Apexhead's 2012 F1 Chinese Gp Rapid Fire Review
Formula 1 F1 Formula One Chinese GP Rreview
Then again, who can blame me? Mercedes had shown very strong in the first two rounds, a pace that was cast aside when the lights went out on race day. But not this day — not for Nico Rosberg, who scored his first career pole AND win in the same weekend. Congratulations to Nico for a fantastic drive and one that was long overdue. Quote
Now, onto a few thoughts and ends:
1. Lotus was the tale of two finishes — young Romaine Grojean had shown great pace in qualifying in both Melbourne and Malaysia, yet had not been able to get to lap 3 in either contest. In China, he was able to finish a fantastic 6th and showed that if he can exercise patience, he should be able to routinely finish in the points.
Meanwhile, Kimi Raikkonen was running P2 until fateful laps 47 & 48, when he plummeted from P2 all the way down out of the points due to severe tire wear, finishing a jaw-dropping 14th. This had much to do with the failed strategy of putting Kimi out on used mediums, and it did not pay off. Still, Kimi’s fall was stark. The good news is though, it appears the Lotus E20 could compete as the season goes on.
2. Sauber’s race pace didn’t show as well as their qualifying, but that can’t be overly surprising. Kamui Kobayashi qualified a eye-popping 3rd, but quickly fell all the way back to 7th after a poor opening lap. He finished 10th. Sergio Perez, coming off his first podium in Malaysia, tried to make his tires last extra longer but it did not work. struggled with his tires and routinely locked up coming down into Turn 14. Meanwhile, both Williams cars finished in the points. Bruno Senna is really showing that he does have potential after all.
3. Jean-Eric Vergne, the young Toro Rosso driver, voluntarily started the race from the pit-lane to adjust his setup from a terrible qualifying session. He ended up finishing 16th, just ahead of his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who finished a reasonably disappointing 17th. The young Vergne has shown good promise thus far.
4. Force India has disappointed through 3 races. I really felt they would make a jump this year but that has not been the case. Instead, it’s been Sauber and Williams who have pleasantly surprised.
5. After a horrific qualifying session (11th), Sebastian Vettel was able to finish in the mid-points for a respectable 5th. The double-world champion was running P2 late in the race, but fell behind both McLaren’s and his teammate Mark Webber before it was said and done. Seb has only out-raced Webber once this season, very surprising coming off such a dominant year in 2011.
6. Jenson Button had a very nice result considering his terrible slow pit stop and props to Lewis Hamilton, who is quietly leading the standings after 3 rounds. Lewis has spoken publicly about his changed, more patient approach and it’s been evident so far. The McLaren has been the only car to show consistently good pace.
7. Poor Michael Schumacher. Given Merc’s tire strategy, it would be easy to imagine a Mercedes 1-2 if not for the disastrous pit stop in which the 7-time world champion was undone by his own crew failing to secure a right-front wheel. Schumi did an excellent job of keeping the rest of the field at bay as Nico built up an early gap but in the end, Nico was able to carry the race on his own.
8. Unsurprisingly, a disappointing race for Ferrari. Fernando Alonso’s abilities are unquestionable but once again, Felipe Massa finished well out of the points at 13. Questions will continue to mount for the Brazilian and it’s only a matter of time before Maranello runs out of patience.