Easy day for Nico Rosberg who wins the 2016 Pirelli Chinese Grand Prix
By: S.H. Harding, Xiro Xone News April 17, 2016 Updated 3:05 PM
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took his sixth F1 race in succession by almost 40 seconds over Sebastian Vettel with Daniil Kvyat coming in 3rd an additional eight seconds behind.
“It’s been a fantastic few days for me here in China. First of all, the fans have been amazing from the moment I arrived. They’re so enthusiastic, which gives us drivers a very special feeling. Then, racing wise, it was an almost perfect weekend. Only the start could have been better but luckily I was able to pass Daniel later on the straight and from then on I could build up a gap,” Rosberg said.
Daniel Ricciardo’s lead was cut short after he picked up a puncture on Lap 3, which after pitting saw him fall back in the field.
However, some impressive passing and good team strategy allowed him to finish fourth, ahead of the recovering Raikkonen and Felipe Massa.
Lewis Hamilton finished seventh from the back of the grid. His impressive charge hit a hurdle at Turn 1 provided by contact with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.
This collision caused the front wing to fold under the car, causing further damage to the sensitive aerodynamic parts of the car.
Although the team replaced his front wing, the other damage reduced his Mercedes’ pace advantage over the cars ahead of him.
After five pit stops, where at one point he had reached 3rd, the team realised it made a costly mistake with tire strategy. This error caused Hamilton to spend much of the race behind other cars struggling to pass.
“That was definitely a difficult weekend. I got a good start – but it’s always tricky being at the back and trying not to get caught up in the domino effect of any contact at the first corner. I tried to avoid whatever happened in front of me but I just got tangled up in it. It was just a bit unfortunate, really. From there it was always going to be a battle – but I had a lot of fun fighting back through! There were plenty of overtakes, from what I can remember! I gave it everything I had and P7 was about the limit.
There was nothing left in the tyres at the end and, although it’s pretty good for overtaking here, I had quite a lot of damage to the car which made it difficult to get close on the brakes. From what I could feel there was definitely some aero loss and possible suspension damage too, as the car seemed to be flexing all over the place. But that’s racing – it happens sometimes and at least I still managed to get a few points on the board. It’s a pretty big hit points-wise today – but I’ll just have to do what I can to make it up over the next few races. Onwards and upwards,” Hamilton said.
Nico Rosberg leaves China with a 36 point lead over Lewis Hamilton, and Ricciardo third to move within three points of the reigning world champion.