Chinese Grand Prix : Fantastic Fernando
Fernando Alonso wins the Chinese Grand Prix but Vettel still leads
The three-year domination of the Chinese Grand Prix by Mercedes powered teams has ended with a victory from Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso. He bounced back from his second lap retirement at the previous race with a dominating display in Shanghai, now placing him third in the drivers’ standings..
Alonso made a blistering start from the second row of the grid and was able to assert his authority over Kimi Raikkonen going into the first corner. Raikkonen would go on to finish in second place ahead of the pole-sitter, Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton was satisfied with his second podium finish for his new team, however he believes that he and Mercedes could have been stronger on race day. “To be disappointed with a third is a fortunate position to be in”, he told reporters after the race. Perhaps a sign that there is potential for the Brackley based team in the coming races
Red Bull Racing seem set to self implode following the ongoing internal power struggle between lead driver Sebastian Vettel and team bosses, now is the time for championship rivals to attack and go after the major points finishes. Following an interesting decision in Qualifying not to set a Q3 time for Vettel the team ran a differing tyre strategy to cars further up the grid. This strategy meant for an exciting finale to the Grand Prix, however it failed to produce a podium finish for the team with Vettel having to settle for 4th place. The Chinese Grand Prix continued the woeful start to 2013 for Mark Webber with the Australian being handed a grid penalty for infringing regulations on Saturday, colliding with the Torro Rosso of Jean-Eric Vergne and then having a wheel fall off his wagon following a pitstop to replace his front wing. Webber has received another grid penalty, which will be served at the Bahrain Grand Prix for his collision with the Toro Rosso. Questions will inevitably be asked regarding the future of the Australian – only time will tell if he decides to continue in 2014 at Red Bull Racing or indeed in Formula One.
The Formula One circus now heads west across Asia to the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. Teams will be hoping for a trouble free visit to the Gulf state following the cancellation of the 2011 event and heightened security in 2012.