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F1 analysis: The 2014 season so far

2014-04-17 09:54

MERC’S DYNAMIC DUO: Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg (left) and Lewis Hamilton have been told by team boss Toto Wolff to keep up the competitive fight but to be careful not to take each other out. Image: AFP/ Mohammed Al-Shaikh

SHANGHAI, China - Mercedes has dominated the new V6 turbo era of Formula 1  with three race wins in 2014 to date.

Mercedes leads the pack with 111 points in the Constructors' championship followed by Force-India (44), McLaren (43), Red Bull (35) and Ferrari (33).

MERCEDES IN CHARGE

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg, winner of the season-opening 2014 Australian GP, leads the Drivers' championship with 61 points followed by team mate Lewis Hamilton (50),

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg (28) and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso (26). Red Bull's defending champion Sebastian Vettel and  McLaren's Jenson Button are tied with 23 points each.

F1 heads to Shanghai for the 2014 Chinese GP on April 20.  

Ahead of the race at the Shanghai International Circuit, we look back on the first three races of the season:

Australian Grand Prix - March 16

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg led from start to finish as rivals dropped out with mechanical problems in a race that saw Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo controversially disqualified  from second place due to new fuel rules.

As teams grappled with widespread technical changes, pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton and World champion Sebastian Vettel both retired early, leaving Rosberg victorious by a wide margin ahead of Ricciardo and McLaren's Danish debutant Kevin Magnussen.

Ricciardo, newly arrived at Red Bull, was later stripped of the first podium finish of his career for a technical infringement, prompting an appeal from his team.

Standings: Nico Rosberg 25 points, Kevin Magnussen 18, Jenson Button 15

Malaysian Grand Prix - March 30

Hamilton led the first Mercedes one-two in 59 years. He streaked away from pole position and was never pressured as he finished ahead of team mate Rosberg with Vettel third for Red Bull.

It was the first time both Mercedes drivers have led the field since 1955, when the German marque departed the sport before returning in 2010 and now confirming themselves as the team to beat in F1's new era.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was fourth and Nico Hulkenberg placed a creditable fifth for Force India.

The win was Hamilton's first since the 2013 Hungarian GP. Afterwards, Hamilton paid tribute to the victims of the MH370 plane disappearance, which cast a shadow over the race.

Standings: Nico Rosberg 43, Lewis Hamilton 25, Fernando Alonso 24

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix - April 6

Hamilton and Rosberg repeated their one-two in Malaysia after a thrilling wheel-to-wheel duel  as Hamilton equalled the legendary Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio's record of 24 grand prix victories. Sergio Perez gave Force India just their second ever podium finish in third.

Ricciardo, 13th on the grid, continued his impressive start for Red Bull with fourth, followed by Hulkenberg in the second Force India and Vettel in the second Red Bull completing the top six.

Hamilton had been cruising with a lead of more than nine seconds when the safety car was called out on lap 42 of the 57-lap floodlit race. Rosberg, on faster tyres, quickly closed the gap after the restart but Hamilton held off his team-mate's charge in a frantic finale.

Standings: Nico Rosberg 61, Lewis Hamilton 50, Nico Hulkenberg 28

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Chinese F1 GP weekend
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