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A Fiery Race In the Year of the Dragon

April 15, 2012

The Shanghai Grand Prix has historically produced some exciting racing.  This year, three races into an already riveting season, it produced one of the finest displays of Formula 1 action that I have ever witnessed.  It was wheel-to-wheel action from start to finish, with only a single retirement, countless overtaking manoeuvres and an elated first-time winner.

An early indication that we were in for a treat was the order of the grid after Saturday’s qualifying.  The most diverse starting grid in many years saw Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher on the front row.  Sitting in third place, his highest ever starting position, was the feisty Japanese driver Kamui Kobayashi.  Behind him we found Kimi Raikkonen,  Jenson Button and Mark Webber whose team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, failed to make it into the final session of qualifying!  The top ten was rounded out by Lewis Hamilton, who suffered a 5 place penalty for changing his gearbox, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean.

The race was dominated by Nico Rosberg who yielded his place in the lead only on the occasions he decided to pop into the pits for a cup of coffee and some new tyres.  The German crossed the finish line a healthy 20,6 seconds ahead of Jenson Button to take his first victory in 111 races.

While all credit goes to Nico for driving his lederhosen off, the real racing was going on behind him in what can only be described as a bare-knuckle brawl for second place!  At one point there were no fewer than nine drivers involved in the scrap and positions were changing faster and more frequently than our president can find himself a new wife.  Miraculously no cars were damaged in the fray, it was a master-class of pure, clean racing.

The near perfect weekend for Mercedes, whose victory was sweetened by the fact that the podium cars were all powered by Mercedes engines, was slightly marred by the retirement of Michael Schumacher.  The veteran was forced to pull onto the grass when he realised that one of his pit crew had forgotten to put the nut onto his front-right wheel.  Nevertheless, Mercedes will leave Shanghai in a very good mood, confident that their season is heading in the next direction.

Formula 1, however, is moving in a more controversial direction.  The next race is the Bahrain GP, an event with a very dark cloud looming over it.  Cancelled last year due to political unrest, there are many who believe that next weekend’s race should not go ahead.  One can only hope that what has been a near perfect season thus far will not be tarnished as it heads to the Middle East.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jacques Davids permalink
    April 16, 2012 15:33

    Nice race indeed but I can’t wait for Schumi to win. A mistake like that is unforgiveable. Lifethreatening. Anyway it was a good race.

    • April 16, 2012 15:44

      It certainly is, I would not like to be the mechanic responsible! At least Schumi is showing some good form, I sense some good results in the future…

      • Jacques Davids permalink
        April 16, 2012 16:05

        Yes its loonnggg overdue. Can u just imagine that “JUMP” on the podium?

      • April 16, 2012 16:21

        I can’t wait to see it!

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