Fernando Alonso takes dominant win in Chinese Grand Prix

Fernando Alonso is the third driver to win a race in the 2013 season so far, crushing his opposition to secure the win at today’s Chinese Grand Prix. He took the lead from pole sitter Lewis Hamilton in the opening laps, and utilised the Ferrari’s excellent race pace to build a gap to his rivals.

Sebastian Vettel drove a fine race, using a vastly different strategy to leap up to 4th by the chequered flag, after starting 9th. In the closing laps, he put Hamilton under extreme pressure, but was unable to steal the podium spot.

At the start, Hamilton held the lead into the first corner, while the Ferraris slotted into 2nd and 3rd easily, with Kimi Raikkonen going backwards after his front row start. However, the Mercedes clearly lacked raceday pace, and was easy prey for Alonso and Massa by lap 5.

Fernando got to work on building an unassailable lead, while disappointment was to befall Massa, who pitted one lap too late to ditch his option tyres, and fell down the order, which he never recovered from.

Nico Hulkenberg put on a fine display in the first half of the race, leading proceedings after the frontrunners had pitted. Still on the medium tyres he started on, the Sauber driver managed to hold off Vettel – who also hadn’t stopped – for an entire stint.

Mark Webber pitted on the first lap to ditch the volatile softer compound tyre, but a miserable weekend only got worse on race day. Attempting to pass Jean-Eric Vergne at turn 4, the two clashed, with Vergne’s race ruined and Webber under investigation by the stewards. A broken front wing, botched pit stop, and subsequent wheel falling off sealed his fate.

There was almost a safety car early on, as Esteban Gutierrez ploughed into the back of Adrian Sutil at the end of the back straight. Gutierrez, who misjudged his braking point with DRS engaged, put both cars out of the race, and is also to be inquired by the stewards.

While the majority of drivers opted for a 3-stop strategy, Jenson Button pulled off a clean and consistent 2-stopper en route to a commendable 5th place. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez continued to disappoint in the sister McLaren, clashing with the Lotus of Kimi Raikkonen early on, and finishing only 11th overall.

Raikkonen and Hamilton had no answer to Alonso’s dominative drive, and began to squabble amongst themselves for the final two podium places. After several changes of position early on, Raikkonen held off the Mercedes until the chequered flag. Lewis came under massive pressure from Vettel in the final laps – being caught at over 3 seconds per lap – but a small mistake at turn 11 ruined Sebastian’s chances of gaining 3rd on the last lap.

Nico Rosberg had lost out in qualifying, and a failure of the anti-roll bar on lap 22 ended any chances of a good finish for the 2nd Mercedes driver.

Daniel Ricciardo earned significant praise for his performances, taking a career-best 7th position. Paul di Resta, Romain Grosjean and Hulkenberg finished off the top 10.

Alonso’s pace was completely unmatched until Vettel’s option tyre rampage in the dying laps, and he crossed the finish line with a comfortable 10 second gap to Raikkonen behind. While it’s early days yet, it seems like today’s top 4 finishers will be battling away all season long for the drivers’ championship.

About these ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 55 other followers

%d bloggers like this: