F1 Chinese GP: Zhou’s Return Home, Norris on the Podium

Zhou Guanyu thanking the Chinese fans after completing the first home race of his career (Everything F1)
Zhou Guanyu thanking the Chinese fans after completing the first home race of his career (Everything F1)

While Formula 1’s podium for the Chinese Grand Prix didn’t change much after yet another unsurprising Verstappen P1, the race still held a very special place in many Chinese hearts.

Zhou Guanyu achieved the feat that F1 fans dream of day after day. To be able to compete at home, in front of a home crowd full of millions of fans that love you is enough to make anyone emotional. Despite not winning the race or getting any points, that didn’t matter to the fans. They finally got to see the first Chinese F1 driver race at home.

Kick Sauber has struggled this season, not bringing in any points as of yet, but that doesn’t take away from the passion that they drive with. Their two drivers, Zhou and Bottas, both finished the Chinese GP outside the points with Bottas unable to finish the race after some car trouble on lap 21 out of 56.

Zhou’s race, however, began on quite the tricky note. He started at P16 and struggled with overheating tires. “I had to stay calm because I can’t afford to finish the race at the back of the grid,” he told F1 TV. “I need to get back to where I started.” He was able to gain two positions by the end of the day, ending the race at P14, just four places away from the points.

Hamilton is another important name to mention after the most recent race. The Briton exited qualifying in Q1 for the first time since the 2022 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix leaving himself with an unflattering P18 to climb out of.

“I woulda, shoulda got through easy,” said the Mercedes driver. “It was my mistake. I just struggled I think to stop the car in Turn 14, it just kept locking. Maybe I needed one more lap.”

Despite the unfortunate results of the qualifying, while not quite up to Hamilton’s standards, he was still able to place within the points with an impressive-to-anyone-else P9 finish.

 

 

 

 

 

In other news, one of the biggest surprises of the weekend was the placement of McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Coming into the Chinese GP, the circuit was expected to be a weaker one for McLaren given certain aspects, such as how Turn 1 is a longer corner — a known weakness for the team.

Despite the efforts of the difficult track and while Norris may have been slightly aided by the multiple safety cars throughout the race, all that matters is the result — and Norris was able to collect quite the substantial one.

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