Lewis the pace maker

CHINA REVIEW

What the Chinese Grand Prix confirmed was that Formula Oneâ„¢ is now well and truly dominated by Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. The two most popular faces of the current generation. Surprising everyone by signing up for Mercedes from the struggling McLaren and Red Bull Racing teams respectively, both have displayed a keen sense of foresight and fierce ambition for being in the right team at the right time.

A fantastic rivalry is in the making.

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Another victory for car #44. Image Copyright © Mercedes AMG

Although it was Nico Rosberg in the other Mercedes who defended P2 successfully from the Ferrari threat, his complaints later about team mate Hamilton suggests he’s not on song with the W06 yet.

Rosberg felt Hamilton unnecessarily drove slowly in the first stint backing him into the clutches of P3 placed Sebastian Vettel who tried in vain to undercut him during the pitstops. Lewis later rejected the claim stating his job wasn’t to “drive for Nico’s race”!

A war of words and mind games within the Mercedes squad reminded us of the squabbling and eventual run-in last year. But this year the German in the Ferrari and it’s amazing recovery to winning form is providing an exciting parallel story.

Elsewhere down the field a new star emerged in the form of 17yr old Max Verstappen. His ability to smoothly overtake rival cars making the manoeuvres stick almost effortlessly has won him applauds up and down the paddock. With Martin Brundle of Sky Sports even touting him to be the next Senna or Schumacher! Unfortunately for Max his Renault powered Toro Rosso didn’t see the chequered flag.

 

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Hamilton & Rosberg hat-trick

SHANGHAI REVIEW

The biggest moment of the 2014 Formula 1 UBS Chinese Grand Prix was at the start. Felipe Massa veered his FW36 left wards into the charging field resulting in a heart-stopping thwack with Fernando Alonso’s F14T. They both continued into Turn 1 unscathed. But the Williams’ left rear wheel nut was jammed in, causing a disastrously long pit stop later in the race that saw the Brazilian finish only in P15.

Nico Rosberg starting from P4 dropped down four places after a poor start. After that his afternoon was all about using the W05’s superior pace to claw back the gap to his teammate and rival. He managed to finish 18s behind in P2 ultimately. For the third time in a row. His body language post-race spoke frustration. His mind was perhaps wandering to his victory in Melbourne and wondering what might have ensued if his weekend nemesis did not have engine troubles there.

Maybe Lewis Hamilton would’ve recorded a lights-to-flag victory there too? The 2008 World Champion has everything covered so far. If he finishes, he finishes first. If he loses Pole he still wins the race. His pace is outstanding. His confidence is such that even though Rosberg leads the championship by a slim margin currently it’ll only be a matter of time before his lead is overhauled. It’s not going to be an easy season for the German for sure. For Ferrari, things looked promising in China. Fernando Alonso was at his fighting best. Just how he managed P3 in a slow car overcoming the Red Bulls is one for the story books. After surviving the collision at the start his was a calculated drive to the podium.

He offered no challenge whatsoever when Rosberg came past him fully aware that his race pace was no match for the Mercedes. But crafted his last stint managing a gap that was fast diminishing to the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo in P4.

Ricciardo put his illustrious teammate in the shade again. After Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel admitted he cannot do much if his teammate is genuinely faster than him in the RB10. However during the course of the race it seemed like he would disobey team orders and hold back the charging Aussie. When Vettel did allow his teammate through it didn’t seem like he did so deliberately as he seemed a bit out of control and ran wide off the apex. Christian Horner agreed that the German defending champion is not in sync yet with the new low-downforce cars. Lets prepare for some fireworks within Red Bull when he is.

The Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez recorded another dual points finish topping the race for best-Mercedes-customer engines. Hulkenberg held off Valtteri Bottas from a dismal Kimi Raikkonen. Behind them Sergio Perez made it into the points from P16 and Daniil Kvyat claimed the last point after starting P13. The young Russian has 3 points finishes in the premier league of racing before his 20th birthday. Imagine the support for him at the inaugural Russian Grand Prix later this year! His stellar drives so far can only be overshadowed by car #44, a full lap up the road from him.

Lewis Hamilton led home Nico Rosberg again in a third consecutive one-two finish for Mercedes AMG Petronas. They head into Barcelona in three weeks time with almost a 100 point lead in the constructors championship. Hamilton is now 8th in the all-time winners list with 25 victories to his credit. And his career seems to have resurrected by Mercedes on Easter Sunday. How fitting.

Hamilton completes the hat-trick! Image Copyright © Mercedes AMG

Hamilton completes the hat-trick! Image Copyright © Mercedes AMG

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PODIUM
P1 Hamilton - Mercedes AMG 1hr 33m 28.338s
P2 Rosberg - Mercedes AMG
P3 Alonso – Scuderia Ferrari

Read this article at Sify.com

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