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.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.