contract as a Ferrari racing driver temporarily interpreted to mean ‘road block’. The Finn was left out on his race-starting soft tyres long enough for Bottas and Vettel, who had already made their stops, to reach him, at which point his presence as slow traffic assisted his teammate in closing the gap to the lead. His race would’ve been ruined were it not for the safety car.

Max Verstappen had another scrappy race, largely in the final stint, when he was equipped with faster tyres than his rivals. He first lost control of his car around the outside of turn seven while attempting to overtake a much slower Lewis Hamilton, while ruled him out of a likely victory. He then crashed in Sebastian Vettel, ruling himself out of podium contention and dropping Vettel to seventh, which later became eighth.

– Team orders caused great contention in China, with a lap-six call favouring Haas’s Kevin Magnussen over Romain Grosjean earning a rebuke from the Frenchman over team radio — though Grosjean was the slower over the two over the course of the race.

– Toro Rosso suffered markedly more difficulty, however, with Pierre Gasly ramming into Brendon Hartley on lap 29. Both had been informed that Hartley was to let Gasly through as the two were on different strategies, but whereas the former intended to do it on the exit of the hairpin, the latter thought it would happen on entry, resulting in the messy intra-team tangle.

– Haas executed its second points-scoring race in a row but is yet to finish in the top 10 with both cars, with Romain Grosjean struggling badly on his two-stop strategy, finishing P17.

– Grosjean was the only driver in the field to use the ultrasoft tyre more than once despite Pirelli’s predictions it would be the backbone of the fastest tyre strategies. The substantially warmer track conditions pushed teams towards the harder compounds, which work better in higher temperatures.

– Williams remains the only team yet to score a point in 2018, though both Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll praised the constructor’s efforts in bouncing back from the Bahrain Grand Prix, where it finished last. In China both drivers finished ahead of both Sauber drivers, both Toro Rosso drivers and Romain Grosjean.

– Nobody screwed up any pit stops, which was a nice change of pace.

Comments

Loading Comments...