Start, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016

2016 Chinese Grand Prix Rate the Race Result

2016 Chinese Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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Is it time to call the Shanghai International Circuit a modern classic venue?

Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix earned another positive verdict from F1 Fanatic readers who gave the race an average score of 7.8 out of ten.

But that’s only the fourth-highest rating for a grand prix at this circuit over the last eight years. The Shanghai track is now the fifth-highest in F1 Fanatic’s circuit ratings.

A first-corner collision, an early Safety Car period and a flurry of passes made for a hectic start to the race. Although the action settled down later on it still earned the highest score for a race so far this year.

For some of you it raised expectations for the season ahead, although some of the more positive comments were tinged with incomprehension at the pace of the action:

If this is the standard for the rest of 2016 then I think we’re in for a treat or two. Hopefully.
Djangles LeVaughn (@Royal-spark)

Lots of battles up and down the field and most, if not all the cars seemed pretty competitive at various stages. Quite impressive that there was no retirements at all and the race was still quite exciting.

Ricciardo probably did the best job out there for me. It’s a shame he had the puncture, a podium was certainly deserved and more promisingly the Red Bull’s clearly got the pace to do it. Great recovery drives from Vettel and Raikkonen and Kvyat did brilliantly.

Bottas and Williams were a bit anonymous and seem to be losing performance on a race by race basis. McLaren were also a bit vague really – promising but vanished towards the end. Renault are looking pretty woeful.

If Rosberg doesn’t win the title this year he never will.
Adam (@Rocketpanda)

Top dollar from Rosberg apart from his start. Bad luck for Ricciardo and his puncture.

Vettel to blame for debris everywhere. Vettel’s excuses were hilarious, complaining about Kvyat driving too quickly – trying to deflect from the fact that he crashed into his team mate. Still on about it on the podium! Doing himself no favours there.

Unfortunate for Raikkonen and Hamilton, but that’s racing. Both did well to drive into the points. Couldn’t quite keep track of Mercedes’ strategy, not sure the Hamilton one worked as intended.

Lovely overtaking down the field. Baffled why Grosjean wanted to retire two laps before the end.
@Trenthamfolk

This has to go down as the best race in F1 history. ‘I think we should go to the second strategy’, ‘we are already on the second strategy’ just about explains the race.
NairobiReb

It looks like not many people have realized that Sainz took Bottas in the last lap. Unfortunately they didn’t show that on television, but I was quite interested in that final battle. Maybe not the most exciting battle ever, but not a totally processional ending either.
@Alonshow

Good race throughout the field and confirms the midfield pretty much have the same pace. The true enjoyment watching opening races this season is on the midfielder where driver skill and strategy have more important part on the outcome of the race than the car differences.

Will see how it goes after we go to European rounds and see the car developments.
@Sonicslv

Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2016
Was too much passing a bad thing?
While initial responses to the race were largely favourable, it’s striking how many of the later comments were more focused on the quality of the action which was seen rather than the quantity of overtaking:

DRS overtakes and crazy tyre options left me wondering if this was a real race… wrong direction for me.
@Smudgersmith1

Was it just me, or did the first few laps before DRS was enabled have more good racing than I have seen in a long time?

I wonder what a DRS-free race would look like. The same cars and drivers, just no DRS.
Michael (@Dedischado)

I felt the DRS was far too strong and I feel this new tyre strategy has made races interesting but really ruined wheel-to-wheel action. Drivers have little incentive to defend because they know they can overtake them near the end of the race.
Jack

And after three straightforward victories for Rosberg, many of you are hankering for a full-on scrap between the front-running teams:

Still waiting for a tight, pressurised race at the front between two Mercedes and two Ferraris. Maybe it’ll never happen.
@Bullfrog

Chinese Grand Prix ratings

RaceAverage score
2011 Chinese Grand Prix9.241
2012 Chinese Grand Prix8.648
2010 Chinese Grand Prix8.326
2016 Chinese Grand Prix7.853
2013 Chinese Grand Prix7.412
2009 Chinese Grand Prix6.690
2015 Chinese Grand Prix5.721
2014 Chinese Grand Prix5.473

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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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14 comments on “2016 Chinese Grand Prix Rate the Race Result”

  1. Shanghai and Epang are battling for the top spot as my favourite race in the Asian sub continent. If this race had a battle for the lead and a shorter DRS zone, it would be a 9 in my books

  2. I think you also have to address the deviation in the average scores, since China also brought up races with a score under 6 but other venues could have scored higher more consistently

  3. Back in 2013, the first 2 laps were absolutely crazy, but when DRS was enabled, all the good racing was ruined instantly.

    China does seem like the worst track to have DRS. Or, rather, the DRS zone they use is by far the worst: maybe it’d be a better idea to put the DRS zone before turn 11, so the cars get closer then, and they use the natural slipstream to overtake on the long straight before the harpin.

    But this being the FIA, I doubt any logical solution makes sense: using DRS at an odd place and not the best overtaking spot for instance, or diching DRS for a round or two would be great to compare how good the racing is naturally, without any artificial assistance.

    1. @fer-no65
      Just have to say that Canada is the worst track to have DRS. There are no spectator spots at the end of casino straight. Totally ruined hairpin passes

      1. And Spa. After a few years of seeing cars easily overtaking with DRS why do they not shorten them, surely they can see and have the data to shorten the zones to an extent that the overtake occurs under braking?

    2. just shows you can convince yourself DRS is not good for the show,
      yet you would like to see if it would make a difference if it was deleted for a couple of races.

      thought as much,

      at least at the moment we have tire strategy which is allowing F1 cars to attack each other,

      1. I despise DRS, but FIA won’t take it down.

  4. I am probably in the minority but I don’t really like this new tyre rule. Even though we saw a record-breaking number of overtakes in China, most of them were not for real position. One of my favourite moments of this race was Massa holding off Hamilton with both being on the same tyres. I would rather see real passes rather than what is really a strategic battle.

    And I also think the new tyre rules actually help top teams because they have more options when hit trouble.

  5. I wonder if:

    “While initial responses to the race were largely favourable, it’s striking how many of the later comments were more focused on the quality of the action which was seen rather than the quantity of overtaking”

    might refer to the different breeds of F1 viewers or indeed quality of coverage differences between broadcasters. Initial responses would have been directly after the live feed (Sky in the UK), whereas later responses may have been from watching the highlights programme hours later (C4 in the UK). Perhaps the highlights programme missed out the scraps, only going for the “kill” on the overtakes, losing some tension?

  6. Really good comments from everyone. For me too, I thought exactly the same during the race in the beginning: yes, that’s a great race! But as soon as the DRS was enabled, these 5 min of thrills were gone. It wasn’t “real” anymore. And Massa holding Ham on the same tires was entertaining for me too, real defensive drives, different lines, etc.
    I think the only track that DRS actually improved the race is Hungaroring, and like said here, today watching races at SPA and Montreal are much less entertaining for that reason.

  7. Re-DRS as we have all seen DRys comes can appear way too long at some tracks, but you can only really make a judgment on that if you take overtakes with cars on the same tyres. If 2 similarly performing cars, an the same tyres of the same age are involved with a DRS pass and the overtaking car breezes past, then the zone is obviously too long. But more often than not, the scenario I described doesn’t happen and the DRS just sets the following driver up, rather than simply sailing past in a blur.

    How about this for a solution, each tyre compound has a slightly longer DRS zone the harder it is. This could easily be connected to the settings on the steering wheel and the driver simply turns a dial to the compound that is on his car and the ECU does the rest, like changing the timing of the beep and the enabling of the DRS button.

    This way, a car on super soft tyres would have a slightly shorter DRS zone than the car on say Mediums, making up for the lower grip the driver on mediums will have exiting a corner onto a straight, giving him a fighting chance of attacking or defending.
    The engineers can tell you the advantage between compounds off the start line down to the 1st corner, so I’m sure they can work out the offset for each compound down a straight and into a braking zone.

    Just a thought.

    1. The zone would be too long if it was 1m.

  8. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    23rd April 2016, 8:11

    Slightly better than 2015.

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