Ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, ROB WATTS picks 5 talking points to look ahead to.
Two down, nineteen to go. It’s been a dream start so far for Nico Rosberg, but Romain Grosjean and new boys Haas have been the stars of the show so far.
China is the destination for round three of the championship, but who will “take-away” the most points this weekend? Here are five things we’re excited to see in Shanghai…
No more elimination qualifying
Quite frankly, I’m bored of talking about qualifying. We had two brilliant races in Australia and Bahrain, but all the talk was of the dreadful elimination format and the farcical processes that lead to its introduction. Thankfully, the FIA saw sense and scrapped it, so hopefully on Sunday evening, we’ll all be talking about what happened in the race, and not what happened in qualifying.
Wet Wet Wet
No, not the Scottish soft rock band, I am of course referring to the weather! It looks like we could be in for some heavy rain showers just in time for Saturday’s qualifying. We’ve seen rain here many times before, but with the field seemingly much closer this year, don’t be surprised to see a few drivers starting out of position for Sunday’s race.
He who dares,
wins scores points
Due to new tyre regulations, the supersoft compound will make its first ever appearance at the Shanghai International Circuit this weekend and Williams, McLaren and Haas appear to have taken the most aggressive strategy of all.
Each of their drivers will have seven sets of the supersoft tyre at their disposal, but they can expect very different conditions to what they experienced in Australia or Bahrain. High tyre wear and unpredictable conditions make race strategy a much tougher call to make, but one or two drivers may just take a risk on the supersoft tyre, especially if they’re starting well outside the top ten. Expect overtakes, and lots of them!
Grosjean’s spectacular start to the season Haas to stop soon. Surely?
They said it wouldn’t happen, then they said it wouldn’t happen again, but here we are approaching the third race of the season and after two spectacular results, Romain Grosjean sits FIFTH in the drivers’ championship. Shanghai promises a very different challenge, but with Haas opting for an aggressive tyre choice, don’t bet against Grosjean making it three points finishes in a row. After all, Haas can now probably afford to take some risks after their huge points haul from rounds one and two.
Hamilton will be desperate to stop Rosberg winning again
A five-place grid penalty means Hamilton will start no higher than sixth on Sunday, which opens the door for Rosberg to score his sixth consecutive win, and it’s worth noting that no driver has ever won six in a row without winning the championship.
For Lewis to win and halt Rosberg’s momentum, he’ll have to fight his way through the pack and probably pass the Ferraris at some stage as well. Only twice has this race ever been won from outside the first two rows, but Hamilton has won here four times himself in the past and has been on pole three years in a row. It could well be a classic, so who’s your money on?