April 14, 2013

F1 Update!: China 2013

There are races that are nailbiters from start to finish, where you have the leaders racing mere feet from each other, while the rest of the grid hovers just carlengths behind, hoping for an mistake.  Then you have the races where one or two cars dominate the field, running away over the horizon, leaving the field fighting for second or third.  Today was neither of these.  THIS is your F1 Update! for the 2013 Grand Prix of China!

*GRAPHS AND CHARTS:  There were actually two races going on today: the one on-track, and the one on the tires.  Those who started on the Soft tires and got off them at the beginning of the race, i.e., most everybody, had one race going on.  Those few who started on the Medium tires and chose to pit late in the race for the Soft rubber (Vettel, Button, Hulkenberg) had the other race, which turned out to be for the fastest non-podium position.  That meant that we had the weird image of Hannibal Vettel leading the race on track, but in fourth position on the pit rotation.

:  Meh.  Once the first pit stop to get off the Soft tires occurred, it became something of a processional.  HWMNBN passed Shiv Hamilton on Lap 5 using the DRS system, and though we didn't realize it at the time, that was the end of the race right there.  The Ferrari was just awesome today, pretty much dominating the field.  Vettel would take the lead on the pit stops, but when the Ferrari wound up passing the Red Bull despite the difference in tires, it was clear who had the best car.  When Vettel finally stopped to get his Soft tires, he was nearly eight seconds behind HWMNBN on track... but nearly 30 seconds behind on paper.  He re-emerged in fourth, 12 seconds behind Shiv Hamilton.  While he would eat that up, closing to less than an half-second behind in five laps, but the Soft tires turned into the legendary jelly donut just as he was getting ready to make a move for the podium.  HWMNBN led Kimi Raikkonen by 10 seconds at the checkered flag, and the Finn led Shiv by two seconds to complete your podium.

: What was the race like?  We here at F1U! kept falling asleep.  In the middle of the day.

*DRIVER OF THE RACE:  HWMNBN got his first win in 13 races.  Just hugely dominant.

:  Ferrari.  They finished 1st - 6th, closed the gap to Red Bull in the constructor's championship to just a few points, and generally dominated the day.  What more could you want?

*MOVE OF THE RACE:  On Lap 5, we had the image of HWMNBN and teammate Felipe Massa behind the Silver Arrow of Shiv Hamilton as they turned onto the start/finish straight.

The Spaniard made quick work of the Brit with his DRS advantage (the FIA added a second DRS zone late; the front straight), clearing the road for his Brazilian teammate.

While Shiv did everything he could to keep Massa behind, weaving across the track (legally!), the result looked inevitable.

...and sure enough, Massa outmuscled the Merc into Turn 1, slapping Hamilton in the face and handing him a two-position loss... to the SAME TEAM... in one straightaway.  Bravo, Ferrari.  Here's your shared Move of the Race!

*MOOOOOO-OOOOVE OF THE RACE:  There can be only one.

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez, in a odd attempt to get past the McLaren of Sergio Perez, decided that he didn't really need to break for a turnOHCRAPFORCEINDIA!!!  The Sauber was out on the spot, Adrian F'n Sutil managed to make it back to the pits with a deranged rear wing, at which point the hydraulic fluid for the DRS dripped onto the hot brakes and caught fire.  Nicely done, Gutierrez!  Welcome to the big show, here's a Mooooo!


"Heh.  I win." - HWMNBN

"mrmrdfldmmdmdml mdmlrbmdmmmmdbl mdmdldmldmlmmbll." - Kimi Raikkonen

"I had that third place locked up.  Never worried, not for a second.  How close is he now?" - Shiv Hamilton

"I want to eat your kidneys!  BRRRAAAGGHGHGHHHH!!!!" - Hannibal Vettel

"Not so bad... smoke and mirrors, but not so bad." - Jenson Button

"How did I end up down here?  It's a mystery!" - Felipe Massa

"People said it couldn't be done, but yet there I was, a Toro Rosso in Q3.  And today, I'm in the points.  See, kids?  Eat your vitamins and it can happen to you!" - Daniel Ricciardo

"Och, hoot mon, where's me Loch Lomond?  It's a sair fecht." - Paul di Resta

"I used to be fast.  Now I'm safe.  And slow." - Lettuce Grosjean

"Meh!  Hulk poke." - Nico Hulkenberg

Right.  That's it for China... next weekend, we're in Bahrain!  See ya there!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 07:27 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 809 words, total size 6 kb.

1 I heard Webber screwed the pooch, possibly off-screen.

Posted by: Pete at April 14, 2013 08:48 PM (On5nu)

2 Well, he was involved in an incident with Jules Vergne, for which he earned a 3-place grid penalty for Bahrain.  Then his right-rear wheel fell off after a pit-stop.  And he may or may not have signed a contract with Porsche. 

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 14, 2013 09:36 PM (9jITs)

3 What the heck is wrong with the McLaren this year?  Button managed to make a 2 stop work to pick up 15 seconds, but still was 20 behind Vettel.  And if he'd had to 3 stop, he'd have been back somewhere around 8th.  I mean maybe babying the tires to manage a 2 stop cost him the time, but still, that's crazy.

Posted by: ReallyBored at April 15, 2013 05:22 PM (HRMe/)

4 Yeah, they are slow. Button said that he was letting people overtake him for position without trying to defend it, in order to conserve tyres.

Posted by: Pete at April 15, 2013 08:27 PM (On5nu)

5 Is there a tire (err.. tyre) allocation for each team for the whole season? 

<= clueless.

Posted by: Tom Tjarks at April 16, 2013 12:47 PM (T5fuR)

6 I think it's "per race" only.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2013 01:37 PM (+rSRq)

7 It's actually "per quals and race."  Each car gets three sets of the Hard (or "prime") tire, three sets of the Soft (or "option") tire, three sets of Intermediates and two sets of the Full Wet tires to use as they see fit during Quals and the Race.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 16, 2013 06:00 PM (9jITs)

8 I thought the tire company only brought two kinds of tires to each race, which varied depending on the expected conditions.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at April 16, 2013 09:40 PM (+rSRq)

9 Which tire is the "prime" and which tire is the "option" depends on the race, but they always bring intermediate and full wet tires too. You never know, even in Bahrain...

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at April 16, 2013 10:58 PM (pWQz4)

10 It's not impossible.  Some years ago, reader Astro, who was an Air Force fighter jock who was once based I assume at Isa Air Base, pointed out that while it didn't rain much in Bahrain, it wasn't unheard of... and they were frogswallowers when it did happen.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 16, 2013 11:47 PM (9jITs)

11 There's also tyre restrictions in practise - and you have to give some of them back every session, to ensure that there will be cars on track.

Posted by: Mycroft W at April 17, 2013 10:46 AM (Z484j)

12 Mike, I was trying to avoid getting into all that.  No cause to blow their minds any harder than need be.

Posted by: Wonderduck at April 17, 2013 10:41 PM (9jITs)

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