Chinese Grand Prix raises hopes of an exciting 2017

2017 Chinese Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The difficulty of overtaking was the big talking point after Melbourne. But the Chinese Grand Prix seemed to show that passing is still possible in 2017.

F1 Fanatic readers gave the race an average rating of 7.53 out of ten. However this is well below the scores for the 2011 and 2012 races at Shanghai, both of which feature inside the top 15 races of the last ten seasons.

Here’s what you had to say about Sunday’s race:

The Chinese GP was a definite improvement on the opening race of the season in Australia, historically this circuit has shown to be more overtaking friendly and the wet conditions at the start also helped.

Sadly there wasn’t a fight for the race win, after Hamilton retained the lead at the start and after the field changed to slick tyres he was never troubled and it appeared that he was just managing his pace later on and was only going as fast as he needed to.

With the way the pack was shuffled early on after the stops to change to dry tyres and the safety cars periods Vettel was never in a position to challenge Hamilton during the race as by the time he regained second the gap to Hamilton was too big, so we didn’t get to see the two of them racing together during the Grand Prix.

Although the winner never seemed in doubt there was action behind and whether it was due to the track or the conditions, we did get to see some overtakes under the new regulations this weekend, and while the quantity may still have been down on recent years I thought the quality of the moves was up on recent seasons.

This was I think a 100% of what these regulations can produce. Even my girlfriend watched it, despite not watching F1 for over ten years.

Vettel bolting one on Riciardo, stomping pressure on Verstappen.

At no point did I get a feeling this could be a better race. Best part? DRS seemed to be not working.

Also Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be good at following a car in front.

But one person’s thriller is another’s tedious procession:

Incredibly boring most of the time. The race felt slow, dull and there we were robbed of a fight for the win. Thoroughly disappointed.

And some of you wondered whether the race would have been as good if it hadn’t rained before the start:

The race was definitely helped by the damp/overcast conditions. There was some close racing which was quite suspenseful and some non-DRS overtakes. Overall I was pretty pleased but there’s room for improvement.

I also have this sneaking suspicion that things may be not quite as close as they currently appear, given a few more races. I still think it’s advantage Mercedes with Ferrari not quite there.
Phil Norman (@Phil-f1-21)

But a recurring view among your comments was that compared to the huge amount of overtaking in this race last year, it’s no bad thing that overtaking has now become more difficult.

Loving the ‘new’ F1. Racing is racing again. Overtaking is an art rather than a right. The cars can seem to follow each other due to the harder tyres. DRS is working as a slipstream (as it was originally intended).

Anyone with a short attention span complaining about a ‘boring’ race worries me. I sincerely hope the FIA doesn’t make a snap decision and extend the DRS zones for the remainder of the season. It’s absolutely unnecessary. The drivers are actually trying moves in the non-DRS zones!

Wasn’t a classic, but the overall feel of F1 2017 is such a huge improvement on the past few years. It feels positive, it feels racey!

And others felt the quality of the race wasn’t reflected in how it was broadcast.

One of the worst camera / director jobs ever.

Zoomed in too close all the time, you get no feeling for the speed or the circuit whatsoever. Hardly any coverage on the midfield battles or the pit stops. The odd overtake we were shown was as replays, no tension building up as when you would see a car edging closer lap after lap.

That’s what I enjoy most watching a race, and i’m glad these kind of battles are back for 2017. Now just show all of them!

It would also have been a better race without DRS. It either didn’t work at all (Red Bull vs Ferrari) or too much (McLaren vs Mercedes).

I really enjoyed that race. Not knowing who would have the pace to finish where, the tyre quandary at the beginning, the classic strategy choice of whether or not to pit for fresh tyres and go faster or to stay out, and then at the end not knowing who was going to manage to catch up and overtake who.

Oh, and proper overtaking being done! And the happy drivers at the end, saying how much they enjoyed it and being friendly with each other (we’ll see how long that lasts).

Chinese Grand Prix reaction from Twitter

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Author information

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 “Chinese Grand Prix raises hopes of an exciting 2017”

  1. yes keith. dont need to read the artical, because China answered all critics of Aus with a big punch.

    we had the cars
    we had the speed
    we had DRS working only as a slight aid rather than an overtaking tool
    and….as Martin Brudel Put it…
    we had organic overtaking

    whats that if its not heading back to the F1 everyone wants to see


    1. I can’t even

    2. @greggriffiths I’m disappointed that the views of people that weren’t impressed with the Chinese GP weren’t included in the article. Past years Chinese Gp’s were better, this year some of the overtaking moves were outstanding but apart from that and the aforementioned poor FOM work the race had more and better overtaking than Melbourne but it was lead from start to finish by the same driver and one of the drivers coming up the field was considerably faster than the cars he overtook, 1.5 secs quicker. I think you are all wishful thinkers. It was good, not great.

      1. I think last year’s rules were pretty good. Yes, we have faster cars now, but the races feel slower, because the races are not as action-packed as before. China is possibly the easiest track for overtaking, yet the cars were struggling to pass even with DRS. I don’t like DRS, but sadly it’s needed more than ever.

  2. I still think it’s too early to tell, just as it was after aus. Rain always brings more excitement. The damp conditions made the RB more competative and had a bigger influence on tyre deg and/or temp. I think any dry race, merc will still easily take it from Ferrari.

    1. Except in the only dry race Ferrari took it from Merc.

  3. Personally, I think it was a dull race. But there were “natural” overtakes and that for me is very exciting! Now we just have to hope that the “Big Kahunas” don’t start messing with the DRS and making it more powerfull because I think if the DRS stays almost ineffective, the drivers will have to change their mindset and realize that they have to work hard for an overtake and then we will have a proper race with plenty of non-DRS overtakes!

    1. @gordess Agreed. There’s a lot hype surrounding this race, and I don’t know why? Great moves, even though the race started on inters which are generally good for racing but this one apart from Max was not as exciting as we are used to, and one of the stars, Vettel than the RB’s, big differential makes overtaking a little less amazing. I guess the race achieved everything that Melbourne didn’t, except an actual fight for the victory and close pack racing.

  4. F1 has uploaded so many things on YouTube that we never saw in the race. Some of them were alternative camera angles, some things were completely new. The directing was dire – it would have been so much more exciting had we actually got to see more. To add to that, the engines sound fine in fan videos but not on television.

    These factors made waking up at 6:30am less enjoyable for me

    1. @strontium

      To add to that, the engines sound fine in fan videos but not on television.

      I really don’t understand this, it’s like they haven’t changed the microphone settings from the V8 era. In fan videos you can hear all the grumbles and whistles, and actually tell the engines apart. On TV they sound completely flat.

      1. @george completely flat is probably the best description I’ve heard yet. There’s nothing to them on TV

  5. All those Twits #TL;DR

  6. ILuvSoundtracks (@)
    14th April 2017, 8:58

    Honestly not good enough compared to last year.

  7. Think it’s a case of people not knowing what they want, and therefore will never be pleased. People asked for this, and still they’re unhappy. You’ll always have them.

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