2017 Formula 1 Heineken Chinese Grand Prix
Hello and welcome to the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix – as forecast yesterday, the weather conditions have changed for the race.
The weather is around 12 degrees, raining and different from qualifying so we’re set for a great race.
It seems like the drivers are happy with the weather change as a few of them, including Alonso, Vandoorne and Ricciardo, who have been been spotted playing Table Tennis before the driver parade.
Image from McLaren Twitter.
Driver Parade – Driver Interviews – Chinese Grand Prix
“I hope we can give them a good show!” – Hamilton
Hamilton – “I hope we have a good race for the fans – there’s so many fans here today and they always make their event with their energy. I hope we can give them a good show.”
“It’s an amazing feeling getting pole position. The Ferrari did wet testing but I missed it so it will be a challenge.”
“Australia was an amazing weekend so we’re taking the positives from there and hoping we can have a good finish today.”
“I woke up today and it feels like SIlverstone!” – Vettel
Vettel – “It was a good lap yesterday and today we will see how it goes. I woke up today and it feels like Silverstone here (laugh), I hope that we can have a good race and we will see how it all works out today.”
“It’s really cold…. it’ll be good for everyone” – Ricciardo
Ricciardo – “We didn’t expect it to still be raining so it’s going to be more exciting than we thought. We haven’t really driven these tyres much here so it’ll be good for everyone.”
“We’re expecting 56 laps (laughs) I didn’t really drive this year and it’s all about having fun – my nose is running and it’s really cold!”
Sergio Marchionne – “I was delighted with Australia and it proved the fact that all the work from the team over the winter has started paying off. We have a long way to go but it was exciting – I’m really proud of the them (Team).”
Half an hour to go until lights out – Pit Lane is now OPEN!
Drivers are now all getting ready for the formation lap – some drivers are on intermediate tyres whereas others are saying it’s time for slicks!
It’s nearly time for the Chinese Grand Prix – the weather conditions are changing every so often, many drivers are on intermediates, others want slicks, part of the circuit is dry, part is wet – there’s a lot going on!
Vettel – “Ok, it’s dried up quite a bit”
Part of the track is wet, part of the track is dry.
Alonso also saying that the track is drying.
Mercedes have a great start – Bottas battling with Vettel.
Vettel stays ahead.
Ricciardo had a good start – he’s up into 4th place.
Stroll goes off-track – there’s damage to his right rear tyre.
Vettel currently “under investigation” for being out of place on the grid.
Lance Stroll is out of the race.
Virtual Safety Car.
(Virtual Safety Car means that there is a hazard on the track and drivers must go by a safety speed limit)
Team to Perez – “Box, box – potential front right puncture.”
Vettel comes into the pits for the soft tyres.
Hamilton is still leading the race.
Virtual Safety Car is now ending.
Hamilton has not yet come into the pits – he’s leading the race with his team-mate, Bottas in 2nd place.
Antonio Giovinazzi has crashed – it’s been a terrible weekend for the driver.
The safety car will now be deployed.
(Safety Car – Drivers need to follow the safety car, no overtaking)
All cars will be making their way through the pit-lane.
Hamilton is coming into the pits.
Drivers seem to be struggling with grip on the track.
Ricciardo now pits.
Bottas now pits.
All drivers are being guided through the pit-lane with the Safety Car.
Hamilton leads the race.
Ricciardo in 2nd.
Raikkonen in 3rd.
Verstappen in 4th.
Bottas in 5th.
Vettel in 6th.
Sainz in 7th.
Alonso in 8th.
Image – Kym Illman
Drivers are making their way through the pit-lane again until the track is cleared.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo – changed their tyres.
No action taken against Vettel for being slightly out of place.
Hamilton – “It’s very hard to keep the temperatures up”
Safety car still in this lap.
Raikkonen – “It’s very wet on the main straight.”
Bottas has a little problem – it looks like he spun as he was trying to get heat into the tyres. He’s now in 12th place.
Lots of overtaking happening. Perez makes his way past Massa and Kvyat.
Verstappen makes his way past Raikkonen.
Raikkonen – “I don’t know what’s happened to my exit – I’ve lost power!”
Vettel right behind his team-mate.
Alonso in 7th place.
Fastest Lap by Carlos Sainz.
He’s just made his way past Fernando Alonso.
The two Red Bull’s are in 2nd and 3rd.
Ricciardo leading Verstappen.
Hamilton being told over the radio that he can go to the end race on these tyres.
Verstappen makes his way past his team-mate Ricciardo and is up into 2nd place.
Raikkonen loses grip and goes wide – his team mate still behind.
Team to Verstappen – “Well done Max, go after Lewis“
Raikkonen closing the lap to Ricciardo – he’s trying to make his way past.
Vettel right behind his team-mate too.
The Ferrari’s are now picking up and looking stronger.
Bottas sets the fastest lap.
The two Ferarri’s are being held-up by Ricciardo in the Red Bull.
Ricciardo is saying the he’s suffering from understeer.
Vettel locks-up as he gets close to his team-mate.
Raikkonen – “What the hell is happening out of Turn 12 – I’ve got no power there!?” he’s now got issues with the software.
Team to Vandoorne – “Ok Stoffel, we have a fuel issue, back off, back off – box this lap.”
Vandoorne is out of the race – he’s retired from the race with another issue for McLaren.
Vettel now makes his way past Raikkonen.
He’s making his way and catching up Ricciardo.
Vettel right behind Ricciardo now.
He needs to close the gap to Hamilton who’s leading the race.
Verstappen in 2nd however he’s lost a little bit of time.
Team to Hamilton – “There’s 47 laps remaining, what do you think about going to the end on these?”
Hamilton – “I think I can do it”
Vettel and Ricciardo touch slightly but he makes it past his former team-mate and is now catching up to the two drivers in front.
Lewis Hamilton now sets the fastest lap time.
Vettel now sets the fastest lap of the race.
Raikkonen is now right behind Ricciardo.
Raikkonen – “Do we really think the tyres will last until the end of the race because it doesn’t feel like it…”
He’s still behind Ricciardo.
Alonso – “Does Bottas have some car damage?”
This is after Bottas makes his way past Alonso.
Vettel is closing the gap to Verstappen.
Vettel still closing the gap to Verstappen.
Verstappen has lost a little bit of time to Hamilton – Hamilton still leads the race and looks like he’s set to stay on these tyres until the end of the race.
Vettel gets past Verstappen.
Verstappen locks-up and goes off-track slightly.
Ricciardo is now closing the gap to.
Team to Verstappen – “You need to box.”
Verstappen now pits.
He comes out in 6th place.
It’s Hamilton, Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Bottas.
Carlos Sainz has set another fastest lap of the race after his pit stop.
Hamilton reporting that he is now struggling slightly with his tyres.
Hamilton sets a fastest lap time of the race.
Could that be a way to throw off Ferrari?
Raikkonen still reporting problems.
Verstappen makes his way past Bottas – Verstappen has better grip compared to Bottas.
Alonso has since retired from the race after having a good run and being in 8th place.
Hamilton still leading but reporting issues with the tyre and grip.
Raikkonen – “So when are we going to finish??? There a 20 laps to go and I HAVE NO GRIP”
Hamilton still leading the race – Vettel in 2nd place.
Verstappen in 3rd.
Vettel sets a fastest lap of the race.
Hamilton questioning when he can come into the pits for a tyre change – being re-assured that they are looking for a gap.
Ricciardo is catching up to Verstappen in 3rd.
Raikkonen also catching the two Red Bull’s from 5th position.
Hamilton sets a fastest lap time – it looks exciting.
Magnussen makes his way past Perez.
Hamilton still leads – if he wins then he and Vettel will go away on equal points.
Verstappen is leading his team-mate Ricciardo.
Ricciardo has started to close the gap to his team-mate
5 laps remaining until the end of the race.
Verstappen complaining about Grosjean in front – he hasn’t been blue-flagged to move out of the way, yet.
Ricciardo closing the gap to his team-mate.
Verstappen – “I’m getting understeer because of him (Grosjean)”
Team to Verstappen – “Yeah, I know – you need to be within 1 second thought.”
Grosjean now getting blue-flagged.
Verstappen – “Im now losing grip!”
Ricciardo right behind Verstappen – he’s putting the pressure on his team-mate.
Verstappen not getting any closer to Grosjean but Ricciardo has closed the gap.
Ricciardo can’t seem to find a way past his team-mate, Verstappen.
Hamilton leading the race.
Lewis Hamilton WINS The Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix
It’s Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen on the podium.
Hamilton and Vettel are now equal in the championship title.
Brief Reaction from the top 3.
Hamilton – “A big thank you to everyone in Shanghai for coming out – we’ve got such a great crowd over here. It was very hard as the track was mostly wet but there was dry patches.”
“I’m so proud of everyone, my personal team and all the guys back at the factory – it’s so exciting for me personally so thank you very much to the team.”
“We were matching times and if there wasn’t a safety car we would have been much closer.”
Vettel – “It was very dry on some parts of the track, I was happy to take a risk and then the safety car came just as I stopped so I couldn’t use the advantage of that.”
“I then had a very exciting race and then I tried to chase Lewis down as much as possible and every time I put in a lap time he then pushed further.”
“Obviously my target was to catch Lewis, I had a good run out of Turn 4 and tried different ways to close the gap.”
Verstappen – “Yeah, it was a very challenging race and I was very happy with the race and now I’m very happy to be on the podium.”
“I just wanted clear air when Ricciardo was behind me but in the end I finished on the podium so I’m happy.”
Hamilton – “This is going to be one of the closest championships that I’ve ever been a part of, Ferrari have done a fantastic job and it’s a real change in times so we’re always trying to match it and we’ve stayed ahead.”
“This is a battle.”
Lots more to come soon!