F1 Summer Break 2015
Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix; thrilling battle for podium place
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  14 Apr 2013   |  9:43 am GMT  |  550 comments

Fernando Alonso won the Chinese Grand Prix for Ferrari, the third different race winning driver and car combination in three races this season, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing second, where he started and Lewis Hamilton holding off a hard charging Sebastian Vettel for third.

It was Alonso’s 31st career victory, equalling Nigel Mansell for fourth in the all-time winners list and his second in China. Vettel retained the drivers’ championship lead, three points ahead of Raikkonen, Alonso and Hamilton, but it tightened up; just 12 points separate the top four drivers, all World Champions.

Ferrari closed to within five points of Red Bull in the constructor’s championship thanks to a double points finish, while Red Bull only had Vettel in the points.

Raikkonen had to recover from a poor start, where he dropped from second to fourth and with damage to the front of his car after hitting the back of Sergio Perez’ McLaren early on. Afterwards he said that without that damage he would have been a lot faster. Given that he finished close behind Alonso it begs the question, but Alonso said that he had been able to measure his pace and control the field.

“It was fantastic race for us,” said Alonso.”The tyre degradation was better than expected. After the retirement in Malaysia we had some pressure today. You always push but it is true that we had some pace in our pocket. We had more potential but maybe we can show that in Bahrain next week.”

It was a race of strategy, with leading cars doing different strategies to deal with the performance difference between the soft and medium compound Pirelli tyres. It all came together at the end as the cars who started on the medium tyres were forced to pit just before the end for the short-life soft tyres. It led to a thrilling climax as Vettel chased down Hamilton for the final podium place.

Vettel, Button , Hulkenberg, Perez, Gutierrez, Di Resta, Bottas and Vergne all started on the medium tyre.

Mark Webber started from the pit lane on soft tyres, his strategy to pit on lap 1 and then run the whole race on medium tyres

At the start Hamilton got away well from pole, with Raikkonen dropping from second to fourth, swallowed up by the Ferraris of Alonso and Massa. Rosberg and Grosjean battled for fifth, while Vettel dropped back to ninth.

Hamilton was in trouble with the tyres quite quickly; the Ferraris passed him on lap five and Hamilton pitted a lap later, with Rosberg also coming in the same lap. Amazingly Mercedes turned them both around with Rosberg having a similar pit stop time to Hamilton in 3.3 seconds.

Alonso stopped on lap 7, retaining his lead over Hamilton, Massa lost out by pitting a lap later, coming out behind both of them and behind Webber. The Brazilian was able to pass him, in the laps that followed however.

Raikkonen managed to stay ahead of Webber after his pit stop and tucked in behind Hamilton.

On lap 13 Hulkenberg led the Grand Prix, with Vettel in second place, losing time behind the Sauber. Alonso was in control of the race at this point, the leading car of the ones which had started on soft tyres and with the medium tyred Vettel only 3 seconds ahead. In the phase after his first stop and before Vettel’s Alonso took nine seconds out of Vettel’s lead over him.

On lap 15 Hulkenberg and Vettel both pitted and Red Bull turned their man around more quickly, gaining the place.

Button now led the race for McLaren, looking like he was trying to do the race in two stops, with Alonso in second place ahead of Hamilton.

Raikkonen hit the back of Perez, “What the hell is he doing?” asked Raikkonen. Perez had been fairly robust in his racing all day. Meanwhile Webber collided with Vergne, damaging the front wing and later his right rear wheel fell off at the hairpin.

Stewards later hit him with a three place grid penalty for the next race in Bahrain for causing a collision. They also hit Esteban Gutierrez with a five place penalty for clashing with Adrian Sutil at the start.

Alonso had a 12 second lead over Vettel at this stage of the race, but Vettel cut into it slowly. Alonso pitted on lap 24 and lost a second as Button came down the pit lane. This meant that Vettel closed more on him.

Button’s stop on lap 24 meant he could make it through the race on two stops, but he was believed to have used DRS in a yellow flag zone, which stewards said they would investigate after the race.

Vettel led the race on lap 27 from Alonso, then the two stoppers Hulkenberg and Button, with Hamilton in fifth and Raikkonen sixth.

Vettel was told by his team not to lose time fighting Alonso who was on fresher tyres. He passed him on the inside on lap 29, on tyres that were much fresher. Lap times were more important to Red Bull and both teams were focussed on the end of the race. Both men had one more stop to make.

Hamilton passed Button on lap 29 for fourth place, on fresher tyres, as the various strategies played out. Hamilton, Button and Raikkonen were all together in an enthralling race.

Vettel made his second stop on lap 32 and immediately passed Massa as he came out of the pits, not losing any time behind the Ferrari.

On lap 34 Alonso had a 24 second lead over Vettel, with both men needing to stop again, Alonso for medium tyres, Vettel for softs. Raikkonen pitted on lap 35 for the final time with 22 laps to do on the medium tyres, trying to undercut Hamilton. Mercedes did not react, leaving Hamilton out for two more laps.

Hulkenberg and Massa pitted together on lap 37, but Hulkenberg lost the place to the Ferrari as the Sauber didn’t come off the pit lane speed limiter. Hamilton pitted a lap later and lost the place to Raikkonen.

Alonso pitted for the final time on lap 42, a slow stop in 4 seconds, which handed the lead back to Vettel, who still had to stop again with 14 laps to the end.

Alonso repassed Vettel a lap later, using the DRS and the advantage of fresher tyres. With the race under control he set a new fastest lap of the race on lap 47 and was told not to push by his engineer, “I’m not pushing” said Alonso.

Button pitted on lap 50 for new softs, passing Massa for sixth place on the out lap. Vettel pitted on lap 51, rejoining in fourth, 12 seconds behind Hamilton. He had nothing to lose from behind and was able to push flat out to the end for four laps.

In the closing stages it got very close as Vettel closed at three seconds per lap on Hamilton, who was tucked up behind Raikkonen.

Hamilton’s tyres were suffering on the final lap. It was a final lap showdown, with Vettel and Hamilton dicing to the flag, a couple of small mistakes by Vettel as the pair navigated a back marker Caterham gave Hamilton breathing space.

Button finished in fifth with Massa in sixth and Ricciardo coming in an excellent seventh, where he started the race.

After all the complaints before the race about the Pirelli soft tyres degrading too quickly, it ended up creating a fascinating and entertaining Grand Prix, with the same three drivers who started at the front of the grid ending up on the podium, albeit in reverse, with Alonso moving from third to first and Hamilton the opposite.

CHINESE GRAND PRIX, Shanghai, 56 laps
1. Alonso Ferrari 1h36:26.945
2. Raikkonen Lotus + 10.100s
3. Hamilton Mercedes + 12.300s
4. Vettel Red Bull + 12.500s
5. Button McLaren + 35.200s
6. Massa Ferrari + 40.800s
7. Ricciardo Toro Rosso + 42.600s
8. Di Resta Force India + 51.000s
9. Grosjean Lotus + 53.400s
10. Hulkenberg Sauber + 56.500s
11. Perez McLaren + 1m03.800s
12. Vergne Toro Rosso + 1m12.600s
13. Maldonado Williams + 1m33.800s
14. Bottas Williams + 1m35.400s
15. Bianchi Marussia + 1 lap
16. Pic Caterham + 1 lap
17. Chilton Marussia + 1 lap
18. van der Garde Caterham + 1 lap

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  1. Seán Craddock says:

    Yet another anti-climax. Was more interesting than quali. Was good to see the different strategies. But still, not a lot of good racing until right at the end.

    Hats off to Marussia and Caterham tho! Amazing to keep pace with Williams in the dry, finishing really close to them. And not getting lapped until the last 5 laps for Bianchi and Pic.

    If one of them scores a point this season before Williams it would be incredible, and it is possible. Obviously scoring a point anyway would be good

    1. Wayne says:

      What WERE the stewards doing during this race? Why was everything being investigated after the race, it’s a ridiculous way to run things. The fans want to know the order when the cars cross the line. What I don’t want to see is races being decided in an office after the race.

      Congratulations to ALO, drove a great race. Massa sadly returned to his poorer form today, hope that changes next week.

      Great job by HAM, although sadly that car just isn’t going to win races no matter how many times it starts on the pole, at least not in its current evolution.

      It does not bode well for qualy that VET finished so strongly………..

      Did you see the carpet of marbles? Have a quick look at China 2010 to see the difference, it can’t be right. The tyres actually destroy chances of real overtaking by creating such a narrow racing line while all the time promoting fake overtaking. It’s truly tragic for a sport to be so artificial.

      1. Seán Craddock says:

        I agree, it’s ugly as well when you look at it! The track actually looks dirty.

        Vettel got off line to overtake Pic on the last lap and out-braked himself, could the marbles have caused it? I don’t know, but it’s possible

      2. F1 Badger says:

        Very well said. It was sad to often hear the drivers asking if they should ‘fight’ or not. The best drivers in the dorks should be ‘fighting’. I understand tyre management will always be ‘an element’ of being a great racing driver. The sad thing about things as they are now is that it is being made the most important element. We shouldn’t go back to the Bridgestone days with bespoke tyres for certain teams but…….what we have now is barring racing. Although I FA was imperious today. KR also drive a very good race. Hard off to DR.

      3. Wayne says:

        Yes, I thought that was truly sad, hearing a top F1 driver asking his team if he should fight or not. No discredit to BUT who has to make the best of the situation like they all do. Whoever came up with this tyre idea needs sacking, it’s all shiny marketing gloss over sport. It’s American wrestling on 4 wheels. Now we even have the stewards making 90% of their decisions in the ‘backrroms’. What a mess, and I genuinely love F1 and have done for 20 years.

      4. Simmo says:

        +1 about the stewards. Ridiculous decision not to penalise Perez as well. And if they don’t want drivers to activate DRS under yellow flags, then disable it…

      5. [MISTER] says:

        There are two DRS zones, and I’m not sure if they can disable it for one zone only…

        Anyway, that is the driver’s responsability anyway. They need to pay attention ahead and at the flags being waved, just like us on public road need to be aware of different speed restrictions and abide them.

      6. Philip John says:

        They can’t disable it as their new telemetry system isn’t functioning properly. That also means no yellow, red or blue flag indicators on the steering wheel.

      7. KRB says:

        Yeah, don’t know what the stewards were doing. The last laps tension was palpable, but still felt artificial. Even when Hamilton passed Button around the outside of the Turn 1-3 complex, it did not feel like a hard won pass … not like Hamilton’s pass on Button down the pit straight in 2011, or his pass on Vettel in the last laps of that same race.

        What was Gutierrez doing? What was Perez doing? I’ve mentioned Perez shudder moves before. Today his moves were clearly illegal, yet it wasn’t even investigated (I’m thinking specifically of his move with Alonso behind, down the back straight).

        Kimi now on 20 straight finishes in the points, just 4 off the all-time record. Behind him with active streaks are Massa (13) and Vettel (10). After that, no one’s higher than 4.

        I agree with you that the Mercedes as-is will not win. If it was Bridgestones instead of Pirellis, I think they’d be up there. I think they have the speed in the car, but they just can’t unleash it without killin’ the tires.

        Must remember that Ferrari brought a lot of upgrades to this GP. Fair play to them and Alonso, the upgrades worked (most at least), and the result flowed from that.

        First stats update for the season. Had to go to the 3-letter abbreviations for the drivers, from two, all because of Jules Bianchi! Here goes …

        Stats to date

        Wins: VET1,RAI1,ALO1

        Podiums: VET2,RAI2,ALO2,HAM2,WEB1

        Top5s: VET3,HAM3,RAI2,ALO2,MAS2,WEB1,ROS1,BUT1

        Pts Finishes:

        Longest podium streaks (2+): VET2,HAM2

        Current podium streak: HAM2,ALO1,RAI1

        Longest T5 streaks (2+): VET3,HAM3,MAS2

        Current T5 streak: VET3,HAM3,RAI1,ALO1,BUT1

        Longest pts finish streaks (2+):

        Current pts finish streak:

        Retirements (not classified):

        T8-DWC Race Finishes:

      8. Quade says:

        I got this link from Gulf News, its interesting reading. Its an article from a communications expert who cannot understand what Pirelli hope to gain from the bad press they are getting as a tyre company thats making poor tyres:


      9. Wayne says:

        I’ve said the same thing a hundred times, it’s the worst marketing campaign since Lincoln campaigned for theatre safety.

      10. Craig D says:

        Yes, interesting read. A tyre manufacturer can’t win really. If they make lovely grippy, durable tyres, then invariably they get no press (all the technical talk will be back on aero and engines – the latter especially next year thankfully). Therefore there’s little marketing going on for them, so what do they gain out of it?

        The ironic thing is that while the general public would see their tyres as poor, it’s probably a lot more difficult for a company to design tyres which fit specific target parameters such as wear rate and ultimate life for cars they don’t fully know how will perform beforehand (over the winter), than it is to make bullet proof ones that could last, 1, 2, 10(!) race distances as it doesn’t matter!

        The best solution for a tyre company is for there to be other manufactures involved, providing a tyre war. I did like the Bridgestone/Michelin period. But that became too expensive and the FIA felt car speeds were becoming too great for the tracks, which resulted in them constantly cutting back aero each year and engine revs, and other technical restrictions, etc. Also, it was a little unfair as Ferrari abused their position with the Bridgestones optimised for them.

        Regarding the need to ‘unshackle’ F1s rules. It’s a utopian idea unfortunately. The runaway costs would just see F1 implode with only 4 or 5 teams able to survive and compete. And that would probably result in 3 or 4 car teams, leading to more of a single spec formula than now!

        Like all things it’s a balance. Pirelli probably do really need to adjust their rubber to give a longer duration of peak performance, but if we end up with 1 stop races (with that stop only required due to the option/prime rule if the tyres are bullet proof), a lot of the races risk being a lot less interesting. And as long as the rules are the same for everyone, it’s still a fair sport in my book.

        Come 6-8 races time, the teams will have the tyres working well. It’s a repeat of last year.

      11. Trent says:

        Wayne – yes, you have said the same thing 200 times!

      12. Phil says:


        Artificial racing it is. Can anyone think of an overtake today (except at the start) that wasn’t made simple by DRS or a tyre mismatch?

        Bring back refuelling, genuine racing between pit stops to the full potential of the car and driver, with qualifying that actually means something.

      13. Seán Craddock says:

        Been saying this for a long time. I preferred the strategy decisions with refueling as well! Very interesting

      14. Union Jack says:

        If we brought all those things back today, the result would not have changed. Alonso had the fastest car and he won. Fact is the vast majority of people who are complaining here would have no issues if a certain British Mercedes driver had won today.

      15. Dan says:

        It would only take a couple of races before everyone started moaning that all real overtaking is done in the pitlane and that drivers don’t overtake each other because they can just wait for the pitstops.

      16. Rob says:

        Alonso overtook Hamilton before opening his DRS…

      17. Andrew says:

        I am sick and tired of people complaining about the tyres.

        Below is a link of Detroit 1986 in which Mansell wears his tyres out after 5 laps. Funnily enough, he had the fastest car (Williams Honda) but that car was harder on its tyres than Prost’s McLaren or Senna’s lotus.


        Does this situation seem vaguely familiar to anybody?

        I could provide dozens of other links to other races where this has happened.

        The people complaining know nothing about the history of Formula 1. As somebody else said, if you don’t like it go and watch the bridgestone processions with Schumacher leading from start to finish.

      18. vuelve kowalsky says:

        Please, NOT, the dark ages again?!!! I rather watch this decaf f1, a hundred times better on the tely, because live,those v10′s were way much more impresive than the current v8′s.
        And now we have to deal with another menace. The v6′s!!!!
        Daddy i am scared…

      19. Quade says:

        What Bridgestone formations are you referring to, cos I can’t recall any?
        The only processional racing from the past was due to aero, not tyres. There has NEVER been processional racing due to tyres.

        Even the video presented as evidence does not show processional racing; rather, it shows drivers racing with different sets of tyres from different manufacturers on a tight street circuit. In the good old days, teams had a choice to go with the manufacturer/tyre that suited their car/pockets best, and thats how it should be.

        There is no evidence of any tyre manufacture rolling dice to create a lottery and dumbing down the sport to the current ridiculous levels. It was all clean, pure racing with plenty of overtaking (even in the tunnel).

      20. Quade says:

        “There has NEVER been processional racing due to tyres.” should read:
        Until this artificial F1 era, there has NEVER been processional racing due to tyres.

      21. Craig D says:

        I liken it loosely to politics. The public as whole want say the Left in power. After a while they grow unhappy and long for the Right again. Then the Left, etc, etc. Grass is always greener. Of course politics is more complex than that but you get the picture.

        Nothing is ever perfect and things need tweaking but it’s important not to overreact and swing something the other way. There was a reason such changes were made to begin with.

        My main complaint today was less tyre based (we didn’t see a ridiculous number of stops for example) but the over powered DRS. This sanitised many of the overtakes, which should have been more challenging and exciting given the varying strategies we had at play. No one stood a chance of holding off another car through driver skill and clever positioning.

        With no DRS today, I think it could have been a classic. They’d have been a much tougher battle between Hamilton, the Ferraris and Raikkonen in the early part (and possibly throughout). And there’d have been a lot more tension seeing if this gang could have made it through the traffic after stop 1 when it was so critical for them to do so.

      22. merlinman says:


      23. Quade says:

        Now, this is real, red-blooded, hang Lucifer style racing from the good old days:

        Sirs, thats how it should be.

      24. Andrew says:

        Quade, the video presented shows Senna overtaking Mansell after 5 laps because his tyres have gone off.

        You need tyres that wear out in order to compensate for the overwhelming aero of the last 20 years years. If you have indestructable tyres then you just get a procession, as we experienced from the early 90′s onwards.

        A final word from Kimi Raikkonen “this is what we have and you’d better like it or do something else.”

      25. Honkhonk says:

        Too true, these tyre whiners are tiresome. We saw last year that teams took a few races but got on top of tyres, the racing at the start of last year was exciting…once the tyres were understood we saw more processional races. I think the most whiny fans are the ones in general who’ve clearly not watched F1 for more than 12 years. Get over yourselves. This applies to Red Bull Racing who apparently can’t buy their way out of tyre trouble probably until Barcelona, so they just whine. If they were such racing purists they’d back Montezemolo who has been condemning aero dependence in F1 for years… But then again what would Newey do?

        I will say DRS was a bit much today but they can’t always get things right. It was a pretty good race overall today. Oh the cohort that have been proclaiming Alonso’s fall to Massa must be so happy with his amazing performance….

      26. Andrew M says:

        Bridgestone managed to put together tyres from 2007-10 that didn’t fall apart after a few laps, and those seasons were’nt exactly dull. I’d take any sole Bridgestone year over 2011-12 in a heartbeat.

      27. Craig D says:

        Quade, re the Sch/Hak video. Of course that was an epic move but that wasn’t a depiction of week in week out racing. You might have to wait 5 years for a move like that, and meanwhile you’d have a lot of processions, with drivers doing 90% of overtaking during the two or 3 pitstop phases, with drivers conserving their car until they had clear air when the guy ahead pitted. They’d be often be little on track action. It may at times be trivial (today was not good overtaking I agree) but at least we get on track action these days.

        Also, interestingly, in the commentary Brundle talks of someones tyres going off and them having no rear grip! Tyre management and car conservation have always feature in the sport.

        I don’t think today’s race was particularly great but compared to one of Schumacher’s 2002/4 romps, this trumps it easily.

        And yes, it was the case that it was the aero that resulted in processions back then but you need degrading tyres to offset the negative aero affect to some extent, since this makes the cars more mechanically dependent.

        I understand the views of the passionate tyre haters but you need to think of the big picture. What gets me is that if the sport went back to the tyres you all suggest (Bridgestone days), do people think criticisms would die out?

        And this was one event. Not ever race can be a classic. Sometimes it seems like opinions of the complete state of the sport are only based on the last event: a bad race and F1 is in crisis (like Bahrain 2010), then there’s a classic event 2 or 3 races later, and everything is grand!

        In recent years we have had more top notch races in a season than we would have 10 years ago say. There would be many races back then where there would be very little to say about them. (That’s not to say there weren’t great too of course.)

        I’m not saying things are perfect now but on balance the sport is better than 10 years ago. There’s also more competition too, which is great. Some years the fight for every win would only ever be between a Ferrari and a McLaren, meaning only 2 or 3 people had a real chance for the win.

      28. Andrew M says:

        That situation isn’t comparable, Mansell had a problem with his brake pads that caused excessive tyre wear.

      29. Dan says:

        People also have short memories, in 2010 the racing was non-existent. Everyone just finished roughly in the order they started after making the one mandatory pit stop on the same lap as everyone else for tyres that could comfortably last the whole race if needed.

      30. Sugar Water says:

        Very well stated :)

      31. Joel says:

        Although the current tyres is a sham, I have to say the reason we have so many fake races is because alanysts (computers/number cruschers) have created an optimum race plan when is same for most of the teams – yes, there is only one optimum race plan, as evidenced by JamesAllenOnF1.com’s pre-race analysis.
        Bring back re-fuelling and let the teams choose the size of tank they want to build.

      32. Formula Zero says:

        Add to your frustration about the steward’s decisions, still haven’t heard anything about the drivers using DRS in the yellow flag zone.

      33. Andrew Carter says:

        This is a technical problem with the FIA’s trackside telemetry provider, which they changed for this season. It hasn’t worked properly at all this season, so there’s been no in car warning lights for the flags and the DRS can only be turned on but not deactivated. I’ve also read that there was green flag light halfway down the main straight during the yellow flag peroid for Webber’s wheel loss, adding to the confusion.

        For once the stewards can’t be blamed here as it was someone elses cock up.

      34. Quercus says:

        Problem is, if they made tyres that lasted 30 laps or more, then we’d arrive back at the ‘procession’ scenario with cars strung out according to their performance advantage and with 10, 20 or 30 seconds between most of the cars by the last lap. Remember how it used to be really boring at times back in the 1990s and 00s when, say, MSC used to win by more than 45 seconds?

        I still wish they’d find ways to reduce the downforce so that cars would slide around more. It’s the only way to make driving ability, rather than car performance, be the deciding factor.

      35. Red Rider says:

        I agree. No more wings etc. Personally I’ve never driven a car with wings. Wings and such have nothing to do with real cars.

        Also, Adrian should be forced to work for Airbus or Boeing.

      36. KGBVD says:

        Pirelli/KERS/DRS haters always complain, and yet always tune into the next race.

        The race was stellar. Every single form of motorsport bar drag racing has tire management (just ask Kubica in WRC2 this past weekend).

        Drivers asking when to fight? You mean they have to think a little? God forbid the sport is anything more than balls and brawn.

        (Also, the only real difference between now and those glory day 80s is that now we have the opportunity to be able to hear the radio communications telling drivers to cool it for a few laps – I guess ignorance was bliss).

    2. Truth or Lies says:

      I agree, I can’t believe what Eddie Jordan spoke of after the race on BBC, that his was a fantastic race – no it wasn’t. I am with Jacques Villenueve, artificial overtaking with no real racing and drivers fading off if they stay on the wrong tyre for half a lap too long. It’s not about speed but minding tyres, apart from the first few laps and Vettels charge at the end this was a boring race with no real prospect at any stage of a classic race battle.

      However Alonso drove a very good race as did Kimi. Sorry to be a complete moaner today but I think the BBC coverage is now second to Sky, Suzie Perry is out of her depth compared to Jake Humprey in my opinion.

      1. Seán Craddock says:

        I have to say I was incredibly annoyed that BBC’s online content was not working. Kept coming and going. And when the onboard video came back it was showing Webber’s onboard, even though he’d retired 15 laps earlier!!

      2. Simmo says:

        Give her a bit more time to warm up. She’ll get better with more experience.

      3. Peter C says:

        She’s had plenty of experience with bikes, but Suzie Perry just isn’t good enough to give the information needed, she appears “starstruck” when talking to drivers & team managers & can’t think quickly enough for her next question to ask.

        It doesn’t help that she gazes at Coulthard when she is speaking, then says “David?” when she can’t think of another subject to comment on.

        A shame that Lee McKenzie didn’t get the gig, as she is cool under pressure & knowledgeable about F1.

        I didn’t expect to miss Jake Humphrey, but he is very professional.

      4. Simmo says:

        Peter C | True, she doesn’t think of the next question in time, but that should come with time and experience. Yes – she had experience with MotoGP, but that is slightly different from F1, and it was quite some time ago now.

        It is quite annoying how she gazes at DC, but hopefully that too will stop shortly.

      5. aezy_doc says:

        Give her time, Jake got better with time and so will Suzie. She’s clearly nervous as this was her 1st live show, but those nerves will go after 4-5 races and she’ll be in the groove.

      6. Joe B says:

        @Truth or Lies – I agreed with Villeneuve as well today – whilst there was a lot going on, very little of it was exciting. But, the quality of the races in general is much better, and if we get the odd duff race amongst the neo-classics then so be it. Can’t believe the stewards can’t make a single in-race decision however; if the FIA doesn’t clarify why this is, people might start to think they’re incompetent…

        About the BBC coverage – in fairness to Suzie it is her first live race; it took Jake a good season to find his feet.

        James, any chance of you getting to do a podium interview?

      7. James Allen says:

        No, but I have been asked to do the official press conference moderation

      8. Methusalem says:

        Coulthard was very boring!

      9. Simmo says:

        @Methusalem | No he was not! He was fine :P

      10. Joel says:

        Coulthard was snubbed by Alonso on the podium… it was painful and silly (Coulthard’s question) to watch. He almost looked frightened to ask questions.

      11. Adam says:

        Yeah, DC must have heard them talking about something relative to have done it. ALO seemed embarrassed once DC asked him

      12. Joel says:

        Well, I thought Coulthard should have felt embarrassed. It was silly to ask what he did and Alonso handled it very well.

      13. Tanaka says:

        Well when Ferrari say that the sport needs to move away from Aerodynamic to Mechanical grip everyone screams out that they can’t live with Newey. But then this is what Aerodynamics has led us to, car’s that can’t follow each other, hence the intervention of artificial measures DRS & degrading tyres to make races worth watching. Farcical.

      14. J R says:

        ++++ it is all about “ARTIFICIAL OVERTAKING”!!!!

      15. Tim says:

        Sorry to be a complete moaner today but I think the BBC coverage is now second to Sky, Suzie Perry is out of her depth compared to Jake Humphrey
        Isn’t it funny how one mans meat is another’s poison. I haven’t watched BBC F1 coverage since Sky got the gig. Sky are far better in my opinion. I remember when Jake started on the F1, I thought he was dreadful (although he grew on me). And I can’t stand Eddie Jordan. He usually contradicts himself in the same sentence,and as for those ridiculous shirts, well I don’t know what to say :-)

      16. vuelve kowalsky says:

        it’s because thosse sentences are so long. It seems, he is never going to stop talking.

      17. Simmo says:

        I like EJ. He put’s everybody else to shame in my opinion ;)

        Although, I can see why people don’t; he does have extremely strong and controversial views.

      18. Jonathan says:

        Out of her depth? Give her a break – Suzie was presenting her first live race and showed she had done her homework. At least she has motorsport in her blood – unlike Jake who jumped ship as soon as another offer came along. Suzie showed more knowledge than Jake ever did.

        I too would have liked Lee to get the gig but Suzie is certainly not as bas some anchors we have seen.

      19. Matthew says:

        If you think Eddie’s shirts are ridiculous, you watch ice hockey in Canada; Don Cherry far outstrips EJ in bad fashion!

      20. Marc S says:

        Agreed – so far for me the BBC pre / post race coverage isn’t great. Jake H was a great presenter and knitted the whole thing together. Best example of this is that SKY have basically completely copied BBC coverage with a few tweaks (SKY PAD etc). I’m sure Suzi will get better though.

        For me just now – Pre/ post race on SKY.
        Actual race coverage from BBC when available live. I love DC – funny and knowledgable. Always enjoyed Ben Edwards since his Eurosport F1 + Champ Car days.

      21. Timmay says:

        Yes, Eddie Jordans comments after the race were total nonsense. Rather than any kind of classic – this was a mediocre race with some excitement in the first 10 laps but then the top guy won by 10sec and the others went @ 90% and only passed by way of DRS. Classic? Worst race of the year infact, and totally average.

      22. Joe Papp says:

        Suzi Perry is not a good fit for F1. She might master the nerves after a few more races, but that still doesn’t address her profound lack of current and historic (cultural) F1 knowledge. This isn’t an attack on her personally – I just don’t think that she’s professionally competent for the role she’s been assigned, and it’s making the coverage second-best in all cases compared to SKY.

      23. Darren says:

        Give her time. I thought the Sky coverage last year wasn’t great, Simon thingee was wooden and out of his depth and Georgie was just annoying. Simon seems to have done his homework over the winter and is much better this year IMO. Not much to pick between the commentators though, I could take either of the main commentators and where MB is probably a bit more knowledgeable DC is more enthusiastic.

        I remember back in 2009 when BBC started, the chat between the three guys was pretty cringeworthy but they soon gelled and for the last 2 – 3 years they were the best broadcasting team. Jake had a few detractors but you have to admit he is class, a true professional even if you don’t like his style.

    3. Bring Back Murray says:

      I don’t know what to say here. I’m an F1 purest at heart. I’d like to see full downforce, tyres that don’t go off after 5 laps. The lap records being broken every year. The old style track being put back at Hokkenhiem.

      But I have to say I rather enjoyed watching that race!

      1. vuelve kowalsky says:

        you forgot; a driver getting hurt once in a while, so we feel it’s still dangerous.

      2. vuelve kowalsky says:

        i am not trying to be sarcastic. It’s my opinion.

      3. Jamie says:

        I grew up on f1 in the late eighties. I loved it as a petrol head but when I think back now we would lucky to see ten overtakes in the season by the time we arrived at Monaco. Sport is in the entertainment industry and I for one have loved the last couple of seasons. As per last season by mid season the teams will be on top of the tyres. I am hoping all the people wanting the tyres to be similar to the sticky Bridgestone era are not being serious as I think now I am older with less time to spare would not go out of my way to continue to watch a procession with overtakes in the pitlane.

      4. John Gibson says:

        It was precisely because of the lap records being broken every year in the 1980s that chicanes began springing up everywhere to slow them down (well before Imola 1994). Be careful what you wish for.

      5. Jonathan says:

        You may be a purest- but you are daft if you seriously believe cars can be allowed to be faster every year. These are cars that have to go around bends on varying types of track.

        Maybe you should be watching drag cars.

    4. magic carpet says:

      Anti-climax??? Not from my perspective, ‘course I’m not focussed on Marussia, Caterham and Williams as you seem to be.

      1. Seán Craddock says:

        Nope, I watched the race, and by doing that I saw the battle at the front. There was absolutely zero tv time for the battles further back so I kept checking the times.

        If anything I proved that I’m not focused on any particular part of the grid by looking at the back of the grid when so many others just look at the top 10 battle.

        OK, it was exciting watching Vettel after the last pit stop. But in the end it didn’t amount to anything

    5. Arnie S says:

      I definitely don’t ser tis as an anti-climax. It was à LOT overtaking, strategies that made RAI overtake HAM and VET racing in to the end.

      If you want a complete “who’s fastest” THAT is boooooring. Because then you could just put the car in quali mode and add 56 laps. The combination of driving fast, managing car and tyres, making correct pit strategy, that’s racing.

      Hats off to ALO, he was the driver of the day, but the fight for 2-3-4 was incredibly exciting.

    6. W Johnson says:

      And the award for the best tyre preserving driver goes to…..

      So glad I decided not to pay SKY for F1 this year.

    7. Rishi says:

      My conclusion from the race is that we’ve come full circle. As recently as three or four years ago, people moaned about how races were essentially decided by strategy and that there was no overtaking.

      Now the combination of fast-degrading tyres and a double DRS zone led to a race where again the key aspect of strategy. As soon as one guy on newer tyres caught a guy on older ones, they would sail straight past them – either in the DRS zone or even elsewhere. This made overtaking inevitable and essentially meaningless; thus the only interesting point (and indeed differentiating factor) was whether drivers went “Soft-Medium-Medium-Medium”, “Medium-Medium-Medium-Soft” or on a two-stopper.

      Tbf Vettel’s pursuit of Hamilton livened up the end of the race and it wasn’t a bad race overall. But it is funny how the solution to ‘no overtaking, only strategy is important’ has, on this race’s evidence, become ‘overtaking as soon as one car caught another on fresher tyres and sometimes DRS, hence only strategy is important!’

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        It was only a few weeks ago, on another topic on this site that someone mentioned about Renault engined cars making way for their “team-mates”

        Was it only me that noticed on the last 2 laps, Caterham holding up Lewis and him calling for blue flags, then when the Renault engined Red Bull had caught up, they both passed the Caterham easily?

      2. Rishi says:

        Good point. It seemed to be though that Lewis, having caught the Caterham, then dropped back a little bit and wasn’t swarming all over it. So it led me to think that maybe his tyres were reaching the cliff. That said it’s also true that the Caterham did let them both through when Vettel caught him, so it does appear that he didn’t make it as easy as he could have done for Lewis. More generally, I guess we’ll have to keep a close eye out for on-track collusion between Renault-engined teams to see if the evidence stacks up.

      3. Jordan says:

        Two words: short memory

    8. Dave C says:

      As I said before the season Redbull didn’t have the fastet car no one would believe but its pretty clear now just as I said before the season Mercedes have the fastest car over 1 lap but Ferrari have a best car for the race and Lotus will be there abouts, Redbull needs to install that cheat active suspension as soon as possible, they’re 0.4sec on average off the pace.

  2. Quade says:

    Great race for Alonso! Very dominant!

    Its sad how Vettel was able to put on a charge toward the end from not running in Q3, it the silly tyres. They have now officially devalued quali. Its annoying.

    1. Sebastian says:

      I don’t agree about the tyres. I found it exhilarating. Great end of the race. First the battle between HAM and RAI. Then VET catching HAM.

      Agree though that Alonso was outstanding. Not a foot wrong making it look so easy.

      1. Simmo says:

        +1 about the tyres. Fascinating race, and I was on the edge of my sofa as Vettel ran wide with 3 corners to go!

      2. How was it fascinating? If Vettel had caught Hamilton he would have sailed straight past? What’s exciting about that?

        They used to say “Catching is one thing, passing is something different altogether”. I can’t think of any catchphrase that would sum up today’s joke of a race.

      3. Quade says:

        @James Clayton
        Its not just about sailing past. What would it have said about F1 if a guy that didn’t bother to qualify had ended up on the podium? If Pirelli don’t make drastic changes to the tyres, then the sham in China will become the norm and all drivers would simply sit out quali, cos they get a set of better wearing, fresh tyres as reward. Someone like Ricciardo should have come fourth instead.

      4. magic carpet says:

        +1 on the tyre issue, but if Raikkonnen hadn’t been let down by his race engineer’s start settings and been hit by Perez, Alonso would have finished where he started-behind Kimi.

      5. KRB says:

        Seriously doubt it. Alonso had pace to spare.

      6. Unbiased observer says:

        What race were you watching? Alonso had this race in the bag and Kimi wasn’t going to catch him even if his wing was never damaged. Ferrari’s race pace was incredible. Kimi will get another chance in Bahrain for the win, but he was out of this one after the start today.

      7. Wayne says:

        But they were not straight out battles of speed vs speed and skill vs skill, they were ALL about the tyres……

      8. Garth says:

        Alonso had speed, skill and good tyre management. It’s not his fault that Hamilton couldn’t keep up. If the tyres were great, the result doesn’t change. Alonso was winning no matter what. The F138 is just wicked fast. Everyone is crying about the DRS zones, would you rather see Alonso wait for Hamilton to pit and then have him pass him through the pit stop rotations like Schumacher used to do to everyone for so many years? It is the formula that all teams agreed to and had a year to prepare for. Mercedes need to improve their car plain and simple.

      9. Sebastian says:

        Managing tyres takes skill… and it’s not just about the car as the difference in performance between team mates show. I think you guys need to start enjoying the positives of this season instead of digging too deep into the negatives.

      10. hero_was_senna says:

        Look back at the mid 80′s, those races were all about fuel management.

        Find a copy of Imola 1985, this is what wikipedia says about the race..

        “The 1985 San Marino Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race held at Imola on May 5, 1985. It was the third round of the 1985 Formula One season. It was the fifth San Marino Grand Prix.

        Limited fuel allowances played a big part in the race, as a succession of drivers ran out in the last few laps. Alain Prost (McLaren MP4/2B) took the chequered flag before stopping on the slowing-down lap and being found to be 2 kg underweight in post-race scrutineering, meaning disqualification. Elio de Angelis (Lotus 97T) was initially disqualified for the same reason but was reinstated.[1] Williams driver Nigel Mansell noted that “it wasn’t really racing”. Stefan Johansson (Ferrari 156/85) drove from 15th to 1st before running out of fuel.”

        Pay close attention to what Mansell, IMO one of the best racers ever in F1 history said.

        Prost was nicknamed the professor because he used his intelligence rather than his speed to win races.

        I’m sorry, everyone can complain about F1 tyres, but there has always been some limiting factor throughout the years.

      11. Jordan says:

        Good point @hero-was-senna

        Moaners will be moaners

      12. Sebee says:

        Funny how RBR are 1,2 last race and then fall apart this race.

        Alonso earned it big time. And so after just races it is a 3 way race for WDC by the looks of it.

      13. Tornillo Amarillo says:

        It was EASY for Kimi in Australia.
        It was EASY to Vettel in Malaysia.
        It was EASY to Alonso in Chine.
        It will EASY to … in Bahrain.

        It is EASY to understand why if drivers cannot attack for tire reasons. Now it is a strategic game.

        But we discuss it again and again because is funny to discuss (and free of charge)!

        It is what it is, still if you don’t like it.
        Move on.
        Don’t worry, be happy, things aren’t so bad.

      14. Red Rider says:

        Okay Tornillo. You made me smile. I’ll try and have a good day. Cheers.

    2. Bring Back Murray says:

      I really hope he can get his third WDC this year. He sure deserves it.

      And I think on today’s evidence he has a great chance. He put on a master-class drive today.

      Stormed through the pack early after dropping back after his first pit stop then kept up excellent pace right the way through the race.

      1. K5enny says:

        He already has 3 titles.
        –Heres to a fourth!!

    3. Craig D says:

      Well the guys who qualified up front still finished top so I don’t think it devalued qualifying. If Button and Vettel had dominated the race then yes.

      There must be a way of resolving this so that we can still have mixed starting race strategies but everyone wants to do the very best they can in qualifying.

      My suggestion would be to give everyone extra options for qualifying, so that everyone in the top 10 qualifies on these ‘quali only tyres’ but before the whole qualifying event begins, each car has to privately choose and inform the FIA which tyre they will start the race on (if they make it into the top 10).

      Doing this will ensure we have a proper top 10 shoot out. It could also allow some mixed strategies where those on the front rows may decide to start on primes and aim to stay in clear air for as long as possible while someone who’s say 3rd might go for the options to attack early on. Additionally it would resolve the slight unfairness that P11 can start on new tyres but P10 usually can’t.

      In reality you may just get everyone starting on options still, or whatever the best race tyre for that event is but you mostly get the top 10 starting on the same tyre anyway.

      1. Craig D says:

        To be clear, I mean that the top 10 would then start on a fresh set of their nominated starting tyre and disgard the quali ones. Yes it would cost more but it would be a drop in the ocean compared to the sport as a whole. And anyway, all those wets and inters get binned after each race from what I understand.

    4. Mack says:

      Maybe get rid of all the artificial rubbish and make them do a real gear change – yes that means up and down with a manual gearbox – and a real start and then we would see who can actually drive a car.

      1. Richard D says:

        With you on that!

      2. Dan says:

        It’s called technological progress

      3. Mack says:


        Certainly true – but more technology doesn’t mean they drive the car any better, just more driver aids that make it less of a drivers responsibility and more of a computer programmers. Both tyre designer and computer programmer/Tech funnily enough aren’t actually driving the car.

    5. Carlos says:

      But when qualy determines the race, the latter is dreadfully boring. I’ll still take this formula over 2005, and even 2006.

  3. Quade says:

    Lewis has again demonstrated his immense speed by dragging the car where it didn’t belong. Nico was nowhere in the sister car until he retired though. He’s two DNF’s this season so far, you’ve got to feel for the guy.

    1. Sebastian says:

      Maybe Nico has inherited Schumachers car parts…

      1. Simmo says:

        Well, last year it was Schumacher, this year Rosberg… Mercedes need to sort out their reliability if they want to be at the top.

      2. Doobs says:

        They’ll get there, already the car is a lot better this season.

      3. Timmay says:

        Doobs – how is this years Mercedes better? Last year they won from pole to flag, this year they scraped home 3rd?

    2. VP of Common Sense says:

      Yes and no. Pretty alarming that Hamilton couldn’t overtake a car that had a damaged nose come and was missing half of the wing elements on the right side. Considering Massa’s and Red Bull’s troubles, Hamilton should have made the podium and he did so. He did his job, nothing more or less.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Sebastian was one of the fastest guy last year in Brazil after his crash. You can’t be sure that Kimi lost a lot of performance today. Alonso was impressive, yet Kimi was just 10 seconds behind him.

      2. Sebastian says:

        Räikkönen got more understeer after the accident, which in turn degraded the tyres faster, but obviously it handled well enough. Fortunately the Hamiltons Merc had worse degradation. The first 5-6 laps of the last stint looked like HAM would catch RAI but then his tyres dropped off more. However, with one more lap they both would have fallen prey to Vettel.

        Anywho, the clash between PER and RAI was on lap 16. So he ran with the damaged front wing for 40 laps. So he would have had to have lost around 2 tenths per lap on average to affect the outcome of the race. Not impossible, he was driving very well.

      3. brny666 says:

        Alexander Supertramp, he was only fast because the rain masked how hopelessly down on power his car was (you can’t go full speed in the rain) when it started to dry up mid race he started falling back. Plus he is one of the genuinely good drivers in the wet.

      4. magic carpet says:

        That “damaged car” you’re alarmed Hamilton wasn’t able to pass was driven by the best driver in F1.

      5. [MISTER] says:

        In your opinion!

        The best driver, according to the votes of all team principals last year was Alonso. Also, Alonso was voted the best driver on this website for the past 3 years.

        And that’s not just my opinion, but facts! :)

      6. Wheels says:

        Magic Carpet!

        Not, quite, right my man….

        Kimi suffered no real wing damage, only a smash at the very tip of his car’s nose, that minimally affected his car’s handling, giving him some under-steer…. (a lot better that over-steer!)

        The Mercedes chassis/suspension is, obviously, still really tough on tires and just hasn’t arrived, yet, in terms of real race winning pace. Otherwise, Lewis drove a highly intelligent race and put the car, once again, on the podium, where it, truly, doesn’t belong.

        Just check out his teammate’s early race position, during today’s Grand Prix.

      7. brny666 says:

        @[MISTER] Facts that are based purely on opinion.

      8. David Ryan says:

        [MISTER]: Collective opinion is still an expression of opinion as opposed to fact. Sebastian Vettel won International Racing Driver of the Year Award at the end-of-season Autosport Awards last year, so evidently the voters in that felt he was the best driver. It’s all very subjective at the end of the day.

        Wheels: Understeer on a circuit which kills front tyres as a matter of course is certainly not an improvement – the understeer results in more heat through the front tyre owing to the increased sliding and friction, causing more degradation (which is exactly what happened). Oversteer isn’t great either, but out of the two Raikkonen would probably have preferred the latter as then he would at least maintain front grip, which is critical in the longer corners. But for his damage, I believe he could easily have challenged for the win, so all things considered that was a supreme effort by Kimi.

      9. NickH says:

        ‘No real wing damage’ Could you see his wing?! Did you actually watch the race!? Not by the sound of it.. Half his wing structure was ripped off, and he had a lot of understeer. He would have had a chance to catch Alonso if it wasn’t for the idiot Perez

      10. Wheels says:

        Nick H!

        Get a grip, homey…. No one’s ever going to run at the front of a Grand Prix with half a front wing on a circuit like Shanghai’s. I’d advise you to check out a video of the race and Kimi’s car. He didn’t even risk the pit stop to change it and even stated (on the car’s pit radio) that the handling was manageable.

        Mr. Ryan,

        So, is it possible to consistently steer through long constant radius bends like Shanghai’s circuit with snap oversteer, while maintain race podium pace for dozens of laps. And what about the wear on your rear Pirellis? No, I disagree?

        Understeer is preferable in a best of the worst case scenario like Kimi had at his disposal. Räikkönen could not have driven with such pace dealing with twitchy oversteer!

      11. Heinzman (Fan of: ALO) says:

        If his wing was so ‘badly damaged’ he would have changed the nose and copped the net extra 9 seconds on top of his race time; he chose not to change the nose, so it must not have been worth more than a 9 second loss over the race in Kimi’s mind. He did not get within 9 seconds of ALO, therefore he could not challenge him.

      12. King says:

        We all know the the lotus is faster, plus from what i gather in the interviews, the damage on the lotus wasn’t all that great. It resulted in kimi having over steer, which Lewis had also due to his tire collecting too much rubber.
        So all in all, it was a very skilled drive, it’s just that his competition has got better car performance.

      13. magic carpet says:

        If Kimi says “the damage wasn’t all that great” it translates as “the damage was so great every other driver would have come in for a new nose”! You seem to have a problem with the Kimglish language. Losing downforce forward caused under-steer, not over-steer, and that is exactly what Kimi reported, so you got that 180 degrees confused too.
        Ross Braun stated “Hamilton’s front WING collected rubber, not his front TYRES and which reduced downforce, causing understeer. When the rubber jarred loose, clearing the front element, his understeer went away.
        If some rubber bits collected by the Mercedes front wing destroyed Lewis’ downforce, imagine what the absence of Kimi’s entire right side forplane element, a hole you could put both hands through and a flapping door the size of a license plate on the nose of his car did for his handling!

      14. Joel says:

        @magic carpet
        Kimi’s had a decent amount of damage on his car. He must have definitely had understeer. However, a freakishly few damages have beneficial tendencies. I do remember a case where a damaged car was disqualified after the race because the damage actually assisted the car.
        A damage like what Kimi had should’ve resulted in lot more performance loss than what Kimi had. So, while I believe he suffered understeer, he may also have benefitted from the big hole there by limiting his performance loss.

      15. Richard says:

        Raikkonen’s car was clearly not too badly affected otherwise he would have fallen back considerably. Hamilton’s car simply did not have the race pace, and had more rapid tyre wear than Ferrari and Lotus. The Ferrari’s are also clearly fast starting cars. That said Alonso drove an exceeding good race as we’ve come to expect from him. – First class!

      16. magic carpet says:

        I think you are badly underestimating how much of Raikkonnen’s performance is due to his skill and how much is due the car.
        The damage to the Lotus wing and nose was severe.

      17. Richard says:

        No I’ve looked again at Raikkenon’s front wing, and yes there’s damage, but not that severe, and frankly had the wing performance been reduced significantly no amount of skill would compensate for the car not working reasonably well. Had Raikkenon changed his wing he would most likely have given second place back to Hamilton.

      18. Elie says:

        It was clearly underestimated because you have a driver capable of driving any car in any condition better than any driver driving a car in pristine condition. He is also the most understated driver ever. He was set on fire in 2008 in the Ferrari and said it was “not too bad”. You have to understand some people are very understated /modest and others are big mouthed show boaters.It works against him with people who know no better.

      19. Heinzman (Fan of: ALO) says:

        +1 Richard, magic carpet: if it was so bad why did he not change it?

      20. Joel says:

        Please see my comment about on this.

      21. Quade says:

        Yes, its alarming that the Merc turned out to be so slow on race day. Lewis did an extraordinary job of placing it on pole.

      22. Alexander Supertramp says:

        They are not realy’so slow’, Mercedes is there or thereabouts (or to quote Brawn: “we’re not quite there yet”). But the gap is not huge.

      23. VP of Common Sense says:

        Alex, the fact is that Hamilton hasn’t been close to Alonso’s pace in 3 GP. Alonso would have beaten him for a podium in Malaysia if he wouldn’t have hit Vettel in the rain. The gap is there and Mercedes have much work to do.

      24. Torchwood Five says:

        Strange that Kimi did not opt to have the nose replaced, so it could not have damaged his aero that much.
        Shouldn’t really talk up the effect on the podium if you have chosen not to get it replaced.

      25. brny666 says:

        He wanted it replaced but the team choose not to.

      26. David Ryan says:

        Changing a nosecone adds about 10 seconds onto the length of a pit stop, which at the point in the race they were looking at would more likely have dropped him into traffic. It’s a question of weighing up the risks.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Strong week-end from Lewis. He could inheritate 2nd if Kimi gets a penalty..

      1. Stephen Taylor says:

        Mark Blunndell won’t be going home anytime soon.

      2. Me says:

        Who really wants to see that?

      3. KRB says:

        What would the penalty be for, may I ask? Was Kimi one of the cars that used DRS under yellows? I thin that will be given a pass this time out, b/c it’s to do with the McLaren system on each car not being able to automatically disable its use.

      4. Sebastian says:

        No further action for breach of DRS. There were a host of mitigating factors, including a green light shown on the straight and a one-minute delay on issuing the message to disable-DRS.

      5. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Correct decision I recall.

    4. Craig D says:

      Rosberg has really had some Webber style misfortune so far.

      1. J R says:

        it s the Mercedes # 7 effect!! remember Schumacher?

      2. KRB says:

        Rosberg’s #9.

  4. Rob says:

    DRS overtakes are so dull… that is the only feeling I got from this pace… (we can’t really call it a race anymore, as the drivers are so limited).

    I watched an old school video – the cars give you a much better sense of speed, and the slipstreaming is breathtaking… what we see now is mind numbing.

    1. Quade says:

      Its the new dumbed down formula with even dumber tyres.

    2. Wayne says:

      Agreed. It’s nothing like as ‘pure’ as it used to be sadly. Some people find the artificially engineered situations thrilling but these are mostly magpies, oooooh look at the shiny shiny!

      1. Spinodontosaurus says:

        And then you get people making sensationalist comments about how F1 is bad nowadays.

        China was a bit of a dud, but 1 dud out of 20 is preferable to 18/18 boring processions, which is exactly what we had before all this evil artificiality.

      2. Andrew M says:

        I’d take the “boring processions” of the single supplier Bridgestone years from 2007-2010 over today’s tyres and regulations in a heartbeat.

      3. Jamie says:

        +1 people have short memories or never watched the sport before the last 5 years

      4. Sebee says:

        I think every era had their highlights. The key is to try to enjoy each one era and the variety.

        I really enjoy fries (aka chips). I don’t have it all the time with everything.

    3. magic carpet says:

      Would you prefer no overtakes at all? Look at the passes Alonso made with DRS in reserve so he could use it afterwards to consolidate his overtaking.
      Your apathy means you’re definitely not a Raikkonnen fan!

      1. Quade says:

        I don’t see what being a Raikkonnen fan has to do with wanting the return of pure racing. Its not a partisan thing.
        I would rather have DRS than silly tyres, though. Because DRS is at least, within the drivers control and so, better than a 3rd party killing the sport by trying to roll dice with the tyres for the entertainment of football fans who would never appreciate or pay to watch or fund F1 anyway.

    4. Craig D says:

      I agree, DRS was too strong. It could have been half the length, or perhaps not even required with such a long straight (and others could make overtakes in sector 2 so this track wasn’t one whee overtaking was naturally impossible).

      When DRS is set well it can add to the quality of a race I find, but not today.

      I mean we had BOTH Ferraris flying past Hamilton in one corner for goodness sake!

    5. Alexander Supertramp says:

      You’re kind of right. There was very little genuine racing. It’s ALL about tyre management and managing lap times, so everybody is affraid to race because it could mean having to make another pitstop. We had a nice “show”, but this is not what f1 should be about. We have got the show back, now it’s time to enhance performance and bring back the fierce battles!

    6. JPS says:

      Dito on the DRS overtakes. It will be curious to see how the world reacts to the new F1 film Rush.

      The film will show a different era, no DRS and more risk. Drivers in the modern era like Vettel have no fear partly because the cars and tracks are so much safer.

      Will people look at the current F1 and thinks less of it? Or wish it is more like the 70s?

      Will the film change the power dynamics in the Merc team as Niki Lauda will now gain respect from past and current F1 fans. I mean the film is basically about him and James Hunt.

      Have Merc hired Niki on purpose as it will give the team great publicity?

      The trailer looks fantastic.

      1. Martin says:

        I suspect the impact of the film will be limited. The technical regulations and the main players have been set for longer than the consciousness of the film is likely to last.

        To turn back the clock on the racing would be difficult. How to regulate that some cars should have good engines and crap chassis and others the other way around? What you had was a race-to-race variation of what car suited which track. In some cases the gaps between the cars were huge – three cars on the lead lap, for example. Drivers still had to conserve, which allowed drivers to out-brake each other much more easily.

        A film will always be able to cherry pick the exciting bits of a season. In the same way as people look at Villeneuve and Arnoux in Dijon 79 as a highlight, ignoring that it was two laps out of an era.

        On Lauda, I doubt the Daimler board is going to have its opinions changed by what the casual F1 watcher, who may not know much of Lauda’s career or know he owned an airline or two, thinks.

      2. BW says:

        /The film will show a different era, no DRS/

        But lots of slipstreaming. Alonso’s pass on Button was so 70′s.

      3. Sebastian says:

        Wasn’t Niki Lauda instrumental in convincing Hamilton to join Merc?

    7. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      Two DRS zones maybe is too much?

      1. Yup. Two too much(many).

      2. Arnie S says:

        Yes, agree

  5. Elie says:

    Congrats to Ferrari and Fernando – as predicted earlier if the Ferrari for off the line better it would win- & it did.

    A sensational drive by Kimi with a damaged car- very few drivers can bring a damaged car home with that sort of pace. Whilst I was dirty on Perez for pushing him wide – I understand the decision not to penalise cause Kimi was in his blind spot on the outside of the curve.

    Great drive from Seb and I would find it hard to split Seb and Kimis drive today. Bring on Bahrain !

    1. Quade says:

      Both Perez and Jenson were guilty of weaving to defend their positions. Perez, especially should have been punished.

    2. Simmo says:

      Absolutely flying start from the prancing horses – and incredible overtaking Hamilton!

      Disagree about Perez. It wasn’t his fist time that race that he had defended unfairly. It was bound to cause an accident and it did. He should have been penalised.

      1. Elie says:

        The one thing I really get angry at Perez is he always jinks very quickly toward a car trying to pass Suzuka last year in Hamilton and even Melb this year with Kimi- who was miles faster . It a very dangerous practise which will wope 2 cars off one day .I might have to replay this a few times to be sure it was very difficult to judge and my first instinct was he “did not leave the space” regardless of whether he saw him or not.. He needed to leave that space/ inside or outside-but dc or brundle were suggesting he was not to expect a pass on the outside-when you have the best overtaker in the world near you- that’s not a valid argument. The only question remains is how far along was Kimi going into the turn. Very marginal but still not the sign of a great driver which I I thought Sergio would be.

      2. Andrew M says:

        Yes, it was incredible watching Alonso and Massa press a button on their steering wheel and drive past Hamilton before the breaking zone.

  6. David says:

    What an amazing finish. Thankfully Hamilton just held on. Not enough information on the investigations pending but would be a hammer blow to McLaren’s already stuttering Start if Button punished as a 20 second penalty would put him down in 9th potentially.

    1. Andrew M says:

      Due to the confusion there will be no penalties for any of the yellow flag DRS usages. Moral of the story – if you’re going to break the rules, do it along with half the field.

  7. yassin says:

    Hi James,

    Would Kimi have won had he kept Alonso behind him?

    1. James Allen says:

      I think Ferrari had some pace in hand, but it’s hard to know.

      if RAI had stayed P2 off the start line, would have been a hell of a race for the win.

      1. Simmo says:

        Also, had he not been pushed off by Perez.

      2. LEM says:

        I heard Lotus pitwall saying “Sorry about the start…” to Kimi. Was this a setting error?

      3. Sebastian says:

        Sounded like a clutch calibration issue. But even with a good start, he was on the dirty side and I think he would have been third even though it was a short run to the first corner.

        Being on the dirty side gives too much penalty IMHO, not much debate about that though.

        HAM, ALO and MAS started well from the clean side. RAI and ROS lost positions (not sure about GRO and BUT). Although RAI lost a lot more.

  8. [MISTER] says:

    Great race and result for Alonso and Ferrari.

    I giggled on the podium after the national anthem when Kimi was picking up his trophy and champange to go away and realised there’s still the interviews :))

    I also found amuzing during the race when Ferrari told Alonso not to push after doing the fastest lap to that point..and he replied “I’m not pushing” :))

    1. Elie says:

      Gotta love Kimi- give me my drink & f/o. I think that’s all he races for !

  9. Mitchel says:

    Great race!

    More importantly is that the first time we’ve had the ’05 to ’08 champions on the podium in chronological order?

    Sounds like something goferet would let us in on?

    If only Button could’ve squeezed ahead of Vettel too…..

  10. FerrariFan says:

    Great performance by Alonso! A happy day for Ferrari fans.

    Funny they requested not to swear once Kimi made it to the podium.

    Anybody thought the podium interview was a bit strange in the end with DC suddenly cutting off Hamilton and jumping to know what the other two were talking about.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      It must be difficult doing the interviews live like that just after the end of the race and knowing what to say. He probably just wanted to be spontaneous!

    2. iceman says:

      I think he had overheard Kimi and Fernando criticising Pirelli, and was hoping to get them to say something controversial.

      1. Sufyaan Patel says:

        Yes, I thought that was a tad rude against Hamilton. DC normally has good manners. One off blip I guess.

        Funny how neither Kimi and Alonso gave anything away about the conversation. Nice to see them getting on too :)

      2. Muldog says:

        DC is such a dog, making that not very subtle comment about ALO’s gf and private celebrations!

      3. FerrariFan says:

        Alonso being cautious said he cant say what they talked about, while Kimi being Kimi at least revealed what they talked about.

        But I don’t think they will be highly critical about the tires (at least publicly) as the current situation seems to favor Ferrari and Lotus.

        The steward decisions after the race were shocking. Webber got a penalty and Perez didn’t. I thought he was weaving all over the place to defend his position.

  11. Sebastian says:

    Fact error in text. Raikkönen finished 10s off Alonso. Still, the contact with Perez was early in the race so a couple of tenths better lap time would have made a big difference.

      1. Sebastian says:

        James, I would love to read a post about the penalty of starting on the dirty side of the grid. Maybe there is a case to be made for compensating by moving the gridboxes further up. Something for the FIA to look into.

  12. MJSib says:

    Brilliant from Alonso. Great to see Vettel not making the podium. Had he done so after not running in Q3 would have made a joke out of F1

    1. Uh says:

      You can blame the tyres for that, not the drivers or teaqms tryong to maximize the tools they get.

      1. Doobs says:

        Same deal for all.

      2. So a bum deal is fine as long as everybody is getting it??

  13. 180110 says:

    The cream always rises to the top whatever the condition, what with all this nonsense tyre talk going around.

    4 worthy world champions in the top 4 places. And another world champion a place back. 3 winners from 3 races. Cracking season.

    Wanted Raikkonen to win but would’ve been tough even without the Perez incident. The start did more damage than the coming together with Perez. Alonso deserved this one overall.

    Looking forward to some more of the same in Bahrain. Bring it on!

    1. 180110 says:

      Just to add, the races are awesome, its the quali they have to tweak a bit to make Saturdays worth attending for the spectators.

  14. Mike84 says:

    Can’t help wishing the DRS had been a little weaker, and the soft tires a little stronger.

    1. azac21 says:

      If DRS was weaker then the drivers would avoid pushing for an overtake altogether to prevent rapid tyre degradation. DRS today allowed them to overtake without destroying their tyres within 2 laps….

      1. Timmay says:

        Fair point. I’ve always been strongly anti DRS but it might be all that stops these races producing absolutely no action at all.

  15. Anne says:

    Fantastic job by Ferrari and Alonso. Also a great performance by Kimi and Lewis. I really hope the 3 of them can keep this momentum for the rest of the season. Those 3 are worthy of the championship


    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      4 champions within 12 points. I guess everybody who loves f1, no matter which driver you prefer, should hope that the season remains as close as it is now.

  16. F1 Bobby says:

    Gutierrez is very poor. Funding or no he should be replaced at Sauber. Bianchi continues to impress.

    Exciting race at the front, nice to see the championship tighten up too. 8/10 from me.

    1. Simmo says:

      I think it was a bad decision to replace the experienced Kobayashi like that.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Agree on Gutierrez, but it’s still only his 3rd race. Let’s evaluate his situation by mid-season. Bianchi has talent, but he is fighting guys who don’t belong in F1, so they make him look good. Would love to see him drive a Sauber, Force India or Williams.

      1. Red Rider says:

        You will!

  17. Craig D says:

    Finish was tense and a kind of interesting race but it lacked ‘bite’ for me because the DRS was WAY too strong. The was no question marks over overtakes as it was so easy.

    There wasn’t really any tension about whether I driver could get past a car to make his strategy work and vice versa whether a driver could defend to make theirs work.

    It was more like a rally race with the cars as ‘ghost cars’ (with the exception of those that collided of course haha!) so most cars could pretty much drive the race they wanted.

    Still, great performance from Alonso, Kimi, Lewis, and Vettel for making his options work.

    On another note, notice how both Massa and Grosjean finished 44s behind their team mates but in the first stint they were both right behind Alonso and Raikkonen. For sure some of that is due to the ‘number 1s’ being simply better but I think their team’s also compromised their ‘number 2s’ with strategy. Massa definitely lost a lot of time staying out.

    Oh, and what a bad time for Webber to have a bad race. His error trying that overtake, leading to the other unfortunate events.

    1. [MISTER] says:

      In his interview, Massa said his pace on the MEdium tyre was poor all weekend. I read on Friday that Massa was one of the best on the Soft tyre. Maybe that is how he showed so strong pace in the first stint.

      Being pitted second, undoubtedly put him on a back foot, but he was struggeling to pass Button and his times were not good at all when was in clean air.

      The F138 is definitely right at the top if not the best, so that must be encouraging for both Fernando and Felipe.

    2. AlexD says:

      It is impossible to have the best strategy for both drivers. Massa could probably finish on a podium, but he did not show the same pace as Alonso. He was very-very good on softs, but I noticed that as soon they overtook Hamilton on lat 5, Alonso have built a gap of 2.5 over Massa in the next 2 laps.

      I wish Massa would do much better in the race, I really like the guy.

      1. Craig D says:

        Yeah you’re right. Upon seeing the BBC re-run it was clearer that though Massa suffered a bit from pitting a lap later, he still could have competed at the sharp end. He simply didn’t have the medium tyre pace as Alonso and fell away. Same story with the Lotus boys really.

  18. Andrew M says:

    Two questions:

    (a) Could Ferrari have stacked their drivers in the pits a la Mercedes at the first stop? Massa was running second before the pit stop cycle and came out well down the field. They were closer than the two Merc drivers but surely the time lost would have been better than having Massa trundle round another lap while his tyres fell apart?

    (b) Why didn’t Mercedes react quicker to Raikkonen’s undercut at the final pit stops? Kimi had three laps of undercut on fresher tyres, and Lewis and Kimi had similar pace from that point in the race to the finish, surely he would have finished second?

    1. [MISTER] says:

      I don’t think they could’ve.
      The problem is that Massa was right in Alonso’s gearbox. If he would’ve followed Alonso in the pits, he would’ve blocked RedBull’s pit box exit and risked a penalty like 20sec.

      Mercedes drivers had a 3-4 sec between them and that worked out beautiful.

      1. AlexD says:

        Before the pit stop, Massa was exactly 2.5 sec behind Alonso.

    2. Martin says:

      On your second point, look at the end of the race – Hamilton was running out of tyres in the last laps and was struggling to gain on Raikkonen even though Hamilton had the fresher tyres by three laps. Raikkonen pitted at a time when Hamilton couldn’t realistically get to end. Another two laps by stopping on lap 35 rather than 37 as he did would have made Hamilton fourth behind Vettel.

      1. Andrew M says:

        Not sold on that one at all, especially losing third to Vettel. If he had track position and clear air over Kimi his tyre degradation would have have been less, because he wouldn’t have had to follow in Kimi’s dirty air and he wouldn’t have had to push as hard to get on his gearbox.

      2. Martin says:

        Without using hindsight, to me it is clear that Mercedes didn’t believe Lewis could get home effectively while doing 21 laps on those tyres. The first stint was 15 laps and Hamilton was the first to stop due to degradation. To come in a lap after Kimi would have made the second a 14 lap stint with less fuel than the first and clear air. So to expect to get home with a 21 lap stint would be very bold. Lotus clearly went quite early as with its tyre performance it could. Grosjean, running a more normal race stopped on lap 37.

        If you stop too early your overall race time takes longer as you lose time on every lap after later stop occurs and the difference tends to get bigger with every lap too.

        Add two seconds to Hamilton’s race time and Vettel with his tyre advantage would have found away by on the last lap.

    3. KRB says:

      That would’ve meant doing another two laps on the final stint, and Lewis’ tires were going off at the end of the race as it was.

      Sometimes I think they would’ve been better even going another two laps over. Yes, they will lose time on those laps, but then when they come out, they have 4-laps-fresher tires, and they have clean air to run in, and plenty of time to close the gap. To me it would be better to take a bigger gap, knowing you’re able to close it, and then with the difference in tire freshness, effect the pass more quickly. Lewis suffered b/c he couldn’t get past, and running in the dirty air helped chew the tires.

      1. Andrew M says:

        But surely pitting him and getting him back out ahead of Kimi would have reduced tyre degradation?

      2. Joel says:

        Since Kimi already had the undercut, there is no way they could’ve pitted the next lap and got ahead of Kimi – as you know, the following car has the undercut advantage.

    4. Mingojo says:

      I think Massa in lap and out lap was very poor.

    5. Joel says:

      Your answer to b) – this was the most impressive part of Ross Brawn. He was aware of the Vettel threat and was prepping Hamilton for it from a very long time – from around when he pitted for his last stop.
      Ross probably knew that the medium on Lewis won’t last long and he would be vulnerable to Kimi & Vettel if he switched early.

    6. Martin says:

      Autosport quotes Ross Brawn after the race saying Lewis couldn’t stop on lap 35 and get to the end. If the quote was accurate it was definitive, not doubtful or caution.

      1. James Allen says:

        I think the data bears that out

        Look out for analysis in the strategy report tomorrow

  19. Caterham Fan says:

    Why were so many drivers investigated for use of DRS under the yellow flag?

    1. Anne says:

      Because according to their telemetry they were doing things legally. FIA needs to look at telemetry. However I think drivers can look at the flag and not only telemetry.

      1. BW says:

        It’s known that telemetry doesn’t work well this year.

    2. Simmo says:

      I think it is silly. If the stewards don’t want them to then they are able to disable the DRS.

  20. Brett Williams says:

    Will be interesting to see what the DRS-under-yellow review will bring… but in any case an exciting finish. Stoked for Ricciardo, he was closing on Massa for the last 10 laps and might have been able to put some pressue on him if he had a few more laps up the sleeve.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      Actually he lost time by changing a nose unseen by TV. Without changing the nose he would of finished ahead of Massa . The stewards by the way have been very indecisive waiting to make decisions until race end.

  21. Dan says:

    I think it’s clear now the top 4 today are the best drivers.

    They make the difference to their teams.

    Mereceds are fourth fastest team, but the fastest driver in my opinion.

    1. Bring Back Murray says:

      Yes its a lot ress random than last season isn’t it. Despite the relative lottery of the tyre situation its the four world class drivers that are still managing to keep on coming through at the sharp end every race. For this reason I reckon this season is already better than the previous one.

  22. Elie says:

    James, In fairness Sergio Perez did not see Kimi and pushed him off the track onto the grass which is what prompted Kimi to slide into him to begin with And the comment ” “What the hell is he doing?” From Raikkonen.

    I find it amazing that Kimi did not completely loose control and crash out of the race let alone finish 2nd. Who was it that said ” he drives with the luck of a drunk” or maybe he
    has the Nordic gods on his side.. I prefer to believe he has fantastic skills.

    1. Hector Curiel says:

      IMO Perez did exactly the same move that Hamilton used on him at japan las year,

  23. Richard D says:

    What a confusing motorsport event! I won’t call it a race as there was very little real racing; just a strategy exercise dominated by varying performances of different tyres and too easy overtaking using DRS.

    Let’s get rid of the current tyre policy and have a single compound durable slick tyre that will last a whole race. The concept of tyres designed to wear out so quickly flies in the face of cost limiting policies.

    I’ve never liked DRS and today it gave way too much advantage, and is a potentially flawed technology as so many drivers are under investigation for using it under yellow flags. I thought it was switched on and off at race control so it should have been impossible to use if it had been properly disabled upon the yellow flag.

    Let’s get back to real racing!

    1. Me says:

      The single compound lasting a whole race idea never worked the last time it was tried, why would it be a good idea now?

      1. Richard D says:

        Anythings got to be better than what we have at the moment!

      2. iceman says:

        Yes quite. Having the finishing order set at the end of lap 1 is not what I’d call “real racing”.

      3. Tim says:

        It wasn’t:-)

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      There is something wrong with the real time telemetry provided by the FIA so teams have to take care of the drs themselves. You’re right when you say that there was very little genuine racing today though.

  24. Simmo says:

    Well, although the race was slightly boring in some respects – I feel very satisfied by it, and for me Pirelli have been vindicated. The tyres certainly made the race a whole lot better!

    It’s a shame that Massa just went backwards after his first pit stop – I thought he was really in with a shout of the podium.

    Dreadful driving from Perez all day to be honest – and Raikkonen certainly did something special in keeping it together and going on to take 2nd!!

    Webber’s accident was 100% his fault in my view, and it was ironic how he retired in the same place as yesterday in qualifying! He was doing well to come back from the pit lane until his accident.

    But it was another perfect drive from Fernando Alonso, in a way making up for 3 weeks ago in Malaysia ;)

    1. Kevin says:

      I would agree but Webber was informed that Vergne new he was there and appeared to leave to door open. Vergne and Webber are not in the same race and I think Webber was within his rights to make the move.

      It was all academic anyway because he lost his wheel nut.

      1. Glennb says:

        It was all academic anyway because he lost his wheel nut.

        He lost his wheel nut after hitting JEV and pitting for a new nose & tyres, due to the accident.

        He hit JEV because Seb was right behind him on fresh tyres and the pressure was too much.

    2. Mike J says:

      Webber has received a three grid spot penalty for Bahrain…it’s just gets worse
      It will be interesting how incidents like this get treated for the remainder of the year

      1. Ravi says:

        Webber has proven beyond doubt why he should not be backed for the championship bid. The better, more talented driver generally still survives and salvages points on a not-so-perfect day.

        Webber made an unforced error that resulted in a pit-stop and from there things went down-hill. No coincidence that Vettel was coming up to overtake him…

        When it comes to action on the track, Webber comes up mightly short – whatever the “talk” , when it comes to delivering he is short…

        Marko is right , hate him as much as you will..

    3. Mr Ed says:

      Would JEV have left room if it was VET rather then WEB?

  25. Qasim says:

    I think you need to check your timings. I’m sure Raikkonen was more than 1.6 seconds behind Alonso. From the BBC website, Alonso’s race time is 1:36:26.945 and Raikkonen’s is 1:36:37.113. That’s over 10 seconds… Even the official formula 1 site has the gap at 10.1 seconds…

  26. Craig in Manila says:

    Webber should just give it away.

    First the car is under-fuelled in Quali.
    Then Vergne in the sister-team cuts him up and sends him to the pits.
    Then the team can’t get all four tyres secured during the stop.

    He’s gotta be the unluckiest dude on the grid.

    1. AJ Senior says:

      Followed by a 3 place grid penalty next race ( what a joke! )…

      1. Richard D says:

        I think it is right that he should be penalised as he clearly tried to go into a gap that wasn’t there!

    2. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Yep. Some days ya should just stay in bed…………… :)

    3. BigHaydo says:

      I’d much rather he hang around and stick it to them in the coming events. Have to say about RBR though, when there is a controversy in the previous event they do very little to allay the conspiracy theorists!

      1. brny666 says:

        Wouldn’t that suggest that they have nothing to allay and events are really what they seem?

      2. BigHaydo says:

        If it is what it seemed, then apart from the impressive pace that Mark showed on Friday and at some points during the race, his side of the garage ran an operation that only Andrea Moda could have been proud of…

        Fuel bowser issue or no, they must have had some way to know there was a problem: 150mL is some way short of 1L, and given the sensors and telemetry on the cars, surely they had to know before the car coasted to a halt? Given the way that STR jump out of the way of an RBR in recent times, not only did Vergne take a slightly later than average turn-in but also told the stewards he had no idea Mark was there (Mark fell on his sword by admitting fault, but if it were Vettel it would be a severe career limiting move)? Whatever happened to the rear wheel in the race was also pretty odd given that it was not a quick pitstop!

        I know that Horner has come out and said no conspiracy, but if he has any authority left in his position there should be a Geox in someone’s posterior!

    4. Glennb says:

      Even his barber hates him :)

      1. Quade says:


      2. Chromatic says:

        LOL. I noticed that too.

      3. Sri says:

        LOL. I would say even the barber does not follow (his) orders.

  27. Hutch says:

    Meanwhile, Webber is the unluckiest driver on the grid. Again.

    He’d have more luck pitting car 13 under a ladder as a black cat runs past breaking his mirror.

    1. Mike J says:

      I think Mario Andrettis famous saying about Chris Amon would be appropriate for Webber…… “if he became an undertaker, people would stop dying”.

      Whilst it was his mistake on Vergne, surely Vergne knew it was coming. I mean Vergne almost moved off the track in Brazil last year for Vettel.

      But being subject to two ‘friendly fire’ incidents in one weekend is more than anyone should get, even Lewis.
      With such a competitive season, Webber will find it tough

    2. Simmo says:


  28. Bring Back Murray says:

    Wow where you do start with this one.

    Best thing for me was watching Hamilton absolutely getting after Alonso, the both of them slicing through the back-markers after they’d both made their first pit stops.

    Obviously Hamilton didn’t have quite enough though over to match him over the race distance. Still another step is required by Mercedes.

    Well I didn’t agree with the way qualifying went yesterday but it sure seemed to make things rather interesting for the race.

    Kimi’s stong performance was also of note – keeping within 12 seconds on Alonso despite a damaged front wing.

    Probably loads more detail in there – like it was a shame Hamilton came accross Button when he did near the end of the race. Looked like he was gradually building up to have a run at Kimi. He couldn’t get the challenge going again afterwards, although at least held off Vettel. And when is the last time we’ve had someone going 3 seconds a lap faster than the rest near the end of the race?

    Thoroughly enjoyed watching that race, although note concerns that have been highlighted above regarding the ease of passing of the DRS. But what is the alternative to DRS – a race which there are only about 5 passes over its entirity?

    1. Dizzy says:

      “But what is the alternative to DRS – a race which there are only about 5 passes over its entirity?”
      There are plenty of alternatives to DRS.

      An Indycar/A1GP style ‘Push 2 Pass’ button is perhaps the best alternative. Where drivers are allowed to use a limited number of times through a race & which can be used to both attack & defend.
      That has always produced great racing & has never produced the sort of easy drive by highway passes DRs has.

      Also consider that in the Pre-DRS era we didn’t have the Pirelli tyres which as much as i dislike them at times (When there a bit too extreme like this weekend) produce far better racing than DRS ever will.

  29. Welps says:

    The race itself was a tyre bore for me but Kimi and Vettel drove the wheels off their cars. And Kimi gets it because his car was damaged and still overtook many and kept Hamilton behind.

    Ferrari had a dominant car for this track and Mercedes is now starting to go backwards, like they always did after a handful of races.

    Expect more Mercs breaking down or always finishing lower than they qualified. Honeymoon for the Hamilton fans is over.

    1. Craig D says:

      I wouldn’t say Mercedes are going backwards. They have had a good car but not the fastest at each event. And they didn’t start pole in the first two races.

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Mercedes going backwards? So is Red Bull than? Seb went from pole/win in Sepang to p4 today. The top 4 teams are closely matched. 12.5 seconds separate the top 4, that’s realy not that much. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, but I think you should take off your anti-Hamilton glasses.

      1. Uh? says:


        Fact is, in the race Mercedes almost always lose positions to where they started. Just like the seasons before.

        Vettel started 9th and ended 4th with the least favorable tyre strategy. Hamilton started 1st and ended 3rd thanks to a Caterham getting in the way of Vettel.

        So how can you say RBR is going backwards in the race?

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Least favorable tyre strategy? That’s highly debatable. Furthermore, I was not suggesting that RB are going backwards, I was just asking a rhetorical question to proof my point. Anyway, I was just sharing my view that the top teams are more matched than Welps was suggesting.

      3. KRB says:

        The Caterham got out of the way for Vettel right away, after holding Hamilton up through at least three corners. Where were the blue flags?

        Can’t say the Merc is behaving like it did in 2012. They have made the step-change that Brawn said they had. It’s just that others have progressed as well, and maintain an advantage, at the moment.

      4. Macca Man says:

        Alex, I’ve read your comments and it’s clear to see you are very pro Hamilton. I think you are being way too sensitive to criticisms towards Mercedes. They won a pole but they went backwards in the race. There is a gap from Ferrari and Red Bull to Mercedes. Alonso could have beaten Raikkonen and Hamilton by far more than 10 seconds today, you are kidding yourself if you believe otherwise. There was no need to risk the equipment as the win was certain. There is also a gap from Lotus to Mercedes, though it hard to say how big it really is. Lewis couldn’t pass a damaged Kimi, I doubt he’d have been able to keep touch with the Iceman if his car had been whole the entire race.

      5. Tim says:

        Try not to bite, Welps is just fishing for a reaction. Team superiority in F1 is always cyclical. RBR won’t be the dominant team for ever, there has and always will be a changing of the guard. RBR came through from relative obscurity to be the front runners.
        Why can’t it be Mercedes turn in the next couple of seasons?

    3. AlexD says:

      And how is it different from Vettel in Australia?

    4. Tornillo Amarillo says:

      To Welps: Hamilton is keeping now two trophies at home, you don’t!

  30. Bob Stewart says:

    I think we have the makings of a triple world championship for Alonso. Finally, Ferrari have given him a car he can win with. As for Vettel, hopefully, the honeymoon is over. Just as well. He’s an embarrassment to the sport.

    1. Uh? says:

      Vettel was driver of the day after Kimi though so there goes your negative wish.

      Also, Alonso won with a clearly dominant car. Does this mean we should celebrate the designer?

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I don’t agree on Vettel being dotd behind Kimi. Seb should have taken 3rd, but he made a series of small mistakes on his final lap. The top 5 drivers were impressive, but this means that subtle details make the difference, and unlike the top 3, Vettel did not make the most out of his opportunities. Same goes for Kimi, he could have had a better start. Then again, I’m just sharing my opinion on this wonderful forum ;).

      2. Lol says:

        Only Vettel and Kimi were driving on the edge. The rest were cruising, relatively speaking.

        And Vettel did not make mistakes, the Caterham forced Vettel off the racing line onto the marbles while his tyres were also going off.

      3. Anne says:

        Besides Vettel couldn´t deal with Hulkenberg early in the race for several laps until both pitted and Sauber made a bad pit and that allowed Vettel to get ahead.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        that Caterham had held up Hamilton for some significant distance, only letting him by when Renault advised them Vettel was there.

        How about this for a conspiracy theory, should they check Petrov’s data and comms from Abu Dhabi 2010, was Renault manipulating his race to prevent Alonso getting by? After Singapore 2008, it wouldn’t be the first time they fixed races.

      5. brny666 says:

        Yes it does. Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton are now in a WDC fight with Pat Fry.

      6. Anne says:

        You can say that if Alonso wins 5 straight races 15+ seconds ahead his closer rival in the track. I don´t think it will be the case. So nobody is fighting with Pat Fry at this point

      7. KRB says:

        5 straight? The Newey/Vettel combo “only” managed 4 straight last year, and only won the first of those because a faster driver in a fast car had retired from the lead in the race.

      8. Mingojo says:

        I’m not sure we can say Alobso won because he has a dominant car. I think his performance was outstanding, check where Massa finished with a ‘dominant’ car.

  31. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Kimi great, he recuperated, suffer damage but kept P2 and gets just shy in the WDC from Vettel. He is doing really well this year.

    Vettel did good from P9 on the grid, but he failed to pass Hamilton, as you say a couple of little mistakes in the last lap. This fight was really good, I mean 2 laps of speed… Good for Hamilton there and his consistency can be interesting, specially if he can win soon (in Canada maybe).

    So Red Bull have some problems, maybe this year could be Kimi versus Alonso.

    Ricardo showed he can replace Webber, while Vergne comit suicide against Red Bull car nr 2, what you think?

    1. Quade says:

      Beat Lewis in the last corner?

      Even if Vettel hadn’t made his avoidable errors, I seriously doubt he would have been able to pass Lewis.
      Does anyone recall what happened to Massa when he tried a similar move on Lewis in the last corner a couple of years back? At the most, they would both have crashed. Lewis gets super gritty when he can see the prize ahead.

  32. DK says:

    It was a cracking race especially the last 10 laps watching Kimi and Lewis fighting 2nd and 3rd then joined by Seb in the last 5 laps.

    I think a poor start has caused Kimi for the shot at the top spot. It was amazing to see his speed despite the damage to his car.

    Well done Fernando for driving brilliantly, especially with the clever use of DRS.

    I am not complaining about the tyres, they just made the race pretty exciting.

    Bring it on, Bahrain!

  33. Paige says:

    Alonso was just simply too fast today. There was one run on which he had hundreds of laps on his tires and was almost matching Raikkonen and Hamilton, who were on fresh sets. Simply put, no one was going to beat him today. Big statement from him and Ferrari today.

    I think Raikkonen had more pace than he was able to show. Losing places at the start and spending a lot of the race behind Hamilton really slowed him up. I wonder how much he would have been able to give to Alonso if he was in better track position in the early-middle stages of the race.

    Mercedes seem like they have a quick car on new tires and light fuel. Hamilton was catching Raikkonen for many laps on the last run, but then faded at the end of it. They’ve got some work to do to match Lotus and Ferrari on long runs, but if Hamilton keeps putting the car in the top-2 rows, he could be in for a type of season like Alonso had last year for Ferrari: delivering consistent points finishes and taking advantage of days when the conditions suit the car.

    1. Elie says:

      Clear air in Front accounts for speed and tyre durability -remember Melbourne. Also Kimi was pulling very fast lap times even with the damage. It’s already been noted that had he not had the accident he most likely could have challenged. After all we are talking 3/10 or less I you take into account the time lost in the incident with Perez. We will never know. But great race from Fernando no doubt !

      1. Paige says:

        Oh, I absolutely think Raikkonen would have challenged for the victory if not for the wing damage, the start, and getting stuck behind Hamilton for a lot of the race. The pace that he had even with the wing damage alone was frightening.

        But the way the race unfolded, Alonso was too quick.

    2. quattro says:

      “There was one run on which he had hundreds of laps on his tires and was almost matching Raikkonen and Hamilton, who were on fresh sets.”

      I think that was a lap before he did one of his pit stops (i think last one). Stella told him on radio that they were pitting at end of NEXT lap, hence he pushed 100% on that last lap to squeeze everything out of that set of tyres.
      Of course, being 1st and having clean air on that stint also meant he had been able to take well care of that set.

      1. Paige says:

        It wasn’t just one lap. It was the run that he did when he pitted several laps after Raikkonen and Hamilton. He was able to keep pace with them well. That is still impressive stuff from that a car was able to do that, even if it was in clean air.

  34. Jake Pattison says:

    I now wonder if Vergne will drive alongside Vettel next year for his quick thinking in the race.

    1. Glennb says:

      Good one :)

    2. AlexD says:

      :-) funny….

  35. Elie says:

    I really feel for Rosberg.like someone said it looks like he’s inherited the Schumi side of the garage with unreliability.
    Don’t know what Merc have to do to fix it- but its undoing all the speed that Lewis has brought. Hope Nico is good for Bahrain cause he usually goes ok there and we need another Merc in the mix!

    1. KRB says:

      Goes ok there? Didn’t they drop back in Bahrain last year, causing Rosberg to throw some very robust defensive moves on first Hamilton then Alonso?!

      1. Elie says:

        Yeah Im not a fan of that type of driving. But Nico can use a little more controlled aggression in his repertoire. I think they will be a little better this year.

      2. KRB says:

        Yeah, it went over the line in Bahrain. But with Rosberg he at least knows that if you make a defending move, you keep going in that direction, and don’t dart this way ‘n’ that.

        I hope they’re better. They did ok in the heat of Malaysia, so we’ll see.

  36. Hansb says:


    On German RTL, Niki Lauda told about Pirelli to supply tyres that last longer and have a wider temp.range from Barcelona onwards.
    Does this mean Mercedes and RB won the tyre lobby against Ferrari an Renault?

    1. James Allen says:

      Last time I looked he wasn’t running F1

      1. iceman says:

        But there are some new tyre rules coming in from Barcelona aren’t there?

      2. veeru says:

        they are not rules. From Barcelona, they are going to get extra tires. that’s all.

        The tires will be the same… Niki doesn’t have that much clout…

      3. iceman says:

        Veeru: the allocation of tyres is specified in the regulations, so extra tyres means a change in the rules.

        Turns out it’s a bit less of a change than one might have assumed from Bernie’s comments. It’s one additional set of extra-hard tyres for Friday morning but they can only be used by a rookie 3rd driver. So most likely it will only be midfield and backmarker teams that will use them.

      4. Brace says:

        I may like some rules and dislike others, but one thing that F1 should NEVER do is change rules mid-season. That’s just interfering with the competition. They all knew what the score is, well before the new year, so I see no reason why those who did the better job should have their good work negated.
        If they wanna tweak something as essential as tires, they can do it for 2014, but you can’t change it mid-season where teams are designing their cars and future upgrades around the tires they have at the moment.

      5. Sascha says:

        But he sounded very sure of it. IMo Lauda knows something, others don’t know yet. Wolff sais something like this some weeks before, that Pirelli are going to change the tyres. Maybe they know something

      6. Witan says:

        I think this is a mistranslation from the German. Pirelli will, I understand, assess the tyre situation – performance and appropriateness – after Barcelona.

      7. Rushil Jain says:

        Bernie said in the grid walk that Pirelli will supply an extra set of tires on friday to ensure more running.

      8. Hansb says:

        I’m sorry James, my English is not so good. I meant he seemed to know something about a different Pirelli tyre coming at Barcelona latest. A tyre that should suite the Merc as it is less critical.

  37. Peter says:

    Great race by Kimi with a damaged car. I hope Lotus can keep up with the developments. Vettel should have pitted one lap earlier for softs, I think.

    1. Sri says:

      Yes, Vettel should have done that. But he (and many others) didn’t expect he would have that big advantage when he actually pitted. In fact the commentators were making fun of Mercedes radio message when Hamilton was being told of gap between him and Vettel before Vettel had pitted. They thought Mercedes was being too overcautious.

  38. Mike J says:

    Good to see that all three podium drivers were ones that had a ‘crack’ at Q3 yesterday.
    Great ‘bounceback’ win for Alonso. Ferrari and Lotus with Kimi really are the true contenders this year.
    Solid performance by Ricciardo which will not go un-noticed. But he needs to follow up with consistency.
    With the teams slowly getting to understand tyres, it will be interesting to see how Mercs go, hopefully for Lewis not backwards.
    Great podium.!!

  39. Val from montreal says:

    I was expecting a 2002-2004 Ferrari-esque domination by Red Bull this season , but sadly thanx to Pirelli it wont happen … Ah well it will be that more of a heart-break when Vettel beats Alonso by 7 points ( or less ) at end of the season …oh and Ross Brawn’s sucking up to LH is pathetic to say the least !

  40. Scuderia McLaren says:


    Congrats Ferrari and Fernando. Well deserved and controlled win. Shame Kimi lost a chunk of wing to Sergio. He is definitely the Driver of the Day for me all things considered. What a talent, considering it was a front limited circuit!!!I I think Hamilton was very lucky to get third as he was moving backwards from pole. Red Bull were a mess today. A very tasty championship is brewing.

    1. holly says:

      Please James don’t allow this kind of comments here.

    2. Martin says:

      The bigger joke is that some people want to believe your first paragraph is true and tell others about it…

      Looking at Kimi’s front wing from the TV screen, I think the damage to Kimi’s wing was to the flow conditioning bits that improve the flow to the rear. All the main elements that interact with the ground were intact, so pretty much all the front downforce would have been there. There was a comment on this site that the damage created oversteer, which makes sense to me.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Actually Kimi said himself he had more understeer as a result of the damaged wing, not oversteer.

      2. Elie says:

        +1. Came from the horses mouth.If you loose downforce on the front wing no matter how small- it would tend to under steer this was clearly evidenced by how wide Kimi was pushing through the corners.

      3. Elie says:

        I reckon a fist sized hole in the nose cone was not too great for his aero either Martin…would have been like a very small air brake. Surprised they didn’t try taping it up on the pit stop.

      4. Kimi4WDC says:

        I’m more concerned about those big ears on the sides on Air intake that create drag and zero performance while the device is inactive.

  41. Matt H says:

    Hi Guys and gals , firstly well played Nando quick yet flawless race made it look easy although it certainly was not. Also good racing mentions to Kimi, Ham and Vettel ( for there last laps entertainment) and also ricciardo and Di Resta. Where to start on this ….!!!? The race in my opinion was not great for F1. Apart from the last laps this was dire in reality and as above I don’t agree with Jordan’s assertion that this was a good race. Mid way through we have Jenson asking if he needs to fight for position?!?? I understand the strategic implications of slowing himself by battling but track position should always be king in my view. I think the one thing missing in F1 is refuelling if the rules remain as is seeing sitting ducks be passed in a faster car but no tyres left is poor viewing. Refuelling would allow a choice of trundle saving tyres or flat out and wreck them with pit stop as a downside. Anyways shame for the investigation after the race but last five laps were enthralling roll on Bahrain : D

    1. Martin says:

      Hi Matt, I’m not sure of your argument on refueling. The fuel levels would at most be set at the most efficient way to get to the end – three stops at fast tracks with lots of downforce and short-ish pit lanes down to one at places like Monza. The tyre performance would then moderate this- so for example in Hulkenberg’s short stint on softs you could have trimmed one second off the lap times relative to cars on mediums as the car would have been very light.

      At China the fuel effect would have removed 2 stopping as an option as it would have cost more time. So you are looking at three stops for everyone as the soft wouldn’t last long enough to justify four stops and five sets of tyres – all three medium sets and two softs – so the only change would be when the soft tyres are used. If you use them as Hulkenberg did you get a big speed differential that could be used to set up a kind of hare and tortoise situation .

      Fundamentally, Pirelli believes the Red Bull has the most downforce. If the tyres were not a limiting factor we’d be watching Vettel versus Webber, which history has shown in the exhaust blown diffuser era generally goes Vettel’s way. The tyres being unable to cope with the downforce gives us some variety.

    2. Roger2013 says:

      Refueling was awful & should never ever come back into F1!

      All refueling did was more the racing off the track & into the pit lane.

      Its no co-incidence that the levels of on-track overtaking plummeted as soon as refueling came in for 1994. From the very 1st race teams just started passing cars via fuel stops & we just started seeing less on track passing.

      2010, As the 1st year of the refueling ban produced more on-track overtakes than any season since 1989 which just shows how badly refueling hurt the racing.

      1. How is overtaking in the pits any less exciting than inevitable overtakes on track due to differences in tyre state?

        In the refuelling days there were actually a lot more tighter ‘will he wont he make it’ battles. Yes they were in the pitlane, but the outcomes weren’t inevitable, unlike now.

      2. Roger2013 says:

        “Yes they were in the pitlane”

        And that was the problem, There was no fun or excitement for me in watching 1 car sitting in the pits as another blasted by on the track.

        Is what we have now with Tyres/DRS any better, I don’t like it when the moves are too easy (Like today) but I’d take cars passing on-track over cars passing via fuel stops.

        Also to counter look at 2012, No DRS & durable tyres & yet we saw a ton more on-track overtaking than at any time during the refueling era because for the 1st tie since 1993 cars actually HAD to overtake on the track instead of relying on jumping them via fuel strategy in the pits.

        Go back & compare the racing Pre-refueling to when we had refueling, It was so much better before & we actually saw on-track overtaking & a fair bit of it. As soon as refueling was introduced the levels of on-track overtaking plummeted & that occured from the very 1st refueling race (Brazil 1994).

      3. Roger2013 says:

        “Also to counter look at 2012″

        Meant to say 2010 & not 2012.

      4. matthew says:

        kimi only got past lewis when lewis pitted,before then he was unable too.
        we are still seeing alot of overtaking during pits.

    3. Richard D says:

      Please don’t bring back refuelling. We already have too many races decided purely on tactics and we don’t want another element for the tactitions to play with. What we want is real racing where the best driver/ car combination comes out on top.

  42. quattro says:

    It felt so great to see a proper and worthy podium, after the anti-podium of MAL. Also, VETtG did not make it to the podium – I think Podium was not too unhappy with that.

    Alonso? Fe no me nale!!!
    Some of us have been saying and praying for years now – “we do not need to have the fastest car, plz just give us a car no more than 1-3 tenth behind the pole sitter (be it whoever you want of the 21 remaining drivers), and ALO will do the rest.”. Some were “laughing” about that suggestion. They are not laughing anymore me thinks… We are not racing in damage-limitation-mode anymore – even though we do not have the raw pace of the best – and that feels just great!
    Fingers crossed, the Ferrari will continue to qualify into 1-2 rows even in the coming races.

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:

      Lol. After reading some of your posts Quattro it sounds like you might actually “self harm” if Alonso and Ferrari do not win the titles this year. Or worse, lose to Vettel by a few points… Again.

      1. quattro says:

        Yes, they should put a warning text on screen saying prior to each race – “F1 can be very harmful for your health. Watch at own risk!”

        I think, after the “show” in MAL, it is very hard to loose against VET, regardless of the outcome of the championship – at least if we are still talking about sports.

      2. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Yeah I hear ya Quattro… Felt exactly the same after the “show” in Austin 2012. I thought at the time “Vettel has won this year”, as the moral victor, irrespective of whether Alonso wins the title on pts.

        That was my feeling anyway, assuming we are talking about sports.

    2. Dom says:

      I like ALO too. But all things considered, he would have been a worthy second today if RAI had not had his problems.

      I know I know I know. You can’t speculate about what might have been. However, It must be worrying for ALO to see just what his rival is made of! 2005 again.

      1. quattro says:

        ” It must be worrying for ALO to see just what his rival is made of! 2005 again.”

        Considering who took the 2005 title I would exchange “ALO” for “RAI” in the sentence above! ;)

        That said, it will without doubt be a very close battle this year by the looks of it.

        “…he would have been a worthy second today if RAI had not had his problems.”

        That is the point. I think RAI had the best package and position today and should have won. ALO won, i think, not because RAI had “problems”, but because RAI made mistakes and he did not. A bad start which put him in a bad position and later also putting himself in a bad position with Perez, and actually being lucky getting away with it without need to even change nose…

      2. Macca Man says:

        Dom, that’s crazy talk. Alonso had the full measure of Raikkonen and every other competitor today. Kimi wasn’t winning this GP. Ferrari has superior pace to Lotus and they seem to have caught or surpassed them in tyre management. Alonso isn’t worrying about Kimi, his focus remains squarely on the WDC favorite, Vettel. He has gotten the better result than Seb in 2 out of 3 GP so far. Ferrari is right where they want to be.

    3. Uh? says:

      What? Everyone agrees, the Ferrari was at least half a second faster than anyone today, so yes, Alonso needed a dominant car too.

      1. Anne says:

        He was dominant today in this track. We don´t know next race. It´s too early to tell who will dominate at the end

      2. quattro says:

        Half a sec/lap?!
        I thing MAS will disagree with what you are saying. RAI would also, as he took the flag only 10 and not 25+ seconds after ALO, even though he was involved in incidents and had traffic problems.
        Not to mention qualy result were Ferrari were 3rd and 5th (3 and 4 tenths behind pole).

        Do not get me wrong, I really hope you (and everyone) is right about this…only it does not seem that way to me.

      3. Krischar says:

        @ UH

        Not really.

        Half a sec/ Lap ? Funny and not true by any means

        Ferrari are not quite there yet. Yes F138 is better than F2012. Ferrari had a better start this season. This does not mean they have quicker car

        I agree with Quattro. Ferrari were 3 tenths slower than Mercedes (1:34:4 V/S 1:34:7) yet come the race day Alonso showed his fettle and took a consummate and fantastic victory.

        The Spanish and F1 King Ruled and owned the china.

    4. Elie says:

      He’s got the fastest race car on the grid and it was fastest on the medium tyres all weekend. The other guys only beat him on softs which lasted less than 1/5 of the race.

      Seems to me that Fernando / Ferrari can only be happy with a car that is 1 to 3/10 faster not slower !

    5. Mingojo says:

      I think Fernando was very dominant today. I think Ferrari doesn’t have the fastest car just yet, but Alonso is a bonus.

  43. Torchwood Five says:

    Times from the BBC screening:

    Vettel rejoining after last pit stop put him 20s behind Hamilton, and Lewis had a lockup that allowed Vettel to quickly gain 12s, and then it was a nail-biting case – 8s, 3s, 2s as they both passed the backmarker, then fortunately Seb locked up or missed an apex or something, allowing Lewis to get the trophy he can keep and be proud off.

    Well done to all the point scorers.

    1. Uh? says:

      Caterham was in the way of Vettel, forcing him onto the marbles with tyres that were going off already.

      Hamilton locked up, not Vettel.

    2. Doobs says:

      Seb can’t overtake.

      1. Scuderia McLaren says:

        Abu Dhabi 2012: Pit Lane start to 3rd suggests otherwise.

      2. Mingojo says:

        You should watch that race again. The only outstanding overtake by Vettel was to Button.

      3. Doobs says:

        It’s all about the car.

      4. Lol says:

        You should watch Hamilton not being able to overtake a car with a damaged wing and nose while clearly having the faster car.

      5. Quade says:

        Lewis had a faster car than Kimi? Not in the race I watched.
        That takes nothing from the wonderful race Kimi delivered, though.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      If I recall correctly, Seb spent a total time of 19.8 seconds in the pits after he was 7.5-8.5 seconds ahead of Lewis before entering the pit lane. This puts him 12.5 seconds behind Lewis when rejoining the track. But yeah, with Seb gaining 3 seconds a lap, it was a close battle.

  44. LEM says:

    Solid race from Kimi. He can definately drive a “car with half a front wing…” :)

    1. Scuderia McLaren says:


      Amen brother

    2. quattro says:

      He can definitely get really lucky after making a silly mistake. ALO lost his front wing and got a DNF from a tiny touch in MAL – RAI did not even need to replace his front wing after hitting heavily another car from behind…

      1. Chromatic says:

        Quattro, I think he means today’s race. Is that the race you’re talking about? Er, what mistake was that?

      2. KimiFan says:

        how was that Kimis fault Quattro, please dont be one of those dick biased fans that we all hate, Clearly perez was covering the inside line so Kimi move to outside and then suddenly perez move to outside to try and block lol thats clearly rookie driving in his part, he should check hid mirrors often

      3. Kimi4WDC says:

        You conclusion is rock solid, if it happened to Alonso, it’s the way to go :)

        Cheer up mate.

    3. Alexander Supertramp says:

      I’m with Quattro on this one, Kimi shouldn’t get praise for the results of his mistake (Remember, Perez did NOT get a penalty).

      1. Me says:

        Just because he didn’t get a penalty, doesn’t mean that Perez was in the wrong.

  45. quattro says:

    Massa? Oh, well.

    As MAS managed to barely qualify in front of ALO for a couple of races, some started day-dreaming. They discarded in a moment established facts and claimed they were seeing a trend – MAS was at last back and he was beating ALO. Of course the rest of us who can remember the outcome of more than a couple of races (or seasons), were having a smile on the face. We knew that MAS has NEVER had a trend of beating ALO with same package – no one has actually – hence he could not GET BACK doing that…
    Some complain ALO always gets preferential treatment at the pit stops (I wonder why that is..) – Today, MAS twice got to pit before ALO even though he was behind on track. Were did he finish? Well, he finished exactly were he usually finishes accoording to the (real) long term trend – well BEHIND the magician.

    1. Anil says:

      Awful race from Massa :/ he’s nowhere unless he’s got Alonso nearby. Can’t keep up or get his tyres to work as well.

      Ferrari should’ve taken Hulk or Mark for a year.

    2. Me says:

      Magician?… you’re having a laugh…

      1. Joseph says:

        I bet quattro is either Spanish or living there. [mod] All things considered tho, Alonso was clearly on another level today.

      2. Krischar says:

        @ Joseph

        It does not really matter whether Quattro is Spanish or living there

        Quattro was spot on with each and every point he discussed here.

        Fernando is simply the best.

      3. Anil says:

        It’s a reference to the fact that Alonso is very good at performing magic tricks..he did a brilliant feature last year on the beeb :)

    3. Doobs says:

      To b fair, he goes good when the cars suits him, today he wasn’t too happy on the Mediums.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Well, he drove 90% of the race on the mediums, so that kind of compromises your race. Not having the perfect car is not a valid excuse if you’re aiming at the championship and your teammate is doing much better. I like Felipe, but he seems to be happy to quickly. I feel he has a mentality problem.

    4. David Ryan says:

      Somewhat simplistic analysis there, I’m afraid. For one, you have overlooked that Lewis Hamilton tied with Alonso in their year together in the McLarens, and but for the engine glitch at the final round would very likely have beaten him. Likewise Jarno Trulli was beating Alonso when they were teammates in 2004 before his falling-out with Flavio Briatore and dismissal. For another, Autosport carry out a “supergrid” analysis after each race based on a driver’s best times from the weekend, and on that Massa had indeed pulled up to, and shaded, Alonso. You can argue over whether that marks a trend or not, but the data was pretty conclusive on that point at least. That Alonso had a very strong race today, and Massa a comparatively weak one, does not suddenly render that data irrelevant – one swallow does not make a summer, as the saying goes. Much as your preference for Alonso is self-evident, Massa is a better driver than you give him credit for and his pace thus far (today aside) has demonstrated that.

      1. Justin Case says:

        Well you could argue if Alonso didnt suffer a gearbox failure in qualifying for the french gp, which caused him to start 10th and finish 7th and also the 5 grid place penalty in Hungary even thou he didnt break any rule that the governing bodies the FIA and F1 enforce then he would have been champion. Plus all the times Lewis was lighter for qualifying
        The supergrid is a flawed model to analyse…….take todays race as an example. If Massa pitted in the last 5 laps and put on the softs, reeled off a couple of fastest laps .5 a sec quicker than Alonso yet still finished 6th, who in your opinion had the better race?

      2. David Ryan says:

        Yes, and in pointing that out you have actually proven my point about the superficiality of the analysis made. Pointing purely to end-of-season standings doesn’t tell even a fraction of the story of the season. Incidentally, Alonso’s penalty in Hungary was due to him impeding another driver in qualifying, which was a breach of the rules in 2007 (as shown by Giancarlo Fisichella receiving the same penalty for blocking Sakon Yamamoto). Insofar as the supergrid is concerned, it takes the driver’s fastest lap over the entire weekend and not just the race, so such action by Massa would be unlikely to affect the calculation. I would also question whether Massa would still have finished 6th had he done that, given his position relative to Button before the stops and his pace on the soft tyres in practice. I must admit I was surprised Ferrari did not do this given Massa’s graining problems, but then many of Ferrari’s strategic decisions have left me wondering in years gone by…

      3. Justin Case says:

        Sorry didnt want tp take too long when i replied to u regarding the supergrid. I know what it is, i was just pointing out a few good laps dont make a weekend.
        HOWEVER…..the blocking rule which you talk about did not apply to Alonso/Hamilton 2008 because Fernando was in his pit box and Lewis was behind waiting…..Yes we all know he blocked him but officially Fernando and his engineer told the stewards they were waiting for a gap in traffic to sent him out again. There is no rule saying one driver cannot stay in his pit box for x amount of time while his teammate is behind waiting!!!! Fisicella was actually blocking Sakons path out of his box…A rival team cannot prevent another from making a pitstop…….thats why Fisi got a penalty.

      4. quattro says:

        I think you are confusing occasional one-lap out-performance with having the ability to beat the likes of Schumacher & HAM over a season/career.

        ” For one, you have overlooked that Lewis Hamilton tied with Alonso in their year together in the McLarens”

        You are overlooking the fact that ALO has beaten HAM each and every year since 2007, that he have had a semi-competitive (and many times slower) package. That Fact indicates to me that the final result of 2007 was influenced by other factors than the actual performance and skill of the two drivers. So, yes I do not even buy it was a tie, much less that HAM would have beaten him fair and square (equal package) that year. If that was the case HAM should have been able to beat ALO in 2010 or 2011 or 2012.

        Trulli, really…and where is Trulli now and what has he won during his years in F1? Being that good have to (logically) have given him a title or two or at least quite a few race wins.

        Autosport “supergrid” analysis? Never heard of it and probably it is exciting to read, but they need to sell subscriptions don’t they? Why would I even bother reading that analysis if I have watched all sessions since ALO and MAS became team mates and have the actual statistics for the outcome of that huge sample?? You can take any group of five-six consecutive races within that sample and compare POINTS earned – that is useful and interesting/trend. If Autosport “supergrid” analysis were good at predicting the future (we know the history don’t we) they would be in the stock market, not in F1…

        Yes I am a huge ALO fan – No, I am definetly not saying MAS is a bad driver. After all he almost beat HAM to a title with similar packages. All I am saying is that when you compare MAS to ALO, given the data available (points/win races/qualy results), you are not making niether of them a favor.

      5. David Ryan says:

        I am doing no such thing – I am merely pointing out that a conclusion people had drawn which you dismissed out of hand (namely, that Massa was back on form in terms of pace compared with last season) was supported by evidence. That possibility seemed to be notable for its absence in your post.

        “ALO has beaten HAM each and every year since 2007″? Really? 2008 was the year Hamilton won his title and 2009 saw Hamilton finish 5th and Alonso 9th, so with all due respect your “Fact” is anything but. Over the course of their time racing against each other, it’s 3-3 in the final standings battle. As for 2010, 2011 and 2012 insofar as why Hamilton did not beat Alonso, in 2010 two mechanical failures and two collisions put paid to his challenge, in 2011 he kept crashing into Massa and in 2012 his car failed on him more times than I can recall. Again, I am afraid that strikes me as a somewhat simplistic analysis.

        Trulli could and probably should have won more races, and maybe even a championship, and but for his falling-out with Briatore (politics being an integral part of F1, after all) he would likely have managed it. Instead, he wound up at Toyota and Caterham, with cars that Alonso probably wouldn’t have managed much with either (certainly not the Caterhams). You can be one of the quickest drivers on the grid but it’s no good if your car is off the pace, as Alonso found in his second Renault stint.

        You seem to be asking why you would want to rely on any data other than the points tally. For that, I would point you to a number of examples: firstly, in 1958 Mike Hawthorn won the title, yet by popular consent Sir Stirling Moss was by far the quicker driver; secondly, Niki Lauda took the title in 1984 despite most considering Alain Prost to be the quicker of the two and because of half points being awarded at Monaco that year; thirdly, Massa made Raikkonen look average for much of 2009 before a 2kg spring hit his helmet. None of them are reflected in the final points tallies, yet all are significant in comparing respective performance. Context is king.

        As a final point to consider, Alonso himself considers Massa to be one of the most competitive drivers on the grid and expressed the opinion that the results do not reflect how close their battle has in fact been. You can look this up for yourself if you doubt me – it was in his pre-season comments for this year.

      6. Quade says:

        “You are overlooking the fact that ALO has beaten HAM each and every year since 2007″

        …Strange, as Lewis was WDC in 2008 and ahead in standings in 2007 (while Alonso’s rookie team mate).

        We could comb through the other years, but it doesn’t make sense. Its just poor to dis other drivers who ain’t your favourite, its even worse when the driver you adore so much tells you exactly who he respects most on the field.

        I doubt that any of us can do what Lewis and Alonso do, so lets give them both the respect they deserve.

      7. matthew says:

        and youre overlooking the fact lewis had a dog of a car in 2009,and last season had serious bad luck.6 dnfs,3 while leading the race,plus he had a pole position taken from him.he even finished a race with a piece of turf under his car.he should have got 100 plus more points than he actually did.also you say alonso has had a slower car MANY times since 2007.what many times are you talking about?
        fact is alonso got mad when he was lewis team mate because he couldnt get the better of lewis fair and square and demanded number 1 treatment.it was refused,and we know what he did next.

      8. KRB says:

        It wasn’t a tie … Hamilton finished ahead of Alonso in 2007 on countback. Alonso gained points on Lewis in the first half of the year, benefitting from calls from the pitwall.

        I think Alonso himself realizes now that McLaren was treating them equally, having seen Button beat Hamilton in 2011. If Alonso would’ve just remained focussed in 2007, instead of wimping out and playing the victim, he might’ve won that 3rd title.

        As for DWC standings year-on-year, what does it matter if you don’t come first?!! How many titles has Fernando won since Hamilton and Vettel have come into F1? Big fat goose egg.

        He has a great shot this year, as he has the best car (at the moment). If that keeps up, then there can be no excuses.

      9. ice cream is faster than you says:

        Massa was hung out to dry on the end of his first stint. Ferrari kept him out longer than what would be optimum strategy for his race for the sake of holding up Hulkenberg and Vettel and ruining their car´s tyres in dirty air to aid Alonsos race. After that late stop Massa dropped too far back to play a role in the fight for the podium. Not saying he had a good race after, but he wasnt helped by Ferrari strategy.

      10. Honkhonk says:

        So you count Jarno Trullis supposed falling out with Briatore as a valid reason, but when recalling Hamilton and Alonso at Mclaren you conveniently don’t mention Alonso’s proven and noted falling out with Mclaren midway through the season. Your not being simplistic or preferential at all in calling out others then…

      11. David Ryan says:

        With all due respect, it would do you more credit to consider the context in which I made that statement and what I actually said before jumping to conclusions. Quattro’s claim was that “no one has actually” had a trend of beating Alonso in the same equipment – I raised Trulli’s performance against him in the first half of 2004 and Hamilton’s performance against him in 2007 as examples to the contrary. That is it. I made no claims about whether there were any other factors influencing those performances (and in 2007 at least there is no doubt there were, particularly the falling-out with McLaren) because they weren’t relevant to the point I was making. I didn’t “count” Trulli’s falling-out with Briatore (which was widely reported at the time) as anything – I included it purely to give a full account of what happened in the 2004 season, in the (evidently vain) attempt to avoid accusations of being selective. By all means pick apart the examples I used – that is the nature of debate, after all – but please do not engineer claims to put in my mouth. That I do take issue with.

      12. Mingojo says:

        I’m not sure you’re telling all the story about Alonso vs Trulli or when Alonso was in Mclaren. Re: Hungary, as Coulthard mentioned at the time Alonso didn’t break any rule although he received a penalty by FIA when it was an internal issue at Mclaren.
        In China in Q3 Alonso’s tyre pressure were wrong which caused to have a FIA steward in Mclaren garage in Brazil, and we heard team principal after the race saying ‘we were not racing Kimi, we were racing Fernando’ .

      13. David Ryan says:

        No, I’m probably not telling all the story in either case – because that isn’t what I was setting out to do. I raised both examples purely, and only, to rebut the claim that Quattro made that “no one has actually” had a trend of beating Alonso in the same equipment. In so doing, I focused solely on the evidence of a trend, which in both there was. Whatever factors influenced that trend, of which there were no doubt numerous, was not of the slightest concern to me in using them. I trust that clarifies the situation.

      14. Krischar says:

        @ David Ryan

        “Massa is a better driver than you give him credit for and his pace thus far (today aside) has demonstrated that”

        I am not sure what make you to say this

        What do you mean by today aside ?

        Massa performed superbly over the past 36 months ? In all fairness couple of fluky quali sessions does not make massa a better driver.

        Today clearly showed what massa is really capable of and what he failed to achieve over the past 3 seasons.

      15. David Ryan says:

        What I mean by today aside is that his pace in the 2013 season has been a marked improvement over the same time last season. It is not merely my opinion either – it appears to be common consensus, including on Autosport and the BBC among others – and takes into account his pace in testing, practice, qualifying and races. That is hardly the “couple of fluky quali sessions” you allude to. We are talking about a driver who managed to outrace Michael Schumacher in the same car, was a contender for the 2007 title before reliability gremlins did for him and was one corner away from winning the 2008 title. He’s clearly not a mug, and with regard to the last 3 seasons I would point you to the fact he had a 2kg spring hit his helmet and suffered significant head injuries as a result. Sir Stirling Moss and Karl Wendlinger both suffered similar accidents, and both took over 3 years to fully recover. It would hardly be in the realms of fantasy to conclude the same applies to Massa, and indeed Mark Hughes (among others) has reached that very same conclusion.

      16. Justin Case says:

        Also i didnt think Quattros analysis was simple……….Massa has had 8 or 9 good qualifying sessions in 50 odd races since 2010 and about 5 very good ones (i even think im giving him 1 or 2) AND he had one great race which everyone uses to prove that Ferrari are sabotaging him. Even Fisicella wasnt crushed this badly.
        Also ive been watching F1 since 1987 and the spanking that Massa has recieved by Alonso has been downplayed because of the fact it is coming from Fernando…..as we have witnesses with the qualifing statistics that combine different years and even Martin Brundles shrill “C’MON FELIPE” when Massa was close to alonso at the start.

      17. quattro says:

        Hi David! Thanks for your detailed reponses :). I have not had the opportunity to respond until today, but here some responses to your reply on “April 14th, 2013 at 7:11 pm” below.

        “[...]that Massa was back on form in terms of pace compared with last season”

        Totally agree that Massa thus far has improved this season compared to his OWN performance of past years. That is however very different from saying that he has, in any way, showed that he can be a match for ALO fighting for championships/longterm.

        ” “ALO has beaten HAM each and every year since 2007″? Really? 2008 was the year Hamilton won his title and 2009 [...]”
        Yes, really. If you had read my post more thoroughly you would have noticed that I was talking about the seasons “he have had a semi-competitive package”. The Renaults of 2008 and 2009, that ALO was driving, were way off the pace of the front-runners – midfield quality at best really. Therefore those seasons were implicitly excluded in that comparison. Hence only the 2010-12 seasons are relevant and ALO came on top compared to HAM each and every one of them.

        ” in 2010 two mechanical failures and two collisions put paid to his challenge, in 2011 he ”
        Please lets not get into the ifs/woulds/coulds. I can count a few if/would/could that would easily make ALO a 5-6 time world champion today. [If GRO did not take ALO out in 2012 ALO would have been champion despite the donkey he was driving for most of the season. If Ferrari did not make the strategy call error in 2010 ABO ALO would have been champion then as well...I could continue here and give ALO at least two additional drivers titles.]

        “You seem to be asking why you would want to rely on any data other than the points tally.”
        I agree with you that points does not by themself give the complete picture. Yes context is king when we are looking at specific races here and there, but for the long run I think points are the only relevant and meaningful measurement to compare the performance of drivers driving packages of similar/equal pace.

        “Alonso himself considers Massa to be one of the most competitive drivers on the grid…”
        I am not saying Massa is not – only that historical facts tells us that ALO is much much better.

    5. All revved-up says:

      Massa in a Ferrari got beaten by Button in a McLaren, at best the 5th best car on the grid!

      On the other hand FA cruised to victory by a dominant margin.

      Mr Massa had a poor day today.

    6. Krischar says:

      Fantastic and insightful post / comment Quattro

      You have made my day

      Yes people started day dreaming and hoped Massa can match or go quicker than Alonso. Yet no one can match magician and the King Alonso.

      Ferrari have treated Massa very well and fairly (Except Germany 2010). Yet people are always critical about Ferrari’s support towards massa

      I have never seen anyone like Alonso (Talent, skill, mettle).

  46. King says:

    James what do you think of the Mercedes and the tires?
    was it due to Lewis not being able to save them or was it the car that eats them too fast?

  47. Robert N says:


    is Ferrari now the fastest race car? Or was this unique to China? Which team do you expect to be fastest next week?

    Also, will you do an article on Ferrari’s starting system? What are the other teams missing?

  48. John M says:

    Turn 6 comments……. I think Webber was totally in the wrong. Mark had none of his car inside Verne when Verne made his turn from the normal racing line to the apex. I find it concerning that the RBs expect the TRs to yield. Maybe two other teams should pair up to help one another:(

    Perez again was on the racing line and Kimi made a late dash in a gap that was always going to close. I think its Kimi’s mistake. You cant expect the car in front not to hit the racing line because you are going to make a late dash. I believe the rule was to stop cars from running someone off the road that had already got next to them. So good stewards decision.

    Lastly I’m annoyed that the DRS under yellow flag incidents weren’t investigated during the race when obviously they could make a decision on the Perez/Kimi incident.

    If drivers take their penalty during the race it gives other drivers a chance to chase or change strategy. If you give it after, the offending driver gets a chance to build on the rule break advantage.

    It also leaves us in a situation where the stewards could be accused of wanting to know what effect their penalties will have before they make a decision, and this leaves us open to them favouring some drives. (Either deliberately of unwittingly) I’d hate to see MS making a decision on a Vettel violation post race if a 10 second penalty was going to decide an outcome.

    IMO violations like we saw should have a standard penalty for each circuit that is applied asap during the race. Keep it fair…

    1. All revved-up says:

      I agree. Webber misjudged that one. Was a bit too desperate – perhaps he saw SV in the mirror bearing down, and had a brain freeze.

  49. Lindsay says:

    “Meanwhile Webber collided with Vergne, damaging the front wing and cruising back to the pits, but his right rear wheel fell off at the hairpin.”

    That’s misleading at best. He pitted for a new front wing and a new set of primes, and the wheel fell off a lap or so later.

  50. Dom says:

    STUNNED. For me, Kimi stands out even above superb Alonso.

    Kimi’s bad start was a software issue after the formation lap and required adjustment of the start programme at the last minute. But: he stayed with the leaders.

    Perez was at fault in my view. But: Kimi drove superbly in spite of the damage.

    Who can seriously contest the championship with a driver who can salvage 18 points after a dismal start and a crash!!??
    Short answer is: Nobody. IMHO.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Well, Lotus were nowhere in Sepang, so we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. But Kimi looks really strong, he should be a serious contender. And he is mighty consistent!

    2. All revved-up says:

      I like Kimi. But Kimi was stuck behind Hamilton for two stints. Alonso instead overtook Hamilton with ease as soon as he had the chance.

      It would appear that Alonso had pace in hand. Just as Kimi did in Australia.

      Given how far Grosjean finished behind, I wonder if Lotus are already starting to slip down the in-season development race.

  51. quattro says:

    Who did say that ALL drivers hate to get team orders?!!

    I think he/she should reconsider that statement. The enthusiasm and happiness that Ricciardo was showing at the grid just prior to race start today, when he was having a rare pre-race talk to VETs friend Marko, was not of a drivers that hates team orders. His face was one BIIIG enthusiastic smile.

    I wonder, did Marko tell RIC to “be nice” to ALL of the drivers behind, or only VET? In any case, you got to love puppies. Surely, Marko and VET adore them.

    1. Quade says:

      I saw that too and noted it in my little black book.
      By coincedence, Webber was “unlucky” again…

  52. Sielan says:

    Great race from Alo, Kimi and Vet. Good to see Ferrari winning again.

  53. Adelaide says:

    If Red Bull don’t make a last season comeback at the end of this year, then it’s clear that Alonso wins it.

    (Pirelli allowing, that is.)

    1. All revved-up says:

      Agree. Alonso beat SV 2 out of 3 races this year. And may have won Malaysia too if not for his first lap 2nd corner mistake.

      But it’s tight, and with Kimi Lotus in play as well. As Murray Walker’s classic F1 line goes – in F1 anything can happen and will happen!

      I for one hope this F1 season is a movie with several twists in the tale.

  54. pcoops says:

    Great Tyre race, loved the slow motion shots of the tyre degradation, much better than ones of schumi power sliding a chicane…

  55. Dave says:

    Wow a lot of you want the bad old days of pagent driving with no overtaking at all, “boo tyres, boo drs, boo this boo that.”

    Stuff that boring old crap, they are all in the same bathtub and the best team, driver and strategy wins on the day! Bad luck to the teams and the fans who cant cope with change, it was an exciting race in my opinion.

    Webber will be walking sideways for a week after this race, a totally comprehensive, pants down shafting all round, crikey!

    Dont worry Mark show ‘em Monaco and Silverstone trophies again and dont forget to give Vettel an outback wave to be getting on with ;-)

    I’m Dave

    1. ahm, why is it presented that if you have discontent with the current Pirelli then you must settle for the Bridgestone years instead? And also, as James himself here has repeated, you don’t have a very long memory of F1 because drivers have always needed to look after their tyres. This is logically very heavy handed. Is it really the case that we have either bullet-proof tyres or tyres that degrade easily? Come on, this is about balance. And at the moment, as much as during the Bridgestone years there is a problem.

    2. Rob says:

      Slipstreaming gives you a buzz like no other… it requires more mechanical grip and less aero dependency. And the joy of watching driver tame excess horse power, to prevent wheel spin is amazing.

      All of these key elements that create a buzz have been eliminated. DRS overtakes are the same as blue flag overtakes…

      Also, the carbon brakes are so effective they have reduced the braking distances to the extend that overtaking opportunities are massively reduced.

      We could have F1 on rails, but someone needs to find the right balance… at the moment it is rubbish, to be honest.

    3. Quade says:

      The old days were boring? I don’t think you’ve watched F1 for long or probably did only after Michellin had left. Thats the only time F1 was boring and it was due to excessive aero, not tyres.

      Tyres have NEVER made overtaking difficult.

  56. F12012 says:

    Great job by Hamilton, very very close finish for third, if Mercedes can sort the race pace, Hamilton will challenge that is for certain

    1. All revved-up says:

      The Hamilton Mercedes story is showing once again that F1 experts were completely wrong criticizing his move to Mercedes. Pole on the 3rd race. Who would have thought.

      But to be fair, the Merc is still at best the 4th best car out there, and would be the 5th best car had McLaren not scored a couple of own goals in car development.

      Hope Merc can continue with their positive development.

      1. Paige says:

        Merc may well have the fourth best car right now, but the margin among the top-4 is very tiny. Performance is all about track characteristics and conditions suiting the car. Merc were very fast on Friday in practice on mediums, and the race was cooler today, which bumped up Ferrari and Lotus and knocked Mercedes down. The key for Mercedes is that they do at this point have a fast car that certainly puts them in range to get podiums and strong points finishes race after race- which is exactly what Hamilton has done in the first three races. He is getting the maximum out of the car right now just three races in, and he is showing a lot of consistency. If he keeps it up, he could have a year like Alonso had last year: keeping a top-4 car in range of the podium every race, taking advantage of days when his rivals in stronger cars have off weekends (which Lotus did in Malaysia and Red Bull did in China), and then strike if you get an opportunity at a win. Hamilton is very much a contender for the championship right now given his current form.

      2. Alexander Supertramp says:

        Well, Alonso had a poor quali-car but strong race car. Mercedes have a good quali-car and decent race car. So Lewis COULD do better than Fernando last year if Mercedes find some race speed (quali is not unimportant, Lewis would have never made the podium without his pole). Then again, you can never tell what the likes of Red Bull can achieve in the 3 week break after Bahrein. Development on the tyre management front is still very much the name of the game.

      3. VP of Common Sense says:

        Sorry Paige, Mercedes has yet to show race winning pace. Kimi was superb on the tyres in Australia and easily won. Red Bull dominated Malaysia, team orders or not. Alonso was unbeatable in Shanghai. Mercedes weren’t winning any of these races. The margin to Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus is considerable. Mercedes have overachieved.

      4. James Allen says:

        HAM could have won Sepang without the pit box error

      5. KRB says:

        And being underfuelled, surely, JA.

      6. David Ryan says:

        Mercedes started last season quite strongly as well, don’t forget – indeed, this race last year was even better for them. Yet it proved something of a false dawn once they got back to Europe, and that is why I would still err on the side of caution. The development race is going to be crucial in keeping Hamilton and Rosberg near the sharp end, and unfortunately that is where Mercedes (and Brawn before it, let’s not forget) have tended to struggle. But you are right to say no one would have expected a pole position this early on, so credit where it is due to them.

      7. mhilgtx says:

        Great points David,

        James or anyone do we know why Mercedes seemed to lag last year? Do we know if they have made changes to keep that from happening again this year?

  57. Wombat says:

    Alonso deserved the win, he and his team worked out the strategy perfectly.
    While I found the race entertaining, it was also confusing as to who was really ‘leading’.

    F1 is looking more like NASCAR all the time.
    So, why don’t they go to Talladega and run a true slip-stream race, like the ones at Monza in the old days??

  58. Paul L says:

    Concern over Massa’s race pace. In Australia it was passable but didn’t live up to his qualifying, disappointing in Malaysia, and even more so here.

    1. David Ryan says:

      I wouldn’t say setting the 2nd fastest lap in Malaysia really counts as “disappointing”, to be honest. His race was wrecked by the graining on his intermediates costing him the better part of 17 seconds to the lead battle, but thereafter his pace was comparable. But for the intermediates issue, he could easily have been in the podium battle. Context is king.

  59. Amritraj says:

    What about all the yellow flag controversy? Are drivers getting penalised for it?

    Also, I am surprised Red Bull has not been sanctioned for keeping Webber out on a lose tyre. They were trying to get him back to the pits and risked the lives of so many drivers in the process.

    This is very similiar to what happened to Alonso in Hungary 2009 and I remember the furore the FIA caused, stating that Renault will get a race ban for the transgression.

    James, your view on this please.

  60. goferet says:

    I thought that was a good race. Yes, it had it all, strategy battles, overtaking and racing incidents (though to be honest, no overtaking move got me on my feet cheering).

    Well done to Alonso on a commanding win and as usual, the Ferraris were electrifying off the grid.

    As for Kimi, when did the iceman become such a lucky boy. I mean you have drivers merely tapping other people’s gearboxes and retiring the next lap, and here’s Kimi smashing into Perez’s rear and then managing to go on till the finish line >>> #Astonishing!

    Very solid race by Lewis, he kept out of trouble, worked his tyres as best as he good and yet again showed he’s still the master of the last lap, lap corner battles. However, I was pretty surprised by Rosberg’s latest retirement seeing as the team was pretty reliable during winter testing.

    Also was pretty impressed that the Vettel, Button and to a lesser extent Hulkenberg were able to make their strategy work.

    Lastly good effort by Ricciardo, if he keeps this up, there just might be an opening for him at Red Bull next year.

    1. KRB says:

      Rosberg got hit in the back by one of the Toro Rosso’s. At least that’s what I heard. Would explain the broken anti-roll bar.

  61. Michael S says:

    Kimi’s start killed him… If he could have held at least 3rd into corner one I think it helps him clear some traffic later in the race.

    I swear the Ferrari’s look like they are shot out of a rifle at the start of races

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      That launch control is out of this world! Got to give credits to Lewis for being able to stay in front at the first corner.

    2. KRB says:

      Yeah … I wonder, has that ever been put through the ringer, and given a proper and full looking at?

  62. Glennb says:

    Like a lot of punters, I too am sick of these current tyres. Drivers unsure whether to put up a fight or not. Teams/drivers sitting out Q3, utter nonsense.
    On the plus side, Webber made up 4 places at the start by my reckoning ;) That puts his all time aggregate at -763 places, up from -767 last outing.
    As for losing a wheel, apparently this went over well with the team as an unnamed employee of RBR said that Mark [quote] “deserved it” ;)
    Well done ALO, never looked like not winning. Well done HAM for holding off that conceited little RBR driver and earning a well deserved place on the podium.
    Congrats to Daniel Ricciardo. Good quali and a decent race all round.
    Driver of the Day? No-one. Nothing outstanding going on out there today. Overtakes were mostly artificial. Webber was in front of Vettel for about 15 seconds at one point. This was going to be exciting. The pressure must have got to him however as he used JEV’s sidepod as a braking aid. Vettel was reasonably exciting in the last stint but still nothing memorable for me today unfortunately.

  63. goferet says:

    It was Alonso’s 31st career victory,
    equalling Nigel Mansell for fourth in the all-time winners list


    However, it has to be pointed out that Alonso’s career has just entered a different zone.

    You see with Schumi being on 91 wins, Prost 51 wins, Senna 41 wins, From now onwards, Alonso should really be weary of the digits ending with the number ”1” for that just maybe the last win of his F1 career.

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Hahaha :d! I always care to read your stats, but i’m pretty sure you’re wrong on this one :D

    2. Mingojo says:

      Until next week! :-)

    3. KRB says:

      Well, Big Nige won his 31 in 187 GP’s, whereas that was Alonso’s 200th (200th started, that is).

      The time from his 30th to 31st win was fairly long … I don’t think it’ll take as long before his 32nd.

  64. goferet says:

    A jurno on Twitter ~ Kate Walker, has just tweeted:

    ”So, back on the Webbo/Porsche thing.
    I am pretty confident given my source
    (nameless!), but it should start in 2014
    for 5 years.”

  65. aveli says:

    is anyone interested in why rosberg went out of the race?

    1. unF1nnished business says:

      Apparently his rear anti-roll bar broke.

    2. Elie says:

      Yes but I can’t find anything yet . Mercedes haven’t posted an official statement yet :(

      1. aveli says:

        i’d like to know exactly what happened.
        i was impressed with hamilton shouting at his pit crew to use the blue flags to help him through the back marker at the last corner before the chequered flag. a clear indication of his mental ability. the team should have thought of that and got it sorted long before hand.
        that’s why he is the best driver to have ever stepped foot in the sport.

      2. Elie says:

        Yep he & Kimi I can’t split them

      3. Anne says:

        Brawn said the anti roll bar problem was too serious to keep Rosberg in the race

      4. Elie says:

        Thanks Anne I read it on Merc site today

      5. aveli says:

        that’s true, but it would be nice to know if the anti rollbar failed because it was fauty or because rosberg hit the curbs too hard.

      6. James Allen says:

        It’s a very unusual failure

  66. Wade Parmino says:

    At what point do coincidences cease to be just coincidences? Webber has suffered a lot of ‘friendly fire’ this weekend. Surely there is nothing to these conspiracy theories but there are a lot of circumstances that seem to back them up.

    I know this is a rather outlandish notion, but given occurences like the 2008 Singapore crashgate scandal and the McLaren spygate business of 2007, it must be acknowledged that some very sinister and underhanded deeds have taken place within Formula 1. With this in mind, just how much does Vettel hate Webber? Enough to have someone sabotage him without the knowledge of Horner, Marko or Newey?

    Is the atmosphere within the Red Bull team even worse and far more toxic than it appears from the outside?

    1. Dave says:

      Vettel doesn’t have the testicular wotnot, I’m plumming for a Marko conspiracy plot.

      He reminds me of the parent living a failed dream of sporting greatness through their offspring, or in this case adopted “loin fruit”. He failed as a F1 driver but he is livining his dream via Seb.

      Now that is conspiracy a la carte. :-)

    2. brny666 says:

      cool story bro

    3. mhilgtx says:

      So with 10′s of millions of euro’s on the line Red Bull Racing decided that in a race where they had almost zero chance of winning they would make sure one of their cars would finish outside the points and let Ferrari, Lotus, and Mercedes close the gap?

      All to sabotage the driver they tried to foolishly gift a win to the prior race!

      Yeah that is exactly what is happening.

      1. Wade Parmino says:

        Read posts comprehensively. I never said that Red Bull Racing as a team is sabotaging Webber. What I was merely pondering was whether or not Vettel personally hates Webber enough to have someone sabotage him under the noses of the management.

        People who have achieved great success can develop a ‘god complex’ with delusions of their own importance and act in rogue ways. Flavio Briatore is one such example within Formula 1.

      2. mhilgtx says:

        I read your post quite clearly. The thought of some conspiracy with Vettel, the fuel guy and the tire guy is so far out there I didn’t think it was worth commenting on.

      3. Peruvian says:

        The thing here is, that once Vettel got out of the first pit stop Webber crashed, a silly crash, and with all the debri, a safety car should of come out, thus giving a sure advantage to Vettel, same as the Picket incident a while back….. then Webber is running around with an obvious ill car, trying his hardest to get a safety car again…
        Again, that accident was avoidable, when was the last time anybody watch such a silly accident in Formula 1….

      4. mhilgtx says:

        The same race when RAI ran into Perez is the last time I saw such a sill accident. There was also a ton of debris, no safety car and somehow Kimi avoided being penalized as well.

        I guess I just don’t find it as plausible as some others that RBR would hurt their chances at WCC points or that Webber would wreck in order to help Seb if that is what you are saying.

  67. Ashok says:

    Who was the person accepting the constructor’s trophy for Ferrari on the podium?

    1. brny666 says:

      piero ferrari

  68. quattro says:

    RAI and Lotus are going to be very dangerous this year, given the consistency RAI is showing.

    He is playing the same game ALO was playing last year – only in this case he has a much better package. He lacks the aggression that ALO has at starts and decisive moments, but still gonna be very dangerous…

    The above assumes Redbull does not manage to up their game and give VET a consistent and “tyre-friendly” 0.5 sec/lap advantage soon.

    The same goes for the constructors. Redbull has already lost this one I think regardless of how fast a package they give VET, as they obviously will be (content) racing with only one driver for the reminder of the season.

    1. All revved-up says:

      Good point re constructors championship. I admire Webber’s tenacity through his career, more grit than talent – compared to the top guys. But it’ll be pretty tough for MrWebber once it dawns on him that he is out of title contention and out of a Red Bull seat next year. The atmosphere is just too poisonous and if not dealt with risks demotivating all members on one side of the garage. Which is rather silly team management.

    2. Elie says:

      I think you mean “he lacks Ferraris launch control” and em€300million+ budget. His car was never quicker than Fernandos on the mediums all weekend ( only softs) but in the race he would have challenged for the win.

      If you have less than half ( nearer 1/3) the budget and fighting a team like Ferrari then you gotta say they are doing a tremendous job. When your team mate is finishing 10 and you are winning or running second then there is something special about the driver. Not when 2 Ferrari drivers are constantly in the top 6. I hope that puts things into perspective for you.

      1. Honkhonk says:

        Elie I guess you should give Alonso more credit than Kimi then… Kimi’s only got two wins for Lotus, all his others came in teams with the biggest budgets in F1. Meanwhile Alonso has won the majority of his races in the lower budgeted Renault team… Including two world titles. That’s two more than Kimi. Does that put things into perspective for you?

      2. Candice says:

        seriously…Renault back then had equal budget to Mclaren due to tobacco and telefonica major backing..

        comparing tree to grass

      3. Elie says:

        Yeah thanks I suppose in 2005 and 2003 at Mclaren when the Mercedes engines kept blowing up and Kimi was leading races & championships doesn’t count- especially 2005 when he would have taken one away from you know who. ( he had something like 6 or 7 wins and was leading both MS & FA. & yes “only” 2 wins and several other podiums in today’s Lotus is like double that in a Ferrari or Red Bull. Further you cannot compare the old Renault team to now- their budgets were considerably greater than now as they were a full works team.And he’s only been back in the sport 14 months. So in most balanced “perspectives” he is equal of any triple world champion.

      4. Honkhonk says:

        Another gem from Elie. Renault had the 5th highest team budget from 2003 to winning its 2 titles. Hardly comparable to the big spenders. It was easy reading when they won, they noted this several times in the press, but I guess that fact wouldn’t suit your delusion. And now blaming exploding engines for Kimi, fast and fragile cars have often been around, another moot point.

        You can make assumptions all you want but here are some facts. Ferrari chose to dump Kimi for Alonso, if he was as good no team would do this ever. That’s all you need to know. Kimi could have gone to Renault but openly said he would only drive for a top team and promptly retired, therefore having spent full years only in the richest teams. And you say “most balanced perspectives” have him equal to any triple world champion? I beg to differ and any list of the greatest drivers of all time clearly rate the two drivers you are comparing with Alonso above Raikkonen. That being before last year, arguably Alonso’s best year, where he was roundly deemed driver of the year, leaving the gap even bigger. [mod]

      5. James Allen says:

        Please don’t insult other posters. You’ve done it a few times in the last few days.

        We do not tolerate that here and your entire posts will be deleted in future if you persist- Mod

      6. quattro says:

        I said nothing about Lotus or RAI not doing a tremendous job…not sure why you are telling me these things…

        But since you are mentioning it, I notice Lotus are comfortably beating Mclaren this year. I wonder how much bigger budget they have compared to the Whitmarsh squad…??

        And if not my memory is letting me down, ALO have always had supreme starts, even back in the days when he was driving for Renault (todays Lotus) and racing Schumacher (driving a Ferrari). Maybe those telling me, ALO always himself designs and implements the launch control systems first thing he does when arriving to a new team, are not crazy after all…

      7. Elie says:

        Mclaren have more than twice the budget of Lotus- almost 3 times. I’ve read that a few places including here. There is no comparison. That means Ferrari too – where supposedly Fernando designs his own launch systems and had it delivered at the snap of a finger.
        It’s all about perspective Im just trying to highlight it for you Quattro before you pull out your Fernando doll.

      8. Justin Case says:

        Relax Elie…..we know you love Kimi! But why do you attack everyone elses drivers to ‘prove your point’? I dont think anyone was negative towards your special driver yet your motherly instincts kicked in and you start on Alonso.

        When Kimi spanks Romain hes special but when Fernando does it to Massa, Ferrari are sabotaging………

        Fernando won two championships with Renault. Kimi drove for McLaren and won nothing. Kimi drove for Ferrari and thanks to our friend Felipe in Brazil and Lewis’s shenanigans in the last two races he reversed into one title. Lets see if the ex rally car participant can do the same as Fernando and win in a lesser budgeted team. Thats about as good or one sided as i could have written to show you how you come across after every race.

      9. Elie says:

        Read my posts before you ask the same question . Btw I was the first person to acknowledge Fernando & Ferraris great win. Just trying to keep it in perspective – too many of you believe the hype and show boating the team in red are renowned for whereas Lotus and Kimi are understated and therefore casual fans have little or no idea of the history, budgets or the politics that envelope the truth.

        Address the facts, as I always try to do & don’t take it personally . I received a few replies that are not visible- which means too many of you make it personal and have been moderated. Deal with the truth I know it hurts some of you- just call it a reality check

        There are several people here I totally disagree with – but respect their opinion because they provide accurate insight and perspective on events.

      10. Honkhonk says:

        There are commenters here that comment a lot and we who comment less know them by username. I know Quattro is an Alonso fan, but he is never really condescending. Elie on the other hand attacks others often, particularly Ferrari fans, with some facts and a lot of assumptions at times. I guess they don’t moderate ignorance on here, but maybe someone who claims to work with facts could understand that if she has moderated replies maybe she isn’t as factual as she thinks. I’m not a casual fan, by the way. From your hundreds of comments I gather I’m at least as knowledgable as you, whether you respect that or not.

    3. Zinobia says:

      Kimi is also a great starter, he just suffered from a technical issue today.

  69. peter_h says:

    Tyres were pathetic & DRS made passing so easy they were boring to watch again.

    Even Martin Brundle who’s been a big defender of DRS was complaining about it today.
    The 2 zones & DRS restrictions in practice/quali has done exactly what I feared it would, Teams are now optimizing DRS for passing & its making DRS passes twice as easy as they were in the past.

    as a result theres no really good wheel to wheel battles, its all just push a button & drive clean past half way down a straght.

    Also everyone was just running to a lap delta again saving tyres & we had a lot of radio calls telling drivers not to race other cars because tyre saving was more important.

    This ain’t racing anymore, Its boring DRS-ing & tyre conserving!

    1. vae says:

      So are telling me that you rather see the guys that start from from pole get stuck behind the guys that quali lower…really. Some people here must be brain dead. These tyres at the moment are not made to last long, and you would prefer watching faster cars and good drivers struggle to get past 5 or 6 fastest cars on grid..Haml can’t even past kimi with drs and much newer tyres at last pit stop for second. If it wasn’t for the drs these guys would have not finished on the podium. Vettel would have won that race because he took a gamble of starting with primes, if that happens no front row drivers will be setting fast pole times because everyone will start on primes and so on.

  70. StefMeister says:

    If there going to continue with DRS (I’d rather see it banned though) then I really feel they should look at if its really needed at every race. Today was just stupid with how easy DRS made things (Even Brundle who often defends it was very critical of it today) & I really feel this is one track where its not really needed.

    This is the 3rd season we have it & they really should have it figured out better than this by now, The fact they haven’t perhaps shows that they never will get it right.

    1. Stephen Taylor says:

      James, if Pirelli want to use more durable tyres for Spain and beyond why not use the Hard and Medium compounds more often as the two choices over a weekend?

      1. Glennb says:

        I was wondering this myself Stephen. I wonder if China might have been a better race if Pirelli brought those 2 compounds instead of the Soft/Medium.
        I imagine they’ll be taking the Supersoft/Soft combo to Canada for a laugh :)

  71. jay dee says:

    Was strange race. Altho it wasn’t boring nothing really gave very much exitement. Biggest dissapointment is how Massa always ends up falling back when he looks fast in practice and qualifying.

  72. Mr Squiggle says:

    This is now my fourth decade as a fan of F1 and I will defend this sport’s quality and intensity to the death.

    But I want to say that today was a total schmozzle, I didn’t get any enjoyment out of it at all.

    The only reason I watched this circus in Shanghai was out of loyalty.

    Its pretty clear to me, this sport has moved ahead of the medium’s ability (ie TV broadcasts) to keep up with the tyre and engine strategies.

    I couldn’t work out what was happening today, and I didn’t know who to care about. There was no sense of competition to me, it just seemed like a lottery.

    If TV broadcasters want to add any value beynd the mere projection of pictures they will need to find some way of explaining these tyre strategies and sharing them with the audience.

    And while I’m at it, congrats to Nando, three races, three winners. It will make later races in the season feel important, but this one was like reading something in greek…or chinese

    1. AlexD says:

      It was very easy to predict for me…not sure where you see complexity.

  73. McHarg123 says:

    WOW!! Ricciardo is certainly positioning himself well for a Red Bull seat. What a performance. I noticed him having what looked to be a very friendly chat to Helmut Marko while they were on the grid. Good signs!

    1. quattro says:

      Marko: mate, well done well done. Ehh, you are aware our friend Vettel is behind you, yes yes?
      Ricciardo: Yes yes, sir. Don’t worry [big smile]. He will not even notice I am on the track with him [bigger smile].
      Marko: good boy, good boy [slap on shoulder].
      Ricciardo: thank you sir.. you know, I am not like that Webber, you know [biggest smile].

  74. Ayron says:

    Something needs to be done about the tyres!

    I can understand, and even appreciate the benefit of having tyre degradation and the various strategies it can lead to, but as a fan and someone who occasionally attends race weekends – money permitting – I would have been distraught to have sat through that qualifying session!

    The whole point of this sport is supposed to be the fastest drivers in the fastest cars, racing their hardest the whole time. Not the most laps they can do on Friday and Saturday morning on their “free” tyres and then a qualifying session which saw no one on track for half the session, followed by a Q3 that saw the previous race winner and defending WDC not even complete a full timed lap.

    Then in the race we have drivers asking if they should fight for their place or not, or being told not to put any effort into fighting! I thought that fighting for your spot was in the job description – obviously not.

    This is atrocious. Bring back refuelling and tyres which degrade in way that makes both sets worth using and give them enough tyres to let them go hard in qualifying without destroying their race day. Put on the show that the fans are really there for!

    1. AlexD says:

      You seem to represent all fans. I prefer how its now….in 2-3 races from now teams will get on top of tyres and it is going to be ok. No need for refuelling….adds nothing positive to the show, just a cost.

  75. Calmo says:

    So what did I get from this weekend. DRS effectiveness needs to be reduced by a lot. It’s needed because without it we’ll be back to seeing cars that are 2secs slower becoming impossible to overtake again, But this is ridiculous. Make it have an effect of 5kmph not… 15-20 like it does now.

    Also Quali. Bernie did say on the grid there will be some changes coming in Spain. Hope it’s something like giving drivers 1 quali only tyre or something. I dont think we would have been left wondering how many (if any at all) on Saturday would be going out to set a lap if they knew they could get a set rubber for Quali only which they wouldnt have to carry into the race. Would also eliminate the travesty of having drivers missing out on Q3 having a tactical advantage in the race as well. If you are p10 and have made it into Q3 you should without any doubt have the advantage over the “failed” p11 gridslot driver

  76. AlexD says:

    You know what, it was the race where I could really understand what Vettel is worth. Probably for the first time Alonso had a car that was really fast and he did just amazing job and could have gone faster. Amazing race by Alonso, I wish his car is really fastest for the remainder of the season. Phenomenal, phenomenal absolutely amazing drive by alosno…….WOW!

    1. Alexander Supertramp says:

      Well, let’s hope that the cars remain closely matched. Even as an Alonso fan, you sure don’t want a dominant car, do you :d? It just tends to taint the glory of a possible championship!

      1. AlexD says:

        Alonso did not have a dominant car as vettel nad in 2011 for sure. He had a very fast car today. Anyways, if you do not start on pole, as vettel typically does, then you risk to collide or you destroy the tyres behind other cars, as vettel did today. So….i would not mind to see alonso winning several more races and starting from pole, just for a change

  77. C Lin says:

    And the winner of the race is………

    The Chinese fans, they are all over Raikkonen until Lotus guys have to built another Great Wall of China! LOL.

  78. Cain says:

    I just lost my respect for Perez. He was one of the guys I cheered for from the beginning of his F1 career. After he drove Kimi off, he said “Basically Kimi outbraked himself and locked his tyres and hit me from behind.” I mean, come on. You give the man no space and but all the blame on him aswell. I know pressure is big in McLaren but be a man and take the blame when needed.

    1. Chromatic says:

      He doesn’t learn fast enough, that’s no good for McLaren.

      1. C Lin says:

        Kimi is one of the fairest driver on the grid. That coming from Perez is a little disappointing.

  79. Geenimetsuri says:

    The tire business is getting ridiculous.

    3-4 seconds faster laps…For 2-3 laps, then the softer tires wear out.

    Abolish the must-use-two-compounds -rule.

    I don’t think Vettel would have overtaken Hamilton even with couple of laps longer race, the tires were already running out.

    1. Poyta says:

      Yeah but so were Hamiltons – one more corner and Vettel would have passed quite easily. Great effort to Merc and Hamilon for holding on to the points, played the game very well.

  80. nusratolla says:

    The pace from Vettel on softs was visually frighten.

    Kimi was heroic and its unbelievable the way he beat Hamilton in half a car while Hamilton’s Mercedes completely in its full glory. It is now stated that Kimi lost 0.25 seconds per lap that equates to 1 second in every four laps. Now considering the fact that he clashed with Sergio on lap 15 of the 56 lap race, he was losing 0.25 seconds per lap for 41 laps which means he lost it total of 10.25 seconds and the distance to Alonso was 10.168 seconds.

    So, in other words, the incident which is by all means a racing incidents and no blame to both Kimi & Perez ruined what could’ve been a breathtaking race.

    But then again…. Alonso by all means had a lot in reserve to see any challenge through from anyone, such is pace of the Ferrari this year…. But then again…. Kimi on an attack is a different animal.

    Well, no matter how many ifs and buts state, the fact is it was a fantastic race with a worthy race winner and equally worthy podium finishers.

    Thank you Pirelli (I know the drivers and engineers wouldn’t agree but we the spectators do)

    1. Sebastian says:

      What’s the source of the damage being worth 0.25s per lap?

      1. Kimi4WDC says:

        Alan Permane of Lotus.

    2. Kimi4WDC says:

      Biggest dent on Kimi’s chances to win was a bad start. I hope it is really easy to fix, as they said after the race.

  81. John says:

    Why should someone who cannot even get to points block with swerving drivers who fight for the win. I understand Perez is paid to race hard, but, he should have been penalized for the way he drove today.

    1. greg says:

      Perez pays to race at Mclaren, he brings lots of money and I don’t think he was as good as KK at Sauber, just brings a lot of money and had a few lucky results due to starting on the better tyre.

      James, do you think its time McLaren brings last years car back at least for Button whilst Perez continues with the one they have now. Last years car was faster at this point of the year and had the next 17 rounds to be developed etc so it would of been even faster around China today!

      1. James Allen says:

        That would be unworkable in terms of spare parts etc. Running two different specs of car is very expensive

        They won’t go back. Let’s see how they’ve modified the chassis in Spain

      2. Phil says:

        Its a suspension rather than aero problem then?

    2. nusratolla says:

      Eventhough I’m a Raikkonen fan I ought to admit that it was a high risk maneuver to pull off even with the best in the business like Schumacher (in the past, when he pulled off that awesome Eau Rouge), Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel…. not the likes of Perez or similar class of drivers…. So, it was the matter of a high risk maneuver being pulled off on someone who is not class personified as Raikkonen…. hence, a racing incidence.

    3. Sebastian says:

      Perez seems like a nice guy. I doubt he did it on purpose. Probably didn’t realise how close Räikkönen was. Unlike Maldonado a couple of years ago, I think Perez will actually take note for the future.

    4. Stephen Taylor says:

      James how much does Sergio get paid a year roughly? He isn’t earning all of it at the moment i’d say.

    5. John says:

      Perez was swerving on the track before being hit by Raikkonen. After that he was a well behaved driver. Like a boy when slapped on the hand. It seems that Perez is troubled GP driver at the moment. He has scored only 2 points (am I wrong?) since he got the contract with McLaren. The pressure got to him even before he got to McLaren. A lot is expected from McLaren driver. He definitely needs help from the team.

  82. jay dee says:

    Am I the only one who thinks DeResta should stop complaining all the time? Blame’ing Sutil for him for him not finnishing higher up is stupid. Paul has always moaned but never been as impressive as his team mates.

    1. Justin Case says:

      BBC pump him up which helps us remember hes driving………I call him ‘ghost’ hes there but you cant see him. It got seriously funny when Brundle was suggesting he was a good fit to replace Massa or pair up with Button for this year! But that was happening more when he was managed but Anthony Hamilton.

    2. KRB says:

      I think the contact was his fault. He should not have placed his car alongside Sutil’s at that point on the track. Asking for trouble.

  83. Richard says:

    That race was boring. Were there any actual “propper” overtakes?

    Everyone might as well just run time trials…

    1. Kimi4WDC says:

      Kimi on outside in turn one, champ stuff.

    2. Poyta says:

      What race? It was not racing it was driving – drivers driving around at controlled lap times set by the engineers based on the cars ability to manage tyre degradation. The only racing we saw was from Button and Vettel at the end where there was no need to preserve tyres – they were just told to go out and push. Wish we could have had 56 laps of that.

  84. Rushil Jain says:

    Whats the reason behind the Ferrari’s great starts?
    Considering how important the starts are, I would have supposed the other teams would have caught up with them as far as launch controls go. Its been the same way for more than an year. Surely the genius brains at Red Bull, Mclaren, Merc can figure it out.

    1. Justin Case says:

      Thats to do with Renault. Its safe to say whatever area of the car Adrian Newey ISNT involved with is perfectly legal……………………that incudes engine, steering wheel, seat, tyres and drivers drink bottle!!!

  85. why says:

    I think it was a quite interesting race.
    Abt the tyres – calm down guys the team will get a grasp on them very soon.Today Vettel did 5 qually laps with very good pace on softs !
    Best driver – cant decide but all top 5.
    WDC will be between these two guys.
    Bahrain will be quite interesting as Pirelli will bring Softs and Hards.

  86. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    I like Hamilton, I don’t like McLaren, I don’t mind Vettel, I acknowledge Alonso, but I will vote Kimi Driver of the Day.

    That’s my statement :)

  87. [MISTER] says:

    There is a thing that I meant to ask James and everybody here in respect of Webber’s fuel problem on Saturday.

    We know that the team can see the fuel level in the car when they race, and they ask the driver to save more fuel. Why didn’t they saw Mark’s car didn’t had enough fuel as soon as it left the garage?

    If they have this ability to see the fuel left in the tank at any point during the GP, they must’ve seen he left the pits under-fueled.

    1. Poyta says:

      Good point. I’d like to hear the answer to that too.

  88. mhilgtx says:

    Well I will just skip through the almost 300 post mostly complaining about the DRS or the Tires.

    For me I love the DRS, the number one reason I never caught on to F1 was it was even more boring than NASCAR. Very little passing and the races mostly won in the pits before the race ever started.

    The new approach to tires could be tweeked but F1 races are so short compared to racing in the US I think they have it pretty close.

    Sebastian Vettel to Christian Horner: “Here is an abacus for you mate apparently your fancy computers can’t figure out the importance of 7pts.”

    I stand by my position that RBR’s decision to let Webber win in Malaysia was a terrible decision and only one race later we see why. With Webber’s DNF those points would just be wasted.

    Wished Hamilton would have won but that was a fantastic race and I thought it was extremely exiting and entertaining. Looks like the Renault powered cars need to find some speed somewhere though. While I don’t expect Ferrari to be organized enough to truly threaten for a title they could since they obviously have one of the fastest cars.

    I love football too, the Dallas Cowboys are my favorite team :).

    James it is my understanding that F1 cars have a pretty small amount of torque, can you give me an idea how much torque they actually have?

    1. mhilgtx says:

      One last thing I forgot is that Suzie Perry came accross as either arrogant or and “obliv-iote” at Malyasia constantly getting in the TV shot of Will Buxton’s interview with Christian Horner while she was waiting for her turn. Quiet rude.

  89. olivier says:

    Button: “Shall I fight him?”

    Me from my armchair: “WTF?!?”

    > Button summed it up pretty nicely. Everyone is driving his own race. Very disciplined. What’s next? Driving F1 races from the simulator?

    I’d like to see the racing spirit back. It shouldn’t be about conserving tires. Instead it should be about harvesting energy and using this to the maximum. Make the tires and the fuel last the distance*. ERS should be the differentiator, not tires. I am allready looking forward to 2014 …

    (*) The tiresome tyre changes are creating the wrong environmental image as well. What environmental message are you sending out with tires that only lasts 6 laps?!?

    1. mhilgtx says:

      Great point about the environmental image. They couldn’t pollute more if they ran 500 cubic inch 1200 hp engines.

      I am not much on the whole “man made” global warming thing or green thing as there is so much trouble with the data there but the eviro’s must go apoplectic with all that clag on the track.

  90. ymy says:

    Perez may not have exspected to be overtaken on that side in that way because he has not the skill or talent to be looking for the pass , it reminds me of a pass kimi made on shumi last year that blew me away but shumi never hit him , he was a real driver/racer thats the difference (cannot remember the track someone may).

  91. David Ryan says:

    Very impressive performance by Alonso indeed – perhaps a bit of good fortune in encountering traffic at a point where he could muscle his way past rather than get bottled up, but he drove a very controlled race and did everything he needed to. Thoroughly deserved victory.

    Have to say, though, if things carry on this way I think Raikkonen may be hard to beat in the title race this season (which is not what I expected to say going into it). Considering his balance issues after that Perez pratfall (for which Perez provided a somewhat unconvincing explanation, I have to confess), his performance was very strong indeed and while we don’t know enough about how much Alonso was cruising towards the end I think it would have led to a much tighter battle for the victory had that prang not happened. More to the point, Kimi seems to be able to pull results out of the bag even in difficulties, like last season. I’m probably jinxing him now by saying it, but I’d say he’s my shout for the title this year if things continue like this.

    Other than that, good drive from Hamilton again, decent salvage job from Vettel but a lot of thinking to do for Red Bull over the next week, and good drive from Button as well. Massa’s drop in pace was disappointing to see, but given the team’s comments about it being almost apologetic I wonder if a set-up glitch was to blame – he certainly seemed racy enough on the softs. Ricciardo drove very well indeed, and Rosberg was unlucky to have to retire after showing decent pace. Big disappointments of the day though were Perez, Sutil and Gutierrez – Sutil less so than the others although nearly taking out his teammate was pretty daft, but certainly not a good day in the office for either Mexican.

  92. Rob says:

    McLaren need Kobayashi…

    Perez is beyond a joke… he should be at least 2 tenth quicker then Button. Button is known to be a slow driver.

    Whitmarsh must lose his job – he does not have a clue about racing.

    1. Anne says:

      McLaren needs Raikkonen and the right engineers to make a competitive car

      1. nusratolla says:

        There is no combination more frightening than Kimi & Mclaren. I see Mclaren altering ‘certain rules’ to accommodate ‘their’ beloved Finn.

      2. Rob says:

        Kimi and the corporate world of McLaren do not gel well.

        Lotus is definitely the right environment for him – and he is doing well there.

        McLaren need the services of an aggressive driver, and the only driver close to what Hamilton could do was Kobi.

        Engineers need quality data from drivers that are on the limit of the car’s capabilities.


  93. Gul says:

    What a happy podium! All earned their spot and no awkwardness. Plus my 3 fave drivers, though as a Ham fan wanted him to win, though towards the end was happy for him to be just on that podium. That was one longggg final lap!!
    Webber- I mean that wheel was so close to target-SV :)
    Riccardo- defo going to RB next year him and Marko look tight!
    Perez- I mean come on Macca, if you getting a pay driver at least get one that can drive!
    Massa- what is going on ?
    Button- are we fighting? Wish he fought to keep his beard :(
    Force India – well that’s a team battle to keep an eye on too!
    Gutierez- underage drivers in F1?!
    Suzi perry\bbc1 forum- don’t like it.

    1. Mike from Colombia says:

      Perez – what a mistake McLaren made in signing him. When Lewis left them, McLaren acted like a hurt girlfriend being dumped and on the rebound. Immediately found someone else to go out with – regardless of who it is. That McLaren seat is one of the most coveted things in F1. McLaren should have had more respect for the seat.

      Suzi “Gadget Show” Perry is not up to the job.
      If I was Lee McKenzie I would be thinking about taking the Beeb to a tribunal. She was more than good enough for the role.

      1. Gul says:

        agree 100%%%%

  94. Rach says:

    Hi James,

    For what it is worth I am in the camp that these tyres are silly. I understand all the arguements and know that the teams will get on top of them but I think that at the moment these opening races are too much.

    I am sure that come the summer the issue will have gone away but I just would like f1 to be slightly more pure. Whilst I admit watching Vettel hunt down Hamilton was exciting it was more exciting because of the consequences rather than it being a thrilling battle. I think for me that this is the distinction. If Vettel had passed Hamilton it would of been a big moment as it was for the podium place. However in contrast to Austin last year a battle that lasted a whole race and had one key moment where Hamilton struck in decisive manner. That for me was far more gratifying. I’m also thinking about India where Hamilton failed in his charge at the end to get Webber? A full out battle that a locked wheel at the tight hairpin ended up costing him.

    Finally I would say that I’m ok with DRS. Although, at the moment with these tyres I would say its unnecessary.

  95. Mike from Colombia says:

    Agree with everything that Jacques Villeneuve said on the BBC. This is not real racing. No gladiatorial battles will ever happen while we have these tyres and the dreadful DRS.

    On another note. When will the BBC have some considerations for fans. Ban Legard from commentating. Absolutely littered with errors.
    He does not know how to read a race and even until 5 laps from the end he was insisting that Raikkonen had to come in for softs.

    He ruined this race for me. Someone from the Beeb needs to put their arm around him and quietly lead him to his desk and an empty cardboard box.

    As for Suzi Perry – when will she learn not to interrupt and make constant desperate attempts to show that she has “some” knowledge on F1. If the BBC wanted a female then what they did by sidelining Lee McKenzie is criminal. Lee did a great job and actually knows something about the sport.

    Please please please get rid of DRS. I want to see moves like Monza 2007. Or Monza 1998. When will we ever see an ending like Spa 2008 again?

    Driver’s are simply running their own races and hoping to do so in clean air. If you try to overtake someone you are seen as reckless. Better to just hold off, or even better let others overtake you so that you can stroke home those dreadful tyres. You dare not get off the racing line because you run the risk of having to drive over a carpet of Pirelli droppings.

    DRS has to go. And if we really have to have these tyres then at least give the teams more sets.

    Enough for now. I am off to fit some new Bridgestones on my car today.

    1. mhilgtx says:

      Mike just to play Devil’s advocate to your post.

      Do you not make the point for the FIA and Formula 1 that the racing had become stale? You list these great races but they are years and even a decade apart.

      I must be honest and say that no I have not seen every race for 20-50 years like many of you. I am desperately trying to fix that but alas F1 must feel like there is not a market for throwing all of the old races up on Itunes.

      One thing I do see a trend of from the veteran’s is that even in the halcyon day’s of old a true overtake was a rare thing and a great race was even rarer. To me this is not much different and I must say I wish DRS were added to IndyCar road races and Kers as well.

      Well while we are on Indycars make the cars look better than that monstrosity Dalara is rolling out there.

      I just know that every race this year has been intriguing and made me think and look forward to so far. Maybe in 20 years when DRS is long gone I will be posting on here that they need to bring back DRS and get ride of these turbine’s and solar panels and batteries.

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        I just remember when an overtaking manoeuvre was actually an overtaking manoeuvre. Not tyre degradation or DRS.

        And I preferred watching those last 5 laps of Schumacher desperately trying to overtake Alonso at Imola 2005 as opposed to the free for all flypasses that we see now.

        You get one move to defend against a guy coming up on you on a straight at 15km faster? That is not overtaking – it is basically lane discipline that you would perform on your average motorway. There is no more real cat-and-mouse. It is slow lane and fast lane. Good tyres or bad tyres.

        The pre-DRS world was so much better. Now we only get to see true overtaking a couple of times a year – up the hill at Eau Rouge.

        Only qualifying is really satisfying to watch now. Cars in full flight. And even now this has become a joke.

        In my opinion, DRS was the most radical change in F1′s history. A real watershed moment. Up until then overtaking was an art. It’s now basically a right of the person behind you – all other factors being equal.

      2. mhilgtx says:

        I think you have selective memory as we all do about years gone past.

        The race now to the DRS line and the strategy of when to use DRS where there are 2 DRS zones present is beyond fascinating.

        It took me a few races to understand that. I also love the tire strategy.

        In days gone by F1 had differences in engines and chassis and suspensions and fan cars and now it is DRS, KERS, and tear away tires.

        I only ask you and all the others that hate today’s racing to take a step back and look at what is there instead of what you wished was there.

    2. John says:

      I would never-ever agree on anything with Jacques. I never know what kind of agendas he has got in his mind.

    3. Justin Case says:

      Good luck with the Bridgestones. They will last you a lifetime………just dont expect overtaking.

      Last season saw more great races than all the races from your examples put together 1998 to 2007. If you miss processional racing then go watch some classics from Magny Cours, Barcelona, Hungary, Jerez and my old favourite track Estoril during the 1990′s, 2000′s……..

      1. Mike from Colombia says:

        Last year’s races were “exciting” because they were unpredictable. It was not “racing” though.

        You can forgive the Pirellis a little. However, while DRS exists there will be no true overtaking.

  96. JC says:

    Boring!!! Best Car and driver won today, but very little true racing! IMO this is not what F1 should be, strategies on tyre management belong to sports cars !
    ALO superb, Jenson brilliant execution of the endurance strategy in a sub par mclaren and Webber impatient in a weekend to forget… Great driving by Kimi and Lewis. Sutil needs to find a lucky charm…

  97. f1kings says:

    dear, james allen it’s truly sad to read all the commit about the one sport that has been such a joy in my life.. to read that some feels that formula one is starting to look like a wrestling event is the lowest and one of the worse things to hear!! the fia has turn something that was magical in to a gimmick is appalling !!! so many have voice their opinion from the start about these pirelli tyres and i am one of them, and yet the power to be still chooses the tyres for each race weekend ?? but if these pirelli tyres are all the teams has to work with let them pick what compound that work the best for that team .. and in closing, please,please to the fia and john todt and bernie ecclestone make some changes for the whole of formula one before it gets out of control please …
    formula one life is forever and it has no equal …

    1. AlexD says:

      Poor you if F1 is a joy of your life:-) need to find somethi g real, genuine and not manipulated.

  98. Tom in adelaide says:

    DRS needs to go ASAP.

    Also, Webber penalised for next race due to what was 100% racing incident? Is that really what we want F1 to be?

  99. David Hope says:

    If people are going to complain about DRS overtakes and tyres they need an alternative. That alternative would probably have to be a massive aero reduction. Right now it is impossible to overtake without a mercedes with no DRS or tyre difference because of the car in front’s wake.

    3 or 4 years ago you could hardly see any overtakes a race and it was so frustrating. Traffic ended a race if you didn’t qualify 2nd or 3rd. At least now qualifying is an advantage which is all it should be. The race is the race!

    So until aero is massively reduced (not the half hearted efforts of recent years) and cars are matched gp2 style I’m happy with Pirelli and DRS

  100. JohnBt says:

    When the softs were discarded soon and mediums took over we had some form of decent racing with proper pace. As not all DRS overtakes were successful I don’t wanna add more whining. Lewis’s softs were shot not even into lap 3.

    Alonso deserved the win with his outright pace and in his raging red bull he controlled the race comfortably. Nando’s flow was perfect, sweeping around the track steadily. I don’t think Kimi would’ve caught Nando without the broken front wing but nevertheless Kimi drove very well too. Lewis did his best and looked happy (Schumi must be pissed, lol).

    How did Mark’s wheel break off at that speed and that was lucky he wasn’t in full speed. But to penalise Mark for a race incident was uncalled for. What’s new with FIA.

    Wow Ricciardo finished where he started, very impressive and Bianchi was too.

    1. Craig D says:

      I think it hadn’t been fixed correctly at the stop and at the hairpin his wheels went over the curb and he took a tight line to avoid the leaders lapping him. I think the bump of that curb and the acute angle he took shook the wheel free.

      As for the incident, it’s regrettable for Mark but I think he deserved the penalty. It wasn’t a geniune overtaking chance, the gap wasn’t there and he took the Toro Rosso out.

  101. _Nick_ says:

    Urgh, these tyres are slightly annoying for a spectator. The best part of the race was when Vettel was allowed to use the full life of them and really push. That makes it far more interesting than having F1 drivers “drive to a predetermined lap time”.

    I don’t blame Pirelli in all of this though, it’s obvious they are doing what they have been asked to produce tyres that degrade. For my mind that is a bit artificial. This is F1 racing, not endurance racing.

  102. kfzmeister says:

    Third race and Alonso won it on pace and determination. Nothing gifted to him there.
    It’s gonna be a great season. The Ferrari has speed and Alonso’s gonna extract the most out of this one.

  103. Tim B says:

    I’m starting to find the style of the constant carping from self-proclaimed “purists” a bit wearing.

    We get that you don’t like the current rules formula, and it’s great that you express your opinions – that’s what James has a comments section for, after all.

    Could we lose the sneering tone, though? I’ve been following motorsport in general and F1 in particular for 40 years, and I compete in amateur motorsport in a purpose-built race car. I know a little bit about motor racing and what it takes to drive a car fast on a track.

    I happen to like the variables that have been introduced by the tyres. I also don’t mind DRS as a way of compensating for the effect on a following car of the turbulent aerodynamic wake of the leading car.

    However, I am getting tired of being characterised as a shallow or uninformed fan, or a “magpie”, or any one of a number of sneers, for holding those views.

    Express your opinions, discuss, argue. Just try to remember that the people who disagree with you are just as passionate and often just as knowledgeable about the sport – they just have a different view.

    1. Peter C says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Tim.

      My motor sport history more or less mirrors your own. What I find is that anyone holds an opinion, there are too many posters who are prepared to be rude or insulting just because their thoughts differ, rather than discuss their differences.

      I’ve been keeping away from some blogs for this very reason, to avoid the petty sneers & insults that are bandied about. I noticed the ‘magpie’ remark too, that is one poster who induges regularly in cheap sneers, when a different view is expressed.

      The anonimity of the internet seems to let some posters lose the run of themselves.

      1. James Allen says:

        We try very hard to moderate them out

  104. Anup Kadam says:

    Hi James,
    Now after the Chineese GP i hope no one would compare Felipe with Fernando..because he was,is and never will be in the class of Fernando Alonso…he just out qualified Fernando by tenth of a second and people started to think he is much better or make be equal to Fernando..I do agree Fernando is not the best in qualifying but when it comes to racing he is the only best out there…Felipe is always there only till the first stint but then starts loosing ground massively and he always explanation for that…whats your take on this James ?

  105. Tony says:

    Webber’s fuel penalty appeared to be cancelled out by starting from the pit and running the softs for less than one lap. Being forced to run both compounds can sometimes be considered a penalty and in this race it obviously was. So we have one penalty effectively cancelling out the effect of another.
    Firstly, was this really legal? He was able to run the softs for less than a lap! (From pit exit to box.)
    This isn’t the first time that Red Bull have managed to annul most of the effects of a penalty, and if Webber and his team hadn’t cocked things up later on he probably would have been in contention for a podium.
    Do the rules need changing to stop this sort of thing? If so how?
    Lastly, does anyone think this could have actually been planned?

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes it’s legal, don’t forget you lose a lot of time and track position by pitting on lap 1, it takes 19 seconds to pit

      1. Tony says:

        OK, it’s legal but is it right?
        He had relatively clear air to make up the time taken to stop. He’d almost managed to catch up with Massa and Rosberg before it all went wrong – not much of a penalty. Just wondering whether you and others think it is right that a penalty can be largely annulled like this.

      2. Torchwood Five says:

        Tony, I don’t think teams should be allowed to mess with a car that has been penalised, to allow it to cope better with traffic.

    2. Warren Groenewald says:

      I actually found the decision quite strange and rather than annulling the penalty I thought Mark would have been better off putting in 5 banzai laps and using the pace advantage of new soft tires to cancel out the penalty.

  106. Bjorn says:

    Regarding the Kimi Perez incident

    Kimi said:
    “I don’t know if he could see me or how it happened, but there was no way for me to avoid it anymore as I was there next to him and ran out of road.”

    Perez said:
    “Basically Kimi outbraked himself and locked his tyres and hit me from behind.”

    I assume Perez will see it a little bit different after watching the replay of the incident.

  107. Torchwood Five says:

    I hear a lot on forums about how important points are to the team, but with the new fees that the teams have to pay to the FIA starting this year, including what I believe is £6,000 for each point scored, I do wonder if the FIA are in danger of making point-scoring a double-edged sword for the teams.

    On the one hand, the point tally at the end of the season determines what your team gets paid, but at the same time, there is a hefty outlay.

    1. James Allen says:

      It’s still a small % of the money the team wins. You’d rather have the points than not – put it that way!!

  108. Anthony Alonso :-) says:

    loved that race ! hats off to kimi and Lotus – driver of the day for sure. glad alonso got the win and happy for hamilton too. Surely vettel left it too late by a couple of laps ? the rate he was gaining right at the end.
    And where did Massa’s race go ? i havnt quite worked that out yet. i have faith in him, i think ferrari struggle to look at two cars sometimes ? ?


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