The Chinese Grand Prix Report

It was another wet race yesterday.  I really hate that.  And this time, it kept raining, and then stopping, and then raining some more.  It made for a lot of tire changes.  It was actually very exciting. There was a lot of passing and good racing, but in the rain that always makes me nervous.  I spent a lot of time yelling, “be careful!” at the TV screen.  And you have to yell really loud so the drivers can hear you through the television.  I swear races like this shorten my life ever so slightly.

Red Bull locked out the front row again.  Sebastian Vettel on pole and Mark Webber second.  Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was third.  I was pretty pleased with this result because he started third in Bahrain at the season opener and won.  And also it meant he was in the post-qualifying press conference.  I like that.  Nico Rosberg and Jenson Button rounded out the top five.  That Lewis Hamilton was sixth, and Alonso’s teammate Felipe Massa was 7th.

On to the race:  Alonso got an amazing start!  He passed both Red Bull cars and took the lead.  Woo hoo!  But wait, no, he didn’t get such an amazing start after all.  In fact, he jumped the start, meaning he started going before the race officially stared.  NOOO!  You idiot!  What were you thinking?  I could have smacked him upside the head for that one.  It cost him a drive through penalty, meaning he had to drive through the pit lane.  It wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened, but it didn’t do him any favors either.  Stupid stupid stupid.

There was a four-car pile-up during the first lap and that brought out the safety car.  Many drivers took advantage of this opportunity to dive into the pits and change to the semi-wet weather tires (or inters).  Of course a couple laps later they all came in again to change back to the slick (or dry weather tires).  It was that kind of race.

That Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel exited the pits at the same time and got quite racy, this is not specifically allowed, as there are lots of people in the pits.  I have to admit I wasn’t paying much attention to what happened.  They got side by side somehow and Hamilton went a bit wide, perhaps crossing into the slow lane.  Happily nobody got hurt, but both Vettel and Hamilton got a slap on the wrist from the stewards after the race.  However they were just reprimanded, the stewards did not had out any penalties.

During a later round of pit stops Alonso ended up passing Felipe Massa in the pit entrance.  That’s two bone-headed moves in one race from Fernando.  He did not get reprimanded or penalized for it, but he probably should have been.  And I fear this will have the Massa fans sharpening their knives.

The safety car is deployed again!  This time the culprit was an incident between Jaime Alguersuari and Bruno Senna.  It looks like Jaime ran into the back of Bruno while he was trying to lap Senna’s HRT car.  Oh dear.  The safety car bunches up the field, and somehow now Jenson Button is in the lead.

That Lewis Hamilton is charging through the field.  He takes over second place. The big question now is will he be allowed to race Button for the lead?  Or will he sit back and be happy with second.  Team orders are technically not allowed in Formula 1, but everybody does it.  My big question was this; even if McLaren tells Hamilton not to race Button, will he listen?  It turns out the answer to that question was yes.  He coasted across the line in second place. Nico Rosberg was third.  Yay Nico!  And Alonso finished fourth, even after all that drama.  Massa finished ninth.

The next race is in Barcelona on May 8.  At the moment there is some question about how everybody is going to get there, since the volcano in Iceland has pretty much put a stop to all air travel in Europe.  We will all just have to hope they can get there in time.  I love the Barcelona Grand Prix.  I may even get up and watch it live.

If you want more information about the race, try this handy play-by-play.

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