Last updated on November 15th, 2015 at 12:08 pm

F1: Chinese Grand Prix Predictions

You would think after three weeks that multi 21 gate would have calmed down a bit but that is definitely not the case. The driver’s press conference resulted in yet more media frenzy. I’ll take a quick look back to Malaysia before previewing China this weekend including some predictions and all the viewing times you need.

Malaysia seems so long ago now and it was good race overshadowed by the team orders saga when both the Red Bull and Mercedes drivers were told to hold position until the end of the race. Although all four drivers had similar instructions, the end effect was quite different; Sebastian Vettel decided to ignore or misunderstand the command and overtake a coasting home Mark Webber while Nico Rosberg listened to his team and stayed behind Lewis Hamilton. The race finished with one of the most subdued podiums I can remember with no driver particularly happy. Fast forward to this weekend and not much seems to have changed. Mercedes still seem united and look to have moved on whereas Sebastian Vettel has come out and said that he would do the same again. So who was right and who was wrong? I am inclined to say the only person in the wrong is Sebastian Vettel; you can make the case that he is a winner and the fans deserve to see all out racing but we didn’t see that anyway. We saw Vettel overtake Webber who had been told to turn his engine down and save tyres to coast until the end of the race, that isn’t exactly wheel to wheel action. Vettel lost of lot of the respect people had for him in that race, would it have been that difficult to tell the team that he wouldn’t back down and wanted to take first if that was his mind-set? They could then have told Mark and you never know, Vettel might not have even been able to catch him. At the end of the day, money is paid for constructor placing so both Red Bull and Mercedes wanted both cars home rather than just one or none whether incidents happened because of collisions, fuel or tyre degradation.

I am not sure when, but I really can see Vettel and Webber coming together on track before the season is over!

ChineseGPTrackLayout

On to this weekend and China, with three weeks of development it is another chance for us to see who will be title contenders for the upcoming season. Have McLaren solved their performance problems to deliver on a track they are traditionally strong or will they still struggle? Tyre degradation is going to be a real problem in China with Mercedes especially worried about the soft tyre, they definitely have the pace but if they are harder on the tyres than other teams, it really could hurt them. Mercedes do however have the last two winners of the Chinese Grand Prix and would absolutely love to get their first win of the season.

It will be really interesting to see where Lotus are in China, after winning the opening race of the season they were pretty anonymous and if it was due to the higher temperatures they could also struggle this weekend. All eyes of course will be on Red Bull and what will happen should Vettel and Webber be anywhere near each other during the race. They will of course have a competitive car and I have a feeling Webber may bounce back better than Vettel which will just add more fuel to the fire.

Predictions

  1.        Lewis Hamilton
  2.        Mark Webber
  3.        Nico Rosberg
  4.        Jenson Button
  5.        Felipe Massa

My predictions may be a little far-fetched with neither Sebastian Vettel nor Fernando Alonso in the top five but it’s just a feeling I have. I expect Mercedes to be the strongest car as even in previous seasons without a great car they have still been competitive. Hamilton will be looking to prove that he is in fact the number one driver at Mercedes, that should of drive should push him to the front. McLaren look to have made a step forward also so I think Button will be around the top five somewhere.

There we have it, another sumptuous race and it’s live on the BBC so there are no excuses!

Here are the TV times you need:

Qualifying – Green light – 07:00

BBC 1 – 06:00 – 08:30

Sky F1 – 06:00 – 08:45

Race – Lights out – 08:00

BBC 1 – 07:00 – 10:15

Sky F1 – 06:30 – 11:30

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