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Racing Round Up – F1, WEC & MotoGP

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Image credit: Flickr – rwsmotorsport

There was a whole lot of racing this weekend, it was bliss for motorsport fans. The only issue we had was time enough to watch it all!

Formula One

After getting a taste of what it’s like to finish anywhere other than first and second In Malaysia, Mercedes respond with a familiar one-two result at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton cruised to victory in China at the weekend, leading from the start all the way to the finish with his teammate Nico Rosberg following in behind, despite giving it everything he had. Hamilton pointed his car toward the first corner, anticipating fierce competitions from the beginning but made a perfect getaway from the line, leading Rosberg and Sebastien Vettel into the first turn.

Felipe Massa for William’s made a poor start from his position of fourth on the grid, with Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikonen coming straight past him. Raikonen wasted no time though and out manoeuvred Bottas at turn six. After that it was a Mercedes-Mercedes, Ferrari-Ferrari and Williams-Williams race right up until the end, there was little in the way of drama for the top six.

Max Verstappen however did provide a bit of excitement further back in the field, the seventeen year old proved that age means nothing compared to skill and it will be interesting to watch him this season. The Torro Rosso driver made some excellent moves, passing Marcus Ericsson in lap nine on the hairpin and made light work of Force India’s Sergio Perez to grab eighth.

It was a huge disappointment for him when his engine exploded on the second to last lap, robbing him of what would have been his second point scoring finish this season! Verstappen’s off caused the race to finish under safety car conditions, a rather anticlimactic finish to a somewhat uninspiring race. The top ten went as follows: Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Raikkonen, Massa, Bottas, Grosjean, Nasr, Ricciardo and Ericsson.

World Endurance Championship

Many motor sport fans are starting to lose faith in Formula One, moving over to the World Endurance Championship to get their racing fix and it was easy to see why this weekend. I feel F1 may lose a significant portion of its viewers to WEC if we get a repeat of last year’s F1 performance.

It was the opening event of this years WEC season, six hours of pure racing at Silverstone. Despite both being part of the VW group it was Audi and Porsche that laid the gauntlet down and put on an awesome show in the LM P1 class.

Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler in the #7 Audi and Romain Dumas, Merc Lieb and Neel Jani in the #18 Porsche were split by just 4.6 seconds at the end of the race. That’s 4.6 seconds difference over the course of a six-hour race, it wasn’t as if they were running separately on track either, they were physically trading places all of the time too.

The Audi team had actually built up a nice 1m12s buffer to protect themselves from the Porsche guys but an extra stop for fuel and a penalty for running off the track limits almost completely wiped out that lead. The lead had been built up by Lotterer, who put in an awesome performance mid-race, staying in for three sessions. Prior to this the Porsche had been dominating, but as soon as the German stepped in the Audi began to pull away.

The battle was particularly exciting because each car performed better in different areas. The Porsche had the legs in the straights; always pulling away from the Audi but in the technical sections is was the Audi that had the edge. However, with a 29 car grid, there was clearly more action to be seen than just the top two. In the LM P2 class it was the G Drive team that dominated proceedings, taking both first and second in class. Sam Bird, Julien Canal and Roman Rusinov took victory in their #26 Ligier over the teams #28 machine piloted by Gustavo Yacaman, Ricardo Gonzalez and Pipo Derani by nearly a full lap. The G-Drive teams didn’t go completely unchallenged however, in the early portions of the race the KCMG team were challenging the G-Drive crew until they were on the receiving end of radiator damage which made caused them to drop off the pace.

MotoGP

Marc Marquez might not currently be at the top of the MotoGP standings but his performance this weekend at Red Bull’s Grand Prix of The Americas reminded everyone why he is the reigning champ. Marquez clinched his first win of the season, followed by Andrea Dovizioso in second and Valentino Rossi rounding the podium off.

The Repsol Honda rider took no prisoners at the Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, although he was beaten to the first corner by Andrea Dovizioso it didn’t take him long to reclaim his rightful position after qualifying on pole.

Movistar Yamaha’s Valentino Rossi followed Marquez past Dovizioso and managed to cling to his back wheel for a time but simply could not match the pace of the Spaniard. After Marquez left Rossi in his dust no one was ever going to catch him and the real battle was for second between Rossi and Dovizioso.

Cal Crutchlow suffered an awful start after qualifying fifth, dropping back five whole places to tenth on his Honda. He did eventually claw back some places to end up in seventh but it was not a successful race for Crutchlow and he will be looking to improve on his performance next round.

Jorge Lorenzo had a mixed race, qualifying third, setting himself up for what should have been a great ride but unfortunately didn’t get the start that Rossi, Dovizioso and Marquez got, ending up back in fifth from the start. He didn’t give up though, fighting off the advances of fifth place Andrew Iannone on the Ducati to finish up in fourth by the end. It was another awesome MotoGP race, with a stand out performance from current world champion Marc Marquez, this season is shaping up to be fantastic. That’s all for the Racing Round Up, check back next week for more! While you’re here why not take a look at our Best Finance Deals? Fancy something a bit less serious? Check out last week’s Best Car Videos of The Week!

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