Grand Prix of China – Race

Mercedes are just ahead of Ferrari in the Constructors’ Championship standings, and Hamilton is only 3 points ahead of Vettel in the Drivers’ Championship after two rounds.

It’s the 12th running of the Chinese Grand Prix. Remember: “A rogue marshal brought the Chinese Grand Prix to an end prematurely last year after waving the chequered flag a lap early by mistake, something officials will be keen to avoid repeating this weekend.” [TopGear]

There was also the spectator who ran across the track and pit lane in FP2.

Qualifying yesterday went pretty much as expected.
Provisional grid: HAM, ROS, VET, MAS, BOT, RAI, RIC, GRO, NAS, ERI; MAL, KVY, VES, SAI, PER; HUL, BUT, ALO, STE, MER.

Track temperature 46°C
Tyre choices this weekend are: prime = medium (white); option = soft (yellow)
The top 10 qualifiers (HAM to ERI) are all starting on the option tyres which they set their fastest time in Q2. Behind them, only KVY and SAI are on primes.

Hopefully the owner of HasMaldonadoCrashedToday.com won’t need to update the site today. 🙂

HAM leads everyone away on the formation lap
BBC report Red Bull mechanics have been paying attention to the front right brake disk on RIC’s car
HAM takes his place on the grid, but angles his car very clear pointing towards the right side of the track, sending a clear message to his teammate that he’ll be heading right in front of ROS before Turn 1.

01/56: HAM makes a good start and is clearly ahead of ROS well before T1
RAI dives inside BOT into T1
Poor start from RIC
KVY on primes is falling down the order

02: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, NAS, ERI, MAL
SAI loses the tail in T1; spins; rejoins in P20
Radio from SAI – don’t talk to me in the corners please
RIC down to P16 after a poor start

03: ROS fastest lap 1:44.518
MAL attacking ERI; takes P9

04: ROS f/lap 1:44.297

05/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, NAS, MAL, ERI; VES, HUL, PER, KVY, RIC, ALO, BUT, SAI, MER, STE
Radio for KVY – (teammate) RIC is behind; do not fight, we’re on different strategies
Remember KVY is on primes

06: HAM f/lap 1:44.149
RIC still looking for a way round KVY
KVY finally lets RIC take P14

07: HAM f/lap 1:44.102
MAL lining up NAS for a pass
VES closing on ERI, so both Saubers under pressure

08: MAL looks inside NAS but can’t make it stick

09: Late dive by VES, catches ERI napping and takes P10

10/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, MAL, NAS, VES
HUL slowing; pulls off track and parks the Force India
Radio from HUL – lost the gearbox

11: NAS pits from P9; switches to primes
Radio from RIC – let’s get off this tyre as soon as we can

12: MAL pits, as does PER
Radio for RIC – prime does not look good

14: VET pits; new options

15/56: HAM pits; another set of options
BOT pits for primes
MAL and then GRO pass KVY

16: ROS pits; options again
RAI pits too – also takes options
VET f/lap 1:43.018
KVY pulls off, across the gravel and parks right in front of marshals – lots of smoke

17: RIC makes an easy pass on SAI for P13

18: VES closing on NAS
ALO struggling in his McLaren; BUT passes his teammate for P15

19: Radio for ROS telling him gap to HAM; ROS just wants to focus on catching him
RAI putting in some good lap times

20/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, MAL, GRO, NAS, VES; PER, ERI, RIC, SAI, BUT, ALO, MER, STE; retirements: KVY, HUL
VES dives inside NAS to steal P9
Radio from ROS – HAM is driving very slowly, get him to speed up 🙂

21: Radio for HAM asking him to pick up the pace

22: RIC tries a dive inside ERI but runs wide and ERI stays ahead
VET closing on ROS; 1.5sec behind the Mercedes

24: SAI coasting to a stop; gearbox failure for his Toro Rosso
Looks like SAI has found a gear and he’s running again

25/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, MAL, GRO, VES, NAS

26: RIC all over the rear wing of ERI

27: PER pits
RIC makes a move but ERI tries to hang on; RIC takes P11
RIC runs wide; ERI reclaims P11
Radio for HAM giving him target lap time “or we’ll have to pit ROS first”

28: ERI defends into T1

29: RIC takes P11 again

30/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, MAL, GRO, VES, NAS, RIC, ERI, BUT, PER, ALO, SAI, STE

31: VET pits from P3; has to take primes; rejoins P4
HAM f/lap 1:43.008
Radio for ROS – box, box, box

32: ROS pits from P2; primes; rejoins P3
Radio for RAI – staying on these tyres a bit longer
PER takes P12 from BUT
NAS pits

33: HAM stays out, putting in quick times on options
Radio for HAM – box, box
VES and GRO pit

34: HAM pits; RAI takes P1 but has yet to stop
MAL messes up pit in, runs wide, has to back up and re-try the corner!

35/56: RAI pits from P1; HAM reclaims the lead; RAI rejoins P4
Radio from HAM – seat’s getting hot again
MAS pits – another set of primes

36: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, BOT, MAS, RIC, GRO, PER

38: VES closing on PER

40/56: HAM ~5sec ahead of ROS; VET ~7sec behind ROS
BUT passes MAL for P13
Replay shows MAL loses the tail, spins, which is how BUT passed him
NAS closing on VES, as VES looks for a way past PER

41: VES pounces and takes P8
NAS passes PER too

42: Radio for RAI – ALO will be a blue flag (as he laps the McLaren)
PER pits

43: RIC all over ERI but the Red Bull is struggling
Radio from RAI – come on, get that McLaren out of the way
(ALO was RAI’s teammate last season of course!)

44: RIC sticks it down the inside; ERI locks up; RIC struggles to stop too; RIC takes P10

45/56: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, VES, NAS, RIC; ERI, PER, BUT, MAL, ALO, SAI, STE, MER; retirements: KVY, HUL
MAL harrying BUT
VET closing on MAL to lap him

46: MAL looking to follow VET as he laps them but BUT keeps P13
RAI closing on the MAL-BUT battle

47: RAI laps MAL and then BUT
MAL dives inside BUT; side by side; eventually MAL has the inside line and takes P13
BUT hanging on to MAL’s tail

48: BUT fights back; reclaims P13
BUT defends into Turn 1
ALO closes on MAL
Good battle for P13

49: MAL inside BUT same move as 2 laps ago
MAL takes P13 but BUT is hanging on to the Lotus
BUT hits the rear of MAL; both off
MAL recovers; BUT takes longer but recovers too
Radio for BUT asking about damage; yes, front wing

50/56: MAL pits
Radio from MAL – “failure in the brakes”(?)

52: MAL pits again; pushed into the garage
Incident involving cars 13 (MAL) and 22 (BUT) will be investigated after the race – causing a collision

54: VES stopped on the start/finish line
Replay shows smoke, then rear wheels lock up just as he crosses the line
Safety Car deployed
Smoke billowing from VES’ car
Ferrari mechanics getting ready for a stop – just in case?

55/56[SC]: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, NAS, RIC, ERI; PER, ALO, BUT, SAI, STE, MER; Retirements: VES, MAL, KVY, HUL
Radio from HAM asking if they’ll move VES’ car
Marshals manage to move the car but push it into the wall!
Back it up and push it into another wall! Wow!

56[SC]: Marshals still trying to get VES’ car through a gap in the pit wall
Toro Rosso mechanics remove the front nose and the marshals finally get the car through the wall; big cheers from the crowd 🙂
Lights off on the SC, so it will head into the pits as HAM leads the restart / finish

HAM takes the chequered flag
Closest finish of the Chinese GP ever 🙂
Provisional result: HAM, ROS, VET, RAI, MAS, BOT, GRO, NAS, RIC, ERI; PER, ALO, BUT, SAI, STE, MER, VES*
DNF: MAL, KVY, HUL
*VES classified P17, 4 laps down

HAM jumps out of his Mercedes; clearly happy with the victory
VET gets a cheer from the crowd and celebrations from the Ferrari team – his 3rd podium in 3 races, which wasn’t expected at the start of the season

BBC commentators mentioned Nigel Mansell failing to finish the final lap of the 1991 Canadian Grand Prix [YouTube]

4 Replies to “Grand Prix of China – Race”

  1. “McLaren’s Jenson Button has dropped from 13th to 14th in the Chinese Grand Prix results after accepting blame for his late coming-together with Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado. Button had five seconds added to his race time and was docked two penalty points for the misdemeanour.” [FIA]

    Also… “Marussia’s Roberto Merhi, meanwhile, was also docked two penalty points, and received a five-second time penalty, after failing to stay above the required time set by governing body the FIA during the late safety car period.”

  2. “Today’s result means Lewis Hamilton has now finished on the podium for the 10th consecutive race – the longest run of his career.

    His previous best run of nine straight came in the first nine races of his career, at McLaren in 2007.

    The Briton has also now passed fellow British world champions Jackie Stewart (1,921) and Jim Clark (1,942) on the all-time laps led list.” [BBC]

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