Saturday, 13 April 2013

China Qualifying: Tedious in Shanghai

The most exciting thing to occur in qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix involved the Red Bulls, as the two feuding team mates both failed to make it through to the top ten shoot out. It's a massive shock for fans, rival fans and the teams alike. We might only be two races in to the season, but it has become apparent that Red Bull Racing may once again be the dominant force this year and at the very least will be clear title contenders. For Red Bull, this qualifying outcome is likely to be a major blow, and the team will be left hoping that the race is as unpredictable as others and that they can draw out a reasonable result. It's fair to say that the next 24 hours will be a salvage operation for the chaps with wings.

The success story of the Chinese qualies has to be Lewis Hamilton's Stirling effort to take the pole position. It was quite a performance for a driver who entered preseason testing, humbly claiming that he and the team didn't expect to achieve very much at all this season. Surprisingly, the Mercedes cars were fast all the way through qualifying and topped the timing sheets in all three of the sessions. It'll be interesting to see if Mercedes can keep up the challenge that they seem to be posing to the likes of Red Bull and Ferrari.

One shock result, further down the order, came in the shape of Toro Rosso's Ricciardo, who first of all popped his sister Red Bull car in to the top ten shoot out and then proceeded to out qualify an impressed Jenson Button, who was quoted as saying over his team radio 'Ricciardo?! Wow!' It was a great effort by the Toro Rosso driver who showed that he can mix it with the big boys. We might see him challenging for the win in the race. We've seen that kind of thing from the likes of Force India already and neutral fans will agree that it's nice to see these unlikely heroes throwing a spanner in the works.