Dull Chinese Grand Prix gets lowest score so far

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Shanghai International Circuit, 2014The Chinese Grand Prix was always going to have a hard time to live up to the standard set by the thrilling race which preceded it.

Against the backdrop of a grey, smoggy Shanghai a fittingly indifferent race was played out on the Shanghai International Circuit.

F1 Fanatic readers gave the Chinese Grand Prix the lowest rating of the season so far. Its score of 5.473 is poorest for this round of the world championship since 2008 which, like this year, also saw a dominant lights-to-flag win by Lewis Hamilton.

It leaves the impression that the high score for the Bahrain Grand Prix might have been a one-off, which does not bode well for the remaining 15 rounds. Particularly as the Chinese Grand Prix usually scores quite highly and has seen some great races in the past.

What was the Chinese Grand Prix lacking? Here’s what you had to say in the comments.

Team orders at Red Bull

The jury is still out as to whether Sebastian Vettel let Daniel Ricciardo past when he was told to, or made a mistake which his team mate benefited from.

As was clear in Bahrain, Vettel doesn’t have a problem letting his team mate through when on different tyres or strategy, but this time it was different. Ricciardo was on the same tyres and although Red Bull said he was on a different strategy at the time, he went on to use the same as Vettel.

While the instruction from the pit wall was met with disapproval, several of you seemed to enjoy Vettel’s blunt response:

The highlight of the race was Vettel’s “tough luck” radio message.
@Mjf1

Was quite an interesting race. Driver quote of the year goes to Vettel: “What tyres is he on?”, then: “tough luck”.
@Theoddkiwi

Shanghai’s shortcomings

Although we’ve seen some exciting Chinese Grands Prix in the ten years since it first appeared in the calendar, misgivings remains about the Shanghai International Circuit:

It is the type of track that makes a lot races boring.

It seems that after the first few laps the drivers need to have telescopes attached to their visors to be able to see the next car. If we had more tracks like Montreal and Brazil it would not be so bad because at least those tracks are shorter and keep the cars bunched up a little bit closer together.

I don’t care if Hamilton or Vettel wins every race, as long as they have the second place driver right behind them.
@Irejag

It must be said Shanghai does not led itself to great racing. Other elements, such as the extreme tyre wear does help, but the actual track layout doesn’t.

That back straight is just ridiculous- the corner leading up to it isn’t that great either and the last turn is just awful for drivers to overtake into turn one. Drivers need to be able to pick more than one line through a corner before a turn to set up a move and they just cant do that in China.
@Hobbsy009

The competition

And some readers found more enjoyment watching the other races which featured on F1 Fanatic Live that weekend:

The Silverstone Six Hours was far more exciting, with some pretty daring overtakes for endurance racing!
Jonathan Sarginson

BTCC Donington, now that’s racing.
@Abuello-Paul

“Pretty dull”

But for most people the race simply failed to hold their interest:

The race failed to excite a lot of people, many calling it boring and complaining about a lack of wheel to wheel action. Some did defend the race though.

I never fall asleep when watching F1, but I did today… it was pretty dull overall, although it had some impressive moments.
@Stigrennfahrer

Boring race for me, hardly saw any battles for position. I think it was Martin Brundle who summed it up by saying “this is certainly no Bahrain”. I watched Bahrain three times, I doubt I’ll watch this race again.
@Yoshif8tures

I knew it wasn’t going to be edge of seat stuff like Bahrain but I think the race was still enjoyable, with the Red Bull battle and Rosberg hunting down second place keeping me entertained.
@Hazzwright

It was pretty much the most average race, not bad, not great, just average. It was better than Malaysia, due to there being a few battles out there, although the battle for the lead was non-existent, there was still a small amount of tension when following Alonso.
@Philereid

Previous rate the race results

2014 Chinese Grand Prix

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52 comments on Dull Chinese Grand Prix gets lowest score so far

  1. Honestly, it’s again a situation where DRS slightly ruined many of the battles, as did the number of pit stops. 2 stop races and no DRS would improve the situation drastically.

  2. PeterG said on 28th April 2014, 17:29

    I didn’t think China was that dull at all, I enjoyed it.

    It had some close racing, Some nice on track battles for position & a good amount of overtaking (40) through the field.

    Go back 5-6 years that race woudl have been scored 7-8/10. The DRS/Pirelli tyres of the past few years have simply given people stupid expectations that every race should feature 80+ passes & have all sorts of tyre related nonsense going on.

    Now the racing has become more sensible, The tyres are not too big a factor & DRS isn’t as stupidly overpowered as it has been the past 3 seasons.
    Yet were still getting some close racing & a decent amount of overtaking & I personally am finding F1 2014 to be far more exciting/interesting than I have the past 3 years where I despised the effect Tyres/DRS were having on things.

    I find it funny how people tend to jump on the ‘there was no overtaking’ opinion despite the fact the actual figures show a race had a good amount. It was the same for Melbourne/Sepang the post race comments suggested there had been no overtaking yet both races featured 30+.
    People whined when we had around 10 overtakes & there still whining when we have 30+, If you really do need 80+ overtakes every race with overtaking every lap then seriously go watch Nascar or something.

  3. Chad (@chaddy) said on 28th April 2014, 19:17

    China is my least favorite track. I’m not worried about the rest of the season, because I always feel China is a low point, and there’s no reason the next race won’t be great.

    Thinking about Vettel’s “tough luck” brings more mirth to me than any recent F1 happening, except for Lewis pitting in the McLaren box, which I still find hysterical.

  4. Sven (@crammond) said on 28th April 2014, 19:46

    Could it be races where the tyre-wear is limited by front tyres generally tend to be more on the dull/boring side compared to traction-limited races, and that this will especially hold true with this years regulations?

    And why doesn´t it rain in F1-races anymore?

  5. DaveD (@daved) said on 28th April 2014, 20:35

    I actually thought it was a decent race. I ignored Lewis with him being off in the distance (yes, I’m a HAM supporter…but he wasn’t in the same race as everyone else last week). I’m glad he won, but it wasn’t even part of the race as far as I was concerned.
    For me, it was interesting to see the fighting in the midfield and I laughed so hard when Kobi passed Vettel that it totally made my day. Yes, Seb it was only because of his new tires…but it was still funny as H#LL. LOL
    And Seb and RIC going at it was interesting as well as seeing Alonso fight through early and hang on for a podium. I’m not an Alonso fan, but I can certainly admire and respect a drive like that. And RIC sure looked sharp as well.
    Yes, compared to Bahrain it was low key, but I still enjoyed it.

  6. SauberS1 (@saubers1) said on 29th April 2014, 0:04

    It was boring.

  7. anakincarlos (@anakincarlos) said on 29th April 2014, 7:33

    Call me crazy but what if (think about it) F1 introduced a handicap system like in horse racing. Say if the same person won two or three times they would have to carry an extra weight and if they won again, then a bit more weight. Not to much just 500Gm to a kilo or something thereabouts. I would love to know what you might think.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 29th April 2014, 8:22

      @anakincarlos, it’s not crazy, as it is quite common in touring cars series. However, I personally don’t like it there, and I would certainly not like it in F1, where it is up to the teams (constructors!) to improve the car on a race-by-race basis.

  8. Ok, now we have 4 GP raced which 3 were very very boring and 1 very exciting in the last 15 laps. Any thoughts on that?

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 29th April 2014, 12:39

      @yes-master For me the first race was exciting because of the unknown. Bahrain was exciting for far more than just the last 15 laps. The other two were not ‘very very boring’ imho. And it is early days in a brand new chapter.

  9. Dizzy said on 29th April 2014, 17:12

    Question for people who thought China (And Melbourne/Sepang) were boring.

    What do you want from an f1 race which makes it exciting to you?

    If its overtaking, Then all 3 of these races featured a good level of it.
    If its close racing, Then again all 3 races featured plenty of it.
    If its some good racing scraps, Again there was plenty in all 3 races.

    I honestly don’t understand what people want from F1 as even good races with plenty of good, close racing & plenty of overtaking get labeled as boring? Its really confusing!

    • Dizzy said on 29th April 2014, 17:14

      Maybe those who seem to feel these sort of races were boring should just not watch f1 as they clearly don’t enjoy it if they feel good races are boring.

    • tvm (@) said on 29th April 2014, 20:19

      You seem to confuse drive by’s with overtaking, common mistake.

      Ask yourself how come McLaren of all team are still running without main sponsor, coincidence or years of dumbing down the sport perhaps?

      • Dizzy said on 29th April 2014, 22:06

        But there hasn’t been many Drive-By’s this year so far.

        I’ve been no fan of DRS, I hate the thing & the past 3 seasons regularly complained about those drive-by passes it created.
        This year however DRS is working better, I still hate the stupid thing & want it banned asap, But at least this year its so far not been overpowered & has not been creating the drive-by passes I have hated the prior 3 seasons.

  10. Formula 1 has been dull since 2001 .reasons rules regs .restriction on engine and areo.drs.stopping refuelling. The crap tyres we got now .kers. and the fast teams being slowed down because slower useless teams couldn’t keep up.and f1 being about money making and not about racing

  11. tvm (@) said on 29th April 2014, 20:23

    Can’t do it myself but would like to see analysis of Bahrain vs other races, -something- made it more exiting.

    My bet is still on the tires, teams were reporting very little difference between option and prime that weekend thus negating a lot of strategy; in exchange of track action.

    • DaveFLO said on 29th April 2014, 22:11

      True.
      China featured a lot of tyre graining, Sepang had a lot of deg as did Melbourne.

      Bahrain has been the one race this year where the tyre degredation was less of an issue, An easy 2-stop.
      About the only issue with tyres that weekend was nico rosberg overheating his fronts in the final laps due to pushing lewis has hard as he was & trying a few late braking moves.

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