Rosberg scores hat trick of victories in China

Rosberg China 2016 winner

Nico Rosberg continued his winning form this season with his third victory for Mercedes at the Chinese Grand Prix.

This was Rosberg’s sixth consecutive victory, beating his team-mate Lewis Hamilton since last year’s Mexican Grand Prix.

This latest achievement means he opens up a 36-point lead over Hamilton.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in second position, despite a clash with his Ferrari’s team-mate caused by Daniil Kvyat, who was able to complete the podium for Red Bull Racing.

As for Hamilton, starting from the back of the grid after a MGU-H failure during qualifying and subsequent power unit change post session, the reigning champion could do no better than seventh position.

But that’s only half the story of what was a chaotic race at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Chinese GP 2016 race

Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo took the lead into Turn 1 after beating polesitter Rosberg off the line from his own front-row position.

Behind the lead duo, Kimi Raikkonen locked up marginally at the first corner, forcing Ferrari team-mate Vettel to make a slightly evasive move.

But with Kvyat charging up the inside, Vettel manoeuvred his way back into his team-mate, sending The Iceman off the track and into the pits for repairs.

Vettel was angry over the team’s radio, blaming Kvyat as “a madman” who had made a “suicidal” move and arguing with him after the race.

Hamilton had made up five position into Turn 1, but after running over a piece of Raikkonen’s front wing, the champion was then hit by Felipe Nasr and ended up with his own front wing lodged under his Mercedes.

That caused damage to his Silver Arrows, resulting in a loss of downforce and hampering Hamilton’s recovery.

Leader Ricciardo’s hopes were dashed on lap three when, powering down the back straight and with Rosberg behind, he sustained a puncture to his left-rear tyre caused by debris on the track.

Shredded rubber on that part of the circuit prompted a safety car, and brought Raikkonen and Hamilton back into contention at the rear of the pack.

During the five laps the safety car was on track, Hamilton made two stops for tyres, taking on super-softs for one lap, and then back to another set of softs, the compound on which he had started, giving him free choice of Pirelli tyres for the rest of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Once the safety car was released, behind leader Rosberg a number of key players were out of position, with Vettel P15, Ricciardo P17, Raikkonen P19 and Hamilton P21.

What followed was an easy Sunday drive for Rosberg, while those behind attempted to work out the best strategy and tyres for any given part of the race, with positions changing constantly.

Kvyat ran second to Rosberg for most of the race, with Vettel using a brief hard-charging stint on super-softs to make progress through the traffic and catch him again.

They swapped positions immediately after the final pit stops, where Ferrari put Vettel on softs and he was able to quickly attack on the medium-shod Red Bull.

At one stage prior to his fourth pit stop after 21 laps Hamilton was running third as others pitted, but two further stops followed – for a total of five – dropping him down the order on both occasions.

Hamilton came back through to push Felipe Massa’s Williams for fourth, but was eventually passed by a flying Ricciardo and Raikkonen.

Ricciardo ultimately claimed fourth for the third successive race, with Raikkonen fifth, followed by Massa, Hamilton, the Toro Rosso pair of Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr, with Valtteri Bottas completing the top ten.

Despite the numerous incidents, all 22 cars completed the race, with Jolyon Palmer for Renault the last of those to see the chequered flag.

So a dramatic Chinese Grand Prix. Mayhem on the opening lap with three champions receiving damage. The top drivers fighting back through the field and yet the championship leader extends the points lead with a great win.

Mercedes China 2016 win

Chinese Grand Prix, race results after 56 laps:

1    Nico Rosberg    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    1h38m53.891s
2    Sebastian Vettel    Scuderia Ferrari    37.776s
3    Daniil Kvyat    Red Bull Racing    45.936s
4    Daniel Ricciardo    Red Bull Racing    52.688s
5    Kimi Raikkonen    Scuderia Ferrari    1m05.872s
6    Felipe Massa    Williams Martini Racing    1m15.511s
7    Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team    1m18.230s
8    Max Verstappen    Scuderia Toro Rosso    1m19.268s
9    Carlos Sainz    Scuderia Toro Rosso    1m24.127s
10    Valtteri Bottas    Williams Martini Racing    1m26.192s
11    Sergio Perez    Sahara Force India F1 Team    1m34.283s
12    Fernando Alonso    McLaren Honda    1m37.253s
13    Jenson Button    McLaren Honda    1m41.990s
14    Esteban Gutierrez    Haas F1 Team    1 Lap
15    Nico Hulkenberg    Sahara Force India F1 Team    1 Lap
16    Marcus Ericsson    Sauber F1 Team    1 Lap
17    Kevin Magnussen    Renault Sport F1 Team    1 Lap
18    Pascal Wehrlein    Manor Racing MRT    1 Lap
19    Romain Grosjean    Haas F1 Team    1 Lap
20    Felipe Nasr    Sauber F1 Team    1 Lap
21    Rio Haryanto    Manor Racing MRT    1 Lap
22    Jolyon Palmer    Renault Sport F1 Team    1 Lap

Drivers’ standings:

1    Nico Rosberg    75
2    Lewis Hamilton    39
3    Daniel Ricciardo    36
4    Sebastian Vettel    33
5    Kimi Raikkonen    28
6    Felipe Massa    22
7    Daniil Kvyat    21
8    Romain Grosjean    18
9    Max Verstappen    13
10    Valtteri Bottas    7
11    Nico Hulkenberg    6
12    Carlos Sainz    4
13    Stoffel Vandoorne    1
14    Kevin Magnussen    0
15    Sergio Perez    0
16    Jolyon Palmer    0
17    Marcus Ericsson    0
18    Fernando Alonso    0
19    Jenson Button    0
20    Pascal Wehrlein    0
21    Felipe Nasr    0
22    Esteban Gutierrez    0
23    Rio Haryanto    0

Constructors’ standings:

1    Mercedes    114
2    Ferrari    61
3    Red Bull-TAG Heuer    57
4    Williams-Mercedes    29
5    Haas-Ferrari    18
6    Toro Rosso-Ferrari    17
7    Force India-Mercedes    6
8    McLaren-Honda    1
9    Renault    0
10    Sauber-Ferrari    0
11    Manor-Mercedes    0

Next race: Russian Grand Prix, Sochi. April 29-May 1.

5 thoughts to “Rosberg scores hat trick of victories in China”

  1. Sebastian Vettel was left furious with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat over the clash between them and Vettel’s Ferrari Formula 1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the Chinese Grand Prix’s first corner.

    Raikkonen had slid wide into Turn 1 and was then wheel-to-wheel with Vettel when Kvyat came down the inside too.

    Vettel took avoiding action and hit Raikkonen, delaying both and causing sufficient damage to the Finn’s car to force him to pit.

    The German described Kvyat as “a madman” and his move as “suicidal” over team radio, and then erupted at his Red Bull replacement when Kvyat asked about the start in the drivers’ room on the way to the podium.

    “You ask what happened at the start? If I didn’t go to the left, you’d have crashed into us and we’d all three go out,” Vettel raged.

    “You came like a torpedo.”

    When Kvyat retorted that he “was racing”, Vettel replied: “If I’d kept going on the same line, we’d have crashed.”

    The argument concluded with Vettel declaring “you were lucky this time” to Kvyat.

    In the podium interviews, Vettel admitted it was particularly frustrating because the consequence of the incident had been contact between the two Ferraris.

    Vettel recovered to second, passing Kvyat in the final stint, with Raikkonen ending up fifth.

    “It’s a shame because you don’t want the same colour cars touching,” said Vettel.

    “In the end we were lucky because I could continue, he could continue, but surely not the best result for the team so I’m very sorry for that.”

    Kvyat remained unrepentant.

    “You see a gap, you go for it,” he said.

    “Yeah, it was a risky move, I agree with Seb, but this kind of move can bring you podiums.

    “He’s on the podium, I’m on the podium, it’s fine.

    “I will keep on risking like this, and I hope he respects that.”


    (Kvyat asks Vettel about the start)

    Sebastian Vettel: You ask what happened at the start? If I didn’t go the left you’d crash into us and we’d all three go out!

    Daniil Kvyat: Well…

    SV: No, no ‘well!’ You came like a torpedo!

    DK: Well that’s racing.

    SV: If I keep going the same line then I crash.

    DK: Then don’t keep going…

    SV: But there was a car on the left also, that’s why I hit the other car.

    DK: I couldn’t see all the three cars man, come on. I have only two eyes.

    SV: You’ll crash driving like that.

    DK: But we didn’t, so…

    SV: Yeah, you didn’t! I know it’s racing but…you need to expect that when you’re packed up it’s crazy. You were lucky this time.

    DK: Well I’m on the podium, you’re on the podium. It’s fine.


  2. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo believes his fight back to finish fourth in Sunday’s 2016 Formula 1 Pirelli Grand Prix ranks as the best performance of his racing career.

    Ricciardo, second on the grid, snatched the lead from Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg at the start, but suffered a left-rear puncture on the third lap which forced him to make an early pit stop – a setback which was magnified by a subsequent safety-car period that dropped him even further down the field to 17th.

    From there, however, he fought back superbly, pulling off a string of sensational passes – including one on defending champion Lewis Hamilton – to rescue fourth place, finishing just six seconds off team mate Daniil Kvyat in the final podium spot.

    “There was some incidents on the first lap so I saw some debris, but it didn’t seem like I caught a big bit or anything, so [the puncture] was pretty unexpected,” the Australian explained.

    “I guess it was unlucky, and then the safety car put us even further back, so that was a double whammy – it felt like getting punched in the stomach by a heavyweight.

    “But from there it was probably the best race of my career.”

    Ricciardo also hailed the progress made by Red Bull since last season, with the former champions solidifying their grip on third place in the constructors’ standings thanks to Kvyat’s third place.

    “Every weekend we’ve shown a strength we didn’t think we would have – we have potential, and [the season] definitely feels more like 2014,” said Ricciardo. “Really promising for sure.

    “I felt I could have been spraying champagne, but part of me is still smiling because we’ll get other opportunities.”

    Ricciardo has now finished fourth in all three races this year, leaving him third in the championship, just three points behind Hamilton in second.


  3. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso has admitted that the main problem is speed and not strategy. has the news story.

    Fernando Alonso suspects the McLaren-Honda Formula 1 team was simply too slow to score points in the Chinese Grand Prix, rather than its alternative strategy being a mistake.

    Alonso was adamant on Saturday that both McLarens were robbed of Q3 slots by the red flag for Nico Hulkenberg’s lost wheel and would be quick enough for strong points finishes.

    But despite both running in the top five for long spells as strategies unfolded, Alonso and team-mate Jenson Button finished back in the 12th and 13th positions they had qualified in.

    McLaren diverged from its rivals by running long stints on the medium compound tyres early on, whereas most saved those for the end of the race.

    “It was not easy, we didn’t have the pace to deliver a good result and be in the points,” Alonso said.

    “We chose to be on a two-stop strategy against the three-stopper and tried to have the benefit of that but it didn’t work as planned.

    “Also the safety car didn’t come at the right time for us but after that we didn’t have the pace either.”

    Button made a late switch to the super-soft tyre with a third stop but still made little ground.

  4. Lewis Hamilton claimed his Mercedes drove “like a four-poster bed” after he finished seventh at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

    After failing to post a time in qualifying due to a technical problem, Hamilton was forced to start from the back of the grid at the Shanghai International Circuit.

    The defending world champion suffered damage to his front wing in a collision with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber on the first lap, with the part subsequently lodging itself underneath the car.

    A safety car following a puncture for Daniel Ricciardo helped him to finish in the points, but the effect of the contact was felt throughout the remainder of the race.

    “It was definitely a difficult one,” said Hamilton. “I got a good start, which is always difficult from the back. I tried to avoid what was ahead of me but got tangled in it.

    “This track is quite good because you can overtake and get close but the car was pretty damaged. I’m sure some aero parts were damaged but I think the suspension was too.

    “The car was flexing like crazy. It was like a four-poster bed.”

    Nico Rosberg claimed a third successive Grand Prix victory to extend his lead over Hamilton in the drivers’ standings to 36 points and the 31-year-old was keen to move on.

    “Every time I did a stop, I was having to come back through again – so I wasn’t really gaining a lot of ground,” added Hamilton.

    “At the end, there was nothing left in the tyres. Anyway, that’s racing. Not a great finish for us this weekend, hopefully onwards and upwards.”

    Source: Yahoo Sport

  5. Nico Rosberg is not reading too much in to his margin of victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, saying that his win had more to do with errors from Ferrari than his own dominance.

    The championship leader took his third consecutive win of 2016 in China, beating Sebastian Vettel by nearly 40 seconds having led from the third lap of the race.

    Vettel collided with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen at the start of the race, with both requiring new front wings. Rosberg was never troubled once he passed Daniel Ricciardo – who had jumped him at the start – but says the problems at Ferrari continues to mask its true pace.

    “What we take away is that we are still the quickest car out there at the moment, but really Ferrari haven’t shown what they can do,” Rosberg said.

    “They have had so many issues in the first three races, so we need to keep on it and keep pushing because I think they are closer than they have shown. We will push and I am looking forward to the next races and I think we will go well there.”

    Source: F1i

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