Shanghai overview -F1

Tue 20 Apr 2010

Those that predicted after Bahrain it was going to be a boring F1 season got it wrong.

Those that predicated that Button had made a massive mistake moving to McLaren got it wrong.

Those that predicted Schumacher would be a title challenger by now got it wrong.

It’s hard to know where to start with an overview the Shanghai race, as so much happened… there was a jump start, there was overtaking on the track, there was overtaking in the pits.  There were crashes, there was rain and the odd dry spell and there were five tyre changes for some.

Rain was just starting to fall whilst they were sat on the grid –all with slick on.  This did not seem to hold back Alonso who came from third to first within a hundred yards.  However the stewards noted he had made a jump start so he received a drive through penalty as punishment.

After Liuzzi’s Force India wiped out Glock’s Virgin, Kobayashi’s Sauber and Buemi’s Toro Rosso on the first corner, under the yellow flag everyone rushed into the pits to change to intermediates,   Button, Kubica and Rosberg stayed out on slicks and it was not long before the rain went and everyone was back in the pits to change back to slicks, after they were struggling to keep up.

Hamilton, who eventually needed four tyre changes to Buttons two, managed to make his way through the field.  There was a great fight between Lewis and Vettel that made it into the pit lane.  Both totally committed -side by side on entry, the same down the lane after the tyre change, and on exit.  Whilst some may have been concerned about the safety of it, thankfully for them the stewards took a different view, and there was a just a reprimand after the race.  That was not to be the last of the excitement in the pits, as Alonso overtook Massa on entry, meaning that Felipe had to sit behind him waiting for his tyre change.

In the end Jenson took the race, with the great advantage of his early tyre strategy, and smooth driving style holding the tyres together.  Hamilton an excellent second and Rosberg form continues as he took the final step of the podium.  He really has ‘come of age’ since his move from Williams, and it’s good to see last years ‘also ran’, doing so well in a half decent car.  The same cannot be said of his compatriot Schumacher who was yet again outgunned, struggling back in tenth.

Alonso and Ferrari got the tyre strategy wrong, but they still managed to storm their way through the field to take a good fourth.  Renault had a great race with Kubica taking fifth and Petrov seventh.

Red Bulls Vettel eventually slipped to sixth, with Webber in an uneventful eighth.

It shows how close the racing is this season, as Massa who was leading the driver’s championship at the start of the race, took two points coming in ninth, yet dropped to sixth overall behind Button, Rosberg, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.

We shouldn’t forget the new teams.  Kovalainen bringing the Lotus in fourteenth, both HRT’s finishing with Senna two laps down and Chandhok a further two laps behind –the rest all retired due to technical problems or the early first corner accident.

I get the feeling that the most exciting thing about the next race in Spain, will be actually getting the cars and teams there in time !

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