Posted on April 18, 2014


New Ferrari boss Marco Mattiacci, speaking at his first race in charge at Ferrari, did not today rule out the possibility of bringing in new personnel as he seeks to revive the racing fortunes of the Scuderia. “A team is made first of people, people, people, people,” he said in Shanghai on day when Fernando Alonso topped the opening practice session timesheet and finished second in the afternoon. “As I said, the chairman [Luca di Montezemolo], we discuss and discuss and clearly, whatever is needed, we will do, even going to the market but with the clear idea that not More…

Posted on April 15, 2013


Tyres were once again the talk of the Formula 1 paddock in China as teams chose to sit out much of qualifying to save rubber while in the race, those who started on the soft tyre were forced to pit as early as lap six because their rubber fell off the cliff. Jenson Button had to ask whether to fight another driver mid race as lap time consistency was more of a priority. The performance difference between the two compounds also prompted a mix of strategies, with the front seven cars starting the race on the soft tyres, while the More…

Posted on April 14, 2013


The 2013 Chinese Grand Prix delivered an entertaining race which saw a third different winner in three races this season and plenty of impressive performances all the way down the field. Ferrari’s double world champion Fernando Alonso took an impressive victory, building on a fantastic start to take his 31st career win. Kimi Raikkonen felt he could have challenged for the win in the Lotus had it not been for a glitch at the start and damage to his nose following a collision with McLaren’s Sergio Perez. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton couldn’t match his scintillating qualifying pace in the race but did his More…

Posted on April 14, 2013


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 More…

Posted on April 12, 2013


Ferrari finished the Friday practice session in first and third places with Felipe Massa setting the fastest time and team mate Alonso third. The pair were split by the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen, with Nico Rosberg fourth ahead of Mark Webber. It looks like it could be a competitive race, with qualifying certain to be important, but race strategy likely to be the decisive factor, with managing the difference between the soft and medium tyre the key to it. Mercedes had been the clear pace setters on the medium tyres in the morning and at the start of the second More…

Posted on April 17, 2012

The Strategy Report

The UBS Chinese Grand Prix was a thrilling race, despite the comfortable winning margin for Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes. Race strategy was crucial to the outcome and we also learned a lot about how F1 has changed in 2012, with the field closing up on performance, so the top teams can no longer rely on building gaps over the midfield to drop nicely into after pit stops. The leading teams will have to work much harder than last year on creative race strategy and the drivers will have to do a lot more overtaking. During Friday’s Free Practice 2 More…

Posted on April 15, 2012


Nico Rosberg joined the exclusive club of drivers who have converted their first pole position into their first victory with a dominant performance in Shanghai. It was Mercedes first win as a constructor since 1955. And it meant that team boss Ross Brawn has now won races as a senior manager with four different teams, a unique achievement. Rosberg produced a faultless drive and it gave him that elusive first win after one-hundred and eleven starts, and the first for the Silver Arrows since 1955. Rosberg completed the race twenty seconds clear of the McLaren duo of Jenson Button and More…

Posted on April 14, 2012


Mercedes will have an all Silver Arrows front row in tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix, the first time this has happened since their comeback as a constructor in 2010. Nico Rosberg took an emotional first F1 pole position, in his 111th Grand Prix, while Michael Schumacher moves up to join him on the front row after Lewis Hamilton is demoted five places on the grid tomorrow, from second to seventh, due to a forced gearbox change penalty. “It went really well and it’s a very special feeling,” Rosberg said. “Now obviously l am looking forward to starting first in the race! More…

Posted on April 13, 2012


Michael Schumacher topped the time sheets this afternoon in the drier of the two practice sessions, but the indications from the long runs and analysis of lap times is that McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton is the man to beat this weekend. The McLaren driver has confirmed that he will have to move five places back on the grid from where he qualifies, due a forced gearbox change, but in terms of car pace he looked the fastest today. Hamilton set the fastest time in the damp morning session and then finished second behind Schumacher in the afternoon session, with the Red More…

Posted on April 9, 2012


Next weekend is the Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai. Strategy decisions for this race are always on a knife edge; there are several ways to do the race, especially with the cars being close together on performance this year and with the two Pirelli tyre compounds also being close on performance. And after what happened in Malaysia, teams will be working hard in Friday practice to understand how the tyres are likely to perform on long runs and in qualifying. This year getting the right car set up to deal with both is proving very tricky, largely thanks to the More…

Posted on April 18, 2011


An online poll on JA on F1 overnight has shown that from a sample of over 3,500 fans polled, 90% of them thought that the Grand Prix yesterday was really good and that the racing in China was entertaining. This contrasts with the mixed feelings after the first races, where there was too much action in Malaysia and not enough in Melbourne. Not everyone is happy about the new style racing, with around 10% still feeling that the DRS and the high wear Pirelli tyres make the racing artificial. Meanwhile 55% of a poll of 6,000 JA on F1 fans More…

Posted on April 17, 2011


There was plenty of action all the way down the field until the final lap of the race, so it’s a tough call for driver of the day. Who’s yours? Lewis Hamilton – Qualified third and made a good start to jump slow-starting pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel into the first corner for second. Drove an aggressive race, pulling off a bold move on team-mate Jenson Button before passing Vettel for the lead. His 15th career victory and first since last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Mark Webber – The Australian had another tough weekend, crashing out of Q1 for the first time More…

Posted on April 17, 2011


Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix, breaking Sebastian Vettel’s stranglehold on F1 this season in a thrilling Grand Prix which featured the Holy Grail of a pass for the lead in closing stages of the race. It was Hamilton’s first win since September last year and the fifteenth of his 74 race career. And it wasn’t because of the DRS wing, the pass Hamilton pulled on Sebastian Vettel happened in Turn 7, one of the faster corners on the track, when Vettel least expected it and it came about because of differences of strategy. Hamilton had learned from his More…

Posted on April 16, 2011


Sebastian Vettel made it a hat trick of poles in 2011, setting the fastest ever lap of the Shanghai circuit, no less than seven tenths of a second ahead of the McLaren drivers, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton. “It’s too easy,” Lewis Hamilton said to him as they climbed from their cars in parc ferme. Having been a tenth away in qualifying in Malaysia, the colder conditions again helped the Red Bull to stretch its advantage over McLaren. It was Vettel’s 18th pole and his third in China. Tomorrow he bids to become the first driver to win the Chinese More…

Posted on April 15, 2011


Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel headed the times at the end of the first day of practice for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai. The 23 year old world champion, who has led 109 of the 114 racing laps this season and taken pole in both Grands Prix so far, edged out the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button. The times for all three men were set at the same time of the afternoon on new soft Pirelli tyres. But there was an interesting variation whereby Vettel’s time was set on the third lap of the run, while Hamilton’s and More…

Posted on April 18, 2010


Jenson Button won a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix today, his second win of the season and one which puts him on top of the drivers’ championship. It was a 1-2 finish for McLaren with Lewis Hamilton following his team mate home having made twice as many pit stops. It takes McLaren to the top of the constructors’ championship. “This victory is very special,” said Button, who stopped only twice in the race. “It is not luck we came out on top today. We chose correctly in the conditions. It was a tricky race and again we called it right. It’s More…

Posted on April 16, 2010


As in Malaysia two weeks ago, McLaren headed the times on the first day of practice for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix. Jenson Button was fastest in the morning with team mate Lewis Hamilton on top in the afternoon, with Nico Rosberg second, Button third and Michael Schumacher fourth, making it four Mercedes engines in the top four places. We didn’t see what the McLaren was capable of in qualifying in Malaysia because rain intervened. The forecast for Shanghai tomorrow is sunny with only a 10% chance of rain, so we will see whether the team has managed to close the More…



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