April 15, 2012

2012 Chinese GP Executive Summary: Britney pops his cherry!

Cheap shot?  OK fine, truth is I can't find anything negative to say about any driver at the Chinese GP, not even Massa!

Aside from Nico Rosberg running away with it and essentially disappearing for  his first win in 111 starts, it was cracking race, more Moto GP than F1 at times. 
I lost track of all the passing and there was more wheel to wheel action in one GP than there have been in whole past seasons of racing.

The on track action, especially in the second half of the race was just bananas: wheel banging, three across passing yet it was all, with one notable exception, clean and beautiful to watch. Even back markers made no mistakes (come to think of it I don't think I saw an HRT on the broadcast at all!).

The race really was, more than ever, about tires.  Mercedes, the car that was hard on tires, won with a two stop strategy vs the three stops of Mclaren.
A bad tire stop knocked Schumacher out and another bad tire stop compromised Button's race.
Tire debris littered the wide Shanghai track turning into a narrow single car gully where a passing attempt meant almost a certain off.
Some cars worked well on a two stopper while others (Lotus) fell mercilessly off the cliff.

Rosberg had clean air and no fights,  key to his tires lasting. Mclarens had the pace to beat him, maybe, but Button's bad pit stop put him back in traffic and ruined his chances, Hamilton could not overcome his five spot penalty, again mostly because of traffic.

Vettel, made his strategy work, just. he should be happy with fifth from eleventh. Not so happy Webber blew by him on the outside on the last lap but Vettel could very easily have made that move much harder for the Australian but chose to gave him room. Again good driving by all.

Not so good Perez's move on his teammate Kobayashi.

Ferrari, Alonso really should have been fifth or sixth but he, lacking straight-line speed, had to resort to passing attempts in odd places and ended up in the marbles while trying Maldonado, an error that had him nearly collected by Perez in what would have been a big one.

Massa, well, he did what he could I think, a two stopper was a big ask for that package.

Williams, surprise of the day.

Raikkonen, other surprise, he was up to second when Lotus should really have called him in for tires. In the final laps Pirellis fell off the cliff and lost something like eight spots over two laps.  It was painful to watch but Kimi's back mentally, not even Hamilton could rattle him.

So, awesome race, enjoy the highlights.  Next week end the circus heads to Bahrain, where nobody wants to go but, I guess, the money's too good to pass up.


  1. Thanks for the summary! Amazing to see that huge amount of marbles off line, looked like half the gravel trap had been dragged up on the track. Some good wheel to wheel battles, and some hard driving by a few. The Lotus on good tires looks very impressive coming out of a corner, holding its line under full throttle very well but looks less than average when the tires are worn. Its good to see a points battle again, instead one driver sitting alone with mroe than a GP's win in points in the lead.

  2. This was such a fantastic weekend, from jaw-dropping qualifying sessions (Vettel) to the final lap battles, holy cow what a show!

    To be honest it seemed doubtful M-B would hold onto it, but Rosberg was on point. Almost perfect race and now we know how slippery that silver blur is. I'll even admit to feeling a small pang of sympathy to the old shoe, I bet he could taste that champagne again, starting on the front row. I guess we shouldn't be surprised a car with Ross Brawn involved could suddenly be so fast, it seemed so unlikely though.

    Oh, and I hear there are shortages of ice creams all around the Shanghi district. Seems Kimi needed some serious consoling after those horrible last laps. I don't usually root for the guy but that was a rough finish.

    If you pay really close attention you can catch a glimpse of the HRT and even, once or twice, a Caterham. I know they aren't battling for points but even an occasional update on the other 2/3 of the field would be nice. I watched the BBC/SKY coverage and for a good chunk of the race I was under the impression that Kovalinen had gone into the garage (that's what I get for listening to the commenters, who I've never heard of before watching this race). They didn't show them on-track, they didn't cover the pit stops, nothing. It's no wonder those teams can't get any advertisers, why bother?

    If someone hadn't been watching this season, I'd get them started with this race.Season is looking to be a good one!

  3. Cracking! Thanks for putting this up. really appreciate it.

  4. Race like this you dont see everyday. Thanks for a great summary.


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