We are approaching only the third grand prix, to be held in China this weekend, yet between Australia and Bahrain the twists and moments of high tension were not lacking. Just look at the reliability problems with the gearbox suffered by the two Mercedes drivers, the mistakes by Red Bull, the finish at Sakir with only a 6 tenths of a second gap between Vettel and Bottas and passing through the wonderful surprise Toro Rosso.
We are in a period in which the teams are looking for their dimensions since the world championship began after only eight days of tests, conditioned by bad weather and rain. It was certainly not enough. The real forces at play have not yet emerged. We have had fluctuating performances between qualifying and the race, even though Ferrari scored two well deserved wins with Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari exploited 101% of the potential of its car and its driver who covered an impressive number of laps never done with the Softs.
However, analyzing the times Mercedes is still very fast, above all with the Medium mixes, and in China Pirelli will up put up the Softs and Ultra Softs. Therefore it will be interesting to see the behaviour and strategies that will be adopted on a track that traditionally favours Toto Wolff’s men.
Toro Rosso was very good at exploiting Red Bull’s debacle with Gasly, the protagonist of an exceptional weekend. His sequence of laps was impressive and this allowed him to safeguard the result from any charge by Magnussen and to grab an incredible fourth place. I hope that they can continue on this road and that the air of Motor Valley also does well for the Honda Power Unit.
The most interesting new developments compared to last season came from the second part of the grid with the TR surprise together with excellent performances from Haas and a good defence by Renault with McLaren which is now in third place on the championship ladder. The results of Force India’s after two seasons in fourth place and from Williams are decidedly below expectations.
These augur well to be able to witness again such interesting and adrenaline charged grands prix with a notable compaction of the grid. At Sakir qualifying gave us twenty cars within a gap of 3”.
Gian Carlo Minardi