Grand Prix 2013 Chinese Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Formula 1 just got even more interesting.

After the inter-team shenanigans that unfortunately was the main talking point of the Malaysian weekend, Formula 1 returns to the concrete wilderness that is the Shanghai International Circuit in, er, Shanghai for surely the most anticipated race weekend of the season. Inevitably, the chat will be about team-mates; or more specifically the relationship (or lack of it) between Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. It remains to be seen as to whether the two Red Bull drivers will kiss and make up or whether their relationship will deteriorate further. (I don't want to sound dictatorial but it would be useful if we mainly talk about the upcoming race weekend, rather than having this thread hijacked by arguments relating to the team order fiasco of the last one).

But there is much more to talk about. We can't really conclude much at the moment, as we have had two unpredicatble weekends in terms of the weather. But we can conclude that the Red Bulls are rather fast, the Lotii are rather adept at conserving their tyres, Massa has raised his game to Alonso, Mclaren may be showing green shoots of recovery, Marussia Jules Bianchi has impressed and Caterham are nowhere.
However there are still many questions to be answered. Can Red Bull maintain their pace advantage over the others? Can Mercedes win again at the scene of their first victory since the 1950's? Will Mclaren start sorting their season out? Can Marussia catch up to the midfield? Will Force India be able to carry out a pitstop in under a minute? And can Paul DiResta ever give an exciting interview? All these questions will (hopefully) be answered in just over two weeks' time.

If grey is your favourite colour, then the Chinese Grand Prix is the event for you. The expansive concrete paddock, along with the overstated grandstands, the large run-off areas and the ever-approaching city ensure that the Chinese Grand Prix is one of the more corporate events on the calendar. But at least the race can advocate the open, liberal society that is China, so that's alright. A quick word on attendance for the race - they were dwindling but the Chinese seem to have given the event a proper go which is good (for Bernie at least).

However, don't be fooled by the initial uninspiring characteristics- this event has thrown up some brilliant races. How about Nico Rosberg's maiden win last year, in which Kimi Raikkonen went from 2nd to 14th in one lap? Or the tyre-influenced drama of 2011, where Lewis Hamilton overtook Vettel for the lead with four laps to go? Throw in a couple of stonking wet races, and Lewis Hamilton's pit lane heartbreak in 2007, and you have some memorable races. All at a circuit which is flat, soulless, uninspiring and was built to look like a Chinese character (that's true by the way).

Here are these past race highlights (UK users only, although I'm sure that there are some nice videos on Youtube):
2006 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7992260.stm
2007 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/7992265.stm
2009 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/8006795.stm
2010 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/formula_one/8628045.stm
2011 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/13108629
2012 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/17719946

It's too early for a weather forecast, although we have had sun, rain and cloud in the past so who knows what type of race we will have.
In terms of coverage, it will the the BBC's first live weekend of the year so for those of us who don't have Sky, remember to get up early!!

For superb circuit write-ups, overtaking stats and other useful stuff, there are some nice clickable buttons at the top of the page, called Race Hub and Overtaking. They won't bite.

All that remains is for me to say Ready, Steady, Discuss!
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Note to JEV, who says he was unaware that Webber was there: those two little protuberances called mirrors aren't installed on you car for their aesthetic value. USE THEM!
 

downforce

Race Winner
In my opinion the best 3 drivers on the grid were on the podium today and the best 4 drivers on the grid are the top 4 in the championship.

Button also put in a good drive also did Ricciardo and of course Mr. Nico Hulkenburg.
 

Kewee

Race Winner
downforce......I don't think you'll see many more teams than that on the podium, possibly one more but that will be about it for the season. The coming order? Alonso, Hamilton, Kimi, Vettel. I'm being cheeky but I do think Alonso will be on top soon and I've thought long before the win he's just had that this will be his year. I have a gut feeling he will take the title with a GP or two to spare. I said last year that a new car doesn't reach it's potential until its second year of development which is where Ferrari is with this current car. That has a lot to do with my belief that Alonso will be World Champion at the end of this year.
 

downforce

Race Winner
Ok but you are still placing the top 4 drivers in the top 4 in the WDC.

I'd like Alonso to win, I'd like anyone who isn't Vettel to win.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Andrew Benson said:
Hamilton and Raikkonen (and I would imagine Alonso as well) unimpressed by Perez's defence tactics. As you'll know if u saw pre-podium chat


What's that about?
 

Slyboogy

World Champion
Contributor
Hm...fairly average race, with a bit of excitement.

After the first stops you kind of knew the race order, don't know why it took the commentators a while to figure out that Alonso was in the hot seat for the race win.

Alonso was back to his usual self. Great start, had Felipe hassling him for a few laps until he had to stay out. Then just had the race once he passed Hamilton really. The only person who could have challenged him was Raikkonen, but he suffered from wrong start settings and the collision with Perez. With the complete package, great driver, good strategists, unlimited resources and team harmony, it's hard to see past Alonso and Ferrari for both championships.

Poor start from Raikkonen effectively ruined his race. Before he even had wheelspin you could see him shaking his head. Could have won the race without the mishaps of the start and Perez basically being Perez. Managed to hold of Hamilton with a duffed up front wing, came home in second. Puts him 2nd into the championship, a missed oppurtunity for Lotus? They certainly had a few last year, and they definitely need to work on their pitstops.

Hamilton did what the car could let him. Had to pit first, was on the back foot since then. Just managed to hold off Vettel for second. Good race from him.

One lap could have made the difference between 4th and 2nd for Vettel. Gaining 13s in 6 laps on the much hated tyres was something to see. Didn't think he would close up anywhere near Raikkonen or Hamilton, odd strategy which nearly worked.

Button did well to make his tyres last, didn't have the pace. 5th was the best he was going to get.

What happened to Massa? Finishing in 6th when he was fighting Alonso for 2nd must be rubbish. First pitstop was costly.

Ricciardo put in a great performance and gets his best finish in F1. Although helped by the retirements by Rosberg and Webber, but nevertheless, it was a good weekend all round from him. He did have to pit for a new front wing aswell which was missed.

Di Resta felt the love of his team-mate early on, cost him some time, managed to get back into the points. Didn't like his post race interview, so moody and over praising himself.

Lap 1 crash kid, what's going on with you? Hardly seen much of you in the past 3 races.

Hulkenberg deserved better than 10th. Seems as if Sauber's letting him down, bad move? Maybe so.

Williams where nowhere, becoming the new Toro Rosso.

Deserved penalty for Webber, Red Bull have a tough decision. Ricciardo has had his best race. Vergne tangles with the villian Webber, who to pick? LOL

Rosberg seems to have inherited Schumacher's early season troubles of last year

Race was missing something, battle for the lead maybe? Plus the fact drivers where just cruising past each other, whether it was DRS or crap tyres.

Hopefully Bahrain's better.
 

Olivier

Race Winner
1. Alonso
2. Raikkonen
3. Hamilton

Now that's a podium I really like ... Massa is not there but he was not all that fast this weekend ...
 

F1 Shift.net

Points Scorer
Makes me wonder what Fernando could have done in Malaysia. Anyways, this is a great sign for Ferrari and Alonso fans, now they have to keep up with development. Great race today on all fronts.
 

rufus_mcdufus

Champion Elect
I was disappointed with the last stint that Hamilton, on fresher tyres, couldn't get past Kimi on scrubbed tyres.
Also annoyed with the assumption the commentators had that Seb was virtually guaranteed second place - before his pitstop to go onto softs - and then nearly ate my words upon seeing just how fast he was in the last few laps!
 
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