RaceFans Live: 2018 Chinese Grand Prix

848 comments on “RaceFans Live: 2018 Chinese Grand Prix”

  1. Hello everyone and welcome to RaceFans Live for the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend!

    The big development at the track today has been Liberty Media’s announcement about what they plan to do with F1 in 2021. We’ve got a few more details which weren’t in the press release – find out more here:


    And also read @DieterRencken‘s first-hand account of day one at the track here in the first of his new series of articles here:


  2. Well, looking forward to see those cars in the heat on this very different track. Let’s see where the balance lies this weekend, and who manages to make good on their promise (or luck in/out)

  3. The more I hear the new theme music, the less I understand the initial backlash against it. It works, and I can see it becoming recognisable quickly.

    1. Think it was just because people didn’t see it with pictures. On its own it sounded generic.

      1. Which is why I didn’t understand why they did not just show it with something like a short reminder of last year’s racing or something. Oh, well, new things to argue about turned up this weekend :)

      2. Yeah, sounds plausible. I’m not a fan of this kind of premature judgement, but I guess it’s just par for the course on the internet.

  4. Hey guys – any updates on official F1 streaming?

    1. Good question, I too would like to have that soon!

      1. Don’t think it’s going to be before China at this rate.

        1. Good to know. I’ll stick to VIPbox for now.

          1. You can sign up for updates on F1 TV here.

  5. Lots of flow-vis on McLaren’s new sidepods bits.

    1. I hope there will be nice pictures of how that looks when he gets back! Good to see them with updates.

  6. Oh dear. Renault reliability problems?

    1. Verstappen already looking at needing to replace his first turbo? oh, dear.
      So, that’s his FP1 over, right?

      1. or can they get it back to the pits, fix it and go out (time permitting)?

        1. Yes, they’re allowed to do that. Doesn’t bode well, though.

        2. I guess they can, given Verstappen is about to push it to the pit-entry line then.

          1. That does make things easier for them, but it’s not a prerequisite. If the car strands somewhere on the circuit and is brought back on a tow truck, they’re still allowed to send it out on the track again if they manage to fix it in time.

    2. Bound to be, now that McLaren have their engines!

  7. Branded Halo on the Force India now.

    1. the havaianas thing?

  8. Interesting to hear Stroll yesterday was saying the engine problem which cost him a place to Ocon at the start in Australia was similar to what happened to Rosberg in Spain in 2016 which led to that crash with Hamilton.

  9. Guess Williams and Sauber are quite similar in what they need to work on!

    1. That sounded like an obvious setup for a “the driver” joke, but seeing as it’s Leclerc who spun, I had to bite my tongue.

  10. Hamilton: “There was someone spun.”
    “It happened right in front of you, it was Stroll.”
    Hamilton: “I couldn’t see, they were behind the board.”
    “There was no yellows at the time you went past so no worries.”

  11. Have both McLarens received the barge boards upgrade?
    Any other discrepancies between cars/drivers than FI on the upgrade front?

  12. Times so far:

    Hamilton 1’32.532
    Bottas 1’33.001
    Vandoorne 1’33.647
    Raikkonen 1’33.770
    Vettel 1’33.926
    Gasly 1’33.977
    Grosjean 1’33.995
    Hulkenberg 1’34.214
    Ricciardo 1’34.256
    Magnussen 1’34.341
    Alonso 1’34.759
    Stroll 1’34.845
    Ocon 1’34.868
    Hartley 1’34.947
    Perez 1’35.191
    Sirotkin 1’35.217
    Leclerc 1’35.530
    Ericsson 1’35.661
    Sainz Jnr 1’35.809

    1. on what tires??????????????

  13. LOL, crofty praising Alonso for going third w. .6s off HAM on softer tyres than VAN who was third already for some time at 1s …

  14. Leclerc: “Box, I have a problem. I crossed the line in the pit entry, I don’t know if that’s OK but I have a problem. The steering wheel is not on straight.”

  15. Looks like Ferrari are stronger in hotter temperatures as they were last year.

    1. In cooler conditions tomorrow with the engines turned up it should surely be a Mercedes front row.

    2. And also, I guess that first hour was spent running a low power mode, which explains the extra second the Ferrari’s and Merc’s got out now.

  16. That’s a very encouraging lap for Red Bull.

  17. First pictures from practice here:

    Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

  18. They’re ending the session with a test of the new race suspension procedure. Details as follows:

    At the end of P1 all drivers who would like to participate in the suspended race procedure test should take the chequered flag, complete the lap, enter the pit lane and form up in a line in the fast lane. Engines should be switched off and the car power cycled.

    Red lights will be shown around the track when the last car on the track takes the chequered
    flag after the end of the session.

    Within a few minutes a “race resumption” time will be displayed on the timing monitors and the pit exit will open at the appointed time, drivers who were in the pits when the chequered flag was shown may join the back of the line of cars leaving the pits from the fast lane. During this lap the track light panels will display “SS” when the first car reaches S1. Drivers should then complete a lap, without overtaking, and proceed to the grid and form up in the correct grid box as indicated by the grid light panels. Once all the cars are on the grid the main race start light procedure will be initiated, when the red lights are extinguished drivers should leave the grid in an orderly fashion, they should not attempt to carry out a practice start.

  19. Raikkonen not happy at being left without tyre blankets during the race suspension simulation after practice:

    Raikkonen: “I don’t know why we don’t put the blankets on the tyres?”
    Santi: “So basically Kimi we were not expecting such a long stop, we should have been immediately, it’s not. We are trying to organiser with the blankets but it will be difficult.”
    Raikkonen: “It’s too late now. You knew the whole day that we’re going to do it since yesterday so it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure it out how long it’s going to last.”

    1. Harsh words, but not untrue there from Kimi.

  20. Welcome back for second practice everyone! The conditions should be much more representative now.

  21. We’ve got some more details on what the teams were told in Bahrain today:

    Liberty will not abolish Ferrari’s F1 prize money bonus in 2021

  22. where did Jackie Stewart get a flip phone?

  23. PEMEX(Mexico’s state-owned oil company) logo on the mirrors of the Force India-interesting.

  24. Lap times were 1.3s faster than FP1 in this session last year. Sub-90s lap times coming up in the next hour?

    1. In the next 5 minutes I believe :)

  25. Spin for Ericsson – strange to see a car go around there.

    1. Wind maybe destabilising him? bit odd indeed. But, it’s Ericsson

      1. oh, yeah, there was some oil on track there, didn’t we hear that on a radio message before?

          1. Oh wait, I just had a less than bright moment.

  26. rather severe rake on the RedBulls, leaving a trail of sparks

  27. ESPN is embarrassing themselves again

  28. OK here come the performance runs, Raikkonen up first on super-softs.

  29. And Vettel goes sub 90 seconds

  30. I hope RAI kan keep this up!

  31. Did Mercedes not tell Bottas where Ricciardo was? Odd.

    1. Shouldn’t he have seen him coming regardless, the pace difference was large enough you’d think he would voluntarily let RIC by.

  32. Kubica impressed by that action of his team driver …

  33. Ferrari seems quicker, but no real indication of Mercedes potencial. Hamilton got traffic on both attempts. I think it should be close. Lets see the long runs.

  34. Looks like Mercedes won’t be quickest in this session either. But they weren’t in any of last year’s practice sessions, then were fastest in all stages of qualifying.

    1. I do think it might be another Bottas pole (well possibly Hamilton, but he needs to get a good run, and hasn’t been able to do that so far this weekend), but then Vettel win (because Kimi won’t as long as Vettel is around to win).

  35. Only 1 time in last 5 years has the pole sitter won here. So I guess we should be paying more attention to the long run pace???

  36. Can’t imagine Alonso’s very pleased to find Gasly ahead of him.

    1. I can imagine that he doesn’t really care. If they arrived in the same order on Sunday, that’d bug him. But I don’t really see that happening.

      1. Well, I guess I just saw that happening. So much for bold predictions.

  37. I see thunderstorms exactly in the qualifying time…. this will spice things up if it holds true


  38. Interesting bit of radio, answering Hamilton’s “traffic” by telling him they want to have that data if he can handle it.

  39. It seems to be very close between the top teams.
    Should be interesting

  40. Oh dear, looks like an unsafe release for Raikkonen.

    1. Perhaps Haas should’ve been taking notes from another team…

      Haas, Ferrari, Bahrain, 2018

    2. Better now than in the race, I suppose. Still, not great.

  41. I hope its not engine

    1. It’s a loose wheel. Should be (a) fine.

  42. ESPN3 in US not working, or is it me…?

  43. Magnussen unsatisfied with his timing info – I know how that feels with these new, sparse timing info on screen ;)

  44. As in Melbourne Haas don’t look as competitive when the temperature drops.

  45. Ferrari quickest in qualy sim and long run?

    1. Red Bull also seem fast in long runs, which might make it more interesting.

      1. “He’s a threat to us all, man.”

  46. angelic (@angelicdarkness)
    6th April 2018, 18:05

    whats the current order?

  47. Hello everyone and welcome back to RaceFans Live for final practice in Bahrain.

  48. Ahead of this session here’s a look at how much each team;’s best lap time so far compares to the best lap time they set at this race weekend last year. As you can see two are already quicker than they were 12 months ago:

    1. McLaren -0.772
    2. Sauber -0.171
    3. Force India +0.125
    4. Toro Rosso +0.309
    5. Ferrari +0.57
    6. Haas +0.828
    7. Red Bull +1.2
    8. Renault +1.378
    9. Mercedes +1.611
    10. Williams +2.308

  49. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    7th April 2018, 13:02

    Nice to see Tom Clarkson on the Channel 4 coverage. Lst year and before I think he was with the BBC team for the video clips and BBC radio 5 live.I like him as a presenter and a pit lane reporter. I hope he will stay at Channel 4.

  50. As with first practice yesterday this isn’t a great session for gleaning useful data. Red Bull’s long runs looked good yesterday though and Verstappen said he was pleased with his race pace.

  51. Another trait of the track this weekend has been high evolution, big improvements from session to session. That’s partly why I’d be wary of reading too much into the headline times from yesterday.

  52. Several drivers noted degradation was higher than expected yesterday, including Fernando Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg.

  53. Almost quarter of an hour of the session done and no one’s done a time yet.

    1. Welcome to the brave new world of power unit conservation. No flat out running till Quali.

      1. It’s been like this for years. Track’s hot, the drivers got good running yesterday, little need to go out early.

  54. Sidepod wing failure for Vettel. Red bull had problems in testing with some of the intricate strakes they have on their car in that region.

  55. Pirelli reckon on an ordinary qualifying run the fast time will come one the first lap with the super-softs, they won’t be able to stay out and improve as they did in Melbourne.

  56. These announcers are so horribly boring bring back the old announcers. These guys do not make the race exciting.

  57. Alonso up to seventh, a tenth off the Toro Rossos, similar to yesterday.

    1. Grosjean separates Alonso from the Toro Rossos – midfield close as ever.

  58. Verstappen goes second on super-softs with a 1’30.924.

  59. Magnussen goes sixth with a 1’32.293 but half a second covers him to Leclerc in 15th.

  60. Please someone teach Rachel Brookes to speak so Americans can understand her. Don’t have any particular problem with Crofty or Lazenby.

    1. If Americans can’t understand her, that’s not her fault.

      1. Liberty media has given us Sky Sports as our broadcast team. Should be understandable to average fan.
        I can probably understand a British accent better than the average ‘Muricans. If us Yanks can’t get the commentary a lot will tune out.

        Just sayin’.

  61. Raikkonen showing some proper pace now.

  62. OK so what are we about to see from Mercedes? They’re out on super-softs now.

    1. Hamilton doing a very gentle out-lap. Probably won’t need to slow to this extent in qualifying when the track’s cooler. It’s 35C now. Bottas has slipped up at turn one, running wide after locking up.

  63. Hamilton goes second but he’s eight-tenths off Raikkonen after taking the Lando Norris line through the final corner.

  64. Lewis blows the last turn on a flying lap.

  65. Hamilton: “What sectors can be better?”
    “It’s mainly the middle sector. There is a power difference though compared to Raikkonen.”

  66. Vettel: “Check engine drive-ability. 11 and 12 in particular quite bad. Also now.”
    “Box, slow down and box. Abort the start.”
    Vettel: “Yep, thought so.”

  67. Have to say it’s all looking rather good for Raikkonen right now.

  68. I wonder how much will change in Quali when teams finally turn up the PU settings.

  69. My pole time prediction: 1:27.700.

  70. Hello everyone and welcome back to RaceFans Live for this afternoon’s qualifying session!

    Here’s a reminder of what happened in final practice:


  71. Ferrari have set the pace so far but they’re still 0.5s off their best time from last year. Mercedes, however, haven’t got within 1.6s of their 2017 pace yet – a sign they’re keeping their performance hidden?

  72. It’s been an important weekend on the political side of things following yesterday’s revelations about Liberty Media’s plans for the future. In his new paddock diary feature from the track today Dieter reveals how the news went down:

    Paddock diary: Bahrain Grand Prix day two

    1. Much of what Liberty proposed remains secret but yesterday we revealed details of how they’re planning to restructure F1’s prize money:

      Liberty will not abolish Ferrari’s F1 prize money bonus in 2021

  73. Have you made your Bahrain Grand Prix predictions yet? Just half an hour left to get them in:


    1. It’s quite hard, with Vettel not being w/o issue in FP3, HAM and his penalty, and Mercedes not (yet?) looking like world beaters.

    2. Does the penalty of hamilton have influence on the pole position prediction or not?

      1. As far as I recall, it does.

        1. then i’ll need to change it

  74. Today’s first batch of pictures have gone up, as always you can find them here:


  75. I forget this every time it happens, the predictions competition classifies the pole sitter before penalties are applied, correct?

    1. The pole sitter is the driver who starts the race from pole position.

  76. Leclerc improves on his best time from practice by 0.3s. Hartley slower by a whopping 1.3s.

  77. Magnussen good again

  78. Magnussen sets a 1’30.030 which is 1.7s quicker than he did in practice – Haas reveal their true pace.

    1. Never really rated K-Mag, always thought Dennis wildly overrated him. Doing v. well v Grosjean so far.

  79. Ferrari changed the control electronics in Vettel’s car.

  80. Hamilton on SS while top 3 on Softs?

    1. Saving them for q2,race think RTL.DE

  81. Force India are looking a bit better here.

  82. Max V in the wall!

  83. Verstappen did what Ericsson did in second practice but made it all the way to the barrier.

    1. Looks like he trashed the front suspension.

  84. And that is why you don’t wait until the last second to set a fast time in any qualy session, especially Q1.

  85. Verstappen Maldonado level season so far – too keen to impress?

  86. Verstappen makes to too many mistakes for a top team driver.

    1. i am happy he is still making mistakes, he is only 20yrs old and i am not looking forward to the domination he will have in a couple of years…

    2. Yeah. Will be interesting to see if he takes the blame for this or if there was something wrong with the car

  87. Alonso: “Which position we are?
    “Fernando we will need to go again. We’re 15.”
    Alonso: [Censored by FOM] I don’t know why.
    “Mate don’t worry, the DRS had us over there.”
    Alonso: Yeah but I don’t know why they pulled the DRS. It was green, the corner. Stupid.”

  88. “OK front wing is damaged, we hit something Brendon. We change it now.”
    Hartley: “I ran a bit wide at turn seven. It could have happened then, but then I had crazy understeer after.”
    “No we hit a bird. that’s why turn seven was very understeer.”
    Hartley: “Ah OK that makes more sense.”

    1. Thanks Keith, love reading those

      1. First near miss for the halo…

  89. Well theres plenty of time for a lap but it will be heavy traffic.

  90. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    7th April 2018, 16:20

    Verstappen has been looking a bit to over confident last race and this qualifying session. I’m still not convinced he’s yet clearly a better driver than Ricciardo as many are saying.

    1. I think hes looking the same as always. All or nothing Max.

    2. Imagine if RIC beats him in the DCC again this year

      1. Might very well happen but it remains to be seen if Ricciardo ups his game to Maxes level or if its just down to luck again.

        1. max has so much raw pace, ricciardo is a very good quailly driver but max is so good…

          he scares me as a massive ric fan! dani has a much better race head though…. well for now

        2. Luck is not what you’re given, it’s what you make out of the circumstances. That is unless you’re Chris Amon.

  91. Sainz 4 tenths up on Hulkenberg, very nice

  92. The Torro Roso’s outperforming the McLaren’s is damning indeed

    1. Ouch…..just ouch

      and Williams, more ouch…

      too much ouch

  93. Alonso and Grojean have the same time.

    1. Alonso posteed the time first so he goes to Q2. Romain out in Q3.

  94. Willaim has joined Sauber as backmarker

  95. So, first track he knows and Sirotkin is ahead of Stroll, not pretty

    1. Was expecting the same from Leclerc vs. Ericsson, but he spun.

    2. Let’s see what his excuse is…….

      1. Stroll said no grip and no balance in the car.

  96. toro rosso has improvded a lot.

  97. Why are teams not allowed to repair a car and continue qualifying?

    1. They are but its not exactly time for it.

    2. they are. but the damage on VER’s car is massive.

      1. They aren’t. If you don’t reach the pit lane on your own, you’re out.

    3. i think the car have to reach the pits without any help

      1. Well they arent getting the car back before the qualifying ends so it doesnt really matter.

  98. Seems like STR and MCL switched engines

  99. Stroll 20th. Hope Lawrence has kept his receipt…

  100. What kind of upgrade Torro Rosso is bringing…They so much faster than on Melbourne

    1. They bring the power of dreams

    2. Anyone think Mclaren are having to turn down the engine due to possible overheating issues?

  101. Say what you want about French Drivers, but at least they own up to their mistakes.

    1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      7th April 2018, 16:33

      Do you know a driver called Grosjean? :D He really didn’t admit to being at fault for a mistake when he spun in Monza last year I think it was in the wet.

      1. But he did admit he botched it this qualifying ;P

      2. This is a bit of a bewildering comment, as I was referring to Grosjean, who, just after Leclerc’s “I am such an idiot” took the full blame over team radio before anyone else could.

    1. Strange crash, this corner is flatout.

      1. Flat out doesnt mean you dont have to nail every turn.

        1. Ai Mclaren, beaten by Honda. And they said they don’t look backwards, only forwards at RedBull and Ferrari…

  102. Information control at Renault:

    Hulkenberg: “I lost power. What happened there? I completely lost power out of the last corner.”
    “OK Nico recharge on, as you are.”
    Hulkenberg: “I think it was a de-rate wasn’t it?”
    “Negative Nico negative.”
    Hulkenberg: “What is it?”
    “We’ll tell you later Nico.”

    1. Hope it’s not engine trouble

  103. Was Stroll “screwed” of a better time due to the Yellow Flag? I missed the info on his laptime (green vs. yellow)

  104. At what point does an F1 car become an F1 Bus?

    These cars are awfully looooooooooooooooooong.

    1. Yep i saw the Marshall carrying max red bull, they look small as the minions

  105. Anyone think that Mclaren may be turning down the engine a bit due to overheating issues? The offset to other Renault cars is pretty large…

    1. it’s just that infamous McLaren chassis

  106. This is not the season start Max has hoped for.

    1. And also not for me ;) I think he is the one that truly can fight Mercedes and Ferrari.

      1. Yeah this was a good opportunity to start in front of both mercs

  107. Mclaren’s speed is so so disappointing…

  108. Ferrari should have split strategy

  109. at least this gives honda a good image in order to gain new c

  110. Hamilton revealing a bit of Mercedes’ true pace now it seems. But I wonder if they just don’t like the super-soft.

    1. I think he is just using Q3 mode early on

    2. Hamilton out again on SS

  111. Was McLaren completely lying when they said that their chassis is decent or did the change to Renault screw it up?

    1. Im sure they are confident in their chassis but that doesnt mean they are right.

      1. Blaming everything on a engine thats supposedly 0.2s behind the rest doesnt ring well when you get beaten by an STR Honda.

    2. Just look at Mclaren chassis, it look so basic and undeveloped…. Expecting a major in Spanish GP

    3. It’s hardly surprising with winter spent adapting to a new PU.

      1. So were Toro Rosso!

  112. Uncomfortable truth for McLaren: They’re behind both Toro Rossos at a higher power sensitivity track.

  113. STR faster than Mclaren

    1. The joke called McLaren keeps on delivering!

  114. Ai Mclaren, beaten by Honda. And they said they don’t look backwards, only forwards at RedBull and Ferrari…

  115. Also note Ocon, who doesn’t have Force India’s new front wing this weekend, reached Q3 while Perez did not.

    1. Perez appears to have driven on some kind of rubbish though.

  116. Mclaren must be turning that engine down…….I hope they are…..

    This is a punch to the gut either way

  117. Mclaren have two months as alonso said. But if they not improve significantly they should try quitting F1

  118. Mclaren, Honda is faster than you!

  119. So Lance Stroll is still rubbish then?

    1. Stick him in a Mercedes and he could win the world championship ;)

  120. Red Bull talking about engine sw glitches leading to VER spin..

    1. They say Renault data showed a sudden 150 hp extra out of nowhere.

  121. I am extremely disappointed by McLaren’s performance. Another appaling season in sight.

  122. GAS is in beast mode.

  123. Got some great stuff coming up for you on RaceFans over the next few days – we had an exclusive interview with one of the team principals in the paddock today which we’ll be publishing later.

    1. Looking forward to it Keith!

  124. Hope RAI will take pole. I really do. Then we see the iceman smile a little.

  125. Lewis on a flyer.

  126. Bottas beating Hamilton well done!

  127. I’m popping down to shops to buy me a Honda

    1. or maybe today GAS showed his real talents.

  128. Mclaren, Honda is faster than you, LOL.

  129. Well, that was quite good, wasn’t it? Glad I’m not the one telling Alonso a STR/Honda starts 5th! Should have given that pole to VET, but got time nearly right.

    1. Also, I am glad that the top three are also the first three on the grid.

  130. Biggest losers in this Q

    Stroll, Williams, McLaren, Grosjean

    Biggest winners

    Ferrari, Gasly, STR, K Mag, Ocon

  131. @ToroRosso
    Replying to @ToroRosso
    Even better news, with Ricciardo’s penalty @PierreGASLY will start the #BahrainGP in 5th!

    … Is it just Toro Rosso who mixed RIC and HAM, or Toro Rosso forgetting about HAM’s penalty?

    1. ric penalty? have i missed something?

  132. Darth-Piekus
    7th April 2018, 17:15

    What is the reason Mclaren is underperforming?

  133. Well, bye, see you all tomorrow.

  134. Darth-Piekus
    7th April 2018, 17:18

    Mclaren clearly are not performing as intended.What the hell did they do at Winter? 5 years they havent performed.

  135. So what’s with that smoke coming form the ferrari garage? Visual annoyance on the broadcast from Ferrari for showing it and Red Bull/Mercedes at it even happening… It’s gotta be getting around the oil rules somehow right? Dumping a bunch of oil into the engine at startup and burning it to keep some residual or something to get around the oil flow limit rule?

  136. Hello everyone we’re building up to the start of the Bahrain Grand Prix which begins in an hour and 18 minutes.

    For the latest on what was going on in the paddock yesterday, here’s Dieter’s Saturday Paddock Diary:

    Paddock Diary: Bahrain Grand Prix day three

  137. It’s been a very tough weekend for Williams so far who are over 1.3 seconds slower at this track than they were last year. Chief technical officer Paddy Lowe admitted they don’t completely understand why they’re down on performance.

    1. Interestingly Lowe also remarked they’re only using the maximum cooling configuration on one of their cars this weekend due to the differences in their drivers’ styles.

  138. Grosjean said he went a slightly different direction on set-up to team mate Kevin Magnussen which may explain why he had a harder time getting out of Q1. But he also owned up to a mistake at the final corner and a poor initial preparation lap before that.

  139. My top 5 predictions: 1. Vettel, 2. Raikkonen, 3. Bottas, 4. Hamilton, 5. Ricciardo.

  140. Interesting to see Tommy Hilfiger decals prominently on Mercedes car. Laurence Stroll seeking an upgrade for Lance? Not sure such an upgrade would ever be for sale.

  141. Force India got one car into Q3. Perez did not make it – he tried their new front wing in practice but the team isn’t running it on either car as they still haven’t fully sussed their upgrade.

  142. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    8th April 2018, 15:10

    Already looks like a bigger crowd than last year.

    1. Thats a relief because Quali looked rather quiet yesterday.

  143. Here’s a list of what Red Bull had to fix on Verstappen’s car after his qualifying crash:

    LHS front lower wishbone
    LHS front top wishbone
    LHS and RHS front pushrod
    LHS and RHS front trackrod
    LHS upright assembly incl. corner electrical system
    LHS brake duct
    Front brake friction material
    Front brake calipers
    Front rockers, springs, damper and inerter
    Nose / front wing assembly
    LHS bargeboards
    Chassis flipper
    Steering wheel
    Parameters associated with suspension and PAS change

    Here’s Verstappen’s explanation why he crashed in Q1 despite having already set a time quick enough to reach Q2:


    1. What would you estimate such a crash “costs”, recognising there’s an issue in the analysis of fixed versus truly variable expenses?

  144. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    8th April 2018, 15:32

    Hey all! should be a good race!

  145. Pirelli reckon a two-stopper on super-softs followed by two sets of softs is the best strategy.

    Alternatively drivers could use two sets of super-softs. This will obviously suit those who have a fresh set best (here’s a list of who does).

    One stopping with a set of super-softs and another of softs is possible but Pirelli notes these stint lengths would be on the long side.

    1. Great info, thanks. Wonder why HAM (seemingly) unnecessarily used up another set of super-softs in Q2, when he did not need to improve. Now he has 0 new sets left

      1. Good point, been asking myself the same. Maybe he’ll try his luck with a Soft-Medium one-stopper?

      2. Well, maybe he only got it warmed up a bit, he didn’t go super fast anyway, so might be the best one to use later in the race if he needs it.

  146. Hi chaps, looks like we might have a great season this year!

  147. Hmm..What’s the difference between a ‘grid girl’ holding a sign with the drivers number and a ‘grid girl’ holding a Sky microphone?

    1. Agreed. No one talks about the poor grid boys.

    2. One of them is informative….

      1. The one showing viewers the car’s number? Agreed.

  148. Enjoy the Bahrain Grand Prix everyone. As usual you can find video and live timing links in the menu above if you need them.

    Looks like we could be in for an interesting race, though a lot depends on just how quick those Ferraris are.

    Who’s your tip for victory today? I’m going to go with…


    1. Daring. I’ll stick with Vettel. Unimaginative, I know.

      1. Head says Vettel, heart says Kimi

        1. Whoever’s ahead when the Ferraris take each other out?

      2. Honestly can’t see anyone other than Vettel. That Ferrari is super quick and they can always throw Kimi under the bus to help him win.

    2. Fourth is the highest position Ricciardo’s ever won a race from…

      1. I bet on Ricciardo, despite I’m hoping Kimi can win this one…

  149. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    8th April 2018, 15:59

    Looking forward to see what Leclerc can do today

  150. I hope as well for a crazy race in which Tororosso-Honda can take an unbelivable podium!

  151. I really like that races start at 10 past the hour now. I keep forgetting and so I keep finding I have extra time to do things!

    1. Just found that out also, really good feature, missing the start is awful

    2. Indeed, I’d forgotten that…kettle’s boiling. :)

  152. Hamilton seemed pretty glum yesterday as he usually is after being out-qualified by his team mate. But I get the impression Mercedes know Ferrari are quicker. Hamilton’s time looked good on softs in Q2, but he reckons Ferrari have more in hand on that tyre too. And Ferrari are clearly quicker on super-softs.

  153. I wish there was a music-delete option on Sky

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      8th April 2018, 16:08

      There should be one on your remote

      1. There is, I use it, but then I can’t hear brundle. It does mute Croft, however. Win some lose some

  154. Good morning all

    1. Josh (@canadianjosh)
      8th April 2018, 16:10

      Good morning from Canada and a snow storm!

  155. Outside the top 10 everyone is starting on softs apart from Hartley, Vandoorne and Grosjean on super-softs.

    1. That suggests to me there might be a few in the midfield hoping to one-stop…

  156. Verstappen is gonna play bowling in the first corner. Will probably strike…

    1. Into Alonso’s backside when he rides the coat tails of a great Alonso start I fear.

  157. Hmmph. Only 1 in car cam channel on the Sky red button, rather than the usual 3. This is not a good race to have limited options. Let’s hope they stick to RoGro, Ham and Max. No doubt they’ll just stick it on Vettel…

  158. I’m scared to say this and jinx us here in the States…but ESPN is doing better on their coverage so far this weekend.

    1. Let’s hope it continues

  159. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    8th April 2018, 16:10

    Ugh, The stupid noises when they are showing you the driver line up between each row. They really are trying to hard to make thise things sound dramatic…

  160. I’ve seen this countdown to 1000th grand prix. I wonder what Liberty will do for it.

    1. Hamilton, Hartley, Vandoorne, Grosjean.

  161. Josh (@canadianjosh)
    8th April 2018, 16:16

    Max is his own worst enemy

  162. Both RedBulls out?

  163. OK maybe Ricciardo won’t win this one…

  164. Wait what happened to Danny Ric?

  165. Verstappen needs to calm down. Pathetic

    1. Sigh, damn ..what a bonehead, zero patience.

    2. He was out of control there. Trying to get a podium in the first 2 laps.

  166. All right, I’ll say it: I hate VSC.

  167. I need to see a decent replay but max was way ahead Lewis when they touched

  168. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    8th April 2018, 16:20

    Max didn’t do anything to Lewis that Lewis hasn’t done to Nico before.

    1. Except both continued racing.

  169. Mark Hughes had a great analysis and write up on VER

  170. WOW
    Hamilton passed 3!

  171. Oh man, what a shocker for Red Bull.

  172. Looks like it’s hammer time..nice controlled aggression Lewis.

  173. Justin (@boombazookajd)
    8th April 2018, 16:23

    overtake of the race…Lewis!

    1. Really? With so much more power? I cold do that.

        1. It still was a well done, opportunistic move to get past three cars in one go.

  174. I think they might have slightly overdone the drs…

      1. Exactly – its a pitty.

  175. Gasly hanging in there well so far.

  176. DRS made that easy for Hamilton but didn’t he just nail that braking point, miles off the racing line. Credit where it’s due, that would have been very easy to screw up.

    1. Justin (@boombazookajd)
      8th April 2018, 16:27

      beautiful wasn’t it!?

      1. shooting fish in a barrel

  177. Kimi Webber. Sigh…

  178. That merc engine tho

  179. Feisty first phase of the race from Alonso.

  180. Alonso being told Hulkenberg is struggling with his battery. There hasn’t been a radio message about that from Hulkenberg played in the broadcast so presumably that’s McLaren monitoring Renault’s radio calls.

  181. DRS is way too strong.

    1. It is bad, but the F2 race was worse.

  182. Hartley’s penalty… Boo hoo…. I had a 100-1 bet on a double Torro Rosso points finish… :c

  183. So Hamilton has the free air he needed to make a go of a one-stopper – if his tyres will last. Which is a big ask for Mercedes.

  184. VER is a great driver. but he needs to cool down a little if he wants to win championships.

    1. I don’t think there was anything wrong with that move, it was a racing incident, as the stewards ruled. It was wheel-on-wheel contact, had luck gone the other way Hamilton would have the puncture and Verstappen could be up in fourth.

      1. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        8th April 2018, 16:35

        I agree that it was a racing incident, but Hamilton was left no room. If Hamilton had suffered the consiquences, I am certain Verstappen will have got a penalty for that.

  185. “Fernando, Gasly is three cars in front of you, he potentially has a brake problem.”
    Alonso: “OK. I have a lot of pace.”
    “Understood Fernando.”

    1. He’ll finish P5 as usual.

  186. say whatever you want about HAM (I don’t even like him), but that overtake was pure gold.

  187. Under 7 secs between Lewis and Kimi….when will they pit?

  188. Bottas closing on Vettel now less than 2 sec

  189. Bottas getting ready for his pit stop.

  190. What happened to GRO? Did he just pit?

  191. Is the medium a mandatory tyre?

    1. only the soft tyre is the compound that you need to use in the race

    2. They don’t have to use it during the race, they have to have it available.

  192. any thoughts on ericsson in the points?

  193. I’ve got nothing to complain about ESPN coverage today, which certainly can’t last

    1. yep, so far so good..

  194. I think Ferrari should have split their strategies with Kimi going on a 1 stop.

  195. Max blames Lewis. “There was enough space on the left but Lewis didn’t want to give up his place”

    1. Cry me a river Max!

  196. I thought Sirotkin was being lapped there, but he’s fighting for position and just putting up zero resistance… the Williams looks dreadful this year.

  197. Can’t watch the race so watching this. Is there someplace on this site that list positions at the moment?

    1. No – FOM restrictions prevent that (at least without shelling out a huge amount of money.)

      1. Really, in the USA we just have to register and get limited but adequate features.

  198. Bottas really closing on Vettel now.

  199. Hamilton is just throwing time away here. He’s got 4th safe but I can’t understand what they are doing at Mercedes.

    1. He’s on the medium, never mind – wish that tyre graphic was on more often.

  200. Looks like Merc kept HAM out as long as he could hold up VET

  201. Well DRS ruined that battle.

  202. This is getting very interesting!
    Other than the RB debacle not a bad race so far.. IMIO

  203. Hamilton just threw away well over 15 seconds for nothing there. Why did they keep him out so long ?! Madness

    1. Taking one for the team?

  204. Hamilton now trying to get back within range of Vettel – he’s 0.4s quicker in sector one on this lap.

    Gasly in fifth has a handy margin over Hulkenberg.

    Alonso, seventh, looks like he’s one-stopping and is beginning to push his mediums a bit more.

    Ocon is coming under pressure from Grosjean for ninth.

    Magnussen the only driver to have made his second pit stop already.

    1. ERI on PER: either ERI was right to CH4 that his car is better in race, or FI is really not good here.

    2. Thanks for the update!

  205. If Ferrari pit again then Bottas will win but Vettel will get back on Hamilton to 2nd. But at end for last 15 laps Ferrari on SS will be 2-3sec faster than Mercedes on Medium

  206. A quietly decent performance from Ericsson so far. Admittedly helped by trouble from others, but he kept his tyres alive for a long time in the first stint and now he’s well among the midfield battle.

  207. great strategies, very interesting race

  208. 26 laps on SSofts for Grosjean, with that damage, that’s quite long. Of course, team work is important …

  209. That was very stupid from Grosjean imo.

  210. Time to bring back the pit lollipop!

    1. Plenty of incidents happened with it too.

  211. Jeez!! At least Haas still has 8 wheels on…

      1. Raikkonen has retired after his wheel wasn’t able to be taken off at a pitstop.

  212. I’ve thought for a long time that F1 allows too many people in the pit lane. There should be limit like Indycar or sports cars.

    1. I happen to agree, but to be fair there were several pit crew members involved in incidents in last night’s IndyCar race:


      1. True, but there are fewer people to possibly get hurt if you only allow 5 or 6 to work on the car instead of 15 to 20.

  213. Verstappen says Hamilton hit him and the stewards should have taken action:


    1. Wah wah wah…grow up kid.

    2. No surprise from the whiny boy. I enjoyed seeing him with his bag ready to go home.

  214. Still no replay….probably it too graphic

  215. and Hulkenburg is 43s away from the top 3 cars. now that kimi and both RBRs are gone

  216. KM in 5th…nice one

  217. Bottas is just too slow to make this work

  218. RAI sacrificed again. If Ferrari get big driver like RIC or VER they will not be able to do same

    1. I can’t see any advantage for Ferrari in that situation.

  219. This is pretty major for Honda if Gasly holds on

  220. Here’s that Hamilton exchange a portion of which was played on the main feed:

    Hamilton: “Just trying to understand what I’ve got to do, pick up pace or not.”
    Bonnington: “OK Lewis, low 34s. Let us know the TAG mode you need to achieve those times.”
    Hamilton: “I get that I’ve got to do a low 34 buddy. I’ve done a 34.3, is that enough?”
    Bonnington: “Copy that Lewis, you’re doing the target, just need to know how hard you’re pushing.”
    Hamilton: “I’m driving to target.”
    Vowles: “Lewis it’s James. The main thing at the moment is Vettel may not stop. Just go to TAG two, tell me what kap times it ends up ebing, and we’ll see where we get to.”
    Hamilton: “Like I said, I’m driving to target, that means I am in TAG two.”

  221. I have no ides a about how accurate F1 live timing
    is but in driver comparison they have a graph showing Seb heavy on ‘throttle/breaking/aggression’ and VB heavy on ‘steering’???

    1. I should have said live timing ‘Performance’ features…

  222. Vettel’s tyres are crying

  223. No drama for Ferrari they are looking so impressive on tyre wear.

  224. Looks like Hamilton is the one struggling which is strange because he put his on much later than Bottas.

  225. Hamilton did 29 laps on Soft used in quali, I think Vettel can do 36 laps on new Softs

    1. With less fuel load and kind car on tyres

  226. Seriously, the new F1 app drains mobile batteries like crazy. Are they trying to get more engagement with the viewers, by forcing us to consider our battery management to make it through the race without recharging? If so, I’ve lost the race…

    1. Haha. I had to switch to my computer as my iPad went to zero.

  227. Can Alonso make a move on Hulk?

  228. McLaren scrapping with a Sauber, while Honda are on the verge of their best result since their return with a rookie in the Red Bull B-team. That’s gotta sting…

  229. Once Bottas gets DRS he’ll get past asap.

  230. They waited too long to tell Bottas to push

    1. Or did Vettel wait for him?

  231. If anyone ever suggests resurfacing this track, quietly escort them from the paddock.

  232. So Valtteri, how badly do you want that 2019 drive…

    1. Well, perhaps not quite hard enough, though Vettel did a great job too.

  233. Bottas just doesn’t got it

    1. Bottas is clearly just a decent driver in a great car.

  234. Bottas bottled that

  235. Wow can’t believe Bottas couldn’t pull that off.

  236. Great tense end. Brilliant drives bt the whole top 5

  237. Why did Alonso let Vettel lap him at the end? They were discussing it on the radio a few laps ago. What benefit? Can’t be engine mileage? What if Hulk had hit trouble on the last lap?

    1. I don’t know what happened, but ALO went from about .6 to 6 seconds behind HUL on the previous lap, so I guess he had no chance?

      1. Like I said, it was definitely deliberate. But seemingly stupid wasting of a chance of more points.

  238. Driver of the day: Gasly.

    1. Yeah, I’d have to vote Gasly this weekend. Great Qualy and even better drive.

  239. Good on Gasly! I literally cannot believe that happened with a Honda engine in the back of that car.

  240. what a finish. my heart was pumping out my chest. great win by VET.

  241. Unless I’m very much mistaken, that’s the best result for Honda since Silverstone 2008. Well done Pierre!

  242. We need Ricciardo on that second Mercedes

    1. Or second Ferrari

  243. hahaha, they just put the video of the VER-HAM accident on the wall when HAM entered the room. hilarious.

  244. Thanks for joining in everyone, here’s the race report, loads more coming straight from the paddock in Bahrain:


  245. Hello everyone and welcome to RaceFans Live for the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix weekend! First practice has just begun.

  246. FIA confirms new energy store and control electronics for Ricciardo – his second from a maximum of two…

    1. Ridiculous limit considering the number of races.

  247. That Ham rear wing swap, pretty interesting, I don’t remember ever seeing the DRS lead.

    1. Yeah not the sort of thing FOM has shown before.

  248. Alonso 3.7s off McLaren’s pace from last year.
    Raikkonen 5.8s off Ferrari’s pace from last year.

  249. Alonso looks pretty good on softs, then Raikkonen looks all loose, over a second quicker on the mediums

  250. Very committed and quick first effort from Hamilton. No messing around there!

  251. The F1 Streaming package cannot come soon enough. Here in the states espn is not showing FP1, not sure about FP2 or 3…

  252. An even quicker time now from Hamilton. 3.3s off last year’s pole.

  253. Hartley: “What do you think I should get the tyres down to?”
    “Target is between plus five and plus 10. We lose too much time on the last corner. Braking too early. Big picture is working to brake later.”
    Hartley: “Yeah copy that.”

  254. I called it!

    I’m perplexed that Whiting doesn’t know what happened yet.

    (..)Anybody that has ever worked with air guns must be suspecting the same.
    Maybe the wheel gun was left on the wrong position or the wheel gun operator pressed the wrong button or selector. Usually air guns have a forward and reverse switch. Maybe the gun was left in the wrong position as a result of tightening the wheel on the previous pit stop, which would lead him to press the trigger and instead of loosening the wheel he tightened it, as this happens so quickly there was no time to press reverse and undo the wheel, so the car left with the wrong wheel on.

    @texarcana You’re wrong.

    1. Where’s the quote from?

        1. OK – I don’t understand what you’ve posted here.

          1. Sky sports were saying Kimi’s pitstop was caused by what I speculated a few days ago. The gun was on tightening.

  255. Best times by team so far:

    1. Mercedes – 1’34.962
    2. Red Bull – 1’35.696 +0.73
    3. Ferrari – 1’36.386 +1.42
    4. Force India – 1’36.914 +1.95
    5. Haas – 1’36.927 +1.97
    6. Renault – 1’37.060 +2.10
    7. McLaren – 1’37.888 +2.93
    8. Toro Rosso – 1’37.937 +2.97
    9. Williams – 1’37.980 +3.02
    10. Sauber – 1’38.182 +3.22

  256. I don’t know what the wheel gun operator must be feeling.

  257. Less PU’s for this season and yet a good amount of action. Good evolution on track, the SFI goes quicker than Ferrari, on the same tyre. and for the first time a Williams sees the midfield. A lot of evolution still to come.

    1. Yeah I was concerned how quiet FP1 would be. Perhaps the threat of rain is helping. Ocon and Vettel mentioned yesterday they were concerned about how much running they’d get to do.

  258. Max got another 150 bhp spike on this right leg. Tricky.

  259. “Are you OK to stay out?”
    Verstappen: “Yeah it’s a bit flat spots but I have to I guess.”
    “Mas how bad is the flat spot?”
    Verstappen: “A little bit, but I think I can do a lap.”

  260. FOM graphics delivering this session. Even FOM doesn’t like Hartley, harsh penalties, misspelled name and a lot of flack for an unfortunate qualifying with a bird encounter in q1. Now Fom puts his name on screen when Stoffel makes a mistake.

  261. I’ve spotted a 316 for Ham on the back straight and a 314 for STR Honda. good thing that speedo is almost always on screen.

  262. Max’s flat spots chattering the front wing on the replay, still quick though.

  263. Only now I’ve noticed that weird camera on Vettel,

  264. Pleasant session, lots of laps. A lot to take in, tyres, fuel loads, one thing is certain, Lewis is very strong here.
    we all alone here on the chat. Not here for the 2nd. bye

  265. So Mercedes are on top as practice begins, here’s the first report and times:


  266. No one beat their best time from last year’s race weekend in first practice. Haas and McLaren were closest, one second off. Williams were furthest away by 3.1 seconds, the worst of any team by 0.6s.

  267. Hello everyone and welcome back for the second practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix.

    1. whee! eh, I chose to miss FP1, looking forward to seeing FP2 now.

      Good morning

      1. good morning. I slept all through the night with not a single tought about FP1 too. Until I read about the results and got up for FP2 :-)

  268. It’s because there was a false fire alarm otherwise i was still sleeping.

  269. Wait, was Ted just saying how Ferrari’s flexing wings help Vettel manage the car? Doesn’t that sort of highlight they are starting to get close to not allowed?

  270. Something’s gone wrong for Raikkonen.

    I’m not saying it’s related but interesting to note yesterday Hamilton hinted he thinks Ferrari may have taken more reliability risks with their power unit than Mercedes:


    1. Hm, right, so they had to reboot it or something, according to Ted (using an ethernet cable?!)

  271. Oh, RAI was faster than Vettel in FP1, so of course he’s now having an issue (no conspiracy, just lack of luck, I guess).

    1. Well he’s back on track already so as sabotage jobs go it was a bit pants.

  272. So, do we expect times to come right down for qualifying when they all turn up their engines?

    1. Even without that I’d think, it seems Hamilton got the fastest lap even with that lockup into turn 4.

  273. Just saw Sirotkin’s time and thought “that looks better for Williams”, but it appears it was done on ultra-softs…

    1. What’s the Soft (Stroll) to USoft (Sirotkin) difference @keithcollantine, more or less than the .8s they differ?

      1. Not sure off the top of my head, I usually wait for Pirelli to give a read on it after this session when they’ve got some data.

  274. Funny how all the content wallls in china keep interfering with the footage in China …

  275. “Do you want another lap?”
    Ricciardo: “I’ll have a think. Not happy with the pedal map, interested to try that.”
    “Think about if you want to sort any switches out for the next lap. Looks like traction’s a bit worse. If there’s anything you want to tiody up we’ve got plenty of time.”
    Ricciardo: “OK. Are we’re OK for mileage to do another?”
    Ricciardo: “OK I’ll start the lap at least.”

  276. Well, Hamilton isn’t taking it easy there.

  277. I just love looking at Hamilton wrestling the car for that hot lap

    1. Bottas looked much calmer, was clearly slower most of the lap, but then got it back in S3 (I think? feed again lapsed)

      1. showing his approach is not quite as fast but, most likely a lot more reliably fast :-)

      2. But I too liked seeing Hamilton much better, so glad he did get a bit more out of the lap :)

  278. This Ultrasoft tyre seems to be not lasting the entire lap. Surely some teams will try to start on the Soft tyres for the race.

    1. I guess the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and Ferrari could get through on them. But it does leave you vulnerable for the start too

      1. But how long do the US last? If they will last for only 5 laps then you might as well start on the S tyre

  279. hm, all the replays and recaps from sky – they clearly went to commercials at the wrong moment.

  280. Hulkenberg up in sixth. Renault appear to have difficulty hitting their one lap pace but when they find it they’re quick.

  281. This talk of the risk of using softs in Q2 is a bit nonsense if you look at Kimi being well ahead on Softs, of Hulk on Usofts, I think. Those top three teams could relatively easily get it done.

  282. McLaren planning their qualifying tactics? Handy tow for Alonso from Vandoorne.

    1. If 1s behind the leaders is as far as it got him, they might need it!

  283. Vandoorne: “Do we need another lap or not? For me the balance is quite clear.”
    “OK in that case happy to box this lap. Let’s try to give Fernando a tow exit of turn 12. Fernando is currently 17 seconds behind.”

  284. Well, maybe that was a bit of a tow, but tight between Mercedes, Ferrari.

  285. On the TV graphics Sauber is now identified by a Sauber logo, whereas before it was an Alfa Romeo logo.

  286. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGDZbIqRs3c&feature=youtu.be
    F1 Chinese GP 2018 – Stoffel Vandoorne Pit Stop Mistake Again ! (FP2)

  287. A very straightforward second practice session for the most part. Here’s the report, times and visual gaps:


  288. Ahead of final practice here’s how each team’s best times so far compared to the best they did last year. Only McLaren are already quicker than they were in 2017:

    1. McLaren -0.391
    2. Haas +0.294
    3. Sauber +0.732
    4. Renault +0.733
    5. Red Bull +0.79
    6. Force India +1.086
    7. Toro Rosso +1.13
    8. Ferrari +1.625
    9. Mercedes +1.804
    10. Williams +1.833

  289. Hello everyone and welcome to RaceFans Live for the final practice session!

  290. Hi, the most annoying user is here! Are we alone again.

  291. Has it rained over night? It looked like a wet astroturf.

    1. Yeah huge downpour in the paddock yesterday.

  292. That Heineken billborad on the straight tower is massive.

  293. FOM’s live speed graphic is showing a lot higher top speeds today. Wind or PU? 320’s for most cars I’ve seen.

    1. Probably both, a few drivers were complaining about the wind yesterday.

      1. Hamilton being told about it now.

  294. SKY’s ad break timing has been off this season.

  295. Sigh. Sky taking apart everything but the actual on track action again. Guys, there are cars on track!

  296. Track looks completely different from yesterday

    1. Begin “green” as well as the wind direction, I’d guess

  297. Hamilton having a few minor offs. He often seems a bit scruffy in this session.

    1. And a bigger spin now too.

    2. Yesterday Lewis came out like he had been driving in Shanghai the whole week, today is just a different day for everyone.

  298. Hm, I think I will change the pole to Vettel,

  299. It’s just not coming right for Red Bull. That car looks quick but are we ever going to see what it can do?

    1. Yeah, every time. This reminded me of Webber expiring on that same hairpin.

  300. Hm, that track is now looking slippery. Ricciardo’s car again now with a full engine blowout. Things not going well for him for this season. Is it something with the car? With the oil supplier?

  301. So I guess it might have been a bit too early for Renault to declare the engine robust enough to allow more power then

    1. Oh, I missed that they already declared that.

  302. Hulkenberg and Sainz have taken new MGU-Hs, now on their second of three.

    1. Keith, where we can find a list of components used by each driver?

  303. Couldn’t quite make that out but I think Ricciardo told the woman who came up to him “I’m keeping my helmet on because it’s cold.”

  304. Stroll reports drops of moisture.

  305. I wonder, is McLaren playing it safe on stress with the engine and its components? After the experience with not finishing again and again with honda, they must value at least making it through the weekends.

    1. Well as Keith said, the Renault are on their 2nd MGU-H, and Ricciardo just blew up.

    2. I do wonder why they’re having fewer problems than Renault.

  306. Vettel on a quick one now.

    1. So it’s like the last time, break time for SKY. Missing the hotlaps, in a cold day.

  307. What was that about Sky ad breaks planning before @peartree … Now they waited until people got going again. :-(

    1. I guess the person that used to do it is not working on these flyaways.

  308. Teams’ best times so far:

    1. Ferrari – 1’33.018
    2. Mercedes – 1’33.880 +0.86
    3. Renault – 1’34.582 +1.56
    4. Red Bull – 1’35.061 +2.04
    5. McLaren – 1’35.364 +2.35
    6. Force India – 1’35.494 +2.48
    7. Haas – 1’35.756 +2.74
    8. Williams – 1’36.092 +3.07
    9. Sauber – 1’36.287 +3.27
    10. Toro Rosso – 1’36.314 +3.30

  309. FOM showed a couple minutes ago that all top 5 cars on the speed trap are Ferrari’s.

  310. Gasly down in 16th and much less happy with the Toro Rosso than he was in Bahrain:

    “I need to do something for the rear. Especially in high-speed it’s really bad. The car is really disconnected from one corner to another. There’s something wrong with the rear of the car on the bump in turn eight.”

  311. This season, stepping on the pedal must feel like stepping on eggshells. We are watching and thinking. Ricciardo your championship is already over

    1. Won’t be helping RBR in contract talks!

  312. More Red Bull engine woe:

    Verstappen: “On the exit I don’t know what the [censored by FOM]’s is going on there.”
    “What’s going on Max?”
    Verstappen: “All the time when I push to the limit I’m just losing speed. I don’t want to do another fast lap. I’m not sure it’s healthy. I said this already last year in Baku about same kind of things happening now.”

    1. Is he right or is Max knowing what happened to Daniel,a bit paranoid or did the team changed his mapping.

  313. Aston Martin Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer Honda.
    Not convinced.

    1. me neither. Looking how they are the team that are probably pushing the Renault the most of everyone, if they start pushing the Honda guys, I am pretty sure Honda would be right back where they were desperately acting after the facts with McLaren. I’d guess Honda is only stable-ish (remember both are already on their second engine) because they are not under as much immediate pressure. And they are not fast here either.

  314. Crofty thinks the gaps are big. I only see 0.019 between Seb and Max on S2. Max was doing 316 on the back straight and Ferrari 326, I’m sure there’s power modes and maybe fuel between that s3 discrepancy, the same can be said of Lewis. I think its close.

  315. Thanks for joining in guys here’s the final practice report. Note quite a few drivers failed to improve on their best time from yesterday:


  316. Force India’s Andrew Green on how the ultra-softs are perofrming:

    “It’s still not a qualifying tyre in the sense that you can do a stint on it.”

  317. My pole time prediction: 1:30.453.

  318. Hello everyone and welcome to RaceFans Live as we build up to today’s qualifying session.

  319. Here are the fastest times set by each team so far this weekend:

    1. Ferrari – 1’33.018
    2. Mercedes – 1’33.482
    3. Red Bull – 1’33.823
    4. Renault – 1’34.313
    5. Haas – 1’34.329
    6. Force India – 1’34.445
    7. McLaren – 1’34.632
    8. Williams – 1’34.741
    9. Toro Rosso – 1’34.849
    10. Sauber – 1’35.497

  320. Because of the ‘step’ between the tyres, getting the best out of the ultra-softs requires some big set-up compromises. I wonder whether some teams will prefer to aim their race set-up around a soft/medium strategy and ignore the ultras?

  321. I saw 2 funny things in FP3.
    The Haas extinguisher mechanic kicking the leaf blower mechanic and a track marshal around Ricciardo’s car unintentionally spraying all over his feet.

  322. Just saw Horner say explicitly that the Q1 crash last week was not a driver error.

    What is all happening at redbull

    1. Where was that?

      1. Dutch tv interview

      2. I’ll put a link up if the clip comes available

  323. Sky clearing up the bad pit stop. They filmed the gun. The gun has a toggle for forward and reverse, so a easy mistake.

    1. I feel vindicated, my hunch was correct. Got some flack on the comment section last week. I’ve also noticed Ferrari no longer keeps his tyre guy in front of the rear left.

    2. Yes, they say there were 5 human errors involved. I had wondered whether it was time to have a robot do the wheel change.

  324. Can they get Daniel’s car ready for Qualifying ?

    1. Not looking good, the gearbox isn’t on yet

  325. Heading into final practice, here’s how each team’s best time so far this weekend compares to their best from 2017. Only McLaren have improved so far:

    1. McLaren -0.391
    2. Haas +0.165
    3. Sauber +0.605
    4. Renault +0.733
    5. Force India +0.739
    6. Red Bull +0.79
    7. Toro Rosso +1.13
    8. Ferrari +1.154
    9. Williams +1.234
    10. Mercedes +1.804

  326. On Sky. Di Resta is braving it out. Quite funny, he’s clearly bothered by the cold.

    1. Its amazing how Paul can talk with his mouth barely open !!

  327. First batch of pictures has just gone up at https://www.racefans.net/pictures/new/:

  328. Only 12 degrees Celsius. Maybe they should move this race back to its original slot in September as the risk of the daytime temperatures falling into around 15 degrees or even below is lower than at this time of year.

  329. Doesn’t look like RIC’s car is ready yet

    1. No, and not looking very likely he’ll gat much time at all to do a time.

      1. Wow they did it. Good job

  330. Hamilton still not looking comfortable.

  331. oh, my pole lap time is maybe a bit conservative.

  332. Stroll looking really bad against his rookie teammate

  333. That was odd by Bottas.

  334. With Toro Rosso struggling, Sirotkin could just nip into Q2 here.

  335. Leclerc nearly did a Giovinazzi.

  336. Great job by Red Bull to get Ricciardo out.

  337. Nice slide there Ricci!

  338. Ricardo demonstrating his frustration with that slide.

  339. Should note no drivers have grid penalties yet which is always nice but increasingly rare…

  340. Magnussen switches to ultra-softs.

  341. Decent improvement for Gasly, this is going to put Sirotkin under pressure.

  342. Gasly falls short with his last run, Hartley beats him into Q2 – he needed that.

    1. Just the 2nd time in 3 races for Hartley.

      1. So, only once he didn’t ? :) But that when his teammate got 5th, of course.

        1. Sure, we must give credit where credit is due, that said everyone is underrating Hartley.

  343. McLaren much faster than Toro Rosso.

  344. It doesn’t look like Williams today is no longer the Williams of Nigel Mansel, Jacques Villeneuve, Juan Pablo Montoya or even Pastor Maldonado.

    1. Accidental double negative when proof reading.

  345. That must’ve been some effort by Grosjean for fifth!

  346. The gaps were really small this q1 and everyone was on us

    1. Will be interesting whether Verstappen, who had a good 10 lap stint on US does use those USofts here.

  347. uh oh, the timing is botched a bit there.

  348. Hamilton should be safe now

  349. Just hoping Ferrari have enough pace for the race as well. Shouldn’t be like the race in Baku from STR/RBR where they qualified in the front and then dropped like a stone in the race.

    1. Dropped like a stone seems unlikely after yesterday’s long runs.

      1. But Mercedes were closer yesterday. Maybe they are concentrating on race pace and looking after tires etc.

  350. Ferrari going on Usofts now, why?

    1. It’s the lamb sacrifice strategy to the nth degree. Totally unnecessary.

      1. No, they didn’t finish it, they have plenty, so I guess just practice for Q3.

        1. They have plenty of ultrasofts, so guess they may as well have done it.

  351. Well, that’s a better start at least from Hamilton. Interesting.

  352. Go Hulk! What a good time.

  353. So, Magnussen went too early then?

  354. Magnussen looked capable of better than that in practice but suspect he’ll be pleased with ‘new tyre pole’.

  355. Did Red Bull elect not to go a second time then?

    1. oh, they are still out.

  356. Surprised Van Doorne had DRS open when towing Alonso. All that practice, but surely that’s a small error due to reduced turbulence created?

  357. I told you Merc was sandb@gging, the s2 time revealed it, also the speed trap figures.

    1. But Ferrari still are ! That’s all Mercedes have whereas we’re yet to see what Ferrari can do. 100% a Ferrari will be on pole today.

      1. For the sake of my predictions championship pick. Please no.

        1. Told you. No one believes Ferrari have the best car this year but they do.

          1. To early to say that definitely, they weren’t in Austria and not clearly in Bahrain, but here they do seem to be well ahead indeed.

  358. How long will be the US and Soft tyre stints?

  359. Ericsson is under investigation for failing to slow for double waved yellow flags.

  360. Will there be a party mode?

  361. Wait for the 2nd run just wait. Mercedes managing mileage to an extreme extent.

    1. They used full mode to get into q3. Honestly, it’s game over already. Vettel will snatch it from Kimi tho

  362. So what’ll go wrong this time around for Kimi?

      1. The usual Kimi Q3 screw up

      2. Well, he got S3 wrong enough to give Vettel a chance.

      3. I think I saw something explode.

  363. Good sector two for Bottas.

  364. Oh maaaaan :/ This is really starting to get on my nerves.

  365. Very nice from Vettel. Max in front of RIC again. Error from Lewis in Q3.

  366. red front row on my bithday!! forza ferrari!!

    1. Happy Birthday! Happy that VET got pole

    1. What Q1 crash?
      Btw, I think the video’s geo-blocked.

      1. Also, the title of the video seems to be “A lot gets lost in translation”, so I can’t see how it relates to the subject.

        1. Just use a vpn and watch it

        1. Has anyone in their right mind claimed otherwise?

  367. That Bottas guy, I’ve never rated him. He’s awful

  368. Hello everyone and welcome to our coverage of the Chinese Grand Prix on RaceFans Live! The race starts in just under an hour and a half.

  369. Lots of debate over who’s got the best strategy today. Grosjean has out-qualified Magnussen but fears his team mate will be in stronger shape for not reaching Q3:

    “The best strategy is to do the soft-medium and you’ve seen the top teams have qualified on softs, so they want to do soft-medium. If we had had a better day yesterday and a good morning I would probably have done Q2 on softs, I was quite confident that I could go through.

    “We didn’t do it but I think I could have done it and started the race on the soft which would have been a better tyre but anyway, we’ll do our best with the ultra-soft and hopefully use all the experience to get it right in the long-run.”

  370. Crucially, the sun has appeared in Shanghai, that’s going to make the track quite a bit hotter which could play into the hands of those running on the harder tyres.

    1. One of the teams who anticipated the hotter conditions is Mercedes as Wolff explained yesterday:

      “The forecast is for different temperatures, 20 degrees more track temperature. That could make quite a difference. We have looked at tomorrow we will see whether that plan that proves to be right.”

  371. Here’s how many tyres each drivers has left for the race. Note everyone has a set of fresh mediums, they are probably planning to one-stop if they can. And several drivers have fresh sets of ultra-softs available. Those could appear if we get a late Safety Car or VSC…

    Lewis HamiltonMercedes100212
    Valtteri BottasMercedes100212
    Sebastian VettelFerrari101103
    Kimi RaikkonenFerrari101103
    Daniel RicciardoRed Bull102003
    Max VerstappenRed Bull102003
    Sergio PerezForce India102003
    Esteban OconForce India102013
    Lance StrollWilliams101122
    Sergey SirotkinWilliams101122
    Carlos Sainz JnrRenault101004
    Nico HulkenbergRenault101004
    Pierre GaslyToro Rosso101023
    Brendon HartleyToro Rosso101014
    Romain GrosjeanHaas100104
    Kevin MagnussenHaas100123
    Fernando AlonsoMcLaren102013
    Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren102013
    Marcus EricssonSauber101113
    Charles LeclercSauber101113
  372. My top-5 predictions (set before qualifying): 1. Hamilton. 2. Vettel, 3. Bottas, 4. Raikkonen, 5. Ricciardo.

  373. Hope ferrari can deliver best car and best strategy this time

  374. If Raikkonen doesn’t win today he’ll have gone 100 races without a victory. He’s got a strong chance of winning though.

    1. Hm, Keith, I think that Kimi doesn’t have any chance to win, unless Vettel somehow drops out of the race at the front. And even then, Ferrari might give up Kimi if it helps Seb back on the podium.

  375. Some of the driver likenesses are better than others…

    Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen caricatures, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

    Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez caricatures, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

    Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez caricatures, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

    Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton caricatures, Shanghai International Circuit, 2018

  376. 1) Vettel
    2) Raikkonen
    3) Ricciardo

  377. Pretty big front wing change for Hamilton, wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of drivers are making similar changes given the overnight change in temperatures:

    Hamilton: “Got time to put some wing in?”
    “It will be tight, we’ll update you. How much do you want?”
    Hamilton: “Take out three holes. So leave the engine running, stop short.”

  378. Looks like Perez didn’t make it to the anthem on time, that’s an offence which carries a reprimand. Strangely he did exactly the same thing at this track last year:


    1. large paddock? He missed the start only by a couple of seconds though, didn’t he?

      1. As I recall Ocon didn’t make it in time either last year but managed to dodge a penalty.

  379. Martins grid walk really doesn’t add anything. The novelty has long since worn off.

    1. it has yeah @yosi. He really didn’t get anything interesting out of anyone.

  380. Curious to see Toro Rosso dodging the soft tyres for the start.

  381. Evening all, speaking of the ‘grid show’..could it possibly be more dull?

  382. Despite being the only driver to start on new ultra-softs Hartley fell to 18th at the start.

  383. what did Verstappan said, see you *****? later son

  384. Is max managing his tires to do a 1 stop?

  385. Alonso: “From the feeling so far, Plan B I think is better.”

  386. “Driver swap, before turn 14.”
    Hartley: “Seriously? OK I’m letting him by.”

  387. Who would want Magnussen as a team mate?

  388. Grosjean not happy with Magnussen being let by:

    Grosjean: “I’m on massive dirty air.”
    “Understood, just look after the tyre as best you can.”
    Grosjean: “Yeah but that’s not helping me. He’s not pulling away. “

  389. Hartley: “I think we need to get off this compound as soon as we can.” He’s on ultra-softs, drivers should be able to one-stop if they get them to lap 18. But he’s in seven laps before then, and he had a fresh set.

  390. good duel between Gros and Alonso

  391. Verstappen still doing personal bests on his ultra-softs on lap 14, so he’s looked after them well.

  392. Sainz change to Medium

  393. Sky suggesting that KR is holding up LH deliberately. Can’t agree with them on that one.

  394. Alex McFarlane
    15th April 2018, 7:38

    Is this a race or a procession?

    1. We have new rules. We are on lap 17 of the 56 parade laps. The race to run onto the podium will start after they are over.

      1. Alex McFarlane
        15th April 2018, 7:43

        Now that would be worth getting up early for!

  395. Hulkenberg also on Mediums

  396. RAI holding up HAM

    1. HAM can now use party mode

  397. “We are in temperature, come on, let’s do like that, it’s very good.”
    Magnussen: “Tyres are getting better, more grip.”
    “I know, that’s great for us.”

  398. HAM reports he is strugling to keep up with Kimi

  399. Great double stop from the bulls

  400. Seems odd Ferrari didn’t pit Raikkonen then, Hamilton was always coming in to cover.