Team-Mate Wars: Shanghai

Tuesday 16th April 2013

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Lewis was 'ecstatic' after grabbing pole

Lewis was 'ecstatic' after grabbing pole

Because in F1 the first person you have to beat is your team-mate.

Red Bull Racing
Race: Vettel
Season: Sebastian Vettel 2 - Mark Webber 1
Vettel was quicker in qualifying, though it would have been interesting to see how the Red Bull team sorted out the Q3 order if Mark Webber had gone through, because they were both going to go for the medium tyre strategy. In the race Webbo had hauled himself back into contention by way of an exceedingly clever strategy, but fell victim of the need for pit-stop sped. In Malaysia they had put in the fastest ever pit-stop, but as everybody's nan used to say "more haste less speed". Vettel oh-so-nearly got a podium. Given Mark's retirement and Alonso's win, Sebastian's move at Sepang is getting retrospectively wiser.


McLaren
Race: Button
Season: Jenson Button 3 - Sergio Perez 0
McLaren have told Perez to be more aggressive and less polite - presumably that means out on the track and not with corporate sponsors. If anything he looked a bit over-fighty in Shanghai. He certainly wasn't letting Kimi Raikkonen go in a hurry and it's pretty pointless resisting against the over-generous DRS zones delineated at the Shang. Even strategic use of KERS wasn't going to counter that.
Thanks to his depositing another McLaren in the Shanghai pitlane entry gravel (the scene of Lewis's 2007 embarrassment) the team now get to keep that gravel. Button maximised what was possible from the car. Given that he was five seconds in front of a Ferrari at the line it's definitely a step forward.


Mercedes
Race: Hamilton
Season: Lewis Hamilton 2 - Nico Rosberg 1
Lewis has established a qualifying edge over Nico even if he can't get his tyres to last. Rosberg's problem is that he can't get his car to last. Hamilton's start to the grand prix was impressive and even the fast-starting Ferraris didn't get a sniff before Turn 1. There's no doubt that Lewis will be in with a sniff of the title if he can get his car to last and if Mercedes can continue to develop the W04, but the first point is already dubious as with three races gone they have a 66% finishing record.


Ferrari
Race: Alonso
Season: Fernando Alonso 2 - Felipe Massa 1
Alonso was back to his very best after the hiccup that was Sepang. Massa, who had looked super-confident on the Soft tyre, had the most miserable experience on the Medium. And he's got that to look forward to in Bahrain this weekend, although the operating temperature will be well above China.


Lotus
Race: Raikkonen
Season: Kimi Raikkonen 2 - Romain Grosjean 1
Three races and three E21s returned to the garage intact, Romain is on a roll. Raikkonen adjusted to his own front-end modifications brilliantly but it's hard to know whether he could have won. Certainly he would have stood a much better chance of winning had he not been given the wrong clutch data for the start and dropped back to P4 on Lap 1. However the funniest bit of the whole weekend was the god-like adulation bestowed on him after the race - he had to use a shield of Lotus mechanics to get him out of the Lotus HQ and back to his hotel. He IS the new Justin Bieber of F1.


Force India
Race: Di Resta
Season: Paul Di Resta 2 - Adrian Sutil 1
After they made contact on the opening lap, Bob Fearnley said that he was going to have to speak to his two drivers, with the kind of weary resignation that parents exhibit when they need to tell their kids off and secretly know which one was at fault but want to appear to be even-handed. It was Sutil. It was, it was Sutil.


Sauber
Race: Hulkenberg
Season: Nico Hulkenberg 3 - Esteban Gutierrez 0
Hulkenberg had a great first half to his race and a poor second half. When he moved to Sauber from Force India at the end of last year it was supposedly a promotion - but it doesn't seem that way right now. He doesn't look in any danger of finishing the year with a TMW ratio of less than 15-4.


Williams
Race: Maldonado
Season: Maldonado 1 - Bottas 2
Maldonado qualified better, and Bottas raced very slightly better, the two cars being separated by just 1.5 seconds at the line - sadly, with so much going on, the Williams cars were virtually invisible to the TV cameras.

Toro Rosso
Race: Ricciardo
Season: Daniel Ricciardo 1 - Jean-Eric Vergne 2
Daniel Ricciardo had every reason to crack that trademark chasm of a grin. His qualifying performance was enhanced by Webber's lack of fuel and Button, Vettel and Hulkenberg's use of medium tyres, but he hung in there in the race for his best result. And unlike Jean-Eric, Daniel didn't have problems seeing Vettel when a Red Bull came up large in his rear view mirrors to overtake him.


Marussia
Race: Bianchi
Season: Jules Bianchi 3 - Max Chilton 0
There's all kinds of talk about Raikkonen going off to Red Bull next year, but at this rate Jules Bianchi looks like he might be in contention as well. Max Chilton got closer to him than before in qualifying and of course the closer Max gets, the more the gloss disappears off his team-mate.


Caterham
Race: Pic
Season: Giedo van der Garde 0 - Charles Pic 3
Pic beat Van der Garde and got quite a long way in front of Chilton in the race. Which presumably is the minimum expected.


The Kimi is Disappointed File: Qualifying was "...not too bad. I think the gap is quite big really". It was his best since his return to F1.

Quotes of the Race Weekend
Sebastian Vettel showed that he has all of Eddie Jordan's analysis skills. After qualifying he said with a smile : "Jenson did a very slow lap at 2:05. I'm sure he wasn't pushing that hard..."

Eddie Jordan on Lewis:"Lewis has released the team into a new zone."

Eddie Jordan on Jenson:"He was the epitome of the perfect guy and he still is."

Eddie Jordanon Niki Lauda:"He is speaking like a pope."
Although we're pretty sure the Pope doesn't use the word 'shit' quite so much.

Eddie Jordan to Daniel Ricciardo:"Without wanting to put a dampener on anything - you haven't finished a race this season."

Eddie Jordan on Kimi Raikkonen:"He's such on fire."

Eddie Jordan on the race:"It had all the hallmarks of everything."

Star of the Race
Sutil 1, Brawn 1, Alonso 1

Overtaking Move of the Race
Raikkonen 1, Grosjean 1, Vettel 1

Dull vs Exciting GPs
Incandescent 1 -Exciting 2 - Dull 0

Sat on the Naughty StepMaldonado 1, Vettel 1, Gutierrez 1

Andrew Davies

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