Shanghai, China -
The Chinese Grand Prix began in an exciting fashion when Daniel Ricciardo took P1 from Nico Rosberg through turn one, while Daniil Kvyat passed both Ferraris in turn two causing them to bump into one another. Kimi Raikkonen needed to pit for a new set of tires and a completely new front end, whereas Sebastain Vettel was able to get by with his damaged front wing for longer than expected. Both Ferraris' outcomes were certainly uncertain following the contact and ensuing damage, yet they fought back through the entire race.
Lewis Hamilton, who began from the back as opposed to beginning his race from pit lane due to a power plant infraction during the week, also had his wing between his front and rear tires after a brief rub at the beginning of the race.
Debris ruled much of the track causing a rear left puncture on Ricciardo's Red Bull, followed by a safety car rollout on lap 5 with Nico Rosberg in the lead. Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, respectively, rounded out the top three while the track was cleaned up.
Leap frog was the name of the game during much of the pack while Rosberg was effectively on cruise control at the front. Midway through the race, his pace was consistently over 20 seconds ahead of the rest of the drivers. Rosberg's Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, had undergone five pit stops.
Ricciardo, who had fallen back somewhat early on due to his flat tire, remained persistent, fighting his way back to 4th place when he passed Hamilton and Massa with 10 laps to go. Haas Racing's Romain Grosjean didn't have quite the same success this go-around, however, he did claim fastest lap late in the race. Grosjean's teammate, Esteban Gutierrez, was able to finish the race today - a nice change from the two DNF results in the first two rounds of the season.
Rosberg pulled it out, winning his 6th straight race dating back to last season, with over a 35 second gap between he and the second place Vettel. Ferrari had one heck of a day given both prancing horses were banged up in the very first two turns. Vettel taking said second place, as Raikkonen finished with a fifth place result. Daniil Kvyat had a splendid result with a 3rd place podium finish while Hamilton ended up with points in 7th place.
As previous posts have stated, this season has been exciting to say the least, and I'm certainly looking forward to seeing the rest of the season unfold. The biggest question remains: Can anyone stop Mercedes???