Chinese Grand Prix – Race

April 15, 2012 by
Filed under: formula1 

Hamilton qualified well but has a 5 grid spot penalty for a gearbox change (see my notes from Practice for more news).

Everyone but 4 drivers (FM, JV, DR & BS) are starting on the soft (option) tyre; the others will be on the medium (prime) compound.

Weather is dry but overcast; track 24°C

Grid: NR, MS, KK, KR, JB, MW, LH, SP, FA, RG, SV, FM, PM, BS, PRe, NH, DR, [JV*] HK, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK; JV will start from the pit lane instead of P18 after some bodywork changes.

NR will lead everyone (except JV) away on the formation lap
NR takes it very slowly out of the final turn, hoping to bunch everyone up so he won’t be sitting waiting on the grid for too long

01/56: Good start from NR
JB past KK for P3
LH past MW … and now past KK
FA had past MW but MW fights back
Poor start for SV – he’s down to P15

02: NR, MS, JB, KR LH, SP, KK, FA, MW, FM
PM battling SV for P14

03: Replay of the start shows BS runs into the back of FM; damage to his front wing?
DRS now enabled

04: SP pushing LH for P5
Radio for BS says front wing looks OK

05/56: NR, MS, JB, KR, LH, SP, KK, FA, MW, FM
(SV still P14, behind the Force India of PRe)

06: Radio from SV saying Red Bull doesn’t have enough speed on the straight

07: Very early stop for MW – changes for prime tyres; rejoins P20

08: NR has a 3.5sec lead over his teammate

09: RG tucked up under the rear wing of FM
KR hard on the heels of JB

10/56: KK pits, as does SV
New nose cone for NH

11: KR pits, followed by LH
Lotus release KR right alongside LH – dangerous release?
LH exits pit lane ahead of KR, with MW alongside into Turn 1
MW leads into the corner but LH passes him
KR tries to pass MW – good clean wheel-to-wheel battle
MW edges KR wide and stays ahead

13: MS pits from P2; arm waving as he exits the box – is there a problem?
NR locks his front right and runs a little wide into Turn 6
MS pulls off track and parks the Mercedes

14: NR pits – prime tyres – calmer stop than his teammate’s
SP yet to pit so he’s now P1
JB f/lap 1:42.677

15/56: SP, FM, NR, JB, LH, MW, KR, FA, KK, RG; retirements: MS

16: NR f/lap 1:42.5
Replay of MS pit stop shows front right team didn’t get a chance to tighten the wheel nuts!
Big lockup from SP as his team get ready in the pit lane

17: SP pits from P1; front wing adjustment; rejoins in P10
NR uses DRS to blast past FM and re-take P1

18: Incident involving car 7 (MS) will be investigated after the race – unsafe release
FM pits

19: SP runs wide in Turn 8 – loses P10 to SV

20/56: NR, JB, LH, MW, KR, FA, KK, RG, SV, SP

21: PRe tries to go round the outside of PM in Turn 1; PM keeps P12
NR laps NK

22: MW pit stop #2; primes again; rejoins P14

23: McLaren ready for a pit stop; LH in from P3; rejoins P13
NR has ~4sec lead over JB

24: HK runs wide and DR storms past to steal P17

25/56: NR, JB, KR, FA, KK, RG, SV, SP, BS, PM; retirements: MS

26: JB pits; rejoins behind PM but attacks right away and takes P10
LH stuck behind FM; finally finds a way past to take P12
KK pits; rejoins P14

27: MW takes P12 from FM
JB past BS for P7

28/56 = half distance: NR, KR, FA (pits), RG, SV, SP, JB, BS, PM, PRe
LH eases past PRe for P10
FA takes on soft (option) tyres; most of rest of field currently on medium (primes)
JB closing on SP

29: JB uses DRS to take P6 from SP
KR pits from P2; primes
SV in P4 but he’s only pitted once – P3 now that KR’s in the pits
Radio for JB telling him cars in front are on old tyres

30/56: NR, RG, SV, JB, SP, PM, LH, MW, PRe, FM; retirements: MS
Radio for FM telling him FA is on different strategy so let him past

31: FA takes P9 from PRe

32: Radio for PRe telling him “we’re definitely still in the race”, i.e. don’t let FM past
SV pits; rejoins P13
Replay of HK’s pit stop – had to use 2nd wheel gun to change rear right

33: BBC say HK retires – problem associated with pit stop?
LH takes a look at SP but the door is slammed close
Radio for JB – “we’re going to win this”; “target plus three” = delaying his next pit stop?

34: LH still stuck behind SP, but he’s got MW on his tail too
MW has a look at LH but can’t make the move
SP locks up – feeling the pressure from LH

35/56: NR pits from P1
Even with DRS open, LH can’t make it past SP; they both lock up
MW dives into the pit lane
NR rejoins just ahead of the SP/LH battle
FA has caught up to LH
MW rejoins P12

36: SP locks up again; this time he heads for the pit lane, releasing LH
JB has 9.7sec lead over NR but he needs to stop again – he needs ~12sec gap to stay P1

37: FA still on the tail of LH

38: Radio from JB asking what NR’s doing; he’s 7/10ths slower – that’s a delayed transmission, because NR is actually slightly faster than JB

39: LH pits, as does FA; LH stays ahead of the Ferrari
McLaren pit crew reset, ready for JB

40/56: JB pits from P1; he didn’t have a big enough lead; problem with the left rear; rejoins P6 :(
JB makes a quick move on RG – takes P5; next target is SV

41: NR has 19sec lead over FM
(FM has yet to make 2nd stop)
MW makes an easy pass on BS

42: FM pits – that releases the KR, SV, JB, RG train
LH past PM for P8

43: LH takes P7 from BS
FA attacks BS, runs wide, rejoins and almost collects SP

44: NR opening his lead – 22.6sec over KR

45/56: NR, KR, SV, JB, RG, MW, LH, BS, PM, SP
MW past RG for P5; JB now in a Red Bull sandwich

46: PM attacking RG but can’t make it stick
Radio for NR – “take it very easy on the left front – you can afford to lose half second a lap”
FA takes P10 from SP

48: LH alongside MW – almost ahead but MW hangs on, now has inside line – keeps P5
SV attacking KR; good move to take P2
KR runs a fraction wide; JB steals P3
MW has a look at KR now but runs wide – that lets LH take P5 from the Red Bull
LH now lining up the Lotus

49: LH down the inside of KR in Turn 1 – takes P4
MW easily past KR – the Lotus’ tyres have nothing more to give
BS and RG storm past KR too
PM pushes KR down another place, and FA easily past the Lotus too
Poor Kimi went from P2 to P10 in a lap and a half

50/56: NR, SV, JB, LH, MW, RG, BS, PM, FA, KR
KR dropping further back as the two Saubers battle down the main straight, kicking up dust – KK takes P10 from SP (KR now P12)
HK pits from P23

51: NR safely in the lead (~25secs); JB closing on SV but LH closing on JB

52: JB down the inside of SV – takes P2 – the McLaren’s tyres are 8 laps newer than the Red Bull’s

53: LH closing on SV
KR has dropped down to P14

54: Radio for JB urging him to open a gap before LH passes SV
PM makes a forceful move to take P8 from FA

55/56: LH down the inside of SV, just as his teammate did 2 laps ago – takes P3
MW takes a look at his teammate but SV stays ahead

56 = final lap: MW attacks SV; steals P4 from his teammate
NR still has a comfortable lead

NR takes the chequered flag
JB across the line for P2, followed by LH
MW home in P4, with SV behind him
P6=RG, 7=BS, 8=PM, 9=FA, 10=KK
P11=SP, 12=PRe, 13=FM, 14=KR, 15=NH, 16=JV, 17=DR, 18=VP (+1 lap), 19=TG, 20=CP, 21=PRo, 22=NK (+2 laps), 23=HK (+3 laps)
DNF: MS

First Mercedes victory since 1955, when Fangio won in Italy.

Provisional result: NR, JB, LH, MW, SV, RG, BS, PM, FA, KK; SP, PRe, FM, KR, NH, JV, DR, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NK, HK; DNF: MS.

Comments

5 Comments on Chinese Grand Prix – Race

  1. paul on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 5:47 pm
  2. 2012 Drivers’ Championship

    1. L Hamilton 45 points
    2. J Button 43
    3. F Alonso 37
    4. M Webber 36
    5. S Vettel 28
    6. N Rosberg 25
    7. S Perez 22
    8. K Raikkonen 16
    9. B Senna 14
    10. K Kobayashi 9

    2012 Constructors’ Championship

    1. McLaren 88 points
    2. Red Bull 64
    3. Ferrari 37
    4. Sauber 31
    5. Mercedes 26
    6. Lotus 24
    7. Williams 18
    8. Force India 9
    9. Toro Rosso 6
    10. Caterham, HRT & Marussia 0
  3. paul on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 5:55 pm
  4. So how did my GridBids picks do? JB=P2, MW=P4, LH=P3, BS=P7.
    “You scored 51 points for this race and have a total of 124 points this season. You ranked 69 for this race and 114 overall.”

  5. paul on Sun, 15th Apr 2012 6:01 pm
  6. Next race is Bahrain, next weekend (April 20-22). Fingers crossed that it goes off without incident.

    [...] only 4 days since NR’s victory in China; LH heads the Drivers’ Championship, 2 points ahead of his McLaren teammate. Practice 1 LH [...]

  7. F1 championship update | Paul Henman at henman.ca on Sun, 13th May 2012 12:11 pm
  8. [...] posted the points standings in the comments for the Malaysian and Chinese races, but rather than do the same after Bahrain I thought they deserved a post of their own So, [...]