Chinese Grand Prix Tips & Predictions

Chinese Grand Prix Tips

Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez are sitting pretty at the top of the Formula 1 standings after four races and are the strong favourites to continue their dominance in this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.

The Shanghai International circuit has not hosted an F1 race since 2019 and that could act to level the playing field, as none of the teams has any relevant data to guide them in how to set-up their ultra-sensitive machines.

Ferrari are leading the pursuit of the champions, with at least one of Charles Leclerc or Carlos Sainz having stood on the podium after each of this season's races, and they will be hoping to continue to edge closer to the Red Bulls' performance.

Tip 1 - Carlos Sainz podium finish @ 17/20

Sainz will lose his seat at the end of this season to make way for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton's arrival, but the Spaniard's recent performances must be giving his Ferrari bosses cause to wonder whether that is a wise decision.

Despite missing the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix with appendicitis, Sainz is only four points behind his team-mate Leclerc in the standings and only nine points back from Perez.

Considering he has picked up at least 15 points from each race he has contested, Sainz would quite probably be applying some pressure to Verstappen had it not been for his medical emergency.

In contrast to recent seasons, Sainz has consistently outperformed Leclerc in races, and qualifying has been key to that.

Usually a qualifying specialist, Monegasque racer Leclerc has struggled to get his tyres up to optimum temperature for his qualy laps, while Sainz has not.

The forecast for a cloudy weekend means likely low track temperatures, so Leclerc could again find it troublesome getting heat into his tyres.

Also in contrast to recent seasons is that Ferrari's race pace has been just as strong as over a single lap, and that has been key in cementing themselves as the chief challengers to Red Bull.

Sainz's two third places and his Australian Grand Prix victory from his three appearances in 2024 suggest the 17/20 on offer for him to continue his podium streak is worth taking.

Tip 2 - Fernando Alonso top-six finish @ 7/4

Sainz's childhood hero turned on-track rival Fernando Alonso is another driver who should be on punters' radar in Shanghai.

The Spanish veteran is a two-time winner in Shanghai, the first time way back in 2005, and his experience will help his Aston Martin team with their set-up decisions at a track where none of the teams has any recent data.

Alonso has made a solid start to the campaign, comprehensively outperforming his Canadian team-mate Lance Stroll, and crossing the finish line in the top six at each of the last three races.

A penalty for his part in George Russell's scary crash in Australia dropped him to eighth in the finishing order there.

Aston Martin, along with McLaren and Mercedes are vying for the best-of-the-rest title behind Red Bull and Ferrari, but are currently the third of that trio, mainly thanks to Stroll having contributed only two points finishes in four races.

However, the nature of the Shanghai circuit, with many low-speed corners, could suit the green machines better than their main competitors and Alonso will be eyeing another top-six finish.

Take Time to Think | | 18+

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