Round 2 of the 2017 Formula 1 world championship is just around the corner and after a less than exhilarating Australian GP, what can we expect this week?
24 March: Practice 1 (12:30) / Practice 2 (16:30)
25 March: Practice 3 (14:00) / Qualifying (17:00)
26 March: Race (16:00)
Track: Shanghai international
Location: Shanghai, China
First race: 2004
Length: 5.451 km/ 3.387 m
Fastest lap: 1:32.238 (Michael Schumacher, 2004)
2016 winner: Nico Rosberg
Let me start off by saying I really hope Daniel Ricciardo has a much much better weekend. The Australian had so much support last time out at his home race but a spin in qualifying and car failures both on the way to the grid and in the race brought his weekend to a bitter end.
After Australia Ferrari went to the top of the standings, the first time a none Mercedes car has been there since the V6 Hybrid era began in 2014. However Hamilton has a very good record around the Shanghai international circuit, a 4 time winner he certainly has a good chance of winning there again.
Red bull are still a difficult one. They usually thrive in new aero regulations but it seems that the current changes have caught them out. That’s not to say they won’t bounce back, just look what happened last year. As for their reliability, well they seemed to be OK and it was probably Ricciardo’s crash in Q3 that caused the issues previously mentioned. Bar the Tag Heuer input the RB13 uses the same engine as the Renault and Palmer ended in similar situation.
Oh Mclaren, Mclaren, Mclaren… what is going on? To be fair Vandoorne did see the checker flag but he was last of those to do so. It’s also a year since the Belgian took over from Alonso in Bahrain and scored his first F1 point, probably won’t happen this weekend but we can live in hope. As for Alonso, he was in the points at one point before the incredible 3 wide battle into turn one just before his engine packed up.
Giovinazzi will once again step into the Sauber in place Wehrlein, the German sighting he still isn’t ready to make the full race distance. And I have high hopes for him after he impressed in Australia, to be honest I would like to see him in a full seat.
Somebody else who needs to improve is one Jolyon Palmer, the Renault driver is not the most respected in the paddock and had horrid weekend last time out. But I doubt he will.
As for the excitement and overtakes we could see more, there has been talk of extending the DRS zones but the increased width of the cars will still make things difficult. I can however safely say we don’t a repeat or Australia’s 25 lap non-overtake gap.
Top 3 prediction