GPI 2017 Chinese Grand Prix - Page 162

SHANGHAI REVIEW BY BEN STEVENS Sunday Rain may have played less of a factor than we’d expected, but there’s no denying the Chinese Grand Prix delivered on all accounts. After a lukewarm start to the season in Melbourne, Shanghai was a much-needed barnburner. An epic Verstappen comeback, a slew of hard-fought passes, some last- lap drama between the Red Bulls, and even Fernando Alonso cracking a (virtual) smile – there’s certainly plenty to talk about. Let’s start first with the winner, Lewis Hamilton. The man may not be able to dress casually to save his life, but there’s no denying his quality behind the wheel. The third Grand Chelem of his career was a virtuoso performance, no better exemplified than by a two-lap sequence between himself and Sebastian Vettel on laps 43 and 44. His Ferrari on super-softs, Vettel set a 1:35.670 fastest lap that Hamilton immediately lowered by .292s on the slower soft tyre – how he pulled that out of his arse I’ll never know, but it illustrates how on it he was. That said, Ferrari fans have to be encouraged considering Vettel had to make his way back from P5 to second, and still only finished 6.250s off the lead. At least on race pace, Mercedes and Ferrari seem neck- and-neck, and the prancing horse might even be in front. However while it was a good day for Hamilton and Vettel, the same can’t be said for their teammates.