The Chinese Grand Prix has thrown up a few surprises to win over the last five years, with five different drivers taking the win.
In 2009, it was Sebastian Vettel, scoring the first win for the Red Bull team. McLaren won in 2010 and 2011 with Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton, respectively, with Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg capturing his first career win in 2012 and Ferrari emerging on top with Fernando Alonso last year.
On pure pace for 2014, you’d have to say Hamilton or Rosberg will once again take it for Mercedes and end the run of different winners at the Shanghai International Circuit.
But if you’re looking for a spoiler, just look to any of the finishers from P3-P8 in Bahrain.
Daniel Ricciardo has emerged as a worthy teammate to Vettel at Red Bull thus far; the Force India squad scored a podium with Sergio Perez and a second straight top five with Nico Hulkenberg; Williams was in podium position with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas before the safety car. And if Vettel were to win, it would keep up the five winners in five years stat.
Ferrari, meanwhile, seem less likely to pull the upset. Raikkonen won in 2007 but only after Hamilton ran aground in the pit lane in the penultimate round of the season.
We’ll see if the field has closed the gap to the Mercedes this weekend.
MotoGP star Valentino Rossi has been discharged from hospital after suffering injuries in a motorcross accident earlier this week.
Nine-time motorcycling world champion Rossi was diagnosed with “mild thoracic and abdominal trauma” after the accident on Thursday morning, resulting in his admission to the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, Italy.
The hospital noted in a statement that there were “no fractures detected in any part of the body and no serious traumatic pathologies”, with Rossi recovering overnight with pain relief.
On Friday, a further statement was issued confirming that Rossi had been discharged from hospital.
“Valentino Rossi has returned home from the Ospedale Infermi in Rimini, having successfully completed routine diagnostic tests that were scheduled earlier on Friday,” the statement reads.
“With the attending doctors confirming the findings shared in this morning‘s medical bulletin, the nine-time World Champion left the hospital at 5.30pm, accompanied by his staff.
“He will now continue the recovery process at home.”
The Yamaha rider’s next racing engagement comes next weekend with the Italian Grand Prix at Mugello.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastien Vettel are the two most decorated drivers currently on the Formula 1 grid, with seven World Championships between them (four for Vettel, and three for Hamilton).
However, their paths have rarely crossed on the track, and only in 2010 did both drivers battle each for a World Championship in the same year. They also battled Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber that year, with Vettel emerging on top to claim his first World Championship.
However, the 2017 season sees Hamilton and Vettel in the two best cars on the grid, and they have gone head-to-head multiple times already this year, with each claiming two victories through the first five races. Currently, Vettel leads Hamilton 104-98 in the world championship, and the two men are developing a strong on-track rivalry.
Monaco Grand Prix coverage continues with FP3 and qualifying on Saturday. Full times are linked here.
In Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, we take you behind the scenes during F1 superstar Fernando Alonso’s qualifying runs for the Indy 500, including when he was on the pole for a brief period. He’ll eventually start fifth.
On Friday’s NASCAR AMERICA Motorsports Special on NBCSN, Parker Kligerman and his backseat driver, Kyle Petty, took to the iRacing simulator to make a mock run around Indianapolis Motor Speedway in preparation for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
They look at the challenges of IMS, as well as the challenges two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso will face in the first oval track race in his illustrious career. Alonso is among the favorites in the race and will take the green flag from the middle of Row 2 (fifth position).
Check out the above video.