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Mid-Pack Melee:
The 2012 Chinese Grand Prix

April 15, 2012 by Matt

Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 One F1 Shanghai International Circuit Track Map Layout Diagram Schematic

What’s going on with Formula 1 this year? Rather than the typical domination by one or two teams, almost every team and driver on the grid seems to be in contention for a top grid or podium spot on any given weekend. At least, judging by the first three races.

The 2012 Chinese Grand Prix continued the trend, and this weekend, it was the Nico Rosberg and Mercedes F1 show. Both Rosberg and his teammate, 7-time World Champion Michael Schumacher, qualified extremely well (Rosberg on pole), and would have both proceeded to own the race if it weren’t for an unfortunate pit incident that sidelined Schumacher. Rosberg, for his part, soldiered on, maintaining a solid 20-second lead on the rest of the pack to clinch the win.

Speaking of the rest the pack, I can recall entire F1 seasons that didn’t contain the amount of overtaking present in this one race. Drivers were passed only to retake their lost position in the following corner or two; some drivers surged and gained 3 or 4 places in the span of one lap, while others (Kimi Räikkönen namely, on account of over-worn tires) fell 10 positions in the span of 2 laps. Apart from Rosberg, securely ensconced in 1st, it’s like the deck was shuffled every five minutes. At the finish line, 2nd and 13th places were separated by a paltry 30 seconds. It made for some exciting racing, and the drivers’ skill and gusto came to the fore. Fun to watch.

My driver, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, didn’t fare as well, being one of those who fell more than a few places in 2-3 laps, but eked out a 9th place finish, and held on to third place in the 2012 driver’s standings. Ah well. Bahrain next week!

Filed under: Formula 1, News, Racing

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