iSportsweb gave you five things to watch for in the China grand prix this past weekend. Lets see how things turned out:
We asked: can Mercedes make it 4 in a row to start the F1 season?
Yes, they did. Hamilton wins his third of the year, and teammate Nico Rosberg followed closely in second. Rosberg held on slightly to the drivers championship points lead, with his 3rd straight second place finish after a season opening win in Australia. So, yes, Mercedes makes it 4 in a row to start the season and look to be in control early. Their quick start isn’t much of a surprise considering how well they performed in the offseason practice sessions. Having said that, so much has to go right to win an F1 race. To take 7 of the top 8 spots in the first 4 races… these guys are good. To make it historic, Hamilton’s 25 wins ties him with the great Niki Lauda, the current non-executive chairman of Mercedes AMG.
We asked: will Fernando Alonso’s prediction for Ferrari come true in China?
Defending China grand prix champ Fernando Alonso seemed pretty confident in his teams ability to get it right in China. Although they had come off to a slow start, most in F1 expect the team and these two former champions to make a run when they get things going. Not quite yet. We predicted Ferrari would need at least another week before finding the winners circle. While we were right about that, Nando ran a phenomenal race. Improving his position throughout the race, Fernando proved why he is one of the greats in the history of the sport and one of the few contenders in 2014. Teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished what may appear to be a disappointing 8th. Consider that he moved up 3 spots from his 11th starting position, though, and Ferrari seems to be making the right adjustments. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not the only one that would like to see Nando break out in Spain?
We asked: Can Riccardio and Vettel gang up on Hamilton early in the race?
So we got this wrong. As we just discussed, they didn’t pick up spots, they fell back. Granted, a 4 – 5 finish is strong for most teams. The Red Bull team and fan base, however, had to think that starting 2 -3 might give them the perfect chance to gang up on Hamilton and take their first win of the season. Instead, they fell a few spots and let Fernando Alonso take both of them. Considering the offseason challenges Red Bull faced and their early season challenges, this performance in the China grand prix was a strong indication that they are gradually getting back in to form.
We asked: Will McLaren and Force India continue their strong starts in the China Grand Prix?
Ugh. Well, Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth and took 8 points. Other than that, it was a disappointing week for these two teams that seem to be moving backwards. McLaren has come out with some comments this week that indicate they are willing to make some drastic changes to get competitive… fast.
We asked: Who will win the race of the rookies this week?
The answer: Danil Kvyat, who won points again in the China grand prix! We had predicted Kevin Magnussen would win the rookie battle, but he finished 13th, 3 spots behind Kvyats 10th. Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson finished 20th and out of the points.
It was an exciting 4th race of the year. Next stop for the tour is the Spanish Grand Prix and Alonso Fernandos home crowd.