GPI 2017 Chinese Grand Prix - Page 158

SHANGHAI REVIEW BY BEN STEVENS Saturday After the misery of Friday, Saturday brought the sun to Shanghai International Circuit, and a plethora of on-track action. Unless you want to count the farce that was Friday’s sessions, FP3 was the first chance the teams got to put their cars through their paces, and dare I say it was… exciting? That’s not usually a world you use to describe practice, but the combination of long runs and qualy simulations against a short clock made it a frantic 60 minutes. Especially after the discussion over shaking up the weekend format, it only boosted the case for such a move. And while it hasn’t been unheard-of for Ferrari to “win” the final practice session, it was clear their 1-2 here – with a three-tenths lead to Mercedes – paved the way for one hell of a fight. It’s readily apparent this is as close as Mercedes have been run at any point in the V6 era, and even though Lewis Hamilton still ended up on pole, this was a definite “win” for the Scuderia. Anyway, onto qualifying. HAM-VET- BOT-RAI. No, it’s not quite BUT-GRO-PER, but it’s looking like it’ll be a familiar sight on Saturdays this year, and with it, expect plenty of arguments about “car v driver” to flare up too. Has Ferrari caught up (and Hamilton’s just that good)? Or does Mercedes still have the edge (and Vettel’s just that good)?