Date:Monday April 13 2015
After their somewhat unexpected victory in Malaysia, Ferrari declared they were back.
The Italian outfit took victory for the first time with Sebastian Vettel and did it on merit.
But the extremely hot temperatures played into Ferrari's hands, their cooling system enabled them to maintain an aerodynamic rear which helped performance, whilst their new suspension enabled them to look after their tyres.
Looking after the Pirelli tyres was key to Ferrari's and Sebastian Vettel's victory, whilst Mercedes simply had no answer.
But back in China, despite the clear skies and the warmer than average temperatures, Mercedes found themselves back in their optimum window for performance.
Even the pre-race thoughts that Ferrari would hold an advantage over Mercedes by being able to run two stints of their three stint race on the softer compound tyre came to nothing as both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were also able to run the soft compounds twice.
Even with Rosberg's worry of being backed in to Vettel, Mercedes dominated from start to finish.
Hamilton who had topped first practice, second practice, third practice and took pole position, maintained the gap at the front of the race, looked after his tyres and would have won from a comfortable distance if it hadn't have been for a late safety car.
'Iím really happy. Definitely going into the race we thought it would be a lot closer and we knew the Ferraris were very, very good with their long run pace and also looking after their tyres. So, today the real goal was to manage the tyres.' Hamilton told formula1.com.
'I had no real threat from Nico through the whole race. So, I just managed it and got to really enjoy it, to be honest. A few of the real good fun laps were the laps before the pitstop, which I really enjoyed. Ultimately it was a much smoother weekend than we had in the last race where we got the whole, full practice sessions, on my side of the garage at least. And it made a real big difference to the balance of the car for the race. So really happy, and yeah, kinda excited.
Rosberg also had a healthy lead over Vettel after the second stop and cruised in for a Mercedes one-two finish.
Ferrari have clearly taken a large step forward, they are the new best of the rest ahead of both Williams and clearly ahead of Red Bull Racing.
But there is still a long way to go to beat Mercedes, unless they can pray for ridiculously hot temperatures at every Grand Prix.
Vettel was still positive however about Ferrari closing the gap evermore to Mercedes.
'Towards the end I think they were just too quick. They were pulling away. Nico had a sequence of really, really quick lap times - so we couldnít do that - but all-in-all, as I said, closer here, which is great for us, and in front of the other teams. If we keep doing that, and keep getting closer, obviously thereís a point where we are some real challenge for these guys, which Iím looking forward to.
Date:Monday April 13 2015
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