Return of The Chinese Grand Prix

Zhou Guanyu at the Chinese Grand Prix
Zhou Guanyu at the Chinese Grand Prix
Formula 1

Last Sunday, the Formula One season continued into the unexpected fields of Shanghai, China, where drivers have not raced since 2019. Due to COVID causing constant setbacks, this was the first time in five years that drivers had to face the devilish tracks of the Shanghai International Circuit. David’s Drift is here to give a breakdown of the Chinese Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen winning the Chinese Grand Prix

To nobody’s surprise, Max Verstappen took another win which means that he has won four out of the five races this season. However, most of the attention is focused on the surprising results of the standings. Lando Norris, in a McLaren, managed to snag second place away from Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez due to a safety car that was sent out late in the race. His ability to split apart the invincible wings of Red Bull Racing was unexpected. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz came up right behind to gain fourth and fifth place respectively. Mercedes, having George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, could have done better as a whole but went into it expecting a tough race. With Russell coming into sixth place, his performance was expected by the team. But Lewis Hamilton had a terrible qualifying having to start in the back row at P18. His ability to swerve through the others managed him to reach ninth place, conquering a whole nine positions throughout the race. 

The main star of the race was Zhou Guanyu from Kick Sauber Ferrari. Although he wasn’t able to score points for his team, coming in 14th place, his representation of China made him that race’s hero. Being the first-ever Chinese Driver in their hometown put immense pressure on Zhou as he was expected to perform his best. “This just gets me, you know, this journey to get here—I’m just super proud and honored to be finally the first Chinese driver to compete in the Chinese Grand Prix for 20 years,” Zhou said in an interview. “Emotional of course, it was a very special moment for me.” Although the team didn’t do great with his partner Bottas having to retire because of engine failure, it was an honor to participate in that race. He still holds his head strong for the races to come. 

Lance Stroll crashing into Daniel Ricciardo

The largest race issue was caused by Daniel Ricciardo (Visa Cash App Red Bull) and Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), which has caused sparks to fly both through the race and online. According to Reuters, as the drivers approached turn 14, the cars collided because Stroll attempted to surpass Ricciardo through a narrow space. This caused a massive blowout, leading to Ricciardo retiring from the race. Ricciardo blames Stroll for not looking clearly and knowing that this was too risky of a move. “What makes my blood boil is I’ve watched his onboard (video) to just see it from his perspective, to try to maybe just have some type of understanding,” Ricciardo said during the post-interview. “And as soon as we start braking, you can see his helmet turn right. He’s looking at the apex of Turn 14, he’s not even watching me.” To make matters worse, Stroll denies any such case and instead blames Ricciardo for breaking early. “The car in front of me just stopped from like 90 kph to zero, and then boom, so it was really stupid,” Stroll said. For this incident, the FiA gave Stroll a ten-second penalty and Ricciardo, surprisingly, a three-place grid drop along with a two-point penalty. Both are left unhappy about the incident.

From unexpected accidents to shifts along the grid, the race was an exciting one to watch. Luckily the next race won’t require an all-nighter to watch as it will be taking place in Miami, Florida on May 5! Get ready to watch with family and friends to see who will win the Miami Grand Prix! 

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About the Contributor
David Shin
David Shin, Senior Staff Writer
David Shin ('25) is a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. He is looking forward to covering stories of any genre that might pique the interest of students at Tenafly High School.