The hype moves to China for this weekend’s Formula One race at the Shanghai International Circuit in the Chinese capital and the new talk of the town, Ferrari, will want to continue the fight against Mercedes.
Sebastian Vettel has made a huge impact since arriving at the Italian team and it seems like the wholesale changes in personnel at the end of last season paid off after Maurizio Arrivabene took over from Sergio Marchionne as the new Ferrari team-principle.
I would still be very cautious to underestimate the Silver Arrows of Hamilton and Rosberg though. The reality is that the Germans might have made some strategic errors which cost them the race in Malaysia, but they have not lost any pace. If they get the strategy right, I still believe it would be very difficult for Ferrari to keep up.
I would not want to make any predictions on the championship at this stage, but I would think that Nico Rosberg might be having some sleepless nights as he now not only needs to fight with his team-mate to stay in the championship, he also needs to fight of the Ferrari or Vettel in his mirrors.
On to the race itself. The fans will be treated to 56 laps around the 5.4-kilometer track. Lewis Hamilton hold the record for the most wins with three victories in China, while Ferrari has won the most races as constructors with four wins. Ferrari also did well in China last year as Fernando Alonso finished third behind Hamilton and Rosberg, having won the race in 2013.
Of the chasing pack, I expect the Red Bull- and Williams teams to again be challenging and we can also look forward to seeing 17-year-old Max Verstappen in his Toro Rosso showing that age is but a number. From what we’ve seen and with many years ahead of him, we can certainly expect him to challenge for races should he get a drive in a good car.
It’s a 8-am start on Sunday for the South African viewer. Let’s see if Ferrari can keep it up or will Mercedes stamp down their authority?