Despite not winning the Australian GP, Lewis Hamilton still has plenty of reasons to be optimistic heading into this weekend. The Mercedes team typically performs better on these larger tracks, and the Brit has won three out of the last six races to be held at this track. Last year however, Hamilton could only manage seventh after starting last on the grid.
Red Bull - NOT
Red Bull Racing does not have a good history at the Chinese GP, and its drivers haven’t fared too well here either. This was never their strongest track even in Sebastian Vettel’s championship-winning years, and the team has only landed one of its drivers on the podium here once in the last five years. Neither Max Verstappen or Daniel Ricciardo has ever finished on the podium here and, after Mercedes and Ferrari outperformed the team in Australia, it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to get things turned around this weekend.
LAT ImagesZak Mauger
Sebastian Vettel - HOT
While, as noted above, Sebastian Vettel doesn’t have the best of records in Shanghai, he hasn’t fared too poorly here over the past couple of years. Vettel has finished on the podium here the last two years running, and his win at the Australian GP two weeks ago was no fluke. Any year the German has led the World Championship standings at any point during the season, he has gone on to take the title.
LAT ImagesZak Mauger
Felipe Massa - HOT
After a whopping 0-race-long retirement, Felipe Massa is back and fully up to speed. At the Australian GP, he finished sixth just behind the two Mercedes, the two Ferraris, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull. In addition, Massa has finished in the top six the last two years running at this circuit.
Toro Rosso - HOT
Not only does the new Toro Rosso look good, its also pretty fast too. Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat got eighth and ninth respectively at the Australian GP. Last year, Kvyat got third at the Chinese GP, although he was running for Red Bull at the time. However, the Toro Rosso teammates of Sainz and - at the time - Verstappen - didn’t fare too poorly here last year either, with both of the cars finishing in the points.