2017 China Thoughts
THE BIG PICTURE: If the constructors' title truly turns into a season long battle between Mercedes and Ferrari, it may end up being decided by the performances of Bottas and Raikkonen, not Hamilton and Vettel.
TRACK: China alleviated a lot of the passing issues seen at Melbourne. Not everything was solved, but China showed how it could be.
EVENT: Perhaps they spent so much time this year showing all the happy fans in the front stands, so we would ignore the massive, massive empty grandstands elsewhere.
QUALIFYING: One one-thousandth of a second puts Vettel on the front row, Stroll does magnificent, Grosjean and Palmer get sent to the back, and Giovinazzi makes it out of Q1 and doesn't.
RACE: For a race with no lead changes, it was still pretty exciting.
START: Vettel starts half out of his box and nobody seems to care, Sainz on slicks drops to the back, and Verstappen puts on a passing clinic.
HAMILTON: Everything to perfection. Lewis on top of his game.
BOTTAS: When you're on a one year tryout with a juggernaut like Mercedes, even if it's only the second race, you can't be spinning off during a safety car lap.
VETTEL: It was the right move to pit early during the virtual safety car. They had no idea the safety car would come out immediately after the restart.
RAIKKONEN: Seems the bosses don't like Kimi's approach lately...
VERSTAPPEN: Max, stop the incessant whining. The track is not your private playground. You weren't even close to Grosjean, and if you couldn't get closer to force the blue flag, that's your own damn fault. Not the officials.
RICCIARDO: Beaten four of the last five times by his teammate. Whatever the circumstances, that has got to worry Daniel.
SAINZ: His team may have thought Carlos lost his mind, but his tire start gamble eventually paid off.
MAGNUSSEN: Kevin scored more points for Haas in his second race than Esteban Gutierrez did the whole 2016 season. Of course, it would have only taken one point for Magnussen to achieve that...
FORCE INDIA: Grabbed what they could.
RENAULT: Didn't grab a thing.
STROLL: A rookie mistake. On the first lap, you got to know there are cars all around you. Perez may not have been right next to Lance, but he sure as heck was right in there.
GIOVINAZZI: Antonio went from last minute fill in hero to substitute rookie wrecker. Racing is a fickle sport.
SAUBER: One week -- on the road -- to fix a car that's been whacked twice.
ALONSO: It is amazing what Alonso can do with a crap car. It is amazing he is wasting the rest of his career in a crap car. It will be amazing when he's had enough with a crap car.
WEHRLEIN: It appears the injury really was worse than originally let on. And now people are pointing out how drivers in the Race of Champions don't need to wear a HANS device, which Pascal did not. They sure will next year!
HOBBS: Enough already, David. Not every DNF is a ghastly, devastating, heartbreaking, appalling situation. Drivers have dropped out of races since the first one and will continue to do so. Stop with the overwrought commentating. Chill out!
FIA: So, it seems we're back to the era where Ferrari will never get penalized. What the heck is the use of a clearly marked starter box if you don't have to be in the starter box?!
WORD OF THE WEEKEND: Passing.
STAT OF THE WEEKEND: 1 -- The number of points separating Mercedes and Ferrari.
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND: After Carlos Sainz rejoined the pack and everyone else started pitting, he told his team, "I'm not so stupid anymore!"
QUOTE OF THE WEEKEND RUNNERUP: Valtteri Bottas with the first contender for understatement of the year, "That's a mistake I'm not really proud of."
SCHEDULE: Malaysia is off the schedule after this year. Hopefully, Bahrain will also run its last race next week. That's a race that definitely needs to be booted.
Copyright © 2017 by Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.