Autoblog recaps the 2015 Chinese Formula One Grand Prix. Unusual for China, it was a bright, sunny day with no chance of rain. But other than that bit of sunshine, it was not the competition we were hoping for.
Mercedes has plenty to be celebrating at the moment, having just won the Formula One World Championship in spectacular style – taking the constructors' title by a huge margin and the top two slots in the drivers' standings as well. It almost goes without saying that the German outfit would celebrate with a special edition, and that's just what we're looking at here.
Formula One got the drawn out Driver's Championship it wanted, which won't be decided until the last race in Abu Dhabi, and it didn't even need double points to do it. A trip below the equator turned around more than merely weather patterns, Nico Rosberg throwing his Mercedes AMG Petronas around the Interlagos track faster than teammate Lewis Hamilton every time it counted, beginning with Free Practice 1.
Thankfully, the weekend's Formula One dramas all concerned events that happened off the track, with both Caterham and Marussia going into administration, after which a rumored boycott by the small teams was avoided. That gave the 18 drivers left on the grid freedom to focus on making the most of the Texas sunshine for Sunday's US Grand Prix.
The Sochi International Street Circuit used to host the Russian Formula One Grand Prix has a few things in common with the Valencia Street Circuit that was used to host the European Grand Prix. Both are built among existing infrastructure used for other events, both contain long, narrow stretches run between concrete walls and chain link fencing, and both are, shall we say, not exactly exciting.
To paraphrase Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta, 'Remember, remember the twenty-first of September.' That's the day the 2014 Formula One Championship took another big turn – and at one of the year's least interesting races, traditionally – putting Lewis Hamilton back at the top of the standings. Not only that, it did so by borrowing the template from the British Grand Prix this year: put Hamilton in front, retire Nico Rosberg.
In the two weeks it's taken Formula One to move from Belgium to Italy, fleet-footed rumor has outrun the driver transfer market – Fernando Alonso can't issue enough denials of a departure from Ferrari, McLaren isn't sure what it wants to do with its drivers, Lotus has found out why it stinks this year and that the problem can't be fixed this year, and Nico Rosberg is said to have donated a team-ordered six-figure fine to charity to atone for his Belgian waffling. Oh, and Lewis Hamilton reg
Three Free Practice sessions left us thinking Lewis Hamilton looked good to claim another victory for Mercedes AMG Petronas and close up the Driver's World Championship race, but the first qualifying session for the 2014 Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix threw out that script. A fuel leak in Q1 set Hamilton's car aflame and he never set a time. His chassis damaged beyond repair, the team built him a new one and he started from pit lane. That same session also claimed Ferrari's Kimi Räikk&oum
The 2014 German Formula 1 Grand Prix is the hump-day race in the season and the penultimate chance for drivers and teams to rack up points before the summer break. Trying to stay on top after his first DNF of the year at the British Grand Prix, Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Nico Rosberg didn't have to wait until the race for misfortune to find Lewis Hamilton; his British teammate crashed out of the Q2 qualifying session due to a brake failure, then had to change his gearbox due of the crash, a ca
When it comes to Formula One, you've got to admit that Mercedes has an eye for talent. When Honda pulled out of the sport, Mercedes swooped in and powered the Brawn GP team to the championship, then took it over and made two interesting hires to fill the race seats: an old talent in the form of Michael Schumacher, and a young one in Nico Rosberg. Schumi's return from retirement unfortunately didn't pan out, but it's kept Rosberg – who had already been on the grid for five seasons after win
Qualifying for the British Formula One Grand Prix was just as much a surprise for fans as it was for teams. Certain team weather radar displays didn't accurately pinpoint storm systems over the track, and in the case of at least two teams, the lack of data was compounded by poor decision making. That's how both Ferraris and both Williams got kicked out of qualifying in Q3 – the drivers already on track took advantage of a dry spell between rains, but Ferrari and Williams waited too long to
The last time Formula One raced in Spielberg, Austria the track was called the A1 Ring, Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher were the pilots for Williams, the field contained other not-so-venerable names like Ralph Firman and Justin Wilson and V10 engines were bolted to the bulkheads – the only Mercedes units being in the backs of the two McLarens, one of which was driven by Kimi Räikkönen, who finished second behind Michael Schumacher.
The 2014 Formula One season opened with one overwhelming complaint – the cars didn't sound right. It sapped the excitement, despite the fact that this season has seen a number of truly thrilling races (Bahrain, Spain and Montreal all come to mind). Attempts have been made to restore some of the audible thrill of the cars, although efforts have remained unsuccessful.
Momentum. That was the word of the weekend at the last race in Monaco – Nico Rosberg retaking it, Williams getting reacquainted with it and Marussia tasting it for the first time, among other examples. That same, weighted term flew to Canada with the money circus known as Formula One, took all weekend to build and then walloped the front end of the field and the season on Sunday afternoon.
It's not hard to believe that 80 percent of the action at the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix happened didn't have to do with straight-up racing. Mercedes AMG Petronas wasn't expected to maintain its obscene advantage over the field with Monaco being a short track that rewards corner speed over top speed, but they still ruled two of the three Free Practice sessions.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas' success in the 2014 Formula One season hasn't just been down to an alleged technological edge, but thanks to not just one dominant driver, but two. Lewis Hamilton's partner, Nico Rosberg (pictured above, right, with teammate Lewis Hamilton) has been arguably his biggest competition in this still-young F1 season, sitting a mere three points behind the Brit. Now, the German-born driver is being rewarded for his efforts.