In a new feature on MotorSportsTalk, the Formula One writers have made some predictions for the race weekend, picking their race winner, surprise result, and the driver who has the most to prove. Of course, this is all hypothetical. Formula One is notorious for producing the unexpected, making no prediction a sure-fire call.
Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno)
Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. Spurred on by the scandal and Red Bull Racing’s lack of wins there since 2009, I think he comes out even hungrier and dominates this weekend to leave no doubt.
Surprising finish: Jenson Button. McLaren has had a miserable start to the year but since Pirelli’s new softer tires are in play this weekend, and McLaren claims improvements to the car over the break, I think Button can sneak a top-five if his usual tire management skills come into play.
Christopher Estrada (@estradawriting)
Race winner: Fernando Alonso. He says he doesn’t regret the wing decision that took him out at Malaysia, but Alonso’s got to be champing at the bit going into Shanghai.
Surprising finish: Adrian Sutil. He was undone by a wheelnut issue last time out, but has been decent in race pace and can sneak up again as he did in Australia.
Most to prove: Mark Webber. If an all-out battle has indeed begun between himself and teammate Sebastian Vettel, Webber has no choice but to take the fight to him.
Luke Smith (@LukeSmithF1)
Race winner: Sebastian Vettel. Seb is usually very quick in Shanghai. With the quickest car, it’s hard to look past him for the race win this weekend – without team orders…
Surprising finish: Felipe Massa. The Brazilian is back to his 2008 best it would appear. If he can continue his great qualifying form and not lose out off the start, then he could be in the running for a podium.
Most to prove: Charles Pic. With home favorite Ma Qing Hua replacing him for FP1, and rumors circulating about his future, Pic needs a big weekend to silence any critics. Beating Bianchi will be hard, but it must be his target.
Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine)
Race winner: Fernando Alonso will exploit the Ferrari’s promising long-run pace to useful effect.
Surprising finish: Nico Rosberg ahead of Lewis Hamilton (as long as the team don’t get involved again).
Most to prove: Pastor Maldonado needs to assert himself over his promising young team mate and be the first of them to pick up a point in the troublesome FW35.