Chinese Grand Prix: Fights, Furor And Fallout In Formula 1

The Chinese Grand Prix has been won by Nico Rosberg, the third Grand Prix win in a row for the Mercedes driver. The podium was completed by Sebastian Vettel in second place and Daniil Kvyat in third. World Champion Lewis Hamilton fought back from the back of the grid to finish a commendable seventh, despite a chaotic multi-car collision shortly after the start.

The Chinese Grand Prix Is Won By Sebastian Vettel After Chaotic 56 Laps [Photo by Mark Schiefelbein/AP Images]Ferrari driver Vettel was involved in Hamilton’s skirmish, and held a grudge for the entire race. Fellow Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen “moved right into Vettel’s path as the German moved left to ensure he was not tagged by an aggressive dive down the inside by Kvyat,” reports the BBC. The Grand Prix was slowed down behind the safety car for a while so the marshals could clear the track.

The start of the Chinese Grand Prix was pretty much a disaster for many of the cars involved. With flying debris littering the track, more was damaged then just some Formula 1 cars. It’s fair to say that a few drivers won’t be speaking to each other for a while after the Grand Prix catastrophe.

The Chinese Grand Prix Is Won By Sebastian Vettel After Chaotic 56 Laps [Photo by Andy Wong/AP Images]Also, a certain Ferrari VIP was at the Chinese Grand Prix. Sergio Marchionne, who as CEO of Fiat ultimately runs every and anything to do with Ferrari, hung out with the guys in the Ferrari paddock. I’m guessing that the Raikkonen/Vettel part of the first lap fight didn’t go down to well with the big boss.

But the first corner chaos wasn’t over yet. “Hamilton was then turned into by Sauber’s Felipe Nasr as he avoided Raikkonen’s damaged car swerving back on to the circuit.” The Chinese circuit in Shanghai has a difficult first hairpin with a lift as the cars approach, often catching drivers out.

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There were more shenanigans after the Chinese Grand Prix had finished. “Vettel confronted Daniil Kvyat about the incident in the pre-podium room after the race.” Vettel told Red Bull’s Kvyat that he was “like a torpedo.” Seeing as Sebastian has four world championships behind him, he probably knows what he’s talking about.

“In the post-race interviews, Kvyat added: ‘You see the gap, you go for it on the inside. You see one car it is hard to see both. It was a risky move, I agree with Seb but you have to take risks and I am on the podium.’ “

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The drama at the start Chinese Grand Prix continued throughout the race. Hamilton had to endure five pit stops, although two of those were during the Safety Car laps, with Lewis driving “only one lap on the super-soft tyres in an attempt to ensure he could use only the softs for the rest of the race.” Despite his “suspension… flexing all over the place,” Hamilton did his best to punch through the pack, but a podium was always just a distant dream.

Hamilton is feeling the pressure of the 36 point stretch Vettel has ahead of him in the drivers’ championship standings. The Brit made a snide comment last week that “Rosberg would be guaranteed an ‘easy’ weekend after [Hamilton] was dealt a five-place grid penalty following a gearbox change.” After further problems with his engine, Lewis had to start the Grand Prix at the back of the field.

The Chinese Grand Prix Is Won By Sebastian Vettel After Chaotic 56 Laps [Photo by Mark Schiefelbein/AP Images]Vettel and Raikkonnen both needed new wings following the collisions in the Chinese Grand Prix. Also, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, “who had beaten Rosberg off the line, suffered a tyre blow-out on the following lap,” notes the Guardian. With “Rosberg’s main opposition…wiped out in the opening minutes of the race,” the top of the podium was a shoo-in for the German. However, with Rosberg’s stellar performance this season, he was always the favorite to win.

The Chinese Grand Prix marks Formula One’s move from Asia to Europe. The next grand prix is in Sochi, Russia, on May 1. F1 then moves on to Spain and Monaco before crossing to Atlantic to Canada on June 12.

[Photo by Andy Wong/AP Images]