Pastor Maldonado had a very difficult Friday at the Shanghai International Circuit, spinning off track in both practice sessions, and ending his day with the Lotus car embedded in the wall at the pit entry. Or, as trackside operations boss Alan Permane put it, he “had a little mishap.” In the first session, he ran wide off track during the outlap as he was adjusting something on the steering wheel.
Pastor Maldonado continued his poor form in the second practice session in Shanghai, with a wobble off track, a significant lock-up on both front tyres, and then a crash in the pit lane. He ended up in the wall at the pit lane entry, ending his session early.
On a drizzly day in Shanghai, Fernando Alonso posted the fastest lap time to impress the new Ferrari team principal. He was challenged all the way by Mercedes, although only Nico Rosberg saw the end of the session, as Lewis Hamilton's running was cut short by a suspension problem.
Three practice sessions await our drivers in Shanghai, with rain scheduled for most of them. Red Bull are trying to move on from their fuel sensor disappointment, Mercedes are managing their domination. Williams and Force India want to capitalise on their engine supremacy and get the most from these early races. Ferrari will be dealing with the fallout from Stefano Domenicali's departure, whilst Lotus are still floundering. Caterham and Marussia want to beat each other. Sauber and Toro Rosso want desperately not to be the last of the competitive teams. Practice is where the fun starts, so stay tuned!
Formula One this year is the Hamilton versus Rosberg show, and whilst the Mercedes domination is a concern, we've got a heck of a battle between these two stars. Their teammate track fight in Bahrain captivated F1 fans across the globe and was the icing on what was already a brilliant race cake. Now it's up to China to continue that trend and deliver something even better. No pressure!
Almost two weeks after the hectic but brilliant race in Bahrain, we've had chance to get our heads around what we saw, and start looking ahead to the Chinese Grand Prix. There are changes afoot at Ferrari, and Red Bull know where they stand when it comes to fuel sensors, so this weekend should see plenty of intrigue as the paddock comes together in Shanghai.
This week, drivers have had some downtime following the back to back racing action that culminated in a hectic Bahrain Grand Prix. With the sun shining (mostly), they scattered, visiting home and resting up before the racing action gets underway once more. Points are available this week for behind the scenes videos, for cooking up a storm, and for spending time with the family.
The hearing for Red Bull’s appeal against Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification from the Australian Grand Prix took place this week, with the FIA ruling that the penalty will stand. Although specific reasons will be released at a later date, the FIA have rejected the appeal, meaning Ricciardo does not get back the 18 points he would have from that third place finish.
Stefano Domenicali has become the former team principal of the Ferrari F1 team after announcing his resignation today. He has left with immediate effect, saying that the team needs a reshuffle to try and improve their performance after a disappointing start to the 2014 season.
Mercedes have announced that Bob Bell will be leaving the outfit at the end of the year, and he won’t be replaced. The current technical director was a key figure in the transition to the new regulations this year, but Mercedes have plenty of technical chiefs to take over his responsibilities.
Recent comments by FOM chief Bernie Ecclestone suggested we could see two new teams on the grid for the 2015 season. The first of those has come to light, with NASCAR team owner Gene Haas given a spot on the grid for next year’s F1 season. The FIA have approved the entry, with Haas saying: “Now the really hard work begins."
Pirelli have confirmed which tyre compounds they will be bringing to the next three events after this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix. Following on from Shanghai, F1 moves on to Spain where the fast paced Barcelona track will see the two hardest compounds at work.
Red Bull announced today that Dan Fallows would join the team as head of aerodynamics, having previously worked for the Milton Keynes based squad in a more junior role. The news likely came as a surprise to the McLaren team, who had named Fallows as joining them after a period of gardening leave from Red Bull.
Three Friday drivers appeared in Bahrain this weekend, making them eligible for Rankings points, and two of them immediately got on with it - a look back at an April Fool's joke that wasn't too bad, and a good choice of t-shirt colour. Meanwhile, the regular drivers were still busy, with punny photos, an overall situation, and a ride in a cool buggy.
For the past few years, I’ve approached the Bahrain race with a feeling of resignation – it is not going to be a classic but it’ll pass a few hours on a Sunday. As it turns out, this year, the racing was incredible. Whether it was related to the move to a night race, or just a handy coincidence, I don’t know, but from the moment the start lights went out on Sunday, you couldn’t spare a moment to blink.
It's judgement time once more, as the opportunity to vote on a handful of items from the race weekend appears. The Bahrain Grand Prix was something of a surprise, giving us an interesting race, some fascinating penalties and plenty to talk about in the fortnight before China. This is your chance to vote on the race itself, on the tyres and on the time of day, as well as selecting the driver you think did the best job on Sunday.
Mercedes scored their second consecutive 1-2 victory, with Hamilton leading Nico Rosberg home in what was an intense fight right from the start. Hamilton snatched the lead from polesitter Rosberg before the first corner, and the pair tussled for position during the early laps.
Mercedes add to their already hefty lead in the constructor's championship, but it's a surprise to see Force India as the ones behind them in second place. There's just a single point between Force India and McLaren, as the battle to be best of the rest hots up.
Daniel Ricciardo finally managed to get some points on the board, having been stripped of his previous points in Australia. Both he and Sebastian Vettel moved up the standings, as did the Force India boys. Sergio Pérez swept up to ninth, with Nico Hülkenberg all the way up in third place.
To celebrate Bahrain's tenth anniversary as an F1 Grand Prix host, they opted for a night race, and boy did the action under the floodlights deliver! From the moment the start lights went out, there was wheel to wheel action between teammates and throughout the grid. We saw a handful of silly accidents, a penalty or two, and the safety car came out.