Image to Cloud Link
Your Comment has been added
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
No items found.
Add Image to Webflow
Next Event Starts in:
3hrs 24min - MotoGP Qualifying
Apr 27, 2024
Garrett Ball

The Chinese Grand Prix weekend proved to be quite an exciting one. Lando Norris put himself in pole position for the Sprint, Max actually had to fight through the field (sort of) during the Sprint, and Hamilton struggled mightily once again with his Mercedes. We saw some improvements from backmarker teams, and some questionable driving from some drivers we hope would have done better. Let's dive in!

Lance Stroll and His Embarrassment of Errors

We all thought Lance's radio in Japan was funny, albeit at a low point in his race. He just reached a record low with his performance. Smashing into the back of Daniel Ricciardo, under a safety car no less, is inexcusable. What’s worse is he made it out that everyone else was the problem and deserved blame, not him. Which understandably infuriated Ricciardo. It’s amazing to see how he can go from destroying another guy's race to having an exciting battle with another just a few laps later, albeit for last place. The running joke in F1 is that Lance will never be replaced, since his father runs Aston Martin, so his job really isn't in danger, but it’s almost certain he would be replaced quickly after all these calamities if he was on any other team. During his season thus far, he has only scored points in two races, gotten a DNF in one, and 12th or worse in the other two. Oliver Bearman has three fewer points than Stroll this season and only raced in Saudi. Stroll is arguably the worst driver on the grid right now, and I don’t think that’s a hot take.

Backmarker Improvements

While neither team scored a point, Sauber and Alpine both showed signs of improvement in China. That could have been the result of the track conditions, as there was a lot of mixing up going on in the race, but it’s possible that both teams have found some extra pace going forward. Alpine had their best result of the season, coming in P11 and P13. Both Sauber drivers made it into Q3 in the Sprint Shootout and Bottas was in contention for points during the Grand Prix but he suffered a DNF through no fault of his own.

Lando’s Pole and P2

Lando just can’t get a victory. He may get a lucky pole in Monaco and we finally see him on the top step of the podium for his first race win, but we shall see. His Sprint qualifying was spectacular, his race less so, falling way back into the pack after losing to Hamilton at the first corner. He made up for it in the real race, putting up a P2 with some help from the safety car, but still a brilliant drive either way while keeping a nice buffer between him and Perez. He’s had nine podium finishes since the start of 2023 and seven were P2. It’s reasonable to assume that Lando could be a 6-time race winner had Max Verstappen not been so dominant, who won six of Lando’s seven P2s (with Singapore 2023 being his 7th P2, where he didn’t have the pace to win over Sainz). McLaren has shown improvement and if they can close the gap on Ferrari, much less RedBull, we should see Lando continue to get podiums, and hopefully a win.

Zhou’s Ovation

It was heartwarming to see Zhou’s reaction to his country cheering for him in China as he parked his car on the track at the end of the race. While it has sparked some controversy, or at least discussion, it doesn’t take much to see why this is special. Sure it’s unlikely that F1 will do this at every home race, where drivers get their own little moment, but Zhou is the first Chinese driver to race on home soil. Not only that, but it’s the first time that China has hosted an F1 race in years. All of that came together to give Zhou a nice moment to be appreciated by the home crowd. Let’s appreciate the love he received and that sometimes, sports can be awesome.

Download Now &
Join the Grid!
Other News