Grand Prix 2011 Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

So on to China, with the teams only having a few days rest after Malaysia. Last year Red Bull dominated qualifying with Christian Horner describing Vettel’s pole lap as “phenomenal”.

Come the race, however, changeable weather caught out both the Red Bull drivers and Lewis Hamilton as they pitted early expecting heavy rain. This left Jenson Button, who chose not to go in for inters, in the lead and he, along with Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica who also stayed out on slicks, showed that it’s all about being on the right tyres at the right time.

The race should also be remembered for what looked like an astonishing start from Fernando Alonso. I watched it in an Italian hotel and the crowd literally went wild, only for the assembled throng to mope to the bar a few minutes later as Alonso was given a drive through penalty for jumping the start.

Button’s more mature tyre strategy won him the race, although he was under pressure late on from Hamilton, and the team scored their first 1-2 since Monza 2007 with Rosberg taking third for Mercedes.

2011 has been a Red Bull Fest, or perhaps more accurately a Vettel Fest, so far with the young German taking pole and race wins in the first two Grands Prix whilst his team mate has struggled with various car problems and, might I postulate, some psychological scarring from last season. McLaren are much closer than pre-season testing indicated they would be and Renault have surprised everyone with 3rd spot at both races and an ability to get off the start line reminiscent of the Benetton launch control system.

Ferrari are nowhere near where they feel they should and there will be many tired faces in their pit garage as managers and engineers flit backwards and forwards between Europe and the Far East trying to understand what is going on. Similarly Mercedes are still not even close to where they expect to be whilst Sauber and Force India are looking good for minor placings, dicing with the Toro Rosso’s.

Toward the back, Williams (it hurts me to say) look to have taken 1 step forward and 2 back with their new car and are now competing with Team Lotus to be the best of the worst. Virgin appear not to have moved any further forward compared to 2010 and HRT, despite no pre-season testing, look to have a car which, once a bit more sorted, might get ahead of them. I suppose the question there is can they sort the car?

Oh, I nearly forgot tyres. 55 pit stops in Malaysia, more marbles than a game of KerPlunk and rubber wearing out faster than Russell Brand’s bed sheets. No sign of the wet tyres yet, will Shanghai throw us a surprise (sorry, had to slip that in)

For Galahad's excellent circuit write-up, see here: http://cliptheapex.com/pages/shanghai-international-circuit/
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Can someone explain to me what the problem is should Vettel win? Is it because he's not British or it's not McLaren? Compared to the last season where one car dominated these first two Grands Prix have been quite exciting, albeit a bit confusing with all the pit stops. If Vettel wins 6 of the first 7 and the season is effectively over then I think we will all have cause to complain, although action down the field should compensate, after all how many times did we see Vettel's car during the last race? Few laps at the beginning, at his pit stops and the last half lap of the race.

Moaning lot.
 

gethinceri

Lance Stroll Fan. Alfa Romeo Fan.
Contributor
I agree FB, if he wins then well done to him and we'll see other battles even if he's seconds ahead of p2. As long as we never get the race coverage of Schumi's dominance where lights to flag the director concentrated on a car that wasn't being challenged while great racing was going on down the field then we needn't get despondent.
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
Can someone explain to me what the problem is should Vettel win?

vett_fbmw-7.jpg
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
So the reason some of us don't want to see Vettel win is that he sticks one finger up at the camera* when he wins a race. I hope that is not the level we're descending to.

All these things have happened in F1: Ferrari's veto, Ferrari 'winning' the 2005 United States Grand Prix, Spygate, Liegate, FOTA breaking away, CVC, the fact they've not yet killed the idea of holding a race in a warzone, cheating, inconsistent stewarding, crashgate, team orders, Massa's spring, mass dampers...

What we consider a threat is a young German driver winning 2 races. In a truly dominant 1 car season, the team-mate follows. Who's been 2nd on the grid at both of the last races?

And if it is a celebration that turns you off the guy, simply switch the TV off before the podium and you don't have to see it. In fact, you can enjoy yourself both finger-free and Eddie Jordan' shirts free.

I have to imagine it is anti-German sentiment, because it is not the finger, really, is it?

Schumacher was a cheat. Jerez and Rascasse showed that. Vettel has shown no sign of anything other than being at times clumsy, at times overpoetic, but fast. And with an endearing sense of humour and attitude on top.

I did not intend to write a eulogy of the guy, but quite frankly, there are much worse drivers attitude wise out on that grid, one of whom has won Driver of the Year on this site for the last 3 years on the bounce.

Did the 2009 title end up as a cakewalk anyway? As I recall, it didn't!

*And not the finger Wayne Rooney might use.
 

Enja

isn't dead.
Valued Member
I actually don't have anything against Vettel other than that he drives for a drinks company whose drink I find disgusting. I won't have a problem if he wins every race, if the races are as good as Malaysia. Although I suppose it will get a bit dull..
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
Is it me or are drivers' celebrations becoming ever more ridiculous there days? There was Schumacher and his fosbury leap on the podium, then Alonso with his drunken dancing after a win and now Vettel making it clear he has an index finger... much more of this and someone will come up with a karaoke machine toed to the back of their cars in case they win...
 

Chad Stewarthill

Champion Elect
Contributor
So the reason some of us don't want to see Vettel win is that he sticks one finger up at the camera* when he wins a race.

I have to imagine it is anti-German sentiment, because it is not the finger, really, is it?

Just to clear that one up (without wishing to get too heavy about it), at least from my point of view it is most definitely NOT anti-German sentiment; more like simple banter from the supporter of one team aimed at a rival team.
I dislike Schumacher for all the reasons you stated, nothing to do with his nationality; and I have nothing against Sebastien Vettel. And there are plenty of German sports stars and others whom I admire; Golfers, footballers, tennis players (male and female), actors, Grand Prix drivers past and present (another one of which did pretty well on Sunday, grabbing third place).
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
My fault Incubus as I asked the question if the reason why people didn't like him is because he's not British NOT because he German.

I understand that one driver dominance can be a bit dull, 2009 bored me rigid for a whole host of reasons and the Schumie era had some really dull races. That said, I was able to watch most of the races Schumacher took part in and simply look on in awe at his ability to race a car. Vettel's finger celebration is a bit juvenile but it's his trademark now and I don't think it's going to go away.

Let's see what the weekend brings, given that the other teams look to be getting closer I can imagine a Vettel win but don't think it will be easy.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
Oh right, but yeah, i don't see why an era of dominance by one driver/constructor combo should be seen as boring. Just means they've done a better job.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Michael Schumacher has never qualified higher than sixth at Shanghai.

Can't see that changing this weekend LOL

Is it me or are drivers' celebrations becoming ever more ridiculous there days? There was Schumacher and his fosbury leap on the podium, then Alonso with his drunken dancing after a win and now Vettel making it clear he has an index finger... much more of this and someone will come up with a karaoke machine toed to the back of their cars in case they win...

I take it you're not a MotoGP fan then? ;)

Theirs are ridiculous LOL

MotoGp+of+Spain+5imJ-lcgf1ml.jpg


6220.jpg
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Oh right, but yeah, i don't see why an era of dominance by one driver/constructor combo should be seen as boring. Just means they've done a better job.

Well 1988 had some exciting races but you had two drivers of similar skill going toe to toe. Vettel seems to be having the better of Webber this season but maybe Shanghai might well be different. I think the problem for me in the Schumie era was that his team mates either couldn't or weren't allowed to challenge him and Barrichello couldn't come close to Button in '09.
 
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