Chinese GP - Sunday - Race Notes

Alonso wins the Chinese GP for Ferrari

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso 

 © The Cahier Archive

Fernando Alonso made the most of his Pirelli tyres to dominate the opposition, taking his Ferrari to win the Chinese GP in Shanghai. Kimi Raikkonen finished in second place, 10.1 seconds behind, in his Lotus-Renault, followed by pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes, 12.3 seconds behind the winner.

Alonso wins his 31st career win, and his 10th since joining Ferrari. Alonso is not tied for fourth in the all-time wins list with Nigel Mansell.

A charging Sebastian Vettel (12.5s) in the Red Bull-Renault, finished just behind Hamilton in fourth place. Jenson Button (35.2s) finished in the McLaren-Mercedes in fifth, followed by Felipe Massa (40.8s) in the second Ferrari in sixth, Daniel Ricciardo (42.6s) in the Toro Rosso-Ferrari was seventh, Paul di Resta (51.0s) in the Force India-Mercedes was eighth, Romain Grosjean (53.4s) in the second Lotus was ninth, and Nico Hulkenberg (56.5s) in the Sauber-Ferrari finished in the final points paying position.

Before the start Mark Webber will start from the pitlane after being moved to the back of the grid after running out of fuel in qualifying.

The top seven drivers are all starting on soft tyres, while notably Button and Vettel starting on medium tyres from eighth and ninth on the grid.

Webber starting on soft tyres from the pitlane.

At the start Hamilton takes the lead from pole, followed by Alonso and Massa, Raikkonen dropping to fourth, followed by Grosjean, Nico Rosberg, Ricciardo, Button and Vettel.

At the end of lap one Hamilton leads, Alonso, Massa, Raikkonen, Rosberg, Grosjean, Ricciardo, Button, Vettel and Hulkenberg in tenth. Webber pits at the end of the first lap for medium tyres. The two Force India's band wheels at turn 13 - Di Resta running off-track, but continues.

On lap 3, Alonso pressures Hamilton in the lead, the top ten covered by 6 seconds.

On lap 5 Alonso passes Hamilton on the front straight. Massa dives down the inside of the first corner and passes Hamilton as well. Hulkenberg passes Vettel for ninth.

Estaban Guterrez runs into the back of Adrian Sutil, and is out on the spot, while Sutil heads to the pits with a deranged rear wing.

On lap 6 Hamilton, Rosberg and Sutil pit. Sutil retires in the pits.

On lap 7 Alonso pits from the lead, Massa takes over the top spot, but pits the next lap.

On lap 8 Hulkenberg leads from Vettel, Button, Sergio Perez, Di Resta, Grosjean, Jean-Eric Vergne, Valtteri Bottas, Alonso and Hamilton - who sets the fastest lap at 1m42.6s.

Alonso passes Vergne for sixth, while Hamilton passes Vergne as well.

On lap 10 Massa passes Webber on the back straight in the DRS zone to take eighth place.

At lap 10 Hukkenberg leads Vettel by 0.7 seconds, followed by Button (4.1s), Perez (7.1s), Di Resta (8.1s), Alonso (10.3s), Hamilton (11.3s), Raikkonen (14.9s), Vergne (16.4s) and Massa (17.9s) in tenth. Webber runs 11th.

On lap 13 Alonso passes Di Resta for fifth, and then sets his sights on Perez's McLaren in fourth.

On lap 14 Alonso passes Perez in the DRS zone on the front straight and takes fourth.

On lap 15 Hulkenberg and Vettel pit from 1st and 2nd, Vettel passing Hulkenberg in the pits. Button takes over the lead - yet to pit.

On lap 15 Webber attempts to pass Vergne and spins him. Both pit, Webber takes a new front wing.

Raikkonen tries to pass Perez on the outside and runs out of room, touches the back of Perez with pieces of his front wing breaking.

Webber runs slowly and is told to come back into the pits.

On lap 18 Webber pulls off as his right-rear wheel falls off the Red Bull. The Australian's day is done.

Alonso closes on Button in the lead, while Raikkonen, despite his front wing damage closes on Hamilton in third place.

On lap 20 Massa pits for another set of medium tyres. Vettel passes Perez for fifth place, Perez has not pitted yet as well.

At lap 20 Button leads Alonso by 0.3 seconds, followed by Hamilton (4.9s), Raikkonen (5.3s), Vettel (11.5s), Hulkenberg (13.2s), Perez (13.9s), Grosjean (20.5s), Ricciardo (22.1s) and Di Resta (22.8s) in tenth place.

On lap 21, Alonso passes Button for the lead. Rosberg pits again, suffering a slow puncture.

On lap 22 Hamilton and Raikkonen both pit from third and fourth.

Rosberg pits again and retires in the pits, with a reported suspension problem.

Hamilton passes Di Resta for sixth, Raikkonen follows him as well. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m41.9s.

On lap 23 Alonso, Button, Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado all pit. Hamilton sets fast lap again at 1m41.4s.

On lap 24 Perez is the last runner to make his first pitstop.

Vettel now leads Hulkenberg, Alonso, Button, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Di Resta, Massa, Grosjean and Perez in tenth.

Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m41.0s, and closes on Hulkenberg in second place.

On lap 26 Alonso easily passes Hulkenberg for second place. Vergne passes his team mate Ricciardo for 11th.

On lap 27 Massa closes on Di Resta in seventh. Vettel is told not to worry about defending against Alonso. Alonso sets another fastest lap at 1m40.0s.

On lap 29 Hamilton passes Button for fourth in the DRS zone on the front straight. Alonso passes Vettel to take over the lead once again.

Hulkenberg pits and takes on the soft Pirelli tyre.

At lap 30, just past half-distance, Alonso leads Vettel by 2.3 seconds, followed by Hamilton (9.7s), Button (10.8s), Raikkonen (11.2s), Di Resta (20.5s), Massa (21.8s), Hulkenberg (23.9s), Grosjean (29.0s) and Ricciardo (29.5) in tenth place.

Hulkenberg sets fastest lap at 1m40.6s. Vettel and Perez pit. Vettel stays on medium tyres.

On lap 32 Vettel passes Massa for seventh, and makes short work passing Di Resta for sixth. Di Resta then pits.

On lap 34 Vettel passes Hulkenberg for fifth place, and sets fastest lap at 1m40.3s. Ricciardo passes Grosjean for ninth place.

On lap 35 Raikkonen pits from third place. Bottas pits as well.

Di Resta passes Vergne for tenth place. Alonso's lead is up to 11.0 seconds.

Button complains on the radio that chasing backmarkers is ruining his tyres.

On lap 37 Vettel passes Button for third place. Hulkenberg and Massa pit at the same time - Massa leads him on the way out.

On lap 38 Hamilton pits for the third time from second place, taking on medium tyres, hoping to make it to the finish of the race. Grosjean and Vergne pit as well. Hamilton comes out behind Riccardo in fifth.

Hamilton passes Ricciardo, who then pits.

On lap 39 Hamilton sets fast lap at 1m40.2s. Hamilton starts to close on Raikkonen in fourth.

At lap 40 Alonso continues to lead Vettel by 19.4 seconds, followed by Button (24.8s), Raikkonen (29.5s), Hamilton (31.1s), Di Resta (42.6s), Massa (46.4s), Hulkenberg (49.5s), Perez (54.8s) and Ricciardo (55.7s) in tenth place.

Raikkonen sets fast lap at 1m40.0s.

On lap 41 Alonso pits for his final set of medium tyres. Vettel takes over the lead, but still has a pitstop to come. Hamilton sets fastest lap at 1m40.0s.

On lap 43 Alonso closes and passes Vettel for the lead in the DRS zone on the start-finish straight.

On lap 45 Raikkonen charges past Button to take third place. Hamilton passes Button as well and takes over fourth place. Grosjean passes Perez to take tenth place. Alonso sets fastest lap at 1m39.6s - the first driver to break 1m40. Hamilton shadows Raikkonen in third.

Ferrari tells Alonso to take it easy on his tyres. Alonso, the fastest man on the track, responds "I'm not pushing". Alonso extends his lead to 6.6 seconds.

Alonso set another fast lap at 1m39.5s.

On lap 48 Ricciardo passes Hulkenberg for eighth place.

On lap 49 Button pits from fifth place, and rejoins in seventh behind Massa.

Button passes Massa for sixth.

At lap 50 Alonso leads Vettel by 7,.7 seconds, followed by Raikkonen (12.6s), Hamilton (13.5s), Di Resta (33.5s), Button (38.6s), Massa (39.3s), Ricciardo (44.6s), Hulkenberg (49.4s) and Grosjean (51.4s) in tenth place.

On lap 52 Vettel pits from second place for his final stop and rejoins on soft tyres behind Raikkonen and Hamilton.

On lap 53 Vettel sets fastest lap at 1m36.8s. Di Resta pits from fourth.

Vettel continues to slash the gap to Hamilton.

On the final lap Vettel closes on Hamilton but doesn't quite have enough to get past and finishes 0.2 seconds behind in fourth place.

At the finish Alonso takes the flag over Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel.


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