By Adam Tate, Associate Editor
Last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix gave us a much clearer picture of the running order for 2018 than the season opening Australian Grand Prix did. The great news is that the long range pace of Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull is very close this season. Of the three, Ferrari has capitalized the most on their rivals misfortune and it leads both championships with Sebastian Vettel 17 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton after opening the season with back to back victories. Ferrari leads Mercedes in the Constructor’s standings by a slimmer margin of 10 points thanks to Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement in Bahrain. McLaren is a surprise third in the standings now, but a long way back with 22 points compared to the 55 of Mercedes and 65 of Ferrari.
Can Red Bull challenge the red and silver cars this weekend? It doesn’t look likely despite their great race pace as China has long been a power circuit with its long straights that will put any Renault powered cars at a disadvantage this weekend. Mercedes has dominated around Shanghai International the last several seasons, but Ferrari finally seems on equal footing with them in terms of engine power and the Scuderia has been faster on the straights so far this year.
We could be in for another nail bitingly close race this weekend, where it is currently anyone’s guess as to who will win. Red Bull could spring a surprise, but the smart money will be on one of the four drivers from Ferrari or Mercedes. If Vettel can pull off the hat trick it will give Hamilton a real mountain to climb this season. Can Lewis strike back, will Valtteri be bolder this time, or will Kimi finally get his long awaited 21st victory? Catch all the details below and tune in for what will surely be a memorable Chinese Grand Prix.
By the Numbers
What: The Chinese Grand Prix
Where: Shanghai International Circuit in Jaiding just outside of Shanghai, Chine. The circuit has hosted the Grand Prix every year since 2004.
When: Sunday, April 15th 2018
TV: ESPN 2 from 1:00 AM – 3:00 AM Central Time. Qualifying is Saturday, April 14th at 1:00 AM, also on ESPN 2
Track Length: 3.388 miles
Lap Record: 1:32.238 Michael Schumacher, Ferrari F2004, 2004.
2017 Race Winner: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W08.