April 14, 2013

Red China

A perfect race for Fernando Alonso who dominated an interesting Chinese Grand Prix that while dominated by tire considerations and strategy non the less presented some good scraps and confirmation the 2013 Ferrari has plenty of race pace. The only sour note for Ferrari was the less than stellar performance from Massa who got lost during the race and only managed sixth on a day when Ferrari could have made up more ground on Red Bull in the Constructor's Championship.

Red Bull's qualifying gamble and race strategy, starting on hard tires from further back on the griddid not pay off.   Webber who started from pit lane,  tried a bonehead low percentage pass on Vergne's Toro Rosso and had to pit earlier than planned for a new nose.  During his service, Red Bull made yet another error on Webber's car and did not tighten the read right wheel which then came off, right in front of Vettel.
RBR seem to be in a bit of a Multi-21 daze.

Raikkonen also managed to mess up his nose and front wing when he ran into the back of a weaving Perez but did not change it in the pits with Lotus opting to keep track position.  Kimi showed aerodynamics who's boss  as he managed to keep Hamilton at bay for more than half the race.  "yes, yes, frontwingwhatever".  Brilliant and it makes you wonder how good the Lotus might have been with a complete front wing.

Hamilton's Mercedes did not live up to the promise of qualifying but Brawn's team have certainly made progress with that car. Hamilton had some great overtakes and great moments with both Kimi and Button. It's a new Lewis.

Pirelli's brief is to deal wild cards, well, that they did.  4 useful laps on the option tire must be a record of sorts. Not totally convinced about a race where so much is determined by tire performance delta.

However, as long as everyone's given the same lemons...  Let's see who will make the best lemonade in Bahrain in six days time.

results after the break

(result tables via Autosport.com)

The Chinese Grand Prix
Shanghai, China;
56 laps; 305.066km;
Weather: Dry.


Pos Driver Team Time

1. Alonso Ferrari 1h36:26.945
2. Raikkonen Lotus-Renault + 10.168s
3. Hamilton Mercedes + 12.322s
4. Vettel Red Bull-Renault + 12.525s
5. Button McLaren-Mercedes + 35.285s
6. Massa Ferrari + 40.827s
7. Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 42.691s
8. Di Resta Force India-Mercedes + 51.084s
9. Grosjean Lotus-Renault + 53.423s
10. Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari + 56.598s
11. Perez McLaren-Mercedes + 1m03.860s
12. Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari + 1m12.604s
13. Maldonado Williams-Renault + 1m33.861s
14. Bottas Williams-Renault + 1m35.453s
15. Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
16. Pic Caterham-Renault + 1 lap
17. Chilton Marussia-Cosworth + 1 lap
18. van der Garde Caterham-Renault + 1 lap

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m36.808s

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap

Rosberg Mercedes 22
Webber Red Bull-Renault 16
Sutil Force India-Mercedes 6
Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 5

World Championship standings, round 3:

Drivers: Constructors:

1. Vettel 52 1. Red Bull-Renault 78
2. Raikkonen 49 2. Ferrari 73
3. Alonso 43 3. Lotus-Renault 60
4. Hamilton 40 4. Mercedes 52
5. Massa 30 5. Force India-Mercedes 14
6. Webber 26 6. McLaren-Mercedes 14
7. Button 12 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 7
8. Rosberg 12 8. Sauber-Ferrari 5
9. Grosjean 11
10. Di Resta 8
11. Ricciardo 6
12. Sutil 6
13. Hulkenberg 5
14. Perez 2
15. Vergne 1

All timing unofficial


  1. I know I'm not the only one slowly coming around to the new Mercedes team efforts. When I read about Hammy's defection after an extended camping trip last year, I was inconsolable. Grandpa Schumi had made the Mercs seem so worthless that I couldn't fathom Hammy's motives.

    Now, however...it seems that I'll be forced to scour the internets and delete all footage of me bawling and (maybe) throwing my Lewis kit in the garbage. I shall never doubt the Lewis again*.

    *Assuming he keeps his shit together for the rest of the season

  2. Your new media player is not playing nicely with both my iphone and iPad. Frownie Face.

    oh yeah, race was awesome too

    1. Chrome on windows prompts me to download the mp4 file.

    2. It's going to have to be the JW player until I find something better.

    3. Great recap, thanks!

  3. chrome on win7 is fine in mine, as long as I don't try to go back in the timeline.

    also, nice Kimi Photoshop

  4. Unfortunately the playback sucks on my computer too.

  5. Sounds odd but I find that the tire degradation makes it difficult to watch the race. The driver's track position doesn't seem to mean anything and in addition the "passes" made on track are almost not important. For example the pass Alonso made of Vettel past halfway in the race. It looked like a track day with Alonso getting a point by so Vettel could just execute his tire strategy. They need to make the window where the tire can be "raced" longer than 3 laps.


  6. Great work from Kimi, I feel good about him this season!
    Alonso played his cards right, but if it wasn't for Perez, would he had won?
    Great recap as usual!!

  7. A new Lewis? We've always had this Lewis, McLaren were always the failure point. I don't see how this finish or his fight shows anything from he we haven't seen since he stepped foot in Formula 1.


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