Now for those that thought F1 lacked overtaking, this one had a lot of it. But before we talk about overtaking, let's talk about the start of the race. The grid's top 10 were Vettel, Button, Hamiton, Rosberg, Alonso, Massa, Alguersuari DiResta, Buemi, and Petrov. As stated Lewis Hamilton managed to get onto the start line 35seconds before the pitlane was deemed closed. What we were told in the commentary was that he actually started with some body parts still not fitted onto his car.
At the start, there was no major accidents. No bits of carbon or wings or tires here and there. It was pretty decent with pole position holder Vettel botching up his start a little and allowing Jenson Button pass as well as a very aggressive Lewis Hamilton. Vettel was third at the end of the first lap with Nico Rosberg of Mercedes GP and the two Ferraris of Alonso and Massa following closely. Michael Schumacher must have been on form at the start as he went from fourteenth to ninth.
Mark Webber who started at 18th actually opted to start with the harder Pirelli tires. By lap 9 he was even overtaken by the Sauber of Sergio Perez and at lap 10 he pitted to go with the softer choice that all the front liners used at the start. However, his move must have actually paid off as he could then choose the softer compound throughout the race. A 3rd placing from a start at 18th due to the choice of tires.
Actually tires made a whole lot of different at the China GP. Those that did 3 stops were better than those that did 2 stops. On Lap 30 Hamilton passed Alonso (who was on a 2 stop strategy) on Turn 14 of the circuit and later stated that he had never never overtaken anyone there before unless it was a backmarker. The softer Pirellis were to choice instead of the harder Prime tire. Surprising, but it caused a lot of upset, especiallyy with the Ferraris. In simple terms, the lighter 3 stopping cars actually did far better lap times and even by their third stop, the driver up front could be so far ahead of a 2 stopper like Alonso. However, Fernando Alonso also added that their 2 stop strategy wasn't totally Ferrari's undoing but the Ferrari's aren't up to par as yet. But say what you want as Vettel was on a 2 stop strategy and he basically suffered.
Actually more incidents happened at the China GP. It had all the drivers on their toes with a whole lot of overtaking involved. Lewis Hamilton took 1st place ahead of the two Red Bulls. Jenson Button had to be content with 4th after being out driven at the last moment by a flying Mark Webber. Mercedes GP did well with Nico Rosberg into taking 5th. Felipe Massa of Ferrari in 6th with Fernando Alonso in 7th. Michael Schumacher in 8th and Lotus Renault's Petrov was around 30 seconds behind in ninth.
A dry race with overtaking. It must have been down to the Pirelli tires. It looks like the moral of the story is that you actually need tires that aren't so consistent (or can I say, crappy tires) to have added excitement in F1.
The next race is on 8th of May at Istanbul Park, Istanbul, Turkey.
01. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:36:58.226
02. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull +5.198
03. Mark Webber Red Bull +7.555
04. Jenson Button McLaren +10.000
05. Nico Rosberg Mercedes Grand Prix +13.448
06. Felipe Massa Ferrari +15.840
07. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +30.622
08. Michael Schumacher Mercedes Grand Prix +31.026
09. Vitaly Petrov Renault +57.404
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber +1:03.273
11. Paul di Resta Force India +1:08.757
12. Nick Heidfeld Renault +1:12.739
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams +1:30.189
14. Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso +1:30.671
15. Adrian Sutil Force India +1 Lap
16. Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus +1 Lap
17. Sergio Perez Sauber +1 Lap
18. Pastor Maldonado Williams +1 Lap
19. Jarno Trulli Team Lotus +1 Lap
20. Jerome d' Ambrosio Virgin Racing +2 Laps
21. Timo Glock Virgin Racing +2 Laps
22. Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 Team +2 Laps
23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1 Team +2 Laps
24. Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso +47 Laps