Hamilton beats Vettel to Shanghai win as Webber races from 18th to podium

2011 Chinese Grand Prix review

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Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix after a thrilling conclusion to the race.

Hamilton passed his own team mate, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa and race leader Sebastian Vettel on his way to victory.

Mark Webber arrived in an unlikely third place having started 18th on the grid.

Hamilton was briefly under threat of not starting the race as the team discovered a problem with his engine before he left he pits to go to the grid. He made it out with only a few seconds to spare.

Once the lights went out McLaren’s race started to go better. Jenson Button burst past Vettel at the start, followed by Hamilton.

Vettel was left to protect his position from Nico Rosberg, who in turn had the two Ferraris behind him.

The leaders held station in the opening laps with just two seconds covering the top three. Button came in first but lost his lead as he bizarrely tried to stop in the Red Bull pit box where they were waiting for Vettel.

Vettel got out of the pits before Button, and Hamilton lost so much time on his worn soft tyres that he dropped behind Felipe Massa before pitting.

Rosberg made his pit stop early and took the lead after the Ferrari drivers had come in. But while Mercedes and McLaren committed to a three-stop strategy, Ferrari and Vettel would only make one more stop.

Rosberg and the McLarens made their second stops and quickly began catching the leaders again. Fernando Alonso was particularly slow in his middle stint and all three came past him very easily.

Vettel and Massa made their last stops, leaving Rosberg in the lead once again. But Button dropped off the pace and Hamilton pounced at turn one to take second place.

Their final round of pit stops set up an exciting showdown to the chequered flag with Vettel and Massa nursing their hard tyres and Hamilton closing in.

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He made a couple of attempts at passing Rosberg and finally got through when the Mercedes driver was briefly delayed by Pastor Maldonado.

A little over a lap later he was past Massa as well and cutting into the gap to Vettel.

Meanwhile Webber had made an improbable recovery having started 18th. He passed Massa, Rosberg and finally Button to take third place.

For almost two laps Vettel and Hamilton battled wheel-to-wheel but Hamilton’s superior pace, and Vettel’s apparent loss of KERS, eventually told. He pressured Vettel using the Drag Reduction System on the long straight, followed him closely around the opening corners, then dived past under braking at turn seven.

Michael Schumacher and Alonso had a length battle during the race and took the chequered flag with Alonso just in front of the Mercedes. At one point Alonso’s DRS was briefly open outside of the designated zone, though it seemed to have little effect on his race.

Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi were the remaining points scorers.

Behind them was Paul di Resta, who defended 11th in a wheel-banging moment with Nick Heidfeld.

All bar one of the starters was running at the end. The exception was Jaime Alguersuari, whose Toro Rosso shed a rear wheel following a pit stop.

Hamilton’s win moves him up to second in the championship. Vettel’s winning streak may be over, but he still enjoys a 21-point lead in the drivers’ standings.

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2011 Chinese Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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225 comments on “Hamilton beats Vettel to Shanghai win as Webber races from 18th to podium”

  1. Poor strategy from Red Bull. But very nearly payed of so, maybe not.. But had they gone 3 stops, Vettel would have been hard to stop. Very interesting to see how much longer Vettel can keep the tires alive than anyone else and still be competitive! At other races this will play a big role I think.

    1. 2 stoppers might work elsewhere, but not today. But in fairness to RB, they wasnt to know what was going to happen in that race and noones really done a 2 stopper when they’re in contention for a win. Lesson learned, but it could yet be used later to better effect.

    2. In my opinion two things could have made the strategy work:
      1)Leading into the first corner
      2)and/or longer first (and possibly also second) stint (provided the times wouldn’t have gone up too much). Basically committing to two stops from the start.

      1. yea, it was as if the 2 stopper was an after-thought after they did the 1st stop and not something they planned before the race.

      2. I agree. A longer 1st stint mainly because at the end of the 2nd he lost big time last few laps..

        1. Dr Marko (believe him or not .. I usualy don’t) said that Vettel flat spotted the second tyres so they had to bring him in early. They wanted to do it 5 laps later but they felt the tyres wouldn’t recover from it and couldn’t communicate with Vettel so they just made the decision and hoped it would work out.

          1. Different strategies made for a nail-biting finish.

            Just over 10 laps to go (which is normally when the race is pretty much over) it was

            VET, MAS, HAM, ROS, BUT, ALO

            It finished.

            HAM, VET, WEB, BUT, ROS, MAS

            Shows what an amazing finish and an amazing Grand Prix it was.

          2. might be true because he suddenly was a lot slower. Plus I wonder what the blablabla25 they said on the pitboard meant.. if it was 2nd stint or last stint 25 laps.. As it turns out, the last stint was about 25 laps wasn’t it?

          3. @TommyB89,

            And if you compare the end result to the race order after lap 1, there is hardly any difference at all. Hamilton gained a few places and Webber moved in.

            The rest of them all finished in the same order.

            Amazing huh? All those strategies and messing about and in the end they simply end up where they started. Makes sense though when driving in circles :)

    3. He still stayed ahead of Button and Rosberg though, didn’t he? I think the only fly in the ointment with his strategy was Hamilton. I know his tyres would have been shod and he would have been going slower anyway but with one pitstop less and less traffic he had a good margin in hand.

      Hopefully we’ll get to see a proper, same-strategy no-problems race between the pair.

      1. VET and BUT came for their pit stops at the same time; HAM came in a lap later. It is really dumb of Red Bull to do a 2-stopper given that they were leading the race, given that HAM and BUT were on 3-stop strategies. Not sure if they were thinking that they would lose their position to Rosberg.

      2. They seemed to have quite a similar pace at the beginning of the race. It would have been a lot more interesting to see Vettel and Hamilton fight it out with similar tyres in the end.

        1. I wouldn’t be so sure, I think if Vettel’s tyres where fresher, Hamilton probably wouldn’t have caught him.

          1. And if the guys behind Vettel had managed to keep Hamilton behind for a few more laps it might have worked as well.
            Just look at the fight Rosberg put up for Webber.

    4. Whitmarsh said afterwards McLaren was initially on a 2-stop as well, but changed when they noticed the tyres degrated faster than expected.

      Vettel’s radio problems ment that Red Bull wasn’t able to receive feedback from him about how the tyres changed, which ment they were stuck on their 2-stop strategy.

      1. dansanter (@)
        17th April 2011, 11:30

        At the end of the day RB screwed up and Hamilton fought hard to take the win. There are many factors to talk about but its all Red Bulls responsibility and they failed on a few things. I think we will see many more races like this throughout the year between Mlacren Redbull and hopefully some more action up the front from Mercedes and Ferrari soon.

      2. They don’t need the radio to see whether tyres are degrading or not.

        1. yeah but they do get constant feed back to and from the driver.

          i dont like red bull that much. but i thought 2nd was a good save from being 3rd on lap one.

          and they were the only team to make 2 stops work ‘sort of’ ok he got passed but thats just due to that phase of the GP that doesnt mean it was totally wrong.

          vettel kept his head and didnt throw himself into lewis like he might of a year ago. so good performance all in all.

          could of been worse at least. they could of left him out far to long like ferrari did to fernando and mclaren did to lewis in sepang.

        2. Um yes they do. they have a code. “phase 1….phase 2”. ;-)

          I think the radio was a serious problem for them. Normally it wouldn’t have been, but because this was a tight race and strategy was crucial it was actually important for them to be able to have a conversation with Seb. if they had got feedback maybe that would have lead to them pitting a few laps later.

          KERS may have lost them the race too. If it gives you 0.3 secs a lap and if it didn’t work for 17 laps then that would account for all of the deficit Vettel had to Hamilton.

          …Anyway. Great race. Fun to watch.

          1. Nope, no radio needed we could all see the problem from Live timing, total screw up by RBR. It was so obvious, no crystal ball needed either.

        3. If Vettel had done a 3 stopper then he would have had to overtake.

          Hamilton only made it work because he overtook. But despite being in the lead didn’t make it work because he didn’t overtake as much and as quickly.

          Now I’m not saying Vettel is the worst overtaker and that is quite clearly shown by Spa, Turkey Silverston all 2010 etc… but II think RBR may have made the right decision for some like Vettel to go 2 stops.

          The best stratergy for Vettel goes like this.

          POLE > Lead at first corner > Stop minimum times > Winw

          He can go from 2 row or so > lead at first corner, but otherwise you’re pushing it, and he candrive overtake in the pits, but that is about all.

          Ever since Canada then Silverstone and a bit of Spa Red Bull ahve realised this.

          In Silverstone after pitting due to a puncture he wacked cars as he tried to overtake slower cars coming back. In Spa he hit a force india and button.

          In Canada despite coming 4th or so at that stage he radioed in and asked if he actually had to overtake anyone to win the race, believing that his stratergy actually could mean he would win without overtaking.

          1. Well, Vettel overtook Hamilton just before his 1st stop. There you go.

          2. Ehm … no he didn’t. That was Massa.

          3. yep he did. Before HIS pitstop, not Hamiltons.

          4. Hilarious Analysis on Vettel!

          5. Vettel overtook Hamilton but this showed a potentially important part of the race that hasn’t really been discussed, at that point Hamilton’s tyres were shot – he was seriously struggling for pace.

            Button was due in the lap before but didn’t box so Hamilton also had to run a lap longer than intended. This really hurt him because the lap that Button pitted Hamilton was obviously struggling for grip. It was fairly easy for Vettel to pass him (would have happened anyway as it was on the lap that Hamilton was supposed to pit) but I suspect that Hamilton lost lots of time on that lap before his pit stop due to shot tyres. He recovered that loss with good driving and overtaking.

          6. love it!

            i’ll be watching for this in future.

            CotD has to be:

            The best stratergy for Vettel goes like this.

            POLE > Lead at first corner > Stop minimum times > Winw

      3. I think that is only a bit of a weak excuse for RB. Vettel heard what the team said, just they couldn’t understand him.

        Had they told him to get into the pits he would have stopped to go to a 3 stopper.

        The 2 stopper might have worked for Vettel if only Massa and Rosberg could have kept Hamilton behind for just a tad longer. Great battle.

  2. Fantastic drive by Hamilton, what a race ;)

    And Webber did not bad for a number 2 driver :D

    1. Yeah, sad to see the BBC commentary team ignore Lewis almost till they couldnt anymore, focusing instead on Jenson. Shame.
      Great race from a great driver.:)

      1. @rantingmrp
        to say that the current commentary is biased towards Jenson is putting it mildly

        1. Well you have 2 British commentators, and we are talking about 2 British drivers. They all know each other and would have had many conversations I would think. I’d say the commentators just get along better with Button and thus, without meaning to be, are more interested in seeing him do well.

          1. That may be true but you can tell in Brundle’s voice that he enjoys watching Lewis as a racer far more than anyone else

          2. I think most of us are able to see the BBC team give credit where it’s due, and don’t have a discernible bias in their commentary.

        2. The bias towards Jenson is a lot less since Legard’s exit. He really felt the need to bring up “Button’s wonderfully smooth driving style” every time Button was on TV.

          I wonder how much he would have eaten those words during this race though. Button flat spotted his tyres at the end of the second stint and cleary didn’t make it all the way to the end on his last stint either. 2 tyre management fails in one race.

      2. d1sciple (@)
        17th April 2011, 12:00

        What? Really? I didn’t notice this at all. You are referring to the BBC, right? They were very pro-British, which as a British commentary team you’d probably expect, but bias towards Button I didn’t see.

      3. Complete rubbish.

        I can’t believe after a race as good as that the best thing you can some up with to talk about is some silly nonsense about which drivers the commentary team allegedly prefer.

        1. The most memorable thing in the BBC coverage was Coulthard trying to avoid wearing the Mclaren T-shirt and the mechanics basically forcing his hand a little there. Considering his still in contract with Red Bull the sponsors wouldn’t be too happy. Lol!! He got himself into a dilemma there.
          After that he was kind of confused.

        2. Yeah I agree.

          I think, probably like everyone else, the commentators were struggling to understand how it was all unfolding. They realised that Vettel was under threat for the lead fairly late I think. …But then to be fair it’s hard to read now and things just unfold all of a sudden in a way your not expecting. This is great…but also bad. It really depends who you want to win the race. The guy who’s tyres start to go just becomes an impotent sitting duck at a certain point. Hamilton is having an interesting time. Last race he was the victim of it and this race he profited from it. It’s all a bit of a roller coaster ride.

          1. I reckon that they should change the TV graphics now. They have to tell us what tyre everyone is on but also how many laps the tyres have been used. I think they should include the number of laps they have been used for both the race and the qualifying rounds.

        3. Trenthamfolk (@)
          17th April 2011, 14:48

          Some people just sit there and wind themselves up about nothing. It’s their purpose in life to find fault with everything. Even when their man wins, they still moan. Very British!

        4. Nothing else left to complain, I guess :-(

          1. Sorry, wrong post reply. I was replying to Keith’s accurate remark about the negative comments concerning so-called bias from the commentators.

            Thought y’all were supposed to be F1 racing fans? Y’all sound like Football Fan Boys to me…

      4. At least ITV were biased with both drivers.

      5. There was no bias, they always focus on the leading driver in the team. Button qualified ahead of Hamilton and even took the lead at the start of the race. So naturally they focused on him. Same situation with the Ferraris, the focus was on Massa.

  3. This race had it all, brilliant driving, great strategy, drama and lots and lots of overtaking. Lots to analyse Keith! But question marks are hanging over Alonso, after 3 races even Massa has started getting his head around driving the Italia 150, is adaptation a weak part of Alonsos character?

    1. Trenthamfolk (@)
      17th April 2011, 10:45

      @Bigbadderboom His overall character is pretty flimsy to start with, lets face it!

      I’m really pleased to see Massa showing what he’s made of, but how long before Alonso throws his toys out of the pram and Ferrari hobble Massa to allow him his ego trip?

      1. i thought considering his bad races recently he was looking fairly chilled after the race.

      2. After having Alonso pretty much push him off at the pit entrance here last year, Massa had a point to prove, and prove it he did. Excellent stuff by the Brazillian, who looked a lot better last season just before Germany and after that lost it again. Maybe his groove is back and here to stay?

      3. Can I suggest you visit planetf1.com? Plenty of opportunity there for you berate the dastardly spaniard.

    2. Maybe his DRS opened up on more than one occasion where it wasn’t supposed to open?

      You get no points for post race press statements, but it gives us a bit of extra insight. I’m looking forward to those.

    3. is adaptation a weak part of Alonsos character?

      I’m not so sure as he adapted well from Michelin to Bridgestone’s, Brundle commented last year that when there’s a problem with the car Fernando adjusts his driving style very well, he’s done well at three teams and performed very well in a dog of a car at 09. One of Fernando’s biggest problems seems to be his poor starts of late.

      1. Well I think he was a bit unlucky in Malaysia and Australia but today’s was a shocker, and he was lucky not to loose more ground. Not much good being 3-0 up in qualifying vs your team mate only to be behind him after turn 1 ever race.

        1. not really mate.

          it was his mistake in malaysia. tho again he had 2 very slow stops.

          today was bad luck. check the race out again(lots going on so lots missed by those not looking at it, which is understable). his pit stop was 6 seconds. before his stop he was right in the lead gaggle.

          after that he had no chance. as he was stuck behind michael. and then they tried to hold him out longer to turn it into a 2 stop. which didnt work(was never going to)

          there is no huge panic. massa drove great. but if it wasnt for the bad stop alonso would of been there too.

          but they as a team need to buck up. as they are losing points. but is there a problem in fernando speed or driving compared to others. NO.

          1. Sorry I was referring to the starts but I forgot to quote Steph’s comment saying he’s had bad starts before I started the comment.

            I don’t think Alonso’s race was particularly bad today, but by his own admission he had a rotten start.

      2. Gotta agree with Steph on Fernando’s ability to adapt. His starts have been haunting him for a while now. Alonso has lost at least a position in his last 4 starts, and the last time I remember him moving up a place at the start was in Hungary 2010. Its surprising to see Fernando as one of the poorest starters on the grid, especially since he was absolutely stellar off the line in 2005, 06 and occasionally in 07 .

        1. i am glad to see that people’s perception about alonso being the best at everything are changing. Like strategists, fans must be able to change their minds about their favourite drivers when they don’t perform, or make mistakes. And alonso is one of them. He is making poor starts, and mistakes. He lookes very much like last year. Let’s not forget that he is not going to stay in f1 for ever. He is not at his prime. “That’s for sure”.

          1. Exactly. Many silly mistakes by Alonso since last year.
            Great strategy by Hamilton, great non-strategy by RedBull. :)
            Fantastic race for Webber and Nico. Michael also did a good job.

      3. Funnily enough Alonso’s adaptation to Bridgestone is often cited as a reason by some as one of the reasons Hamilton matched him in his first year.

        1. Yer that was part of the reason Hamilton was so close to Alonso. I remember that Mark Hughes has said many times that Alonso was much faster than Hamilton in the early McLaren tests on the super grippy Michelins.

          I don’t think that’s really an issue this year though, lets not forget Alonso has still outqualified his team mate in every race, beat him comprehensively in Aus and in Malaysia he was going to finish a long way in front until he made a misjudgement trying to pass Hamilton. Today Massa had the measure of him but I’d put it down more to Massa’s form improving than any problem with Alonso adapting to this or that.

          1. So he’s a bad adaptor…and not a bad adaptor?

            Of course he was faster on the Michelins, he’d been running them for years. The Bridgestones if anything “reset the clock”

            I just hope that if Massa continues this way we won’t hear excuses about tyres (about Alonso) detracting from his (Massa) improvement.

    4. 3 poor starts in a row…not good thing. still I have faith in him.

      1. Lets not forget this time last year Alonso was behind Massa in the WDC and everyone was saying Alonso was being ‘found out’.

        Once again however Alonso made a poor start and Ferrari lost out due to strategy. Alonso in Australia could have finished 3rd but Ferrari pulled him in when Petrov was behind him and he lost out and no one else pitted ahead of him. In Malayasia they should have pitted as soon as Button pitted and they may have got 2nd or at least 3rd and avoided the collision with Lewis. Today they thought they were as good with their tyres as Red Bull and tried their luck and Massa could only get 6th. They need a huge improvement over all aspects.

        1. Your right about last season of course, and I was myself critcal then as well. I think the difference this year is that he doesn’t seem to learn from his mistakes and his development as a driver has stalled. When you look at the grid, especially the young drivers, they are all improving their weak areas, Vettel seems to be making his car last and being less rash and Lewis is also looking after his car better and makes less rash decisions. I’m not sure of it’s arrogance or simply bad luck, but Alonso should have far more in his locker to be finishing behind Massa for the 2nd race, maybe it’s a lack of hunger and desire!

          1. get real guys. his bad starts are a problem but other than that what did he do wrong today?

            he was right on massa/rosberg/lewis before his SIX SECONDS STOP. for the second race in a row!!

            then his strategy was a wild gamble.

            in terms of driving i cant see any errors in his driving today. I think you are all well over reacting and not watching the facts infront of u. massa raised his game but its about time too. but there actual pace was pretty equal up to the stop that changed it all….

            sorry to burst all your bubbles but alonso hasnt had a break down

          2. I don’t think it’s a case of “getting real”, Alonso is the lead driver, he leads development and has a massive input into the team. He is no rookie and has been at Ferrari long enough now to have run out of excuses, the car is designed around him through his own input and feedback. Ferrari enjoy one of (If not) the biggest budgets in F1. He is a double WDC and is not above criticism. He came good last season and probably will do the same again but it may be too late this year, for me much of Ferraris problems must be centred around Alonso. He gets all the prefernces yet finishes 2/3 times behind his number 2.

          3. @ bigbadderboom

            i think your well over reacting.

            also what excuses? dont hear any from fernando. unless your listening to the phantom british press.

            they messed up his strategy. tho he never accused them of that. like mclaren got lewis wrong last week(which he did say, over and over).

            people are making out like fernando has forgotten to drive. which is just tosh

          4. I’m not over reacting, i’m making a point about responsibilty. I didn’t say Alonso made excuses I said he has run out of excuses, in reference to people making excuses for him. And it’s also about Ferrari having (It appears) to have put all their eggs in one basket. Fact, Alonso has lead development, Ferrari have a dog of a car (at the moment), you answer then, who’s at fault?

          5. Ferrari don’t provide the best car to their drivers and then don’t help them strategically by planning the pitstops. Releasing them into slow traffic, messing up pit-stops etc is not going to help when you don’t have a car as fast as RB.

            So no use blaming the driver. Alonso lost a lot of time fighting Schumi and the difference between Macca, Ferrari and Merc was not much in this GP. Hence gaining track position through clever pitsops was a necessity and Ferrari fared badly in that.

            Whoever is in charge of changing tires at Ferrari needs a kick up his back side. Terribly terribly slow!

          6. Alonso is not responsible for producing the car, he can only give development and feedback to the team. He is not an engineer. He has proven over the years that he is excellent at car development over the course of a season but ultimately it is upto the team to provide him the car to challenge.

          7. I think what we can safely say is that on his day Massa is as good as Alonso, something I said before last season and was proved right, sadly only once.

    5. “is adaptation a weak part of Alonsos character?”

      I’m not so sure as he adapted well from Michelin to Bridgestone’s, Brundle commented last year that when there’s a problem with the car Fernando adjusts his driving style very well, he’s done well at three teams and performed very well in a dog of a car at 09. One of Fernando’s biggest problems seems to be his poor starts of late.

    6. One of the best parts of the race was seeing Massa whoop uo on Alonso, he simply outperformed him the entire race, it’s a shame the 2 stop strategy left him on the hards with all the faster guys coming through at the end, but his defense was admirable and he kept Button behind for awhile. A race 10 laps shorter and he, along wtih Rosberg who was amazging today, would have been on the podium!

      1. “A race 10 laps shorter”…and the other guys would still have been in front due to different strategy geared for that race…

    7. I think Alonso is saving energy on a dog of a car. I really do believe he will up the ante one the 150 is back on pace.

      1. Saving energy. Can’t he do that in the 3 week break?

        He got out driven by Massa today, pure and simple.

        1. Trenthamfolk (@)
          17th April 2011, 12:20

          Damn right John H… I like Massa… he is Ferrari’s only redeeming feature!

          1. I like Massa… he is Ferrari’s only redeeming feature!

            Haha, that was great!
            It’s not COTD, but I think it voices what a lot of people feel.

            Let’s hope Ferrari’s only redeeming quality can have a scorcher next race in Turkey, where in won in 06, 07 and 08!

        2. Agree 100%!

        3. I’m happy Massa had a good race today :-)

          But lets face it, Ferraris strategy wasn’t good for either driver. Alonso had once again a bad start, stayed behind Massa, then they got Massa in, as we a know new soft tyres will be 2 to 3 seconds faster alap, so once Alonso came in he was obviously going to be behind Massa. But then he found himself also behind Schumacher which practically killed his race. Once he got past Schumacher (Merc was a lot faster on the straights all weekend) he was 11s behind Massa and had his tyres destroyed by all the overtaking attempts. Instead of going for 3 stops at that point Ferrari decided to go for a very long last stint which didn’t do anything anymore either. He was 20 seconds down 6th place and had the hard tyres until the end so I suppose a he did from that point was bring home the car (at first it looked lie he could go faster but then it was over).

          Glad Massa had two good performances in a row and now his favoutire track coming up :) but don’t write off Alonso until he is mathematically out of it.

          1. yeah it was a pathetic strategy and thats being kind to ferrari

            tho pitting a lap later wasnt the problem that was fine. cos he would of got that pay back later like he did in sepang.

            the problem was the pit stop was again over 5 seconds. putting him out of reach and behind michael.

            he managed to get past tho it took a while(great driving from michael). but they tried to eek it out to a 2 stop. but like you say that was stupid cos his tyres were already shot from racing with schumi.

            alonso needs to kick some butts behind closed doors. cos the car tho no where near red bull or mclaren. is ok enough to compete. but you cant race if your throwing away 3 seconds every 15laps due to rubbish pit stops.

            I am amazed none of the BBC or websites have picked up on how bad ferrari pits have been this season.

            reminds me of williams in 95 when damon always would be ahead of michael but lost 4seconds at every pit. But like fernando damon seemed to get the blame then too. by people not looking at the bigger picture.

          2. I guess they should have tried a 3 stopper for Alonso after getting stuck beind Schu for so long.

            Hard to tell, when it was clear for them that Lewis and the others on a 3 stopper had a fair chance of getting past Massa, proving the 2 stopper wrong today.

      2. Well it’s possible maintaining a decent pace will save his engines for the 2nd half of the season.

        Alonso is still head and shoulders over Massa, one race result doesn’t change that.

        1. Agreed. Massa showed last year that he is better on this track, but much much worse on the remaining tracks.

          Everyone seems to be over-reacting a bit much about all of this.

          Strange crowd…

          1. Massa showed last year that he is better on this track, but much much worse on the remaining tracks.

            How? Alonso barged his way past Massa. He’s generally always been rubbish at this track.

          2. Massa was quite quick before Hungary, if he can recapture that, I don’t see why he can’t take the fight to Alonso.

          3. I would actually like to see Massa give Alonso a fight. It would be good to see 2 drivers push each other, instead of one driver just setting the bar every weekend.

            But I do agree with Riise. Massa only performed better than Alonso in one race, it is a little early to say that he will be constantly on top form.

    8. But question marks are hanging over Alonso, after 3 races even Massa has started getting his head around driving the Italia 150, is adaptation a weak part of Alonsos character?

      I think that’s just wishful thinking on your part.

  4. Andy Redden (@andyredden-on-f1)
    17th April 2011, 10:40

    Just a great race all round. Pirellis worked great. DRS was in just about the right spot and KERS is playing a larger role than previously thought. Great to see the winner go from net 5th and overtake 4 guys to win the race.

  5. Hamilton winning was the best thing thats happened for the Championship and F1. Nothing personal Seb, but F1 and its fans didnt need you winning today. Its a lot closer now and with 3 weeks to get those updates out, its game on.

    1. A fantastic performance by Lewis in a thrilling race.

      I wonder how many out their can still harp on Hamilton’s so-called lack of tire management skills?

      1. well, he was stopping 1/2 laps after Jenson whose no tyre-destroyer. So we should be tipping our hat to Lewis for it today. Lewis said correctly afterwards that he needed to take Vettel when he did, otherwise his tyres would have gone and passing would have been harder. Well done to him.

    2. Its a lot closer now and with 3 weeks to get those updates out, its game on.

      Interestingly enough that is what I was hoping Hamilton would say in the interview room, when they asked him how he felt about closing the gap to Redbull. I know drivers have to have a certain amount of PC when they are in there, but if it were myself I would have just winked at the camera and made some cheeky remark like that. Competition is also psychological, and if you are funny, not only will it endear you to the fans/media/paddock, but it can give you a mental edge over your competitors.

      Kudos to Webber for his funny bit in the interview room.

  6. Strategy for Vettel was poor but RB7 is still outstanding. just look at Webber. They even didn’t use KERS. Other teams have to improve significantly before Turkey if they want to match Redbull.

    1. True, but the problem seems to be that Red Bulls weakest link is on the pit wall, poor call on strategy today for Seb, poor judgement in quali for Mark. I think the it was the strategists at McLaren that bridged the gap this weekend.

      1. Yeah, Mclaren’s strategy was awesome. but strategy shines only if others failed it. Good car is always important…or we could expect another Redbull crash in Turkey? :D

        1. could->should

      2. Only last week we were booing McLarens bad strategy though. It was a pretty close call on what strategy would work best, not that clearly a 2 stopper just would not cut it.

        1. Actually it was shaping up to be a pretty bad day for McLaren strategy again today.

          I remember on the lap before Vettel DRSed Hamilton, thinking, surely they have to bring him in now, then Button on the next lap and they can both keep ahead of him. And he ended up ahead of both of them, though that was Jenson’s fault too. Then they made the right tyre call and their mistake was erased.

          But that’s three races in a row with suspect pitstop timing from McLaren (Australia too late, instead of under-cutting Vettel’s 1.6s lead; Malaysia too soon when Vettel was still +2s ahead and Hamilton had no soft tyres left). They will need to look at this as one day it really will cot them a win that was theirs to be had.

          1. Completely agree – I think this is an overlooked issue in this very busy race. I was very angry at McLaren at this point of the race – Button had good tyres, Hamilton did not.

            If you analyse the charts, on coming in, obviously, Hamilton and Vettel were side by side. Hamilton was blatantly struggling for grip and needed to box. After all of them had stopped, Hamilton had lost 3.74 seconds to Vettel. That’s HUGE. A combination of a lap of fresh tyres for Vettel and a lap of awful tyres for Hamilton.

            To be fair to McLaren though, apparently they called Button in the lap before and he didn’t come in. Admittedly that would still have meant 1 bad lap for Hamilton as his tyres had started to go that lap, but it would have been closer to the correct strategy and minimised the impact of the tyre degradation.

            Though I hate to say it – Button was *potentially* very harmful for McLaren today. Fortunately it came together in the end.

            As you say McLaren need to get their act together, strategy has been part of their downfall for the last couple of years – they often come out second best.

      3. Webber had the best strategy of the lot (fresh soft tyres for the last stint). How can you claim Red bull got it wrong?

        The 2 stop strategy of Vettel, Massa and Alonso wasn’t much worse that the 3-stop of Hamilton, Rosberg and Button.

        Was it bad just because Hamilton finished ahead of Vettel?

        1. I just watched the 12-minute replay on the BBC site and Hamilton was about 5 seconds behind of Vettel and finished 5 seconds ahead of him. I know he had tyres 7 laps younger, but he made up 10s in 10 laps on the same compound. If it was the strategy’s fault Vettel would have finished 4th. Or maybe he should have and Vettel’s that good, equally a possibility.

      4. Poor start by Vettel. If he went sraight ahead instead of moving over towards Hamilton, he may have been able to maintain the lead, or at least taken 2nd place.

  7. Strategy and skill came to dominate this race. That it manifested itself in Hamilton is neither here nor there.

    F1 is back.

  8. This really tells Mclaren’s pace on the track. Even after being passed by the 2 ferraris before the pitstop and then having a 3 stop strategy, lewis managed to catch up with vettel and pass him. Finally, nice to see someone on the top step who isn’t Vettel. I was really curious whether the gamble mclaren did yest by sending out lewis for just 1 flying lap in Q3 will do any good. Guess it paid off well! Excellent strategy from Mclaren.