Hamilton beats Vettel in strategic battle
Lewis Hamilton gets back on the winning sideShanghai offered plenty of excitement throughout the whole race. Tyre manufacturer Pirelli has to be congratulated on having produced tyres which do not last long and which at the same time make the lap times decrease considerably the more worn they are.
These key factors made the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix a battle between the drivers doing two and those doing three pit stops. At the end of the day the only drivers within the top ten who had improved in regard to their grid position where the guys on a three stop strategy.
Lewis Hamilton passes Sebastian Vettel in the closing stagesThe most brilliant driver on track was Lewis Hamilton. In the closing stages of the grand prix he got past both Rosberg and Massa and went on to close the gap to race leader Sebastian Vettel to overtake him 51 laps into the grand prix. The Briton secured his as well as McLaren's first victory in 2011.
Another impressive drive was shown by the third man on the podium Mark Webber. Due to having been on the wrong tyre in Q1 on Saturday, he had to start from eighteenth, which he did using the prime tyre. On these harder of the two compounds he was unable to make any impact in the early stages of the grand prix and was even passed by Sergio Perez. But after an early pit stop Webber was the only one of the top drivers to have got the harder and slower of the two compounds out of his way. This proved to be crucial in the last stint, where all of his rivals were on the prime tyre. The Australian took advantage and sailed past Alonso, Massa, Rosberg and Button to an unexpected third place.
Due to a wrong strategy call Sebastian Vettel
could only stay up front until lap 51.
For parts of the race Nico Rosberg looked like becoming the sensation of the grand prix. Aafter an early pit stop he took the lead of the race, which he regained again before his second pit stop on lap 39. Due to the fact that he had to go into fuel saving mode and a also because of a driving error, when he on lap 45 went too deep into turn 14 and had to let Massa and Button pass, the young German eventually finished fifth.
Ferrari just was not quick enough. After a mediocre qualifying performance their slower two stop strategy did not help. Felipe Massa finished sixth, but at least the Brazilian will enjoy being in front of teammate Fernando Alonso.
Vitaly Petrov and Kamui Kobayashi secured the last top ten places available, with Scot Paul di Resta just outside the points.
Race - final results
2Sebastian VettelGermanRed Bull+5.198562
3Mark WebberAustralianRed Bull+7.555563
9Vitaly PetrovRussianLotus Renault+57.404562
11Paul di RestaScottishForce India+1:08.757562
12Nick HeidfeldGermanLotus Renault+1:12.739562
14Sebastien BuemiSwissToro Rosso+1:30.671563
15Adrian SutilGermanForce India+1L563
16Heikki KovalainenFinnishTeam Lotus+1L552
19Jarno TrulliItalianTeam Lotus+1L552
RETJaime AlguersuariSpanishToro Rosso91
- Shanghai - Qualifying
- Shanghai - Practice 3
- Shanghai - Practice 2
- Shanghai - Practice 1
- And the Winner Is...
- Hamilton or Button?
- Estimated Pecking Order for 2011
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