GPI 2017 Chinese Grand Prix - Page 164

SHANGHAI REVIEW BY BEN STEVENS Neither Valtteri Bottas nor Kimi Raikkonen have found the same pace as their teammates, and are quickly being relegated to number two status. Knowing the Finns, I’m sure they’ll be torn up about it. I’d be remiss if I didn’t give props to Max Verstappen who once again showed his balls, even if there’s no hair on them yet. He’s clearly at home in the wet (a trademark of the two drivers who owned the past two decades) and deserved his podium with some on the limit defending. Although as an Aussie allow me to defend Daniel Ricciardo by pointing out that Verstappen’s pass on the Aussie was probably aided by the sort of aggressive setup starting P17 affords you, and Ricciardo was definitely quicker in the latter stages. And no, I’m not bitter. Why do you ask? Outside the big names, two other “winners” were Kevin Magnussen – getting his first points in a very racey Haas, and Pascal Wehrlein – not bad considering he didn’t even race. Ferrari may have to pay Sauber to take their engines if Antonio Giovinazzi has another weekend like this one. Also amusing to see Valtteri Bottas’ race engineer Tony Ross call him “Nico” on team radio, considering the guy’s a robot who had to be instructed to cheer for his former charge, I’m guessing they forgot to update his software. All-in-all, China was Formula 1 at its best. Sure, not every race is going to be quite that exciting, but maybe all the doom-and-gloom in the preseason was overblown. Will they back it up in Bahrain? Thankfully, we won’t have to wait long to find out.