After the events of Malaysia (which saw a surprise win for Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel) Formula 1 has arrived in Shanghai, China, for the twelfth time.
A circuit noted for a tricky first corner (that seems to go on forever), and a very long and fast back straight that leads into a mighty hairpin, China was where Lewis Hamilton famously beached his car in 2007, losing points that ultimately cost him the championship on his debut season. The track is also the scene of Michael Schumacher’s final F1 win in 2006.
Good overtaking opportunities include the back straight, plus turn 14 at the end of it, whilst in the past overtaking has been witnessed at turn 16, whilst of course drivers can dive down the inside of turn 1, though the weaving nature of the corner means it can be a challenge to make the move stick. Turn 6 can offer up chances – provided you can get close enough to the guy in front of you.
Last year Hamilton won from Rosberg by 18 seconds, whilst Alonso was third for Ferrari. Given the ongoing problems for McLaren, it seems highly unlikely Alonso will gain a podium tomorrow.
In practice for Sunday’s race, a man managed to get from the crowd onto the track, running across the start/finish straight to the pits. The breach of security at such an event is one that deserves serious scrutiny – to describe it as an act of lunacy would be disrespectful to lunatics!
Qualifying saw Hamilton snatch pole position from Rosberg by just 0.042 seconds, thus getting his third consecutive pole of the season. Vettel lines up in third and, considering that in practice the tyres of the Ferraris looked strong (despite lacking pace compared to the Mercedes), this could offer up a chance for another win. We shall see.