ALICE RECAPS THE CHINESE GRAND PRIX

Nǐ hǎo and welcome to China!

trump china

Apologies for no Bahrain recap – it was on at 2am local time and I have a full time job that doesn’t allow me the luxury of staying up until 4am to watch the grand prix. Also, I’m too old and too tired to wake up mid-sleep to attempt to write a semi coherent blog post. Admittedly, I could have watched a replay or a highlights package but it’s just not the same when you already know the outcome, fam.

But never fear! I was wide awake are raring to go for this weekends race…

alyssa edwards

LIGHTS OUT AND AWAY WE GO!

We got yet ANOTHER race start with a clean first lap. That’s right ladies and gents, no crashes and no retirements. Astounding.

pray

#blessed

Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari bolted out the gate, popped in a fastest lap and essentially said “Bye Felicia” to the rest of the field.  It is however worth mentioning that he squeezed his teammate Kimi Raikkonen like a fresh orange out to the track limit which was, in a word, rude.

 

bye-b

The Renault’s of Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg decided that the real race was actually just between the two of them and Lance Stroll in the Williams somehow made up five places is one lap with is a mammoth effort by the young maple leaf.

 

Not a lot happened for a while in the early stages of the race if I’m being perfectly honest. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso took on Romain Grosjean in the Haas a few times but never quite managed to make the overtake stick, a few people pitted, stuff happened IDK.

idk

Red Bull went double dutch on Max Verstappen AND Daniel Ricciardo’s pit stops, meaning they changed eight tyres in the space of about 10 seconds.  I can’t even put shoes on my own two feet within 10 seconds.

 

Mercedes then went for the undercut on Ferrari in response to Red Bull, or as I like to call it the “Oh shit, someone else pitted now we gotta do that too”.

 

Ferrari decided to stay out and enjoy being in first and second position for just a lil longer, essentially delaying the inevitable. Eventually they pulled Sebastian Vettel in for a fresh set of tyres and the pit stop was understandably a little on the slow side which resulted in him re-joining the race in third behind the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. The commentators claim that Ferrari we’re “caught napping” and stuffed up their race, but true tifosi know that this is now simply referred to as “The Ferrari Strategy”.

 

I feel it’s worth noting that Kimi Matias Raikkonen stayed out on his first set of tyres until lap 28 which was one hell of an effort but also, just, like, WHY FERRARI?

why

Further down the field the Sauber of Charles Leclerc spun, and the two Toro Rosso’s of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley had a fender bender resulting in a SAFETY CAR!!!!!!!!

safety car

Drink every time there’s a safety car in F1.

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Red Bull yet again pulled the double dutch in the pit lane with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen who, not wanting to waste a single second in the pits, overtook Pierre Gasly in the pit lane entrance.

 

The safety eventually car buggered off on lap 35 and it was on for young and old in the mid-field with Fernando Alonso in the finally getting around Romain Grosjean, then towards the front Daniel Ricciardo lunged past Kimi Raikkonen for fifth position.

 

Max Verstappen went in on Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes but had to run wide after the door was firmly closed on his overtaking efforts.

friends door slam

True blue Aussie legend Daniel Ricciardo, on the other hand, gets the job done on Lewis Hamilton and absolutely sends it through the hairpin only to charge like a literal bull at  Sebastian Vettel who he overtakes for second spot and set his sights on the number one spot aka Valtteri Bottas’ Mercedes.

 

Max Verstappen, freshly inspired by his teammate, flew past the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and honed in on Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.

twin spin gif

It was at this moment he knew he fucked up.

Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel made contact and spun in a beautiful display of synchronised driving.  Said spin opened up a gap for Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen and those boys know an opportunity when they see one.

 

From here on in the race was wild y’all.

 

Daniel Ricciardo overtook Valtteri Bottas to lead the race thanks to yet another magic overtake, Max Verstappen got back in the game and overtook Lewis Hamilton for fourth spot but copped a ten second time penalty for his pirouette and then Kimi Raikkonen activated Battle of the Finns mode and got all up in Bottas’ grill to challenge for second.

 

You still with me?

 

Hartly retired with only three laps to go which was a bit shit because by some blessing of the F1 gods we had managed to keep all 20 cars running in China up until that point.

 

AND THEN Fernando Alonso. Overtook. Sebastian Vettel. For Seventh.

alonso wink

Finally, after some truly fantastic final laps… CHECKERED FLAG!

china results

The Australian anthem played on the podium, Daniel Ricciardo cried and shoeys were drunk.

not crying

What a result for Dan the Man, the dude barely made it on track for qualifying after a turbo failure in free practice and then put in a masterclass performance to stand atop the podium.

Next stop BAKU! Keep your fingers and toes crossed that this year’s Azerbaijan grand prix is as batshit crazy as last year…

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Alice live blogs the Chinese GP

We’re in Shanghai! How great are the Chinese fans? They go all out supporting their teams and drivers. Legends.

Word of warning: my stream may potentially drop out mid race. I could write an entire post on my anger over this whole situation (I probably will) but for now I will enjoy this while it lasts.

Right. Here we go. LIGHTS OUT LETS GO CHINA!

BOOM! Raikkonen gets the job done on the two Williams in a few corners.

Lap 1: Sainz is spinning around move out of his waaaaaay (sung like national treasure Kylie Minogue). Don’t talk to drivers in the corners. Seriously, they get real stroppy about it.

kylie

Lewis is race leader with Nico,  Sebastian and Kimi within a few seconds of him. Like 4 seconds. THIS IS GOOD GUYS WE MIGHT ACTUALLY HAVE A BATTLE HERE!

Lap 5: Perez’s Force India has overtaken Kvyat’s Red Bull. Well this is awkward. So awkward that the McLaren Hondas are on their tails.

Lap 6: What is with Red Bull drivers REFUSING to let their team mates pass them??? Kvyat is fighting off Ricciardo tooth and nail despite team radio asking him to let Daniel through. Love it. Such angst.

mark webber

Lap 8: Nice battles between Nasir in the Sauber and Maldonado in the Lotus resulting in Nasir losing 8th. Toro Rosso’s Verstappen is hot on the heals of Ericsson’s Sauber.

Lap 10: Oh no Hulkenburg! That’s a lot of smoke coming out of that Force India. Game over for the German.

So much tire strategy talk. Like, 4 laps worth of tire strategy talk. Probably because there’s not much else to talk about.

So here we go. Decisions have been made. Seb’s Ferrari is now on the faster soft tires to screw with Mercedes. Cue forshadowing music. I’m wondering if Kimi can make this a one stop race???

tire

Lap 15: Hamilton pits onto options and now the Williams are pitting as well. Also Raikkonen (there goes that that theory). No change to the places. Yawn.

Lap 16: Abruptly stop yawning as Kvyat rolls an on fire Red Bull into the gravel trap.

Lap 20: Three laps worth of chasing pays off and the 17 year old super child in the Torro Rosso has overtaken Sainz through the hairpin. Damn son.

Rosberg complaining that Hamilton is too slow and that Nico will ruin his tires being held up by him. Hamilton told to go faster. Not “hammer time” faster, just a lil bit. Someone give the Mercedes drivers a cup of cement and tell them both to harden the fuck up and just bloody drive without having a cry.

supernatural

Lap 22: Yeah Ricciardo’s overtake on Ericsson backfired and he went off the track. Bugger.

Lap 24: Carlos Sainz’s Torro Rosso starts shutting down and then he turned the thing off and then on again and it reboots.

Lap 27: Revenge is sweet as Ricciardo overtakes Ericsson AND THEN LOOSES IT – WHAT THE HELL DANIEL?!
Hamilton threatened by Mercedes to hurry the shit up or they’ll give Rosberg the strategic advantage.

Lap 29: For the love of Vegemite Riccardio make that overtake on the Sauber stick please. Cheers. I’ll buy you a beer.

Okay were now at lap 30 and it’s looking like all the teams are going to have to pit because errrbody complaining about their tires getting craptastic.

Vettle on mediums. Hamilton doing fastest laps. Rosberg getting a sluggish pit stop. Raikkonen going longer on these tires.

Lap 34: KIMI RAIKKONEN IS RACE LEADER! I try really hard not to be biased but nothing gives me more joy than writing that.

kimi

Lap 35: Something happened with a Lotus. Not sure which one but they looked super close to smooching a barrier with their car.
Kimi pits his Ferrari for the final stint followed by the two Williams.

Maybe it’s due to my sobriety but this race is a touch dull. Not Australian GP dull but still a touch on the “meh” side of things.

Lap 41: Verstappen again pulls some sweet moves on Perez and overtakes him followed by Ericsson.

Honorable mention to Marcus Ericsson and Daniel Ricciardo for their perpetual scrap. For reals. This whole race has been these two playing leap frog with each other for at least 44 laps.

Alonso I love you to pieces but get the fuck out of the way of Kimi’s Ferrari. I know it’s hard seeing your former teammate and former team lapping you but you make enough money to pay a therapist to deal with these emotional issues.

therapy

Lap 47: Scrapsville between Maldonado’s Lotus and the McLaren Honda of the James Bond of F1: Jenson Button.

Lap 49: Fernando has arrived in Scrapsville and NOW BUTTON AND MALDONADO CRASH! Ah crap.

Gratuitous shot of Benedict Cumberbatch looking suave in the Mercedes garage.

Lap 53: So the big question now is can Kimi take third from Seb? I say yes! If Ferrari knows what’s good for them they’ll let it happen because who doesn’t love a Raikkonen podium?! No one. The man is a gift to race fans and Finnish people everywhere.

GOD. DAMN. MOTHER. FUCKING. SAFETY. CAR.

Max Verstappen I really like you but we are TWO FUCKING LAPS AWAY FROM THE FLAG AND NOW YOU’VE GONE AND RUINED EVERYTHING. This is why we can’t have nice things.

I don’t want to be mean but can someone please assist the marshalls in removing this multimillion dollar piece of machinery off the track? What an absolute clusterfuck of a joke.

austin powers

Yep we are finishing this race under a safety car. What a joy (epic sarcasm). 16 cars cross the line in the most lame ass way to conclude a race.

*throws computer across the room*

*retrieves computer*

Okay let’s just wrap this thing up and get out of here:

Hamilton wins, Rosberg second and Vettle third. Raikkonen gets the consolation prize of fourth with the Williams bros next in the order of Massa then Bottas. Grosjean manages to claim some points for Lotus and Sauber’s Nasir and Ericsson take out eighth and tenth respectively separated by Ricciardo’s fledgling Red Bull in ninth.

Yawn. Early bed time? I think so. Goodnight y’all, I hope you dream of exciting GPs and excellent scraps and championship battles.

diaz