Weekend round-up (April 13-15): F1, Formula E/Mahindra and more
Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix
Daniel Ricciardo won a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday by taking advantage of a mid-race safety car to pit for fresh tyres.
It wasn’t all down to strategy, however, as Ricciardo made some clinical moves - including those on Mercedes pair Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas - to score his first win since last year’s Azerbaijan GP.
Bottas finished second, while Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the podium spots despite being put on an inferior strategy in the first half of the race.
Championship leader Sebastian Vettel could only muster eighth after being spun around at the hairpin by Max Verstappen, who, like Ricciardo, was bolted with fresh tyres under SC.
Verstappen was handed a 10-second time penalty for the incident, which put him fifth in the final classifications - behind the second Mercedes of Hamilton.
Force India failed to score points for the second time in three races after scruffy opening laps by Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez. Ocon was classified 11th, while Perez finished just behind in 12th.
Rome ePrix (Formula E) and Mahindra
DS Virgin’s Sam Bird held on to victory in the first ever Rome ePrix after inheriting the lead from Mahindra’s Felix Rosenqvist.
Rosenqvist claimed pole position by six tenths of a second and was in control of the race until lap 22 of 33, when he suffered a suspension failure after running over a kerb.
The Swedish star retired in similar fashion in Mexico, although a battery issue was to blame for that particular retirement.
Nick Heidfeld could best finish 16th in the sister Mahindra after being pushed wide in a three-way scrap at the hairpin.
With only three points scored all weekend, courtesy of Rosenqvist’s pole lap, Mahindra has now slipped to third in the teams’ standing, behind DS Virgin.
Aditya Patel (Blancpain GT Asia, Malaysia)
Aditya Patel suffered a heartbreaking retirement from the opening Blancpain GT Asia race at Sepang.
OD Racing Audi driver Patel gained two places off the line and then reeled in the #27 Ferrari to move up to second, only to slow down on the following lap with a technical failure.
Patel and teammate Mitch Gilbert had a smoother race 2, but could only manage 10th place and the solitary point that came along with it.
Armaan Ebrahim and Anindith Reddy (Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia, Malaysia)
Armaan Ebrahim and Anindith Reddy started the 2018 Lamborghini Super Trofeo Asia season with a podium at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit.
Ebrahim and Reddy qualified their Super Trofeo-spec Huracan in third position for the weekend’s first race, and inherited second when the #38 car stopped with a puncture.
The two finished fifth overall in Race 2, which was enough to propel them to second position in the Pro standings.
Advait Deodhar (NASCAR Euro, Valencia)
Advait Deodhar claimed victory in his maiden NASCAR Whelen Euro outing at Valencia on Friday.
Returning to racing after three years, Deodhar set the most consistent times across two sessions to be announced as the ELITE CLUB division winner. He was driving a Chevrolet Camaro for Dutch squad Mishumotors.
NRT (World Supersport, Aragon)
Jules Cluzel scored Indian-owned NRT team’s first World Supersport podium at Aragon in Spain.
Cluzel shot into the lead after a breathtaking start from sixth on the grid, but soon dropped back to third after being overtaken by Sandro Cortese and Federico Caricasulo.
However, to his credit, Cluzel hung on to the back of Caricasulo for the rest of the race, finishing only 0.213s behind as he claimed the final spot on the podium.