Will the Prancing Horse rise?
Monza 2014
Italian Grand Prix
Rosberg converts first pole to first win in Chinese GP thriller
News
Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Apr 2012   |  12:41 pm GMT  |  305 comments

Nico Rosberg joined the exclusive club of drivers who have converted their first pole position into their first victory with a dominant performance in Shanghai. It was Mercedes first win as a constructor since 1955.

And it meant that team boss Ross Brawn has now won races as a senior manager with four different teams, a unique achievement.

Rosberg produced a faultless drive and it gave him that elusive first win after one-hundred and eleven starts, and the first for the Silver Arrows since 1955. Rosberg completed the race twenty seconds clear of the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.

He was helped by a pit stop blunder on lap 39 by the McLaren team on Button’s car, which cost him five seconds and dropped him into a pack of cars instead of back into second place on Rosberg’s heels. If the stop had been normal, McLaren believe he would have been 12 seconds behind Rosberg with 17 laps to go and tyres that would have been five laps newer. He might have closed the gap, but whether he would have had a genuine chance to win is open to doubt.

The Mercedes had a considerably faster race pace than had been expected and was able to match the McLaren duo on the prime tyres, which were much faster than the softer option tyres even for the cars that opted for a three-stop strategy. Rosberg, much against expectations, made one less stop then the McLarens and looked as though he would be under pressure from Button later in the race were it not for a wheel gun issue during Button’s final pit-stop.

Rosberg pulled away from the line perfectly and was able to open up a six second gap before the first round of pit-stops. Behind him at this time was his team mate Michael Schumacher, himself producing a good first stint before a loose wheel nut forced him to retire from the race following his pit-stop. Jenson Button was able to inherit second place and looked as though he was going to make good use of his three-stop strategy and claim his second victory of the year, however he will still be happy to put McLaren a fair distance ahead in the Constructors Championship.

The race saw a huge amount of overtakes and changes in position as cars constantly found themselves being dropped back in to the pack following their pit-stops. Hamilton and Mark Webber in particular found themselves in this position for much of the race which limited their progress on fresh tyres, with Webber eventually coming home in fourth after passing Sebastian Vettel on the penultimate lap. Vettel had made a poor start from eleventh on the grid and dropped three places, but he was able to make his two-stop strategy work and make his tyres last the distance.

Romain Grosjean also had a strong race to finish his first Grand Prix for Lotus and take sixth place. He managed to make his two-stop strategy work, unlike his team-mate. Kimi Raikkonen drove a very good race and with ten laps remaining he was sat in second position, albeit with increasing pressure from the seven-strong train of cars behind. However, Vettel put him on the marbles around the outside on Turn 7 and from there he dropped back to fourteenth by the chequered flag.

The Williams team once again received a good haul of points with Bruno Senna and Pastor Maldonado in seventh and eighth place respectively. Similarly to the Malaysian Grand Prix they showed very consistent race pace and kept the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and both Sauber’s at bay in the latter stages. Alonso opted to use a second set of option tyres, against the general trend, after his first pit-stop which lost him a lot of track time on Webber. Kamui Kobayashi claimed the final point for Sauber, but it could have been much different as his team-mate Sergio Perez defended extremely aggressively on the run down to Turn 14.

Behind Perez was Paul Di Resta who had a fairly quiet race and failed to make the most of his two-stop strategy. That was the same story for the majority of cars that chose this strategy, barring Rosberg, as Massa, Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg all struggled home towards the tail of the field.

Toro Rosso will be happy to end a poor weekend with Jean Eric-Vergne heading Daniel Ricciardo home in sixteenth and seventeenth. Behind these two were the Caterham, Marussia and HRT cars with them each finishing in qualifying position apart from Heikki Kovalainen who also had a troubled pit-stop and dropped to last position.

[Additional reporting: Matt Meadows]

CHINESE GRAND PRIX, Shanghai, 56 Laps
1. Rosberg Mercedes 1h36:26.929
2. Button McLaren + 20.626
3. Hamilton McLaren + 26.012
4. Webber Red Bull + 27.924
5. Vettel Red Bull + 30.483
6. Grosjean Lotus + 31.491
7. Senna Williams + 34.597
8. Maldonado Williams + 35.643
9. Alonso Ferrari + 37.256
10. Kobayashi Sauber + 38.720
11. Perez Sauber + 41.066
12. Di Resta Force India + 42.273
13. Massa Ferrari + 42.700
14. Raikkonen Lotus + 50.500
15. Hulkenberg Force India + 51.200
16. Vergne Toro Rosso + 51.700
17. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 1:03.100
18. Petrov Caterham + 1 lap
19. Glock Marussia + 1 lap
20. Pic Marussia + 1 lap
21. De la Rosa HRT + 1 lap
22. Karthikeyan HRT + 2 laps
23. Kovalainen Caterham + 3 laps

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
305 Comments
  1. JW says:

    Amazing race, congratulations to Rosberg who drove a fine race.

    He looked liked he was out for a Sunday drive compared with the rest of the drivers though…it was hard to keep up with the track positions towards the end.

    1. Wayne says:

      As cheesy as it sounds, F1 was the winner today. Breathtaking racing. Congratulations to everyone involved.

      I do have to add that McLaren look like they are determined to ruin any chances of a title this year. Critical mistakes in two races in a row.

      1. kidVermin says:

        F1 as a sport should have been on the podium today, this kind of race is what we need from the sport…
        (This years restrictions might have actually worked and managed to showcase F1 as the spectacle that it really is, more of the same please)

      2. Kay says:

        Malaysia was basically a lottery open for anyone’s grabs from top to bottom of grid, you can’t really say they made mistakes.

      3. Wayne says:

        I can becasue they did. This is fact, they made critical errors in LH’s pitstop. In this race they lost Button 6 seconds in a pitstop.

      4. Kevin Green says:

        Would have made no difference they would have still been 10-15 seconds off Rosberg regardless and they still came in 2nd and 3rd anyway so explain what is there to bemoan???.

      5. Wayne says:

        Kevin, a professional Forumula One team would certianly agree with me that they made a critical mistake in loosing Button 6 seconds dueing his pit stop. The fact that they made such an error is reason enough to bemoan it. If you make a mistake, in any walk of life, and do not recognise it purely because THIS TIME it did not have a major effect on the anticipated outcome, you’ll proceed thorugh life making the same mistakes over and over again. F1 Teams do not operate this way.

      6. Kevin Green says:

        Sounds like you just repeated what i said in a more longer complexed needless way no???

      7. Matt says:

        Completely agree

      8. AndyFov says:

        Mercedes’ mistake was greater. Better to put a wheel on slowly rather than not to put it on at all.

        The closing up of lap times between the leaders and the midfield is making racing really interesting this year. I hope we see more of the same.

        It’s far better when leading cars have a train of traffic waiting for them after their first stop rather than miles of clean air.

        A great race though. One of the best.

      9. Phil says:

        As Mercedes demonstrated, any team can have a problem with a wheel gun. Both McLaren drivers managed to move up 4 places a piece, which is pretty good going in anyone’s book.

        What was more interesting to me was how Button made most of his overtaking moves with DRS, fairly easily, but Hamilton didn’t – doing it instead under braking at turn 5/6. Arguably more skill in that, but I wonder if Hamilton was running a bit more wing than Button?

      10. simon101 says:

        Well stated. I hadn’t thought about LH’s setup. But I do recall him, post quali, eluding to this. Remember there was a high chance of rain and so maybe Lewis compromised straightline speed for more grip. It may also account for his relaxed attitude coming in behind his teammate. I just wish I had remembered this during race day, saving myself a couple of bruised knuckles.
        Having said that, it couldn’t have helped coming out of the pits behind a train of slow moving traffic, TWICE! I thought F1 teams have systems in place that are puropse-built to avoid this nightmare case?

      11. Quercus says:

        Ho can you say that when Hamilton and Button are 1 and 2 in the drivers’ championship and McLaren are leading the team standings? I think if you look at the statistics you’ll probably find they’ve made no more mistakes than any other team.

        And, statistically speaking, the idea that it’s worse if you make two mistakes in a row (out of just three races!), is rather laughable.

      12. Wayne says:

        For goodness sake! What has their standings in the WDC got to do with the FACT that in the past two races in a row McLaren have made critical mistakes in their pitstops? The only difference? You could argue that without the mistakes, they might have even more points!

      13. Pani Tsouris says:

        I disagree with you on that one Wayne. As a McLaren fan through and through I actually think that for the first time in a very long time they had a great race today. Traffic was a massive problem for every driver today with the exception of Rosberg. Both JB and LH drove very well through traffic and overtook and stayed ahead of their closest rivals. The wheel gun issue is no fault of the mechanic. Failures do happen. At least JB finished the race and scored great points.
        Its all about consistency this year and so far McLaren have outscored their rivals in every race. Still early days but I dont think they are doing a bad job. Its by no means perfect but its not catastrophic, Keep the faith

      14. James Allen says:

        McLaren are not unhappy with the outcome. They took more points than Red Bull and are leading both championships despite pit stop blunder for JB and a grid penalty for Hamilton

      15. Wayne says:

        Has it been identified as a mechanical failure/wheel gun issue then as opposed to human error? I haven’t seen that confirmation yet…

        The fact remians that McLaren may well be happy with the outcome, but they will be unhappy with making pit stop mistakes in the past two races.

        The fact that they outcomes in each case were not terrible does not preclude the nessity to acknowledge, analyse and correct errors.

        These teams spends million on every tenth, to loose whole seconds in pitstops wipes out that massive investment in…well….. seconds….

        I will indeed, keep the faith. I just worry that McLaren have had the overall fastest car (or have they?) in the first three races and only won one of them.

      16. folkdisco says:

        Smedley to Massa… “Fernando is a different strategy to you. His strategy is to stay in the championship. Your strategy is to stay in your job. Good lad. Sorry.” :-)

      17. Mike J says:

        brilliant!!

      18. Kit says:

        That is very true, breath taking race. Especially when Kobayashi and Perez were two neck and neck coming down the long straight.

        Not to mention the train consisting of Hamilton, Vettel & Webber towards the conclusion of the race! beautiful racing

  2. Mike84 says:

    Ferrari need… Flubber.

  3. Dan Orsino says:

    James, do you think Ross Brawn has cracked the connundrums before him, or is this a flash in the pan for Merc who can only do well on tracks with long fast straights?

    have to say I’m a bit gutted that Kimi’s strategy went so disastrously wrong!

    1. James Allen says:

      I think the car suited the circuit, in Bahrain they will struggle a bit more with high track temperatures, these will suit McLaren and Red Bull better

      1. RickeeBoy says:

        So, the fight for Champion is still McLaren is overall best, but the jury is still out on whether Merc are on top of their tyre problem ( but they have the W-Duct ) and RBR desperately need KERS – but that was a VERY dominant display by Merc and if they sort the tyre problems then McLaren should be mega worried.

      2. Ed says:

        I thought they did have kers…

        Is it not just that they tend to run more wing and sacrifice straight line speed?

      3. RickeeBoy says:

        Apologies to clarify – I believe the RBR KERS has been less efficient as the MERC and Ferrari units also it is unreliable. The battery pack last year on the RBR looked the size of 20 x AA batteries whereas the Merc unit was massive.The Merc and Ferrari units now are ready for the next iteration of next year.

    2. AndyFov says:

      I wonder whether Merc’s W duct thing will allow them to qualify further ahead than they should be.

      If they can use it for a whole qualifying lap and only for a fraction of a lap when racing won’t their qualifying times flatter their ultimate race pace?

      1. Martin says:

        Yes. The suggestion is about 0.3 seconds per lap for qualifying.

        If you take that further, what it could do though is lead them to run slightly less downforce, which compromises lap times in qualifying, but aids tyre wear.

    3. JC says:

      Kimi’s strategy…maybe Petrov had a good point when criticizing Renault tyre strategy in 2011…

      1. Eleanore says:

        So far I’ve seen very little sign that Lotus’s strategies have improved. Last year they were often bafflingly bad. (I think it was Abu Dhabi last year when they chose to pit Senna on the third or second-to-last lap for no apparent reason at all, costing him several hard fought places for nothing.)

  4. Jako says:

    Top Race !!

    Really enjoyed it.

  5. Simple says:

    Brilliant race. The last stint was great with the Massa train, then the Kimi train making very entertaining viewing!

    1. Really an entertaining viewing! Amazing race in the final 20 laps.

    2. Dave Aston says:

      it was Trulli entertaining. Thank you, thank you very much.

      1. CarlH says:

        Nice. Poor Jarno lol

      2. andrew says:

        I see what you did there…
        Great race, loved the epic train, and the mark webber of road wheelie exhibit.

  6. Dean V says:

    A very good race by Rosberg indeed. I was certain that the Mercedes would be swallowed up by the field and barely make it into the points. Egg on face much? Would be interesting to see Shumacher’s result minus the pit blunder…

    1. Nic says:

      It’s hardly egg on face since everybody thought the same thing including Mercedes. :-)

      It’s not a very predictable season. I’m glad I don’t have a job of making F1 predictions like many of the various pundits. It’s a hard job at the best of times and now it’s impossible.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Never been in a position where i cant confidently put in a top 3 prediction for the race after taking practice and qualifying into account its a nightmare, Yesterday for the 1st time i did not even bother really thinking it through!

        Think another race or 2 and it will be easier its been a strange season so far with unexpected form levels from various teams not to mention high levels of bad luck and mistakes.

        Great season though :)

      2. Martin says:

        It is a great season, I am particularly enjoying the Williams v Caterham battle you predicted Kevin ;)

        Also like to wish Sir Frank a very happy 70th birthday today, lets hope for another double points finish in Bahrain.

      3. Kevin Green says:

        Yeah Martin admittedly quite a surprise there with Williams surge of form (whether sustainable or not) and Caterham’s lack luster with the effort there Gascoyne in a job at the seasons end???

        Still its only race 3 mind!!!

        Great to see Frank hit 70 but cant help feel with the way presenters have spoke of him that all is not well on the health front maybe.

      4. Joe B says:

        Yep, I confidently predicted a Raikkonen win (or at least podium) thinking the Renault had decent race pace, but even now the season is still settling down. I think after Bahrain we’ll have a clear idea of who’s where, and whether or not Mercedes are on top of their tyre troubles. If they are though, I really hope the other teams can close the gap in qualifying – I’d hate for this season to become a series of races won on the Saturday, especially after the way it’s started.

        Massive well done to Rosberg, glad he’s broken his duck. With Mercedes this year I’m getting the feeling they’re like McLaren in 1997 – quali and race-winning pace but without the reliability (and in this case, consistency).

        Anyone else doing the Castrol GP race predictor game? In my league one person has a 100 point lead on everyone else, which he admits is fluke. Everyone else is averaging about 20 points a race…

  7. Mike J says:

    (quote) “Now that’s what I am talking about”!. Now if anyone has an overall problem with that race, well they cannot ever be satisfied? Mixed strategies, longer runs by some, and ‘rolling the dice’ by others. No safety cars and the DRS did not play a big part so almost right. (Now they only need to get rid on DRS in quali and spot on…).

    Good close pack racing with little incidents and lots of overtakes with drivers being on different phases of strategies although I will single out Perez who needs to have a close look at his action (on his teammate!!). Hard but fair and safe?

    And then a first time winner. Well done Nico, well deserved win and comprehensive. Never looked like making a mistake and maybe we were robbed of a closer finish and maybe not however that’s happened before and will again (with Button stop).

    You cannot help but get the feel that McLaren have the package for this year. With a bit of luck, and no mistake by Button last outing, the McLaren pair would be flying away by now.

    Red Bull pair with split strategies never looked in the hunt except Webber again drove a typical ‘Webberesque’ race. What he may, deemed by others to lack in ability, is certainly made up by determination and a ‘thinking’ race. First to stop for each stop when he was being held up and then put in fast laps. But at least we know why Webber is a bit slower at times – he has 16mm checker plate for this plank!! (and I think my Mini is quicker than RB in a straight line at present)

    Why did they leave Massa out for so long. His times were dropping off so quickly. It’s almost like they want him to fail, seems like they have all lost direction on this one. Another solid points score for Williams. The car does have potential. Kimi faded away and the two stop definitely hurt him the most. Sauber don’t seem to be able to change strategies as quickly as others when the long first stints don’t work.

    With quali as close as it is now I am sure that we will get more and more of these types of races which can only be great.

    What’s next, ooohh, Bahrain. Hopefully not a Bahrain borefest.

    1. Leart says:

      my idea is that they wanted to give Fernando an outside chance of overtaking drivers in the traffic… it didn’t work out anyway

    2. Youngslinger says:

      One of the best analysis I have read, exactly what I believe. I really would have liked to have seen JB fight Nico for the lead, pity about the pit stop. Great drive from Nico.

    3. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Well said, Mike.
      I agree entirely.
      Now……Mr Webber….about that 16mm checkerplate…….. :-)

  8. Dave Aston says:

    Awesome drive by Rosberg, and after all the talk about how they would ‘go backwards’ due to tyre wear during the race, he wins with two stops. I wonder how close Michael would have been doing three. I noticed the different reactions to the press of Schumacher and Button to their respective costly pit stops. I thought Button’s was a little bit rude to the team, and Michael was very gracious. Williams were a surprise, another great drive by Senna. Lastly, I hope the Perez move on his teammate doesn’t disrupt what seems like a very harmonious pairing of two great young drivers!

    1. Jeff says:

      I don’t agree that Jenson was being rude to his team. The exact quote was
      “And then in my last stop, I stopped on the marks and we had a problem with the rear of the car, so I was stuck there for nine or ten seconds I think it was.”

      That’s just a simple statement of fact.

      Jeff

    2. Patrick Byrne says:

      There seems to be a bit of a change in Button’s attitude this year. Nothing I can put my finger on… Maybe the pressure of having a potential WDC car, maybe a sense of entitlement creeping in, I don’t know.

      I was beginning to write off Rosberg but this weekend was a performance from the top drawer. Maybe now he can step up a level. I really thing getting the monkey off the back improves drivers.

      1. James Allen says:

        Not at all. Button is very at ease, I’d say, but also very much ‘on it’. He sees an opportunity here

      2. TheBestPoint? says:

        I agree with “nothing I can put my finger on”. I’m a Hamilton fan so feel it too. Always briefing the press is one thing I don’t like esp. as they (BBC chums)take up his particular moan on his behalf and run with it-their level of negative reporting last year against Lewis seems to have backfired now and he doesn’t give off the cuff post race interviews to them/they can’t access his dad either who has given a couple of enlightening interviews to SKY.

        Anyway, re Button -No need to make pt about the pit stop in the press-focus is now on poor guy/s who will feel worse. Afterall there are a lot of ifs not just that one-if he wld have put his car on front row for one.

  9. VanDhloms says:

    Still no clear packing order after 3 races… I think we should all forget about predictions during pre-season test, they’re all down to the drain with an exception of McLaren which was by the way a 50/50 by most pundits for their conventional nose. As for Red Bull who was declared leaders even before they roll a single inch on the track, amazing how wrong the pundits can be. On the other hand this shows that big part of F1 is about money the team has to develop the car. Ferrari started with a donkey car but they don’t have to worry because they have money to copy any good thing from the other teams. Saber starts with a great car but will loose ground because they don’t have money to copy all the other gismos. Got to love this sport…

  10. Sammy says:

    Well done to Nico and Mercedes.

    At a certain point, towards the end, I thought I saw Hamilton weaving 2 times in a row on the main straight.
    No one really seems to have noticed the same though… I’m not saying Lewis deserves a penalty but still it seemed illegal to me.

    1. alexbookoo says:

      I think Lewis just gave the impression he was doing something wrong by changing direction very suddenly to try to break the tow. In fact he just moved very sharply onto the usual racing line, then very sharply to the inside to defend, which isn’t weaving. I love the fact that he does stuff like this. It’s unconventional.

      1. DMyers says:

        He made two moves, which is against the rules. It’s debateable that Vettel would have been able to pass, so fair enough if the stewards let it go.

      2. alexbookoo says:

        Which two moves are you referring to? Are you saying he came back onto the racing line immediately before the corner? He certainly edged back across the track, but he didn’t get quite as far as the usual racing line, so I wouldn’t say that’s a move. Other than that he only made one move to the inside.

        What’s confusing everyone is that instead of gracefully following the line going diagonally from the right hand side to the left down the length of the pit straight, he went across the track suddenly in the acceleration zone to break the tow. But that doesn’t count as a move to defend a corner. They’re not supposed to be on rails.

      3. Sammy says:

        Just saw the images again: after the exit of the last corner he goes to the left very early, then to the right and at the end slowely to the left again for getting prepared for the first corner. I like his aggresive driving style but this was really on the edge of legality – if not beyond…

      4. Kay says:

        +1 on Lewis not weaving.

      5. Phil says:

        Looking at the older season reviews on Sky Sports F1 reminded me that’s how they all used to race. Today it seems a little sanitised as nobody wants to risk a Penalty.

      6. John says:

        “No one really seems to have noticed the same though…”
        Except DC and millions of viewers who heard him say that Lewis had better watch out and the that stewards must have been watching – so a massive audience did know about it….

      7. Roman says:

        Actually, I believe that you are alowed only the one move. You are no longer allowed to move back to the racing line (at least I believe that rule came into effect this year). And if the rules do state that, then he definitely deserves a penalty.

      8. Steven says:

        Except he was on the straight, not on the braking zone. If they thought he did something wrong RBR would have lodge a complain.

      9. Craig in SG says:

        20.3 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off‐line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.

        @Steven – The first sentence does not mention anything about braking zones, so if he moved more than once, even on the straight, then he is in breach of this rule.

    2. StallionGP F1 says:

      you are right he moved twice.

    3. AuraF1 says:

      It did look like two moves to me which would seem to fall foul of the new ‘returning to the racing line’ regulations. The camera view point was head on if I recall so it’s possible the following cars weren’t close enough to count as an immediate defensive move?

      Personally I did spot it but I like drivers being able to defend hard so I’m glad nothing was made of it.

  11. Darren says:

    What an interesting race!! Wonder if that dominant performance will “open the floodgates” for Rosberg…a la Mansell and others.

    I’d like to know when there was last a safety car-less race where the 17th position finished only 1 minute behind the winner, and it was good to see Marussia and HRT only 1 lap down, no safety car or the like either, they have improved a lot this season!

    1. Kay says:

      Australia 2009 I think it was when the safety car led the pack until the final lap then basically it was a 2 corner sprint to the flag and Jenson won.

      Could’ve been another year, but pretty sure it’s one of the recent years. Correct me anyone if I’m wrong.

      1. Darren says:

        Thanks for the reply, but I was asking about races with no safety car…

      2. Kay says:

        Oh sorry, misread your original post =)

  12. William says:

    This make you wonder if this will be another year when some clever idea adapted by Brawn will decide the championship.

    And seven drivers without points, six from the new teams and Massa!

    1. Dan Orsino says:

      I expected Massa to put in the fight of his life here, but I guess he might do that in spain. If he doesn’t show a drastic improvement in spain, he and R Smedley are parma ham!

    2. JF says:

      Absolutely not!!! Since Rosberg was in front for most of the race, DRS would have little impact except for passing back markers. That was pure pace. The double DRS which everyone is ##%$#ing their pants over had no impact on this result whatsoever.

  13. Vernon says:

    Now that was a good race

  14. Joe Martin says:

    I hate it when Schumi struggles with a string of bad luck, but I guess what happened today with Nico & Merc is something he is looking forward to this year. It would be just sensational!

  15. Jonathan says:

    Great first win by Nico! As Nico was leading most of the way, he would have barely got any use of the DRS duct which shows how good the Mercedes must be even without this advantage! McLaren certainly have some competition.

    1. Kay says:

      Yer, that DRS BS shut everybody up, mostly RBR and Lotus, coz Merc AMG won without it.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Never really thought about it that way, then they really do have a jump going, even on a poor pit stop etc they have the extra tool to boost them on if need be for overtaking.

      2. Mike J says:

        Yes, they won from the front and without it. But to start at the front the use of a good DRS system is invaluable in quali where it is allowed all around the track. That is the benefit to them.

        As we saw last year Vettel winning from the front in clean air is definitely the best for a quick car. That’s what Rosberg did.

        My opinion is that it does give them an advantage in quali and therefore able to start at the front. It’s a legal and brilliant idea designed by the team..well done to them

      3. Kay says:

        You are right and I concur, but they still showed that pace without the DRS Wing Duct or whatever it’s called, and I don’t really care coz Merc AMG still won and shut everybody up with FIA sticking with them so nana to RBR and Lotus.

  16. andy hart says:

    James, why are the primes faster in the race than the options this year? Last year it made sense, there was a gap between them in quali and the race now it seems the primes are the only tyre to be on in the race, faster and lasts longer. Limits the team on stategy don’t you think??

    1. James Allen says:

      I know, it’s happened twice this year already. It was not predicted by the strategists before the race. They estimated soft faster by 0.3s in race

      1. matthew cheshire says:

        Isn’t it a temperature issue? If the rubber isn’t running at the correct temperature it can’t deliver the designed grip level. The harder compound can heat up more than the options.

        Was the track temp lower than expected?

      2. [MISTER] says:

        James, correct me if I’m wrong, but as I see the situation with the tyres is that the option is better in qualy only because it can be switched on quicker than the prime. Other than that..it looks like Pirreli have messed up rly bad.

      3. James Allen says:

        Don’t agree there. The tyres present a really interesting challenge for the teams. Pre race expectations are often wrong so it makes the racing more unpredictable. Much better than the Bridgestone era where you knew exactly what would happen based on numbers on a sheet before the lights went out

      4. Guy says:

        james would mclaren have been quicker using the prime in the second stint?

      5. James Allen says:

        They didn’t fancy the prime tyre this weekend. Their strategy was based on this feeling. They needed clear track to make 3 stops pay off but they didn’t get it

      6. iceman says:

        I wondered about that as well, other people had already switched to primes and shown it to be fast. Easy in hindsight!

      7. AuraF1 says:

        Have the teams designed the cars too far towards protecting the harder compounds after last years very different medium/hard designs?

        Or has it just ended up being a different race temp than expected?

        Whatever the cause I do love the first 4-6 races while the strategists don’t understand the tyres inside out – leads to all sorts of chaotic fun!

      8. James Allen says:

        All the answers will be in the Strategy Report coming shortly..

    2. Kay says:

      Maybe Pirelli delibrately printed the wrong tyre colour markings for more entertainment lol.

    3. GWD says:

      I wonder if this has a lot to do with the reduced rear downforce making the cars less ‘on the rails’ like a lot of descriptions used last year. James, are the cars being setup/balanced for some ‘neutral sliding’ (a term I heard many years ago) and that is making the soft tyre a very short term proposition for some teams. Is this action causing the tyre to go ‘off-cliff’ earlier without showing specific graining? Most teams experienced their right(?) front going off, due tot its workload at this circuit, but is there a quirk with the soft compound? It was one of the changed compounds, wasn’t it?

      1. James Allen says:

        Normally the limitation is the rear tyres, due to traction events. In China the limitation was the front left because of the corner characteristics

    4. Kevin Green says:

      My guess would be the down force to tyre compound factor, ie too much down force v too soft a tyre making the tyre become too gooey if you like and effectively going past the grip scale and effectively losing grip with the effect of the tyre melting too far past its design limits.

  17. Jonathan says:

    Well done Nico Rosberg a deserved winner who has driven brilliantly all weekend! Would have been interesting to see if button had been able to chase him down if it was for the pit stop blunder but think nico deserved it anyway! Great racing in the closing stages aswell as it seemed initially there wasnt going to be so much action but the last 15 laps or so were brilliant!

    How about having a poll to see who watched the race on the beeb and who watched it on sky james?

    I guess the outcome would be inevitable tho…

    1. Dave says:

      Sky actually, I prefer Brundle’s comentary.
      I’ve actually lost interest in the buildup shows these days so I didn’t watch either, it seems the longer they are the less interesting tuff there is in them.

    2. Jonathan says:

      Well the ratio of Sky subscribers to those without probably wouldn’t make it a very fair comparison. More interesting would be to find out how many people who are able to watch on Sky chose to watch it on the Beeb…

      1. Kevin Green says:

        That would be the best way of scaling it by counting how many sky package holders watched it on the beeb, wonder if that is possible to count???

      2. Jonathan says:

        Yeah the viewing figures are on the link below and obviously only show that an average of 0.48m with a peak of 0.85m watched the race live on sky compared to an average of 2.9m with a peak of 4.1m on the beeb…

        http://www.f1revs.com/2012/04/bbc-sky-chinese-gp-viewing-figures.html

      3. Kevin Green says:

        Thankyou for that jonathan very interesting to read to me that translates to one of 2 things either the take up of the sky tv channel/sky packages is way behind expectation or sky holders are choosing to watch the bbc instead.

        It will be interesting to see what the sky viewing figures are in Spain (if the bbc ain’t live that race.

        Does anyone know the details of the sky contract if its a set yearly ammount to be paid or a shared percentage between sky etc???

    3. Moog says:

      I thought the Sky coverage was great. The ability to switch between the various onboard shots really made a difference especially with so much going on on track.

    4. NickyStuu says:

      For what it’s worth – I have a sky package and chose to watch Sky over BBC coverage (largely to hear Brudle’s commentary).

      1. RogerRoger says:

        The Sky coverage of the entire event is more detailed with the coverage of free practice and the qualy and race. The free practice sessions are engaging – with insights from Ted and Martin B in the pitlane and what appears to be better access to people and garages. Much as it pains me to say it – Sky have improved the experience for me – and no – I have no affiliation with Murdoch or his cronies

    5. iceman says:

      I went for Sky for the race and BBC for most of the post-race. Watched the press conference on Sky though – for some reason BBC always show these delayed.
      Sky also wins for the free practices (sorry James) because the BBC’s red button practice coverage isn’t HD.

    6. moxlox says:

      I have Sky, and chose to watch Sky over the BBC coverage.

      I genuinely think its better; especially as BBC is now a diluted form of the excellent coverage it had for the last 2 years.

      My main reason is for the Brundle and Croft commentary combination. But Anthony Davidson’s post race analysis was excellent. For example I loved the analysis of Webber’s overtake on Vettel, and his observation on tyre marks left behind by Vettel as he struggled for traction. Brilliant.

    7. Chris J says:

      I think it will be more interesting to check the viewing figures for the Bahrain race as this coinsides with Sky’s premiership match Manchester United v Everton. All the people with Sky I know are footie fanatics first. I would also like to know how many watch the Sky only races against those listening to BBC Radio5 live commentary whilst watching RTL.

  18. Sharp_saw says:

    Is it safe to say now that Vettel put a car in a place where it didn’t belong being on a different strategy and being disadvantaged by older tyres in the final third of the race?

    What I am trying to say is that is Vettel in the same league as Alonso or are there still people who doubt that?

    By the way, I think Button is now a more complete driver that he ever was. Giving him a competitive car to his liking has clearly given him a spring in his step.

    Of course, a great race by Rosberg.

    1. AlexNK says:

      There will always be people who voice their doubt about that simply because they don’t like him and would never let the facts to get in the way of a well-bred hatred.
      Let’s face the facts, all this Vettel-hate fest has nothing to do with his racecraft, but rather with his success, particularly against certain underperforming Macca drivers.
      Button has clearly shown himself as the faster one in the Macca duo and, unless RB makes a huge leap forward, his second WDC chances are looking very good. Hamilton, on the other habd, is able to be either fast (for a couple of laps in quali) or consistent, but not both.
      On a different note, Raikkonen was definitely the one in this race who put the car where it had no right to be.

      1. Dan Orsino says:

        Raik nearly brought it home.
        All credit to SV for sensing that Kimi’s tyres were no longer there, and for making his move.

        Sad thing is, if Kimi had peeled into the pits then for new tyres, he had a chance to finish less than 30 secs behind the winner: ie p4 to p6….

      2. srk says:

        Button clearly faster? I’m curious as to how you’ve arrived at this conclusion?

      3. Damo-McLarenF1 says:

        Really?? What a load of tosh!!

        If you kept an eye on the live timing throughout the race you would have noticed that Button and Hamilton were very consistent and evenenly matched pace wise with Hamilton being around 0.1 – 0.3 secs faster at times when both were in clean air.

        Hamilton is most definitely upping his game this year and is showing that he can be fast, consistent and also overtake!

        I do worry for both drivers though, if they keep performing to the level they both are, all they will do is take points off eachother leaving the door open for another driver to nick the title at the final hurdle.

      4. matthew says:

        this is nonsense.in malaysia button wasnt faster than lewis.
        and today he wasnt faster than lewis.he was just better placed more often than lewis in the race,ie less traffic to deal with.
        but lewis should have started in 2nd place anyway,ofcourse that damn penalty prevented that.
        if that had of happened lewis would have been 4 places ahead of button at the start.
        that would have resulted in a completely different race.so in a way you can easily say jenson is lucky lewis got that penalty.
        but that wont be happening very often.and because lewis will outqualify jenson most of the time,and considering mercedes seem to have good quali pace,mercedes could easily split the mclarens in quali.
        also jenson is the same as before.he still struggles when the car isnt perfect,and he still struggles to outquaify his teammate.
        he’s a good driver,but ppl need to calm down.lewis is only just getting warmed up.after all he has had to change his stlye quite a bit because of the tyres,whereas jenson hasnt.

      5. F1Fan says:

        Hamilton was producing faster lap times in the final stint than Button, and in the final few laps. In fact, he was generally the fastest driver on the track at that point. You would have seen that if you were looking at live timing or monitoring the Mclaren website.

      6. Thompson says:

        LOL…..no, seriously, I’m LOLing at this AlexNK – Button and Hamilton both have a good shot at the WDC. After months of members of this forum talking of Hamiltons “inconsistancy” “immaturity” etc.The man is now heading the WDC with 3 thirds in a row. I think he had the most overtakes too.

      7. dwillis says:

        I don’t know about the Hamilton assessment. He looked both fast and consistent in today’s race. Some really great overtaking by both him and Button this weekend. Lewis also seemed to have his own private passing zone (not sure if it was going into 6) that I didn’t see anyone else attempting too successfully.

        Fantastic race all around. Loved Webber’s late pass of Vettel. For all the talk of RBR’s poor performance and straight line speed though, they were right there again in the race. Two different strategies, two different exhaust layouts and still they finished nose to tail. It makes for fascinating viewing and it also shows RBR’s commitment to winning; using the GP itself as a defacto test session in order to try and speed their development effort.

      8. Jeff says:

        The interesting thing this year, is that without the EBD advantage that Sebastian seemed to be able to maximise better than Mark, he is no longer faster than his teammate. It just goes to show how much the dynamics of the car can affect the relative performance of the drivers, and also puts Felipe’s struggles at Ferrari in perspective.

        Regarding Lewis, he started from further down the grid than Jenson, didn’t get as good a start, and consequently when he pitted, he was stuck behind slower cars while Jenson wasn’t really seriously impeded until the last muffed stop. Both drivers did very well with the cards they were dealt, and they’re now separated by just two points at the top of the table.

        Lewis has been on the Podium at every race so far and is leading the championship. You could argue that this is only because of Jenson’s mistake in Malaysia, but Jenson made the mistake, and so far Lewis hasn’t put a foot wrong. That’s not to say that Jenson isn’t also very quick, but the performance gap between them is very small, if it exists at all.

      9. Garry Edward says:

        Button is going to struggle in his 2nd WDC attempt if he cannot out qualify Hamilton. Nico showed again today like Vettel did all last year that tyre management is much easier when leading.

      10. Aezy says:

        Fast enough to have 2 poles and a p2 in quali. And consistent enough to be leading the wdc. No need to say anything more.

      11. James Clayton says:

        Hamilton has made a lot of comments suggesting that he wants to try and mimic his 2007 season. I think he’s trying to ease his way into finding his car so he knows the limits of it, rather than push like crazy right from the start and not know where the limits actually are. If you look at his last stint, he was (for the first time this season) consistently faster than Button until he hit traffic. And that was on a set of tyres which were 1 lap older. Maybe he’s started the push…

        and he’s leading the championship

      12. James Allen says:

        He’s maturing. That’s basically the nub of it

      13. Don C says:

        Lewis is leading the WDC, and in my opinion, still not firing on all cylinders at this stage but showing good consistency levels.

        If not for the bad luck in Australia losing 2nd place, the pit mistake in Malaysia when he was leading the race and the 5 place grid penalty in China – he could be further ahead in the WDC.

        This whole maturing thing….

        When Lewis came into F1 he beat a double a world champion Alonso and won the title in 08, you don’t achieve this level of success in your first 2 years in F1 (the pinnacle of motor sport) by being immature or was he?

        Lol!!!….little confused to be honest.

        Very simply last year Lewis had a bad year both on and off the track still winning 3 races, exactly the same wins as his team mate. Lewis this year is just adopting a different strategy – basically less gung ho and more points.

        Does this approach fall under maturity?

        If so, fair dues.

      14. Don C says:

        This whole maturing factor…..

        In 07 and 08 he beat a double world champion and won the WDC in his first 2 years in F1 for example.

        So at this stage in his career was he immature?

        Last year he won the same amount of races has Jenson – 3 races each.

        It was clear he was having troubles on and off the track and paid the price by finishing 5th in WDC due to not being consistent.

        This year it seems he has adopted a different strategy/approach, less gung ho,
        more patience should equal more points, and that’s been the case so far in my view.

        Does this mean now he’s more mature considering what he as achieved since 2007 in Formula one?

        If you could please elborate James, that would be much appreciated so I can fully understand where your coming from.

    2. Oly says:

      “Is it safe to say now that Vettel put a car in a place where it didn’t belong being on a different strategy and being disadvantaged by older tyres in the final third of the race?”

      No. Of all the drivers who were on two stop strategy only KR didn’t succeed to score. So imo two-stop strategy was better choice.
      [mod]
      “I think Ferrari did a strategy mistake (again). I wonder how would things look like with Alonso on two-stop strategy.

      Sorry for Kimi and Schumi.
      Great job Nico and Merc, congrats !

    3. Joe B says:

      For a different point of view, I very much doubt Vettel is in the same class as Alonso, but he did well to make the two stop strategy work – if that’s all it takes, does that put Perez, for example, in the same category as a two-time champ? Not being deliberately difficult, but there was nothing in today’s race that suggested any particular greatness.

      Shame Raikkonen couldn’t make the strategy work, I’m hoping a race goes his way soon.

    4. Garry Edward says:

      Great recovery from Seb but how can you say he put his car in a place it didn’t belong when Webber in the sister car finsihed in front of him.?

    5. devilsadvocate says:

      Yeah I’m a little disappointed that for the second time in as many races the end result really shows nothing about how well Seb drove during the race. Also was really disappointed to see Schumi retired given how well he drives in race trim, if nothing else this would have very likely been a AMG 1-2. Oh well the car can do it, his turn will come.

  19. Kevin Green says:

    Well i can see another mini domination coming until next season at least, that Merc is getting better and better, Thank god it was Rosberg that got the 1st win in and no points for obvious reasons going by history!

    Most exciting race of this season so far if not the last few yrs?? and the action was not even for the win!

    Yet again the BBC coverage was far far better than Sky’s only took 10 mins of switching between both to settle into the BBc and have now watched the coverage of both, Bernie you greedy man what are you doing!!!

    Role on the next race in Spain!! :)

    1. Richard Foster says:

      I prefer the coverage from Sky.

      1. Dave says:

        Me too!

      2. brendan says:

        yes bernie has sold out not everyone has or can afford sky,you would think the teams would want as many people as possible to view the race.i remember bernie said a few years ago he would never let sky get it

      3. Leslie D'Amico says:

        I prefer the coverage by SpeedTV with Bob Varsha, David Hobbs, Steve Matchett, Will Buxton and you James doing the podium interview!

      4. Will N says:

        I watched it on StarSports in The Philippine Islands… In mandarin…! I won’t lie to you, it made it a little tricky to keep up with exactly what the heck was going on…

      5. CC says:

        Yep, Sky preferred.

      6. Simon says:

        I also preferred the covrage on sky, getting a bit fed up of all the Sky bashing going on !

      7. Steve Mc says:

        Me too

      8. Paul says:

        Agree, Can’t beat MB,Crofty & AD. Jake is becoming boaring to listen to as he goes on to much.I flicked over to the Beeb after the race and after 5mins went straight back to Sky.

    2. Quattro_T says:

      Without any doubt, BBC!

      1. Orlando says:

        During the doomed MS pitstop I immediately saw the guy on the tyre gun hitting the ground and knew something had gone wrong. I was expecting to see the wheel come off in the pitlane like Mansell in Estoril. Then Schumacher pulled off and radio’d the team about the wheel. Now I’m just a viewer at home and I picked up on all this.

        Coulthard got this straight away, soon as the pitstop happened. On Sky Brundle and Croft didnt pick up on the pitstop mistake and when the radio message was transmitted they couldnt understand and were trying to figure it out for the next 10 minutes. That was just poor.

        I do feel all the glitz and flashing lights of Sky have dulled their edge. I subscribed to Sky as I believed the hype (but not for much longer) and watched both back to back – The BBC was much better in my view. Coulthard is getting better race by race and nothing beats the insight of a driver with recent experience (as Jaime also illustrates on R5).

    3. Dan Orsino says:

      I watched BBC, and I’m finding Jordan more and more irritating in every way.
      BBC commentary was good, but the ideal seems to be watch the picture with James’s commentary off Radio 5.

    4. [MISTER] says:

      I prefer BBC also. I found MB and the other commentator from Sky making mistakes too easy..confusing drivers and cars..

      I just wonder what were the viewing figure for sky and bbc today. Anyone know where to get these?

      1. James Allen says:

        They will be out in the next 24 hours

    5. Pani Tsouris says:

      Next race is Bahrain not Spain. I prefer the Sky commentary. Brundle and David Croft are far superior than the BBC duo

    6. EM says:

      I watch Sky these days and haven’t really seen the BBC this year so can’t make a comparison but I do know enough to know neither is totally satisfying right now.

      I went off the BBC last season around Valencia (did you know the pits used to be a fish market?), Silverstone (3 men on a bike, please non F1 fans please think we’re Top Gear) and India (how patronising?)

      Sky don’t go in depth enough, they might have the longer build up but it’s all a bit surface for my liking, their F1 Show is more in depth so they have the talent and knowledge, they just need to bring it to air.

      Commentary wise I’m a sucker for Brundle. Interestingly I used to like David Croft on the radio but on radio you don’t see how much he gets wrong or misses!

    7. BWG&B says:

      IMO, ideal situation would be the live race commentary from mb & croft of sky, with the on the ground of dc, humphry & jordan.

      with double coverage, the best folks are bound to be divided between the two networks.

  20. Mark J says:

    This race was a great example of modern day Formula 1 racing. High standard of close racing, modern circuit that allowed overtaking opportunities (not always the case). Then the teams are brought into the race as well with a variety of ideas on strategy because of tires and high pressure pit stops. The DRS in this race wasn’t having a big advantage like it has in the past as well, a big plus for me.

    Was really exciting to watch and I feel lucky to be witnessing some of these drivers going at it. In the future it could well be seen as a real golden era for the series.

    1. dwillis says:

      It would be interesting to find out why DRS didn’t deliver the expected effect. Curious given (1) the long straight in Shanghai and (2) the slow top speed of the Red Bull.

      When the passing attempts got bold though, the spectacle of getting off the racing line and the marbles spraying up almost like they had moved onto a rally stage was fantastic! Each one looked like it could end in carnage. Impressive displays of car control. The Sauber on Sauber action was spectacular!

  21. JohnBt says:

    Congratulations to Nico for the win! Another good race.

  22. Mcgarl says:

    Absolutley cracking race..congrats to Nico..well done! Bad luck again for Jensen…would have been good to see him having a go at Nico for the win, which I think he maybe could have gotten. Mclaren pit stops again a mess…need to get that sorted and give both there guys a better chance. Kimi had an absolute mare in the last 6 or 7 laps. Lewis was a tad lucky for me today and think things fell into his lap but still a good result to finish third. 2 Brits at the top of the standings which is superb. Keep the racing like this for the rest of the season please.

    1. Damo-McLarenF1 says:

      Things fell into his lap??

      So, starting 7th (by no fault of his own) then overtaking Massa, Maldonado (non drs), Senna (non drs), Raikkonen, Webber, Vettel (and maybe others, i forget); consistently lapping as fast as the leader while conserving tyres and dragging your way back up to 3rd, finishing only 6secs behind your teammate is having “things fall into your lap”??

      I’m afraid I must disagree with your statement.

    2. matthew says:

      lewis was lucky??have you forgotten he had to start with a 5 place grid penalty?putting him 2 places behind jenson instead of 4 places infront.
      also lewis came out in heavy traffic after every pitstop,so how did things fall into his lap?
      he had to work damn hard for that 3rd place.
      and what do you mean bad luck AGAIN for jenson?what happened in malaysia was his own fault.and he was lucky to start ahead of lewis today.

    3. F1Fan says:

      Exactly how was Hamilton lucky? He earned his podium. He started 7th with the grid penalty, and promptly improved his position at the start. Then throughout the race he lost track position with every pit stop and recovered positions by having to pass drivers in front of him. What has lucky about that?

      He pitted right behind Raikkonen and the team got him out a fraction ahead of Raikkonen, whom he then had to hold off exiting the pit lane. He also had the get past Webber right as he rejoined the track. What was lucky about that?

      This was actually a very good race for Hamilton. He was patient when he needed to be and he executed some very difficult passes when he needed to. In fact, I’d say he drove a slightly better race than Button because of the challenges he had to overcome. Yes, Button was unfortunate to have had a botched pit stop but then Button had much better track position that Hamilton throughout the race. Button didn’t lose as many track positions as Hamilton following pit stops and so didn’t have as much ground to make up.

      Again, in what way was Hamilton lucky?

    4. James Clayton says:

      Interesting. On what grounds do you consider Lewis to have been ‘a tad lucky’?

  23. Dmitry says:

    WOW, amazing race!

    And although I am not THAT happy for Rosberg, he did everything right, so congratulations to him!

    McLarens looked very nice, especially Hamilton, who once again proved that he is back. If he can keep his head cool (and judging by today’s race he can clearly do that) I believe he has a genuine chance this year to grab another WDC (fingers crossed!). Yeah, the competition is very close, but even today if it wasn’t for his penalty, he would have pressured Rosberg very hard.

    Can’t wait for Bahrain already, hope penalties and constant battling his way up through the field are already things of the past for Lewis, and we can see his first win of 2012!

    1. John Smith says:

      This year it looks like Lewis has learnt from the past, perhaps with an eye on Vettel’s 2010 championship, he seems to now know when to push and when to settle for the points, and look where he is leading the championship. I hope he is smart enough to keep this up all year and throw in a couple of dominating wins.

      I feel like this year it’s going to be a three way chase with both Mclarens and 1 other merc poss ? or a red bull. Could be a classic season but let’s hope that Merc domination was a one off, let’s just hope they stay very competitive.

  24. Stinkfoot says:

    Today’s race was outstanding entertainment.

  25. anil says:

    great race! Gutted for Michael and Kimi but Mercedes look in good stead for the season with that type of speed.

    Also, the grandstands look PACKED today! James, how come the total number of attendee’s is never mentioned/announced during the feed? Is there any chance you happen to know how many were there on race day? Looks like it’s picking up :)

    1. matthew cheshire says:

      Thats weird, I saw grandstands with the enormous red covers on. Hardly a packed circuit. Not surprising the attendance isn’t broadcast.

      1. James Allen says:

        Don’t be misled – there was a massive crowd there. The problem is that they have seating for over 200,000 people! The place is absolutely huge. It’s by far the biggest crowd I’ve seen at Shanghai. Must have been 100,000 + so similar to Silverstone

        Top price sstand seat was 100 pounds. Others as low as 30 pounds

      2. matthew cheshire says:

        That is a good result.

        But they should review the ticket prices for Friday and Saturday. The organisers seem to value those far higher than the Chinese punters do.

      3. Mike J says:

        Good info, i was a little surprised by the empty seats however you have put it in proper scale. Going on the last two years it may well be worth a visit next year. Thanks

    2. [MISTER] says:

      BBC have covered this in their pre-race show, but only talking about it. No figures were stated.

    3. PRCandME says:

      I was at the race, down by the hairpin. This year the metro stop at the track was open, so wry convenient getting to the track. Since ’08 attendance has climbed. Unlike last year, there was a really sense of excitement in stands before race. The opposing grandstands at the hairpin were having competitions doing the wave before the instillation laps. It was great!

      1. IJW says:

        What was the Chinese people’s verdict on the race? Did they enjoy it as much as we did?

  26. Eduan says:

    Well done for Rosberg! I do feel sorry for Schumacher he could have had a go at race victory or at least 2nd or 3rd

  27. Tom in adelaide says:

    Great race, and I must say, fantastic commentary by the Sky team. Really good work by them.

    (James, I would also listen to the 5live commentary but unfortunately the online broadcast is region-restricted.)

  28. matthew cheshire says:

    Great racing that was never a procession despite Rosberg winning with that margin.

    This is the first time in ten years I’ve been sad to see Schumacher retire from a race.

    Vettel must be feeling like a cucumber himself loosing out to Webber in quali 3 from 3 times, and in races 3 out of the last 4. – not great for a team’s “number one” driver.

    Will Red Bull be reconsidering its new talent strategy for 2013 if this keeps up?

    1. Richard Foster says:

      Highly unlikely they would drop a known quantity and double world champion!

      1. brendan says:

        the cars not up to scratch thats all,put vettel in nicos car and see how far he would of won by.

      2. matthew cheshire says:

        But his teammate was one place ahead with a matching(ish) car. If Webber also had Nico’s car, would Vettel not be second?:)

        And if Alonso had Nico’s car etc, etc.

        What would be interesting is if Vettel and Schumacher drove the Mercs and Schuey had all his wheels attached.

      3. matthew cheshire says:

        Obviously not, but the question is, are Ricciardo and Vergne fighting for a seat that will dissapear? Will RB put Webber out to pasture if Vettel is struggling, or will they need to find another experienced driver to help development?

      4. Mike J says:

        It’s far to early to call. As we all know RB can make a call AFTER the season. Although i don’t think Webber will wait that long.

    2. Rach says:

      Vettel was outstanding today. He was p15 at one stage and up till the end was p2. Incredible fightback and proves his class. There’s only one cucumber here! ;-)

    3. Steve says:

      You wish.

    4. AuraF1 says:

      Not sure red bull would ever drop vettel but if the rb doesn’t start to regain it’s dominance I can imagine vettel becoming more open to offers from a now competetive Mercedes or a future revitalized Ferrari.

      I can only imagine Hamilton is relieved his bid to move to red bull never got anywhere!

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Certainly would not say never!!! but certainly in no hurry just now.

    5. Wild Man says:

      It would be premature to put either of the Torro Rosso drivers into a Red Bull next year. The TR principal said it will take until the 2nd year to see if they have “The Right Stuff”.

      Looks like this will get Webber another year at RB. He did say to not write him off for 2013 (retirement is over-rated).

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Wonder how well Jaimie would be getting on in that car right now!?

      2. Wild Man says:

        You can wonder all you like. The decision makers at RB & TR have already done the assessment. That’s why they get paid the big bucks (or Euro’s).

  29. Mitchel says:

    All the ones- 111 races 1 pole 1 win. Love it!

    1. TBP says:

      I like numbers too.

      55′ was last Merc win. 56 laps of race. 57 years since last Merc win.

      Anyone think of 54 and 58 for Merc?

  30. r0ssj says:

    Great race for Rosberg and Merc. A pity about Schumachers pit stop. Would have been nice to see him on the podium.

    Looks like Merc have genuine race winning pace, so long as they get the tyre’s right. McLaren still looking the best car overall though.

    And another 3rd place for Lewis. Certainly Mr. Consistant this season.

  31. William Wilgus says:

    3 races, 3 manufacturers win. So far an interesting season. Hope it keeps up!

    1. Richard D says:

      ….and Hamilton leading the championship with only 3 thirds!

  32. Mr Squiggle says:

    This was the sort of race that enhances the credibility of F1- totally enjoyable to watch…intensely competitive for those taking part.

    Congrats to Nico, I thought he was never going to win a race in F1.

    The whole F1 fraternity seems to be happy that he now has a win on his resume.

    1. dwillis says:

      Spot on comment that a race like this does great things for F1 credibility. Hopefully they get through next week in Bahrain without a total boomerang effect in that regard; though a Webber win would be nice.

  33. Don Farrell says:

    Congrats to Nico Rosberg a faultless weekend and first F1 win for himself and AMG Mercedes – and commiserations to Schumacher once again been hampered with problems after another strong qualifying. Schumacher seems to be the unluckiest guy out there since he returned to F1. He used to be the luckiest guy during his younger years – I guess that’s Karma for ya!

    Great race – plenty of action – well done Alonso for a sterling drive in the prancing donkey! It’s hard to believe Massa is driving the same car!

    1. KS says:

      >> well done Alonso

      Well done for losing the 6th place due to mistake?

    2. [MISTER] says:

      As William said above, the only drivers without points are the six in the 3 new teams (Caterham, Marusia & HRT) and….Massa.

      He needs to score some points ffs. He looked like he got the pace. At the begining he wasn’t much off Alonso’s pace. The strategy killed his race.
      In the same time, it must be said that Alonso was only 9th..and with so many competitive drivers is hard to get into points.

      1. Mike J says:

        Your right. His first 10 laps weren’t far off Alonso..Can’t understand why they waited until Lap 18 to pit Massa..when all the front runners were in and out 8 or more laps earlier (including the two stoppers) and doing quicker times.
        Get him in early and find a gap for him out of traffic…why is it so hard??
        Something is going on??

    3. Jorge Lardone says:

      ¿Well done Alonso? Please…what race did you wacht?

    4. Chris Horton says:

      Hard to believe?

      He finshed 6 seconds behind Alonso. That’s 1 tenth per lap.

    5. brendan says:

      would of been even better if they hadnt pitted him so early before final stint.

      he had done all the hard work by running long on the first 2 stints. only to waste it by pitting the same lap as lewis. if he had stayed out for another 3 laps he would of had clear air and no traffic and would of slotted back into the pack with the most fresh tyres of the bunch.

      missed opportunity for sure.

    6. Spinodontosaurus says:

      I agree; Massa finished a dismal 5.5 seconds behind Alonso – reguarded by many as the best driver on the grid – and must be sacked immediatly.

    7. Don Farrell says:

      lol Sorry for upsetting you guys… I based my comments on place results only – I didn’t get the chance to watch the race until last night and only saw the result times after I posted my comments. I retract my comments about Massa… for now! Please stop the public flogging now – I admit I was wrong!!! lol cheers :) :) :)

    8. HansB says:

      Well Alonso did not really shine this race, locked up in traffic for most of the time. Actually he could have been higher easily if the team hadn’t messed up with the tactics.
      Massa was closer this time, his best effort so far this year, but still slower and again no points for the championship.

  34. Chetz says:

    James was it Lotus’ lack of testing that they did not know the primes would ‘fall off the cliff’ in 28 laps??? I mean Red Bull timed it perfectly with Vettel, so that he would not lose too many positions in the end despite losing grip.

    1. Divesh says:

      I was also left pondering how Lotus seemed to get Kimi’s strategy so wrong. He was going so slowly that he created that long snaking train behind him. Everyone could see he was going to start getting passed.

      I understand that leaving him out on those tyres was a gamble that might have netted them some points, but would it not have been better pulling him in a few laps earlier for soft tyres, he should then have been pretty much the fastest man on track with fresh rubber and could well have been the hunter instead of the helpless prey.

  35. DK says:

    I don’t understand why Lotus didn’t spread out Kimi’s tyre strategy a bit more evenly. His second stint on prime lasted 18 laps I think then he has to do the rest of 28 laps with another set of prime. Then again, had he managed to hold on the racing line in the duel with Vettel, he may have ended up with some points.

    Good to see Rosberg finally tasted victory.

    1. Sri says:

      I felt the same too. Lotus strategy was very poor. They did a long third stint and the other two stints were similar to those of the first two stints of three-stop strategy. As you said, the fist two should have been a bit longer. I think Lotus were confused between two and three stops and just reacted to do 2 stops when they found that they had a chance to go for podium. Whoever makes this strategy in Lotus needs some sanity check!

      1. James Allen says:

        Worked for Grosjean though. Without his error he’d had finished P5.

        Kimi ran too short a 2nd stint

      2. Liam in Sydney says:

        Yes, but the experience shows that the last stint, with rubber laid down and a low fuel load, means tyres work the least hardest in that stint. Although it did not work for Kimi, I am not sure you can immediately write off Lotus’s strategy as bad as it might just have worked if Kimi could be more light-footed. Shame that it did not ultimately work out at the end.

    2. Rach says:

      I think they got greedy and were hoping they would be able to last. I imagine he isn’t going to be the last person to reach the “cliff” this season as we saw today track position is going to be key this season.

    3. Jeff says:

      James – would love to see an explanation of this in the strategy report. Poor Kimi just dropped off the cliff after running wide with his battle with Seb.

      1. James Allen says:

        It’s all explained in detail in the Strategy report

    4. chrisnz says:

      Got a bad feeling Lotus are going to comprimise a lot of Kimi’s races this year with poor strategy. I recall last year renault often qualifying in the 9th-12th area but almost always going backwards in the race due to poor strategy. Don’t think there’s a team worse than them in this area except maybe the Massa side of the Ferrari garage lol.

      1. James Allen says:

        How do you know for sure it was them who called him in too early for 2nd stop? How do you know it wasn’t his call?

      2. James Clayton says:

        I’d imagine it probably was. Inexperience on the Pirellis when they were starting to go off, and Kimi probably thought he could deal with tyres going off at the end of a race better than in that stint, without realizing how *much* more they would go off after a few more laps.

      3. etcyu says:

        How you know is his call??? Even if kimi called it…their POOR PITS COST HIM LOSING POSITION…and make the strategy fail

      4. chrisnz says:

        I don’t , but I’d like to give him more credit than that. I’m not sure if any driver of the 24 on the grid would think they could realistically make a set of tyres last 28 laps without some major drop off in performance being highly likely. You could be right though it might have been his relative inexperience of the durability of the Pirellis, at the same time though I don’t think I’m alone in not having a whole lot of confidence in the Lotus strategy team. And that’s not just based on yesterday’s events.

      5. Eleanore says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if that turned out to be the case, though Kimi’s lack of experience with the Pirelli’s can’t be ignored, either. I’m just basing this though on the consistently poor (at times just plain awful) strategies Lotus employed last season.

    5. spyke says:

      I think he picked up so many marbles being pushed off line by SV

  36. Wu says:

    Awesome race by Rosberg, Pole to win effortlessly done.

    Shame about his teammate; he hasn’t had a normal race at all this year. Makes matter worse that his teammate is on it and it seems Merc might be a title contender.

    1. Kevin Green says:

      Yip the cars now right! get Paul or Jaimie in, perfect timing :)

  37. F1racer says:

    Congrats Nico on his first F1 win. Gutted for Schumacher. He could have atleast been a contender for the podium if not win. But was surprised by his comment as he retired from the race (I was actually furious ;))

    “The front wheel got a bit loose, but I don’t know what happened. I feel a bit sorry for one of my boys, but that’s part of the game. Fingers crossed that Nico can get a good result for the team.”

    Very gracious of of the 7 time WC!

  38. eric weinraub says:

    I can’t remember a season where ALL the bad luck came Schuey’s way. 2 mechanincal DNFs and getting punted by Grosjean in Malaysia. His peers can learning something about how you handle adversity.

  39. brendan says:

    do you think ross brawn is doing what he did at brawn by having a differnt design then everyone else has ,holes in both wings,(i,e he has found a loop hole lol)thus leaving the rest of the teams to play catch up with no testing allowed,

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s not really him any more. It’s his aero guys and the design team

  40. Keith Read says:

    A race of firsts. Rosberg, obviously with his first pole and first win. Also the first ‘new’ winner since Webber in Germany 2009.
    Congratulations also to Kamui Kobayashi for his, and Sauber’s first ever fastest lap. A great race.

  41. Andy says:

    I was surprised by Mercedes race pace and their ability to manage the tyres. If Button hadn’t been delayed in his pit stop and ended up behind the Kimi train, I think it would have been a close thing towards the end.
    However, congratulations to Rosberg, if you win, there’s not much else to say.
    This looks like being one of the best seasons ever, difficult to call, and we may have the same again in 2014.

  42. Mustaha says:

    Sensational driving from many of the drivers today. Also delighted for Rosberg but annoyed for Michael. He’s having dreadful luck this year.

  43. Andrew Kirk says:

    Three races, three different winners, tons of overtaking, no clearly fastest car like last year… early days but this season could be epic with a whole host of drivers gunning for the title!

  44. Janet says:

    Wow, great race! Congratulations to Nico…sure would have been 1-2. Gutted for Kimi, but great drive nonetheless!

  45. Rich C says:

    Nice job by Nico.

    I thought the DRS was supposed to eliminate these trains of ppl jammed up behind slower cars?

    1. Spinodontosaurus says:

      Sort of. In a train DRS will never work except for the first person using it, as the guy behind him wont have an advantage.
      But luck at the great racing we got due to an in-effective DRS! Imagine it being like Turkey/Spa 2011, this would have been another dull race.

      DRS needs to go.

  46. Charalampos says:

    Nice race!

  47. Thompson says:

    Yep, congrats to Nico ( I have said it several times, the team as underestimated him for too long….). Maybe now Merc will give him the support he deserves.

    Ross Brawn ( a man, of dubious character ) does it again with another loop hole and it’s “legal”…again!

    Great race…..

    Consistant Lewis currently leading drivers board…..who would have thunk it?

    1. James Clayton says:

      In what way have Merc underestimated Nico???? They’ve retained his services for 3 years.

  48. Kay says:

    1. Congratulations to Nico! This is very very good news for him, MGP and us fans. I’ve always thought he’s good and his time will come, and now it finally came!

    2. Whoever planned Kimi’s strategy needs to be shot. With 2 pairs of boots that old on the car is sure to make the car fall off the cliff.

    3. Soooooooooo happy for Webber to take forth, especially on his move on the kid.

    4. Well driven race by Jenson and Lewis. If not for the 5-grid penalty Lewis may have finished ahead or possibly challenged Nico.

  49. dt says:

    Exciting race but with Fernando Alonso going off on the marbles during a legitimate overtaking move, how about making the tyres so hard that they don’t cover the track with rubber debris, so leaving the whole track for racing?

  50. gorgonzola says:

    Amazed how furious comments are on other blogs…

    “Kimi ran out of tyres 10 laps before finish. Its not drivers fault, if team is trying to go 10 laps after tyres are gone. Driver can help one, two or even five laps but ten? No way… Team asked Kimi to extend his stint ~50%. Some people from Lotus pitwall should be fired.”

    :D

    100% agreed …Insane mistake from such an experienced team …I would expect that from Marrussia….

    It really unacceptable coming from Enstone sorry to say Kimi was driving a solid race considering his tires where off long before he was passed….Shows what a magic racer he is…

    Well done Kimi

    1. James Allen says:

      How do you know it wasn’t Kimi’s call?

      1. etcyu says:

        even if it was kimi’s call, Lotus ‘s poor pit stop did not made it works~~ Kimi coming in to pits expect to lead hamilton and Alonso, but the poor pits make him suffer the traffic behind!!

      2. etcyu says:

        also kimi run his last stinct on used medium, and expect him to run for 28 laps….i dont know why they pit them so early…but as i mentioned earlier…even if kimi made that call…they are the 1 looking at data should know better~~ and their slow pits doesnt allow any success in their strategy…be it 2 or 3 stop

      3. Brad says:

        James, Kimi used Medium new tyres with his first pitstop, and used ones with his 2nd????? Why not other way around??? How do you figure that out???? Alan Permane admitted they took a gamble, I’m willing to bet that it was a team decision

      4. James Allen says:

        He only had one new set of mediums and no new sets of softs at the start of the race.

  51. Quattro_T says:

    Apart from a very well deserved win for Rosberg, I was kind of bored with this race.

    True that many drivers were (at the later part of the race) very close together, but that did not turn into the exciting (non DRS) overtakes that I would expect. DRS passes at the end of (one of) the longest str8s in F1, are not overtakes but boring, almost friendly, passes.

    What is the deal with the Pirelli “marvels”? It is obviously making (real) passing very difficult if not impossible at several corners. Is that Pirellis answer for Eccelstones request for artificial rain at all tracks?

    7/10 for this race. Looking forward to next race in Spain.

    1. Steven says:

      You cant ever please some people…smh

      1. Kevin Green says:

        +1 were you snoozzing Quattro? late night/lack of sleep?? it was a fantastic race and Key thing NO safety car and lack of retirements perfect non conflicting result, we rarely get that!!!

  52. Congratulations to Nico !

    Always enjoy seeing new faces topping the podium. Hopefully now he kicks on and begins to fufil the potential he has.

    On another note, an amazing achievement by Ross Brawn. What more does this man have to do to earn a knighthood ?!

    James, do you think Mercedes has finally sorted out its tyre issues ?

    I am quite happy to be wrong in my belief yesterday that the Mercedes front row slots would not be converted into podium due to tyre management issues.

    1. James Allen says:

      Temperature has a lot to do with it. Check out the Strategy report coming up soon

  53. Charlie B says:

    Nice race to watch and see things unfold, first time I could see the whole race too.

    I think Kimi did an awesome job, just think if those tyres didn’t go off, I think he would have kept the train of cars behind just like he had been before.

    Did Massa ruin Kimi’s strategy or was that always going to happen to Kimi and if so, why did Lotus put him on that strategy?

  54. Steven says:

    Great job by Nico, drove a prefect race! He finally got the monkey off his back. Too bad for Jenson’s pit stop, we might have had a great battle between the 2 drivers. Lewis I felt was a little unlucky, he got stuck behind the Sauber, and Felipe and couldnt get past, although Im sure he had someting to do with it as well. But he salvaged a podium finish and is leading the WDC. It looks to me like Lewis might be learning, he seems to be playing the long game, dont push the tires so much to get in front and then slow down. He’s just getting as many points as he can, the wins will come soon enough.

    Again, congrats to Nico, he proved that when given the car and the oportunity he’s fast enought to know what to do with it.

    Roll on Bahrain…

  55. amazon says:

    where schumachers champion’s luck has gone?
    He used to be the one watching others lose the wheel nut.

    1. Kevin Green says:

      Maybe it was deliberate just incase he won and demanded Rosberg No2 back up status all year from now if he won ;)

  56. Chris J says:

    Awesome race today by all and a well deserved win by Rosberg. May the rest of the season continue in the same vein. Hope Redbull will be looking at why Webber’s car did a wheelie. Oh and the BBC coverage was also awesome :)

    1. Kevin Green says:

      Under stand what a ramp is and how aero efficiency works??? sit and think about how the 2 can effect each other and you might manage to sus out what Red Bull simply wont!!

  57. Vipin says:

    The biggest loser in this race is Kimi.

    From P2 to P 14 in the end.

  58. John says:

    Great race from Nico.

    I guess one should feel sorry for schumacher but I cannot help but compare him to the McLaren pair – schumacher hid at the back of today’s celebrations…

    Even in Canada last year Lewis was at the forefront of the team’s celebration of Button’s win. I love the way both JB and LH don the winning t shirts to celebrate the other’s win. I hope they have the opportunity to prove they can still do it when the WDC is there for the taking.

    Surely if one cannot take the win it must be better to celebrate your team mate winning than watch another team win.

  59. Chris_NZ says:

    I was trying to think in the race how much time was lost overall by Mclaren being stuck in traffic and not being able to run in clean air, along with the poor pitstops.
    It must have been significant for both drivers, and mclaren are probably thinking that they should of had a 1-2 race.

    Well done to Nico though. This is going to make to championship much more exciting now

  60. spyke says:

    so many marbles off line make this race like a wet race with drying line it cost KR big time

    1. Steven says:

      All the drivers were racing with the same conditions, Kimi just made a mistake

  61. Harsha says:

    I don’t know how many people think Webber is your average f1 driver. But his wheel to wheel racing with Alonso, Kimi n Hamilton were absolutely stunning. Not an inch taken, not an inch given. To me, he was the driver of the day for sheer entertainment, and of course the “AussieGrit” he showed in the race. Lets see where he goes from here. Well Done Mark Webber, truly well done.

    1. James Allen says:

      That’s what Webber always brings to the party!

      1. Darell says:

        He’s the sleeper in this years WDC…..just wait til they hit Europe

      2. Mike J says:

        We saw him hit China yesterday!!!..ouch

      3. Spinodontosaurus says:

        …and probable updates to the RB that will be more to Vettel’s liking, possibly taking the edge off of Webber’s speed unfortunatly.

      4. Harsha says:

        Touchwood to that!

  62. Idrees Latiff says:

    Great Race…Well Done Mercedes..!!!

  63. My driver of the race – Pedro de la Rosa. I like his helmet design, that’s the main reason, really.

    At least GRO didn’t disappoint this time, good old JD’Ambrosio is there to scare the main drivers I suppose. Would be interesting to see wot he could’ve done with the car.

  64. malkie0831 says:

    Being away from a TV set for the first time this year during a GP, just wanted to thank James for the commentary on 5live, well done James, managed to keep us informed despite a fast changing race, I really enjoyed it.

    Great race, good to see Nico finally nail one, and great to see Lewis leading the Championship.

    1. James Allen says:

      Fast changing is the right way to describe it!

  65. Dave Deacon says:

    Excellent race. JB did really well too showing his skill – pity the pit stop screwed his effort. Would have been better if it had rained… Whatever, this is how racing should be with the exeption of Rosberg going off into the distance Schumacheresque fashion. At last, F1 sees that the same is different and better because we see drivers racing and teams thinking hard. I think Jean Todt is the reason for this. F1 does not need a Ferrari or Red Bull or whatever at the front, they need drivers and teams slugging it out hard with uncertain outcomes.

    Pity the BBC sold the show to Sky. Bloody twerps!!

    1. Kevin Green says:

      BBC sold? what in living hell are you going on about???

  66. TheBestPoint? says:

    James really enjoyed seeing this sally between you and Jaime (coudn’t watch live but was chortling to myself causing a few raised eyebrows):

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Jaime Alguersuari: “Felipe Massa’s just giving the positions to all the cars behind him! He should have closed the door much more on Hamilton.” BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen replies: “Well, why don’t you go over to Stefano Domencali and tell him if you want a driver who’ll close the door on Hamilton, I’m your man?”

    keep up the good work – next time I’m out and about will tune into your commentary.

    great race really enjoyed watching it (albeit later)

  67. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Thrilling few laps with Perez locking up and Hamilton however keeping the car in his tale!

    I think the WCC is not looking so bad for Red Bull for now, and also Webber could be a serious challenger like it was in 2010 just until the end of this year (he deserves it).

  68. Warren Groenewald says:

    Wow, what a crazy race, with so many cars so close on track and the kind of overtaking action we would normally see in 125cc motorcycle races. It was incredible that even though Button and Hamilton drove fairly normal races, they still ended up deep within a pack towards the end and had to pass the cars in front to earn their podiums!

    Disappointed for Alonso today, he really deserved better than 9th after spending much of the race on the fringes of the top 5.

    And equally disappointed for the Saubers – great quali and good race to come away virtually empty handed.

    Finally, well done to Webber. After being slaughtered all last year, he really is proving that the car does make such a difference.

  69. monktonnik says:

    Great race. Well done Pirelli.

    I am pleased that Rosberg won his first race, but disappointed for MSC. I think he would have got his first podium for Merc today. I feel that the person who can be most satisfied is Norbert Haug. He has been such an advocate of Mercedes motorsport and he can finally put some all Mercedes silverware in the trophy cabinet.

    I think JB’s race was compromised in Q3. Why didn’t Mclaren send him out earlier when they must have known (I could have told them that actually) that the temperature was dropping. With Hamilton’s penalty that was his race to lose, and I’m afraid he did.

    Great driving up and down the field.

  70. Gee says:

    Has Michael been smashing mirrors or walking under ladders on his way to the grid?!

    I haven’t seen such a depressing run of bad luck since Kimi drove a McLaren… For the love of God, please give him a break for the rest of the season. Please!

    Good job Nico, shame Buttons pit stop put an end to a battle for victory.

    P.S BBC coverage is better than SKY at the moment… Minus the commentary from Crofty & Brundle

    1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      agree with crofty comment. The guy is so over the top…and often gets it wrong, too. He DID correct himself though…..

      1. Mike J says:

        I have not been impressed with Crofty at all. Mistakes and late calls. Seems to be distracted.
        Hopefully he will get better.

  71. Koby Fan says:

    Wow…congrats to Mercedes and Rosberg for proving the doubters wrong. I was expecting a Schumi, Kimi and Koby podium (all 3 had disasterous race).

    All of Alonso’s attacking and defensive skills on display today.

    Wonder how things are in the Sauber camp. Looking at body language in the media, there are obviously no team orders or love lost between Checo & Koby since Malaysia. Brave move to overtake Checo & Fernando on the back straight and instead of attacking Alonso, Checo tries to put Koby into the wall to save P10??

  72. Darren says:

    Stunning race , my 7 year old was jumping about with excitement. More racing like this please

  73. J. S. says:

    Well done, Britney :-) Mercedes may not win again for a while, seeing what happened in the first two races. So it’s good to have a convincing first win, like Webber’s and unlike Kovalainen’s.

    I enjoyed Webber’s pass on Vettel as well. It keeps the intra-team battle alive.

  74. KRB says:

    “Extremely aggressively” is extremely right! That was your teammate, man! Shades of Senna on Prost at Estoril.

    Congrats to Rosberg, he won it going away. This puts the W03 right up there with the MP4-27 as the best car, I think. Certainly they had the best car today … the jury’s still out I guess on how they’ll fare on tracks with a lot of high-speed corners.

    Not a lot of DRS passing, at least it seemed that way vis-a-vis 2011, but more passing in other spots. I think Hamilton alone passed four people into turn 6.

    I think 2011 was a better race, but 2012 was pretty darn good.

  75. Anand R says:

    Hello James,

    A basic question, what is Sam Micheal’s role on McLaren’s pit wall? He hasn’t yet exerted his influence on ‘trackside’ operations…
    3 races and 3 race-time goof ups..
    a. Australia, Not pitting Lewis a lap earlier lost him a position to Vettel (safety car not withstanding, he lost 6sec to Button just by pitting a lap later)
    b. Malaysia, dealyed pit stop for Lewis.. might not have affected the final standings, but still…
    c. China, delayed pit stop for Button.. same as above

    Further, I understand these things ‘happen’ in a race condition… but that’s why the Track Side Operation guy is paid .. to minimize the occurance.

    Also, McLaren’s pit stops are good but not the best. Just relieved that Lewis didn’t loose a postion to Alonso when they pitten together. He almost lost a position to Kimi though!

    1. James Allen says:

      He’s the Sporting Director, so it’s overseeing all aspects. They’ve had problems for a few years now. Recently they’ve done a lot of work on the pit stops, ironing out problems, redesigning new rear jacks etc. There’s a lot to do, but let’s judge them at the end of the season. It could be that the problems are coming now but the rest of the season will be clean.

      1. James Clayton says:

        James, was it just me or had McLaren opted to go for a straight pit box in the race, as opposed to the slanted one they were testing out in free practice? I’m sure I saw one of the McLarens come in at an angle, and the mechanics having to readjust themselves accordingly?

  76. Rohan says:

    I loved the race and the close racing with the Massa and then Raikkonen train. ‘Slow-burner’ is right, from DC. Very happy for Rosberg and he definitely deserved it this weekend.

    I was also very happy and impressed with Lewis’s drive back to 3rd place. He was made to wait to overtake both Massa and Perez (two-stopping) but didn’t throw the toys out with the pram, kept his head – and the tyres – and achieved a great result. I’m sure Perez has ticked off another box in the ‘Requirements to be in Ferrari” checklist!!

    James, what’s the word in the pitlane about Hamilton’s attitude and performance so far in 2012? I think he is looking really good. There was one interesting radio message from Jenson’s engineer after Jenson had just overtaken Vettel and Lewis was still behind Vettel: “Well done Jenson – now lets try and open up a gap to Lewis”. That, to me at least, is some indication that McLaren believe that this year is going to be decided between their two drivers.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well they are certainly competing! Hamilton is doing well. His problems this weekend were caused by the grid penalty. Without that could he have won the race on three stops from P2 on the grid? You’d have to say he’d have pushed Rosberg hard and the story would have been different.

      Likewise Button should be leading the championship comfortably if he hadn’t made that uncharacteristic error in hitting the HRT in Malaysia

      1. Don C says:

        @ James,

        Just another point.

        You wrote “Button should be leading the championship comfortably” – I disagree….

        In reference to Lewis….

        1)If not for the safety car in Australia which cost him 2nd place – which was unlucky. (points lost)

        2)He was leading the Malaysian GP and was ahead of Jenson by 2.357 sec before the saftey car came out due to the rain, followed by a poor pit stop whilst in the lead of the race. (very unlucky and more points lost)

        3)The 5 place grid penalty in China, after finishing 2nd in quali compared to Jenson’s 5th place(and to cap it off, Lewis beat Jenson by more than half a second in quali).

        All of the above issues, were out of Lewis’s control, he didn’t make no uncharacteristic mistake like Jenson.

        To be frank James, Jenson is very lucky in my view to be 2 points behind and if he continues to qualify behind Lewis it’s going be a long long season ahead for Jenson – safety cars/rain/strategy won’t rescue him all the time.

  77. Nick says:

    Including the end of last season, there have been six winners in the last six races – I can’t remember that EVER happening in the 20 years I’ve been following F1!

    1. Nick says:

      I tell a lie – the last time was the last 5 races of 1999/the first race of 2000. But that’s going back a while!

  78. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    The race results so far have shown that being WDC is all about consistency. There are teams out there with potentially quick cars but whom are not getting the results they need early in the championship to build a buffer to mount a serious bid. I would love to see Michael win a race for all the doubters out there. However, I feel that Button is going to win this championship. He just collects results all the time and thats what you need to be WDC.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “However, I feel that Button is going to win this championship. He just collects results all the time and thats what you need to be WDC.”

      You must be watching a different championship to me??

  79. Shaq says:

    Exciting race!. Rosberg deserves the maiden win!. Pleasantly surprised to see a ‘new’ Hamilton. Patient and almost clean overtaking moves – diametrically different from last year!. Way to go. Button looks very strong as well.
    McLaren seems to be the team to beat unless Ross Brawn pulled out a ’2009′-ish trick…..

  80. JSHT says:

    Not just a fantastic race, but also a fantastic weekend. Everything clicked from quali through to the chequered flag.

    However, a word of caution. Although Rosberg demonstrated his obvious skills as a driver, he still has not demonstrated an ability to do this week in, week out. Too often he has frustratingly tripped up during Q3. Hopefully, this win will give him the imputus to forge ahead towards a title. Only time will tell.

    1. James Clayton says:

      “Too often he has frustratingly tripped up during Q3″

      Twice?

  81. Stone the crows says:

    Great run by Nico. Also a fine showing by Sauber again. One only needed to watch how quickly Kimi lost pace to see how critical the tyres were today.

  82. Scott says:

    Congrats to Rosberg, very happy he finally got a win. Be interesting to see if it improves his confidence and he drives better.

    In saying that, I have to say I am very impressed with Jensons form at the moment. His drive was good. He is looking like a very strong contender for this years honors.

    Roll on the next race, this years racing is so good :)

  83. Randy Torres says:

    Wow I never thought I’d see the day when a Mercedes not driven by MS, a rookie in a Lotus and the 2 Williams cars would out pace both Ferraris.

      1. Randy_Torres says:

        LOL…that was cruel and heartless James! I can almost hear the sound of your voice uttering the words, at least the way it sounds on TV when you interview the podium drivers after the race! Your post today on Pat Fry’s “Stark Assessment” does NOT lighten my mood.

  84. Paul J says:

    Very glad to see Rosberg on the top step after all these years, very well deserved. I’ve been a rosberg fan for many years and this really feels overdue. Also very glad to see Williams haul in a decent number of points, especially considering where they started! James – have you been impressed with Senna this year or what? He seems to have shown alot of maturity and speed, and has beaten Maldonado 2/1, even though he’s been sharing his car with Bottas on Fridays.

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, good races. Yet to get it together in quali.

      The Williams is a very good car, I have to say

  85. Ryan Eckford says:

    Congratulations to Rosberg on his first F1 race victory, and commiserations to Schumacher. Schumacher has been quite unlucky so far this year. He would have finished comfortably in the points in the first two races, and could have been on the podium in China.

    Mercedes have a car that has good mechanical grip, and is good in lower downforce situations. I think Rosberg is at his best when the car is perfect, and is not as strong when the car is not to his liking. I feel Schumacher can produce better results than Rosberg when the car is not quite at it’s best.

    I feel McLaren will be the strongest car in Bahrain in both qualifying and the race. I think Hamilton will pick up his first race victory of the season.

  86. Darren says:

    James, could you tell me when was the last race without a safety car, where the top 16 drivers finished within 52 seconds of the winner? Would be a long time, if ever????

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes, good observation. Thanks

  87. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    All good comments, above, from some very passionate fans. Great stuff!
    Now, here in Australia, we get commentary from Martin Brundle and David Croft.
    I have a request……….would someone please put a sock in Crofty’s mouth!!
    I’m all for passionate commentary, but this guy goes over the top! He’s nuts!
    Brundle does his best to calm him down, but…..
    Am I alone on this, or does anyone agree?
    (bring back the dulcet tones of one Mr Allen please… :-) )

    1. James Allen says:

      I’m very happy on Radio 5 Live thanks…

    2. andrew says:

      ha, was thinking same thing about the crofty. had to check that i was not watching a horse race getting called. Am a bit of a brundle fan tho, i find he has some very interesting storys, and generally seems to pick up most of what is happening on track.(unlike the formerly stated commentator, who seems to wrapped up in his own voice to be able to pay attention to who and what is happening on track).

    3. Mike J says:

      Agreed. 100%..I am going to the internet next race to get away from it which is a shame since i enjoy MB.

  88. Ajit says:

    Hi James

    Based on your observations, was schumacher slowing down the cars behind him or was he conserving his tyres considering the merc’s tyre degradation was unknown.

  89. León says:

    James:

    Congratulations on you always doing a great job.
    Good comments above.

  90. David says:

    I haven’t read all the posts on this thread so I may be repeating what has already been said.

    I don’t agree with the many comments about the quality of the Chinese GP, which in my eyes was the dullest race of the season so far. I do not think comparisons to GP2 and Formula Ford are particularly favourable!

    Ignoring Rosberg who clearly drove a dominant race and deserved to win, the rest of the field was hugely influenced by tyre considerations. The final result was largely a story of tyre strategy and conservation, played out in the final 10 laps. Undoubtedly the low temperatures contributed significantly to this picture and it will be interesting to see how this works in Bahrain, where temperatures will be higher.

    As we know, F1 races are now (some say artificially) influenced by DRS and it must be presumed that the F1 supremos are content for tyre degradation to become a major factor, all in the name of “improving the show”. I have been a fan of DRS ,principally because it gets rounf the long standing F1 problem of a fast car being unable to pass a slower car, solely because of loss of aero.

    However, I believe the tyre issue is different because it forces drivers to give higher priority to tyre management and therefore to drive conservatively. In the long term, this is unlikely to be good for F1.

    Let’s see how the next few races go!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer