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  • Matthieu Piekarski

#5 Shanghai Review


“That was a bit of an anti-climax” said Seb. Vettel after the race. He couldn’t be more right, after an extraordinary race in Malaysia, Shanghai from a fan perspective was a letdown (race wise). In all honesty, from lap 22 to 43 I fell asleep, nothing much was happening. F1 has to be exhilarating to an extent where you are glued with fascination as the suspense builds up from the warm-up lap until the chequered flag, unfortunately at the moment that isn’t always the case.

Do we blame the Pirelli tyres for that? Should every engine deliver the same power as Bernie Ecclestone stated? Is Mercedes AMG & Toto Wolff killing F1? Either way, the only thing once again that was entertaining was what happened after the race with Nico Rosberg reigniting the feud with Lewis for a 2015 edition.

I must admit, I had high hopes Nico Rosberg would make a come-back this weekend. On TV we often hear Nico asking his Race engineer on the radio what he needs to do to gain performance, making the viewer question his racing-instincts. Nico is a born racer, what differs from the rest is that he is an intellectual driver. He is a thinker unlike Lewis who is more an instinct based driver. Furthermore, Nico from my point of view is one of or even the hardest working pilot on the grid. I witnessed his fitness training in Monaco on numerous occasions (even under the most torrential rain), he is a fighter, putting all the effort into it to be crowned world champion. What we saw at the after-race press conference is the frustration from an accumulation of all the hard-work outside Grand Prix’s that are not working out. There are two outcomes for Nico now, either let that frustration build up to a point where his

performance will suffer or use this frustration and turn into the rage to beat his team-mate. On more than one occasion, Nico showed courage to face reality, notably in his post-race YouTube video where he responded to tweets from critical fans. I’m convinced that now Nico, will use this extra “Oomph” of energy to silence the criticism. My money for the world championship is still on Nico Rosberg.

To come back to the Sunday Race, my predictions on Renault powered cars were right, as they continued to struggle in performance and reliability. The same for McLaren, which finally finished a Grand Prix with both their cars, but still no points. The only positive outcome from the Renault powered cars, came from Max Verstappen. At 17 years old, he is silencing the critics about his young age with stunning overtakes. Even on Sky F1, Johnny Herbert stated with Damon Hill that they wouldn’t be surprised to see him World Champion by the age of 20!

Lotus finally finished a GP with at least one driver scoring points. Grosjean (to me he is more Swiss than French) delivered a good race, scoring for the first time in a while points (dedicated those points to Jules Bianchi). However, Pastor Maldonado on the other side, continues to raise questions whether he really deserves to drive in F1. Personally, I have never been a fan of the driver even though I hear outside the car, he is a nice and the friendliest driver of the lot.

Finally, a special mention to Manor GP. Even though they finished last, I have much admiration to a team that less than 4 months ago where in administration. This a team that shows that even when all the odds are against them, they fight and persevere to survive in one of the harshest sport business on the world.

Now, we are headed to the Middle East to one of my all-time favorite circuits, Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir. Stay tuned for a new article previewing this weekend’s GP.

Enjoy the four days’ rest until we reignite our passion for F1!

MP


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