The first back-to-back race weekend is upon us in Formula One competition. This weekend, will be the Heineken Chinese Grand Prix. Can Sebastian Vettel win his third straight race to start the season? Will Mercedes stop him and score their fifth straight China win?
Here are my five favorites.
How can I not start with him? He’s scored two wins in two tries in 2018. The German driver also has a win in China in 2009 to go along with three straight podium finishes and seven consecutive top five finishes there. His worst ever China finish is sixth. He was sixth and fourth respectively in the opening two practice sessions on Friday and quickest in not just practice on Saturday, but in qualifying too.
The Mercedes driver has finished second and third respectively in 2108. He trails Vettel by 17 points already in the championship standings. You can be assured that he doesn’t want to fall further behind. Hamilton, is also going for his 28th straight race scoring points. That would break Kimi Raikkonen’s record of 27.
The Brit has won three of the last four Chinese Grand Prix’s to go along with seven podium finishes there in his last eight tries. He was quickest in both opening practice sessions on Friday, but he slowed down on Saturday being fifth in practice and fourth in qualifying.
Bottas not only made up over five seconds in the final 10 laps on Vettel, he nearly passed him and won in Bahrain. Now, he has a ton of momentum and hoping to score his first top five finish ever in China. His car is good enough and I think he will not only do so, but I think he can win. He was third in all three practice sessions this weekend to go along with qualifying there too.
It’s been a frustrating start to the season for Raikkonen. In Australia, he was quicker than his Ferrari teammate in being faster in practice and outqualifying him. But, Vettel had a better pit sequence and won. Raikkonen, despite having the faster car, finished third. Then, last weekend in Bahrain, Raikkonen was faster than Vettel in all three practice sessions, including being fastest out of everyone in the final two sessions. In qualifying, he was quickest in the first two rounds. But, on the final second, Vettel topped Raikkonen’s lap in the third and final round of knockout qualifying. He started first, Raikkonen second again. In the race, Raikkonen was well on his way to a podium finish. Instead, his team played games hoping to draw Bottas into the pits. It didn’t work. Raikkonen hit pit lane on Lap 36 from second place. You know the rest.
Now, he heads to China with four top five finishes over his last five starts there. Can he get some luck on his side finally? He was second in all three practices this weekend and even qualified there too.
He’s due for a good run. It’s been a rough start to the season for him and he’s primed and ready to contend. The second generation driver was fifth in each practice session on Friday and finished on the podium in China last year.
He will start fifth too.