Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015

2015 Chinese Grand Prix result

2015 Chinese Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2015

Pos#DriverCarLapsTime/gapDifferenceReason
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes561hr 39m 42.008s
26Nico RosbergMercedes560.7140.714
35Sebastian VettelFerrari562.9882.274
47Kimi RaikkonenFerrari563.8350.847
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes568.5444.709
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes569.8851.341
78Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes5619.0089.123
812Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari5622.6253.617
93Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault5632.1179.492
109Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari551 lap1 lap
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes551 lap2.941
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda551 lap0.747
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda551 lap2.033
1455Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault551 lap1.474
1528Will StevensManor-Ferrari542 laps1 lap
1698Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari542 laps0.346
1733Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault524 laps2 lapsPower unit
Not classified
13Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes497 laps3 lapsAccident
26Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1541 laps34 lapsPower unit
27Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes947 laps6 lapsPower loss

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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142 comments on “2015 Chinese Grand Prix result”

  1. …and the world is right-sided again.

  2. Double points finish for Sauber again stands out!

    And well done to Ro-Gro getting points for Lotus-Mercedes!

    1. Yeah, took me by surprise to see them 4th in the championship!

      1. GB (@bgp001ruled)
        15th April 2015, 0:58

        that is because all other teams are rubbish!

  3. Lotus got some points and williams discover that their new car is a failure and that their new front wing is useless, good thing Massa smashed his. The victors today are Lewis and the grandstand crowd who had a good old laugh.

    1. Yeah i was expecting Williams to be closer to Merc but they are gone backward this year.Good drive for Massa even if old wing was slightly better.

      1. Why does it have to be “backwards” for Williams, McLaren and RBR this year?! Maybe it’s just that the others made a lot bigger steps forward than them… Ferrari being the most obvious team! I mean, are their (Williams, McLaren and RBR) 2015 cars slower than 2014 cars?! If not, then these teams didn’t go BACKWARDS, it’s just the rest of the teams made big improvements.

      2. Can’t say I’m surprised about Williams, they had a great 2014 but I never thought it was sustainable to maintain their advantage given the budget and development of competitors. I don’t think they ‘gambled’ in 2014, per se, but let’s say they made good choices and the timing was right, but it’s hard for lightning to strike twice (a bit like Sauber in 2012).

    2. @peartree & @dex022 – Last year they could profit big time from Ferrari and Red Bull not having everything right. Now one of those has and they are still third. For a team that scored basically nothing in the last five years I highly doubt this is a failure or were you expecting they would dominate the works Mercedes?

      1. No ofc not,wasn’t expecting to dominate Merc team and i didn’t even say that if you read little closer.I said (considering their performance last few races last season) i was expecting for them to be little closer to Merc and not going backward.They still have best engine(Merc) and Ferrari pace today is combo of PU/AERO upgrade so that means Williams didn’t do much good on their chassis to use PU advantage they still have.

        1. @dex022, what do you expect when the two teams that are beating them – Mercedes and Ferrari – are both operating on substantially larger budgets and can, when it comes to developing their cars, comfortably outspend Williams?

          As PorscheF1 points out, Williams are more or less where you’d expect them to be – Red Bull’s problems means they’re still ahead of them, and they are ahead of the more troubled midfield pack, but realistically Williams cannot match either Ferrari or Mercedes in terms of development rates given they simply have not got the resources to compete.

          Equally, Mercedes does not have as much of a power advantage as last year – it’s quite clear from Sauber’s upswing in performance that the Ferrari powertrain is a lot more competitive this season, so whether Mercedes actually has that much of an advantage is questionable (Allison, for example, has indicated that he thinks Mercedes’s advantages are mostly in terms of aerodynamics rather than their engine performance).

          1. Williams got fair share of the money last year and last year car was built while they had no money at all after terrible 2013.So how can you argument about money hold up?They simply failed with chassis so far if they slipped behind Ferrari while still having best engine and if Renault did their job remotely good they would be behind Red Bull and maybe even Toro Rosso.

        2. How do you know Williams’s budget is on the same level of Ferrari’s and Merc’s ?
          Why do you guys think old wing is better? Both drivers and Williams confirmed after Friday new pieces had worked as expected! By the way, Massa can be on the same level of Alonso in some races in 2012/2013.

          1. @Park, as Williams are a public limited company, we know what their annual turnover is – their accounts are published on Williams’s own website.

            Similarly, we have a fairly decent picture of what Mercedes are spending based on the accounts that they submit to Companies House. Ferrari, for the moment, are subject to different financial regulations as a privately limited company, but their upcoming flotation in the US stock markets will change that position and force Ferrari to provide much more detail on their activities.

            The last set of annual accounts for Williams indicate that their annual turnover is about £120-125 million a year – now, whilst they may have more money from FOM due to finishing higher in the WCC, that would be offset by a loss of sponsorship from Maldonado, as PDVSA were pumping a lot of money into the team (in fact, that is mentioned as one reason why turnover fell in 2014).

            Mercedes’s recent accounts show that they are spending £185 million a year, or about 1.5 times what Williams have to spend – and that is just what the race team spends (i.e. excluding the turnover of Mercedes’s engine division, which has a turnover of £140 million in its own right).

      2. @xtwl Williams hired Symonds to get the team sorted out, 2014 was solid for a team that had the benefit of using the best PU, even so Williams finished 3rd even though for the most part their package earned them 2nd best. As usual for a team restructuring the 1st year is solid and the 2nd is the attack, at the moment in RELATIVE terms Williams is one the teams that went backwards the most Mr @corrado-dub . The Renault PU is even farther behind than in 2014 and Honda is new and still poor and for that reason you can’t blame the chassis maker can you? You can certainly blame Williams for not actually showing stability, if everyone had the luxury of the Merc PU and no serious money problems Williams would return surely to their poor 2011/2013 form.

    3. Both driver said new front wing is a better one!

  4. Masterful weekend, has to be Hamilton for DOTW. Rosbgerg was not even held up the gap was 2 secs and then he is moaning Lewis go faster which was so funny as Ham went see ya. Ros did not even gain on Vet much on softs when Lewis speed up. No way was Ros held up.

    1. *went faster after destroying Rosberg’s tyres…I think it wasn’t really great driving by Hamilton, and there are many more deserving Drivers of the Weekend:
      Ricciardo: for battling so valiantly in a car which is looking desperately underpowered and providing entertainment;
      Verstappen: for fighting through the field, and showing some old hands a thing or two, only to be deprived at the end;
      Nasr: for having a strong race, outperforming his team-mate, and continuing to bring points to his team…

      Just because Hamilton won in a dominant car does not justify making him DOTW by any means.

      1. Nico, is that you?

        1. you made my day mate :D

        2. It was nico’s wife, nico was busy crying :)

          1. Even better! :D

        3. @ivan-vinitskyy
          Aahahaha
          You’re killing us mate!

      2. Agree 100%.

        Would put Alonso in there too – his pace in the final stint was incredible.

      3. @stigrennfahrer In which world is was Hamilton destroying Rosberg’s tyres? If Rosberg thought Hamilton was going too slow he should have overtaken him instead of crying to the pit wall and in the interview.

        1. +100. I didn’t expect Nico to pack it in mentally this early in the season. His “mental preparation” over the winter break (whatever it was) sure didn’t help any. I’m sure that Nico would say he’s supposed to “follow team instructions” and be a team player, but for God’s sake, this is RACING. If the car in front of you is going too slowly, GO BY HIM. It’s the middle stint, for crying out loud, not a last-laps-hold-station scenario. I know he got a tongue-lashing after Spa last year, but no one who hopes to be champion would let that keep him from attacking. Not a Nico fan but sad to see him become a shadow of a racer.

    2. He was first in FP1, 2 and 3, in qualifying and in the race. DOTW without question.

    3. Lewis has exactly the car he needs underneath and Ferrari’s pressing is only going to hurt the clueless Rosberg. This Merc line-up is mimicking Vettel-Webber, Rosberg has missed the only chance he ever got to have a chance to win the champ.

  5. Great drive by LH today. Systematically backing Rosberg into Vettel and destroying both their tyres. Obviously Nico realised this but that is the price of not being the lead car

    1. Rosberg was not the only one to fall into that trap. Ferrari – at least with Vettel, also lost out by more tyre degradation than they were expecting. That is why I believe that Ferrari should have tried a different strategy.

      1. But with an inferior raw pace all they could have done is to upset the Merc.

      2. Given how slow Ferrari were on medium a strategy of soft-medium-soft would have put Ferrari back too much so they went for the more conventional strategy. Did not pan out but no harm, no foul.

        However Rosberg should have tried a different strategy. Lewis was over managing his tyres from the start of the race. Nico should have asked for mediums on the first pitstop and gone on softs in the second pitstop. He would have lost position to Vettel, maybe even Raikonnen after the first stop but would have easily made it up on the track after the second stop and possibly attacked Hamilton for the lead. Safety car would have made it moot today but Nico needs to take risk of a different strategy to try to beat Hamilton on track.

        The question is does Nico not want to take the risk or are the team telling him he cant choose a different strategy as it may end up costing them 1-2?

        1. Lewis’ engineer asked him what tyres he wanted at the first stop. NICO got told.

          Is that the team playing favourites our is it they know that Nico needs to be babied?

          My money is on the second. Fast, he may be but a racer he is not.

          1. Lewis explained the situation before (as much as i remember it was like this):

            When initially they started to practice, Lewis was beating Nico, team allowed telemetry sharing between the drivers. Nico would study Lewis’s line/set up (if you hear Nico in races/practises/quali he always asks specific questions about his team mate)… He tries them himself, and work out a better pace… he did this many times, to Ham’s distaste, Nico when he found a better line/set up, he doesnt use them until very late, to keep Ham from benefiting. Ham was vocal about this before, nothing is done to improve it, he started doing it himself as well… You see Ham always bring out the rabbit from his hat in the last mins lately…

            Thats what it is i think… it just looks different out there…

      3. Weren’t Mercedes covering Ferrari?

        They saw Vettel pitting for softs and opted for softs on their second stint.

      4. It seemed clear by mid second stint that in normal temps Ferrari would make no headway pace-wise against the Mercs and that Lewis was running very slowly to successfully manage their tires. Ferrari’s only hope of splitting the Mercs then would have been, as you say, to try something radically different (the mindset they had in Sepang). There was such a large gap back to Williams that they could have tried bringing in Vettel for another stop and run the last stint on another set of softs (even those with a couple of laps on them) and make a low fuel dash of quali laps to the flag while the Mercs were on mediums. Maybe the late safety car would have put paid to their efforts, but at least it would have been an effort to think differently and would have really spiced up the race. I think Ferrari were too conservative today. Success can make you conservative, and I sure hope for the sake of the season that they don’t become satisfied with being number 2 this year.

        1. And that would have been better than a 1-2 how?

          The teams job is to maximise the points to win the constructors championship and thus the prestige and most money…

          The individual racers positions are secondary…

          Further – at no time did NR look even near to coping with LH speed during this race let along over a season and he was totally flattered by LH reliability issues throughout last year. LH quite simple knew it was irrelevant if NR qualified in front as he knew he could get past him at some point. He has struggled with the break manufacturer Merc uses and it costs him. Not so much this year as practice makes perfect.

          It would seem NR has been spoiled by the pace of his car to the extent he expects race wins to be provided for him. He kind of forgot you have to race and be faster than the guy in front as well as occasionally overtaking him rather than relying on him to help you to win or some magical strategy to do it for you. Equally he has forgotten what it is to fight with someone on your backside that is as or faster than you and all the clever media stuff will eventually backfire.

          LH got slated last year for commenting that he was hungrier than NR – well hopefully all those that got involved in that little commentary now know what he meant. NR has been spoilt and simply sees it as his right to win at all others expense.

          Welcome to the real world…

          The trouble is that Sv is the real challenger at the moment and if NR does not get his act together and realise wins are earnt not provided then I have no doubt that Merc will do it for him as they require 1-2 in the face of this rather swift Ferrari and won’t allow his pretentious requirements to get in the way. They also will not allow you to cheat your way through, or argue the team are in some way at fault for managing a 1-2 situation or pandering to requirements from the not work champion and for that they should be applauded.

          In other words get in front and race – do not expect you will ever be as fast as your team mate as on the days you are… well he just comes up and overtakes you mechanical gremlins aside.

          Do the same or take up knitting or something…

          1. As pointed out in the pre-race, Nico has had no success, now that they banned radio messages designed to help a driver drive better. His comments when he heard he just missed out on pole ‘c’mon guys…’ was (to me) a personal testament to the fact he needs their help to beat Lewis. He had every opportunity, LH messed up, the track was more rubbered in, everything was in his favour, yet he barely managed to hold P2.

            Regarding the spat about ‘being held up’: i never saw him pull out of the dirty air to be seen, or get to within DRS to make LH feel he is going at a pace where he is holding Nico up and should press on. his comments were, (again to me) simple comments designed to throw suspicion off of him and onto LH (or anyone else who could share some of the blame).

  6. Williams are in a strange position, nowhere near Ferrari or Merc but there’s no threat from behind.

    1. @f1bobby It’s good. Get points, finish third overall and cash in. Brings them financial stability to continue where they started with in 2014.

      1. Not if McLaren are back in form, which nearly everyone expect mid season.

        1. are back in form

          @abdelilah – You mean their 2014 form? Or their 2013 form? McLaren are at the back for at least entire 2015. I doubt they’ll even score a point.

          1. Considering they are 150 bhp down at the moment they will be much faster if they can recover that power loss, I mean their 10-11-2012 form.

          2. 150bhp? Button with DRS was faster than Lotus on the back straight. I don’t think DRS is worth that much. More likely McLaren have low downforce issue too.

  7. Great drives by Hamilton, Vettel, Verstappen and also Grosjean who did very well to bag some points.

    Rosberg is looking more and more like 2011-2013 Mark Webber with each passing race.

    1. Like MW. Except less likeable.

    2. Nico really should’ve attempted some overtakes before complaining.

  8. Those laps at the end of the first stint by Lewis were simply stunning. Disappointed not to see what came of the the Kimi/Seb race near the end, although I doubt it would have come to much – Seb is likely to have had a bit in hand.

    1. Not just first, every stint in the end, 3 or 4 laps to go Lewis seemed to have at least a second over everyone else.
      Near the end of second stint Lewis was doing better times than Vettel or Rosberg on new hards. I was wondering why didn’t keep going?

      1. I did wonder that, although I think they probably wanted to not diverge too much from the Ferrari plan – too big a risk?

        Also, noted how much faster Lewis was than Nico in the last 10 or so laps. Very interesting race (albeit not exciting) – lots to learn from it.

      2. They call him, worryin a sudden SC…which did happenend later…

        1. In laps 31-32, at the end of Lewis’ second stint, he set 2 blistering laps with very similar time: 1.42.209 and 1.42.298. At that point he smashed the fastest lap by 0.8 seconds. See how Rosberg, Vettel, Raikkonen compared in laps 31-34.
          http://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/2015_03_chn_f1_r0_timing_racelapanalysis_v01.pdf

  9. Max Verstappen fought so hard and well for that 8th, again making the main Red Bull team look poor (this circuit was meant to be a true reflection of their performance right?) and making his detractors look foolish.

    It’s going to be an awkward debrief for Renault this week.

  10. Verstappen making a mockery of FIA’s age limit. Arguably best driver in the field for the second week running, brilliant. Compare his overtaking to that of Ricciardo, so much easier.

    1. “Arguably the best driver on the grid”… This after only his third race? I want what you are taking.

      1. Hamilton again cruising to victory… Looks like rosberg has no answer at the moment … Good drives by vettel and kimi too..its a pitty that safety car came out at the wrong time when kimi looked like putting vettel under a bit of pressure … Max verstapen is a star in the making …

      2. Not saying he is the best driver in the field (?!) but that he was the driver of the weekend for me. Obviously not the same as the guy who can drive away from the lead but attacking (arguably) faster cars and doing so successfully..

      3. I never knew to be best driver on the grid you had to have driven a certain amount of races! What is the limit? 15 seasons?

    2. Also, am I the only one who thinks most of his moves consist of ‘ridiculous late braking and hoping the other guy sees me’. It might work now but won’t when h’s racing the top dogs.

      1. No you aren’t!I think he still needs more races under his belt before he loses the lower formulas type of overtaking, the “let me through or we crash”.I was thinking he was being a bit too aggressive while watching the race.

        1. “let me through or we crash”

          That’s a classic Ayrton Senna overtake

      2. @xtwl thought so too, and if , or when, he collides everyone will put it down to his inexperience.

      3. I could agree with you on that but still his braking was perfect with no lock up or very little.It seams that his breaks were perfect or he is really spot on today on them.I think that his victims weren’t expecting that he will be so good on brakes because they would defending corner harder and before M.V. had his chance to outbreak them.

      4. You are probably right about his moves … But the way he controls the car without locking the wheels during tge late breaking manouvers is something not many drivers out there do … A long way to go and a lot to learn but he does look like a future star…

      5. Weird that, not to make hyperbolic suggestions like Brundle has been doing, but ‘overtaking and using late braking to force people wide or force a collision’ is exactly what people praised ruthless Senna and Schumacher for. Have we all gotten so damn tame?!

        1. That is one of the reasons that i never liked any of them but i don’t deny their great driving skills.But some of their on track moves were selfish,self-centered and only minding for their gain and not safety of them or other drivers.Someone would say that is what makes racing driver but think about it how much penalties would they get today for causing a collision or pushing drivers of the track and they did that when racing was close.

          1. Which is more indicative of how sanitised and clinical F1 is today than anything else.

      6. Also wonder what else he could possibly do? He was faster but his car wasn’t. Should he just stay behind the slower driver like we have seen so often in the past or try something different? That’s racing.

        1. wait out for less risky opportunity…

          1. Yes, wait for the DRS zone …

      7. To paraphrase Mario Andretti: “Most drivers think the brakes are for slowing the car down.” Some drivers have incredible feel for the brakes, and can use them to balance the car on the way in to the apex even when braking as late as possible. And that is all that he did– his moves demonstrate phenomenal braking feel. If you watch his onboard video, approaching the brake zone it seems he is too far back to contemplate a move, and nothing in his body language in the car suggested he was. But he can go to the brakes so late that he closes up incredibly under the brakes, so much so that I think he surprised even himself. Meanwhile, his car is balanced enough to be ready to turn in before the leading car even though he went to the brakes much later. The only option at that point to avoid running into the car ahead is to turn in and dive for the apex. The fact that he had no lockup, no slide, and did not go wide on the exit indicates that he made those moves with car phenomenally under control and balanced. Those were not “lunges,” they were unplanned outbraking maneuvers that show how much better he is on the brakes than the driver ahead. With those skills and that mindset, knowing that he is under control when goes for a move, he will do fine against the top dogs. Champions don’t wait for a “less risky opportunity” when a perfectly good one presents itself, because you never know if the DRS zone will work out. The sport is about calculated risk, and he seems good at that too. I for one am impressed.

        1. Interested to know exactly what you mean. Do you mean that Verstappen routinely brakes late and the fact that others brake earlier catches him by surprise, forcing him to use his superior feel and use of brakes to dodge those ahead of him and automatically force him into a move? That’s definitely what it felt like with the overtake on Sainz in Malaysia, but not sure I would consider that a hugely positive thing. Yes in terms of the late braking and the ability to pull it off, but not in terms of anticipation of the braking of others…

      8. I have to disagree. All the moves I have seen him make consist of blocking the other guy from turning into the apex using late braking. No risk of crashing as cars are level and you’d have to be stupid to turn in on a car that’s level with you. It’s a tried and tested skill which Verstappen is very good at. What I haven’t seen is his competition trying the cut back which is probably indicative of the level of skill in the midfield. Look at Button and Perez. Jenson knew he was vulnerable on the straight, let Perez passed and then took the wide angle cut back to power out of the corner and retake Perez.

        1. Isn’t blocking your opponent from turning in not the essence of overtaking???

        2. ‘What I haven’t seen is his competition trying the cut back which is probably indicative of the level of skill in the midfield.’
          Wrong, it’s because Max is in control while doing the manouvre. It enables him to put the car in the correct position and angle on the exit. The other guy could try to counter if Max would miss the apex, but he just wouldn’t… ;)

    3. It’s not hard, the FIA can’t do much worse at that themselves!

  11. PC : Rosberg complaining about LH slow speed, that’s funny.

    1. Then go and overtake him right? )

      1. I’ll let that to Vettel, thank you.

    2. Hahaha, the funniest bit of today, agreed

    3. Hamilton could have gone much faster if he wanted. Going too slow he exposed Rosberg and team to Vettel’s Ferrari. Rosberg could not try to pass him either as that would have destroyed his tires.

      While Hamilton’s strategy was possibly best for him personally, it was not best for the team.

      1. If the roles were reversed Hamilton would have taken the fight to Rosberg – complaining on the radio that your team mate is ‘too slow’ doesn’t do much for Rosberg’s reputation as a sportsman. Ultimately, the team scored a comfortable 1-2 and all the chatter about Ham backing Ros up is a case of journalists being desperate for something to talk about.

      2. What team are you talking about (stop hiding behind the team excuse)? If he was faster, he should have overtaken Hamilton.

        What do you think would have happened if the roles were reversed? You can bet that Hamilton would have tried to overtake him.

        They are there to race not destroy their tires. If was Vettel in front doing it would he have asked the team to tell Vettel to speed up?

        How many time did Hamilton overtake Rosberg last year?

        I don’t even know why this is even an issue. He lost and he should just shut up and do better at the next race.

          1. Trenthamfolk (@)
            12th April 2015, 21:08

            Indeed… Rosberg cheated last season and STILL couldn’t win… that little boy knows a lot about the dark side of the track himself, and look where it gets him…

      3. How could the team have had a better result than 1-2? At the end of the day (before the safety car) Nico was comfortably in front of Sebastian. Lewis did no damage to the team.

        Lewis drove to win – as he should. Those years driving with Jensen have clearly taught him that winning does not mean driving absolutely flat out on every lap, but looking after the car and tyres and maintaining track position.

        When was the last time Nico overtook Lewis on the track? Even though he has a better record from qualifying in 2014 – he has never managed to actually pass Lewis (other than when he destroyed Lewis’ tyres in Belgium…)

      4. I think that Rosberg asking the team to give Hamilton a hurry up was fair enough- it should be embarrassing for him, but it made sense. He clearly couldn’t get close enough to attempt to pass, so was just sitting in an uncomfortable position just outside of the influence of Hamilton’s dirty air but closer to Vettel than ideal. Rosberg requesting that Hamilton go faster for the good of his position, and Mercedes subsequently asking that of Hamilton, is logical for the team at this early championship stage.

        What is not logical is the frankly pathetic attitude and opinion that Rosberg demonstrated after the race. He felt Hamilton was too slow, his concerns were noted, and Hamilton was given a hurry-up allowing Rosberg to eventually take 2nd very comfortably. That should be the end, as the team scored a cautious but comfortable 1-2 with a lot still in hand as a response to their surprise defeat in the previous race. Instead we hear him complaining about Hamilton being faster than him, but apparently not fast enough. That’s one of the strangest racing driver complaints I have heard, and I hope he hears it back later and realises how ridiculous that is.

        1. I think in the race Rosberg was actually wrong. Hamilton’s strategy assured himself AND Rosberg 1st and 2nd. That should be carefully pointed out to him by Mercedes management. The comments in the post-race interview were clearly designed to ‘appeal’ to his team to tell off Hamilton for ‘risking’ his race (which he didn’t: Vettel was forced to pit earlier) and give himself some kind of edge, and also to simply wind Hamilton up.

          It’s getting a bit cringe-inducing now. Last race we had the attempt to hold Hamilton up in qualifying which backfired. Then the really weird post-qualifying interview when he pretended to be a journalist interviewing Hamilton. This race an attempt to get Hamilton to sacrifice his own optimal race for his sake. Then a weird post-race interview. It’s all getting to feel like he’s stalking Hamilton a bit rather than racing him.

          1. The funny thing is that he appears like he lost his sanity while Lewis laughs with the craziness.

      5. @blackbox
        Are you saying these tyres still don’t allow for overtaking?

    4. I know – made me laugh. Back to his whinging on the radio; if he’s not asking the team to coach him around the lap he’s complaining about Hamilton.

  12. Nico is beyond petty.

    1. And he got the better strategy for the second pitstop, getting called in earlier but by the time Lewis stopped and came out Nico was I think six seconds behind.

      1. I think better strategy was to stay out longer, as did Ham, because at that stage softs were faster than new Mediums, at least for Ham.

        1. But Rosberg was losing chunks of time to Hamilton each lap at that point.

  13. I remember the old days when you could tell if a circuit was a driver track or constructor track when you used to get the Noah’s arc formation.

    It seems these days every race is about the car as there is a clear Noah’s arc formation.

    Hamilton will lead Rosberg throughout the year. Ferrari will be battling for the podium. Williams will be fighting for 5th and 6th whilst Saubers, torro Rossos and red bull will be fighting for top ten points every week just to get 1,2, 4 or 6 points.

  14. Having superbly outthought Mercedes in Malaysia, Ferrari played into their rivals hands by using the stupid “undercutting” plan. The Mercs were clearly much faster here in China and all they had to do was cover Ferrari’s move and they’d be home and dry. They moment they brought Vettel in early and before either Merc, I knew that this race was done for as far as the Maranello team were concerned.

    IMO. they should have tried something different – something that Merc would back -off from mimicking. I was hoping for a longer first stint on the softs by the Ferraris, thereby not telegraphing their intentions and forcing the Mercs to come in earlier than themselves. Ferrari then should have kept a short middle stint with the mediums followed by another long one with fresh softs. As it was, Ferrari could not have done worse had they sent a text message to Toto Wolff about their strategy.

    1. Could Ferrari have held off for much longer on their first stint though?

      From both the first and second stints on the softs, it was clear that Hamilton was deliberately holding back in the opening laps of his stints in order to be able to push harder towards the end of them. If anything, the gap to Vettel and Raikkonen actually grew slightly faster towards the end of the stint, suggesting that Ferrari didn’t have much, if any, advantage in terms of tyre preservation on the softs.

      Vettel, earlier in the race, was asked if he could push harder and replied that he was already at his limits, but Hamilton’s bursts of pace before his pit stops suggests that he deliberately left himself with pace in hand in order to pull out a gap when required.

      1. I think that they could have done. Even if Vettel had not been called in, the Mercs would have had to come in anyway around the same time that they did. In practice, it was clear that the Ferraris were much kinder on their tyres than the Mercs and while I agree that the difference may not have been as much in race trim, IMO it would still have been there. Vettel seemed to be doing pretty well on his first softs – even inching up on Rosberg; ironically, that was what probably prompted his team to try the undercutting manoeuvre which did not work. Had Ferrari not called Vettel in, the Mercs would have come in any way and that might have released Vettel for a few more laps on the softs without worrying about front-tyre degradation from Rosberg’s car.

        1. Well – you need to go and analyse the sector and individual times.

          SV was on the limit and at the end of his tyre life trying to catch NR.

          LH simply blitzed off when required and had 1.3 in his pocket after six laps longer on the soft tyres than had been achieved in practice.

          That there is what caught out Ferrari – they thought the Merc would chew through the tyres at that pace (i.e. them going fast) and found that actually that was not the case. When the car was set up right it had pace to spare and did not eat its tyres. Well in LH hands anyway. NR less so as he spent more time moaning that driving.

          You need to replay the fast laps from LH at 6 laps past what anyone expected the soft tyres to last to see the reality of the pace he had in hand.

    2. @loup-garou
      I think that they had no chance to finish ahead of the Mercedes anyway. Tyre degradation was pretty much the same between Mercedes and Ferrari and Mercedes has an advantage in terms of pace, especially on the mediums.
      Ferrari just tried to annoy Mercedes with Vettel, maybe to force them into making mistakes.

      In Malaysia Ferrari had a much better tyre degradation, they had more flexibility with the strategy. Today.. I’m not sure they could have extended their stints with the soft tyres for much longer.

      1. You are probably quite right, but IMO Ferrari should at least have tried something different than what they did today. I am not totally convinced that soft tyre degradation between Merc and Ferrari were the same; in practice they seemed to last longer on the scarlet cars. Vettel seemed to be doing pretty well on the first softs, even inching-up on Rosberg, when he was called-in.
        But I agree that speed differential between the two teams on medium tyres was quite obvious and that is why I believe that Ferrari should have worked out a plan where their stint on the medium tyres would be as short as practically possible. That, and the fact that Mercs would not have been certain about Ferrari’s strategy had the latter stayed out a bit longer on the first softs makes me think that they should have planned it that way. If, after a long stint on the first softs Ferrari had called Vettel in after a short spell with the mediums, Mercedes might even have been fooled into thinking that their rivals were trying a 3-stopper.

      2. They could try to do a 3 stop strategy for one of their cars, they would be able to cover Williams easily and see what they could get out of that. Especially given how slower they were with the Medium tyre.

    3. @loup-garou @afonic I agree with both of you. With the good Merc pace advantage on mediums, Ferrari had no chance to split the Mercs with their conservative strategy. In Malaysia, they thought quickly on their feet, here not. When they got the information from Vettel that he was on the limit, there was I think a 4 second gap to Rosberg. They could have asked Vettel to slow a bit and prioritize tyre management to push Merc to see how long they could/would go without pitting. And then split strategy with one of their cars and 3 stop for a short medium stint and extra soft stint on low fuel at the end. You have to push a dominant team into uncomfortable choices in order to hopefully create errors. They had the gap to Williams to try something creative to see if it would work. I hope with their early success this season they don’t go into conservative thinking mode and try to preserve number 2 constructor’s instead of trying to exploit their tyre deg advantage with unconventional strategy to attack Mercedes. No risk, no reward.

  15. “It’s now interesting to hear from you Lewis that you were just thinking about yourself with the pace at the front,” he said, sitting alongside Hamilton in the press conference.

    “Unnecessarily, that was compromising my race, because driving slower than was maybe necessary at the beginning of stints meant Sebastian was very close to me.

    “That opened up the opportunity for Sebastian to try that early pitstop to try and jump me, and then I had to cover him.

    “First of all it was unnecessarily close with Sebastian and also it cost me a lot of race time as a result, as I had to cover him.

    “And my tyres died at the end of the race because my stint was so much longer.

    “So I’m unhappy about that.”

    Hamilton was unmoved by Rosberg’s complaints and insisted that he was only thinking about his own performance when he was conserving his tyres.
    “It’s not my job to look after Nico’s race,” he argued.

    “My job is to manage the car and bring the car home as healthy and fast as possible.

    “That is what I did.

    “I didn’t do anything intentionally to slow any of the cars up. I just focused on myself.

    “If Nico wanted to get by he could try, but he didn’t.”

    What? Does Nico know how racing works?

    1. Sadly, looks like he doesn’t. Instead of fighting Hamilton wheel to wheel as he sometimes did in the last 2 seasons, Rosberg is turning petulant. Not a good sign because only he has a car that can challenge Hamilton. If Rosberg continues with this attitude, this could turn from a boring 2-horce race to a farcical 1-horse one.

      1. @loup-garou Racing wheel to wheel hasn’t worked out well for Nico at any point though (although some may have a different view of Spa). I don’t blame him for trying something different. Although if I were him I probably would have chosen a tactic that didn’t make me look pathetic and whining.

    2. I’m enjoying watching Nico fail this year sooo much.

      1. You’re not alone.

        1. I think anyone who loves a racer using his instinct enjoys a driver like Nico being taught lessons.

    3. This has to be one of the most ridiculous quotes from a ‘racing’ driver in the history of motorsport. Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole, he was leading the race and therefore it is his prerogative to dictate the pace of the race the best way he sees fit in order to win. Rosberg used this tactic himself in 2013, only difference was that it was at Monaco where it is practically impossible to overtake!

      If Nico doesn’t like it and thinks he can go faster then he should overtake and set the pace for himself! But then history has shown Lewis more than has Nico’s number when it comes to wheel to wheel racing. I honestly think this is just frustration and lashing out from Nico that no matter how hard he tries Hamilton will always be that bit better. Perhaps the realisation that last year was his best shot of becoming champion too and it slipped away. I mean its understandable in a way, it has to be pretty irritating to keep being beaten by someone you’ve known since you were a teenager. Its not an attractive character trait though.

    4. That was embarrassing. I’m glad my recording cut off so I didn’t see that. Kudos to Lewis for holding his tongue there when it would have been in his rights to tell Nico to shut his trap. I can’t remember what race, maybe Austin, when the tables were turned. In that case, the team told Lewis to hold back but he just went and dusted Rosberg.

    5. Yeah just watched that press conference, utterly ridiculous by Rosberg, he was speaking like a petulant child.

      Vettel was trying not to laugh at Rosberg in that press conference I think.

      1. Trenthamfolk (@)
        12th April 2015, 21:11

        Even the big cry-baby ‘I don’t talk on the grid anymore’ Vettel was laughing… Rosberg has hit a new low…

      2. ‘he was speaking like a petulant child’
        He is that child. And he is a woman.

  16. I hope that Rosberg loses the championship just based on his disgusting attitude. He blamed the team yesterday for not qualifying on pole, and blames Lewis today just for looking after his tyres? Even Hamilton at his worst has a better attitude than Rosberg. Based on Rosberg’s bad performance in the first three races, it looks like he will easily lose the championship to Lewis.

    1. Unless he pulls out one of his dirty play tricks in a crucial moment of the championship, that is my fear, deciding the championship with cheats as he tried blocking lewis qualifying lap in Malaysia.

  17. My issue with Rosberg’s comments re Hamilton’s speed is that: if it was so devastating for Rosberg’s race and there was nothing he could do about it, why on earth didn’t he do the same thing to Vettel? He could give himself breathing room from Hamilton to preserve his tyres and at the same time destroy Vettel’s race. He would guarantee second and have the benefit of, if he managed his tyres better than Hamilton, overcutting Hamilton for the win.

    ….But he didn’t, presumably because he is talking crap.

    1. He didn’t because Vettel would have done what Rosberg should have done, but appparently can’t: Race.

      1. Probably because, if he tried the same thing as (he thought) Ham did , Vettel would jump all over him! Not leaving him any breathing space he was thinking he could have… Vettel would destroy his tyres yes but he would also force Ros to make mistake which he does under pressure…

        Also I dont think Vettel would mind Keeping 2 sec or less gap between ros and himself :) it would mean opportunity…

  18. Renault has some serious work to do in their factory. Ric had to use his 3rd engine now, only after the 3rd race. And today 2 out of the 4 cars burned up, a disastrous Grand Prix for them.

    Let’s hope Renault can bring about some good improvements soon, cuz’ now things are not going well for them.

  19. Have to think Brundle’s correct to say the cars are finding it harder to follow this year with the higher nose. On this circuit with the long corners racing was basically impossible without mistakes or big car mismatches/ being out of position.

  20. Great to see Maldonado back in form….:)

    1. He did a hat-trick! Unbelievable record even if some of them are not his fault… I m just guessing he is spending the money wisely on his paid-for seat :)

  21. Not sure I’ve ever heard a driver complain that their championship rival is driving too slowly. Rosberg is currently bringing some disrepute to himself and the sport.

    1. He is revolutionary.

  22. Martin Brundle on the commentary was constantly mentioning the word “undercut”..
    what is it ?? a strategy ?
    “Vettel looking for the undercut”

    1. An undercut is when a driver pits a few laps earlier to get ahead of someone else who was already ahead of them before the pitstops. For example, if Hamilton is behind Rosberg but pits a few laps earlier, he might be ahead of Rosberg a few laps later as Hamilton had fresher tyres so he can push and Rosberg can’t as his tyres are old. Rosberg then pits a few laps later, and finds out that somehow he is behind Hamilton.

      1. Also, when you go for pit, sometime drivers are over cautious or crew makes mistake, it is kind of a gamble… and if you did it at the right time, for example behind a traffic like backmarkers etc to keep a distance for a clean air (as the traffic has to pit as well)… basically it is a strategy to get ahead of the guy in front of you…

  23. Not a good advert for Renault today, but I am pleased the Honda engine is improving…Alonso was going well for the last part of the race…but I am curious, although the Engine is Honda, are all the other parts gearbox…mgu.. etc etc by them as well, or do they share common parts with other cars??

  24. Safety car was unnecessary, there being plenty of space for ‘racers’ to negotiate the track without infringing safety concerns. And what a shambles they made of moving the broken car! Kimi was robbed of a third place, which makes me suspect foul play in the political office.

    1. Ah yes, the infamous “political office,” where, er, people conspire to sabotage the race of the most popular driver in F1 for…reasons.

  25. I think Marcus Ericsson did well.

  26. Did Sainz finish ahead of Button? The Formula 1 website has shows Sainz as 13th and Button as 14th. I thought Sainz finished 14th.

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