Lewis Hamilton may have taken the 1000th championship race in Formula 1 history, but all eyes were once again on Ferrari after a dismal showing in Shanghai.
Say what you will about Ferrari so far this season, credit where it’s due: they really know how to hog the headlines.
Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were utterly dominant on Sunday, and yet the biggest story by far is the hullabaloo surrounding Ferrari’s ill-fated decision to swap Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel.
Maybe the Scuderia have been misinformed that this year’s championships will be decided not on amount of points, but column inches. More likely though, this was the case of a team that once again found itself slightly wide of the mark, and in so doing has further opened itself to external scrutiny and internal discontent.
At least in a vacuum, the swap itself can’t be considered that controversial – all F1 teams (and Ferrari in particular) will swap cars when the occasion calls for it – but this being Ferrari, and it backfiring so considerably has only served to highlight both their ongoing struggles with consistent pace and driver politics.