F1 News, Views and Reviews

Hamilton Wins Chinese Grand Prix and Is Virtually Champion

Lewis Hamilton lead from start to finish today to take a 7 point lead in the Drivers World Championship virtually meaning he has won it.

Felipe Massa was second thanks to some help from team mate Kimi Raikkonen who settled for third after spending most of the day trying to catch Hamilton.

Race Review

A fairly boring race seemed hyped up to begin with.  Hamilton had a very good getaway, with both Ferrari’s in toe.  Fernando Alonso and Heikki Kovalainen were battling for position, a battle that would continue across a few laps.

Further back in the pack, Sebatien Bourdais smashed into the side of Jarno Trulli, the Italian suffering heavy damage to the sidepod and front of the car.  He retreated to the pits but 2 laps later would retire.

Mark Webber made up 5 places on the first 3 laps, a stellar effort from the Australian on a very light fuel load.

On lap 3, Alonso had a good run behind Kovalainen down the back straight, outpowering the Mercedes engined Mclaren and securing 4th place.

From there on in, there was little going on.  The Mclaren pulled well away from the Ferrari’s right through the pitstops, and they never really looked close to getting anywhere.

Webber did pass a lot of people but always lost the places when he had to pit for fuel.

Adrian Sutil stopped on lap 14 with an engine failure, another DNF for the recently retained German.

On lap 34, Heikki Kovalainen picked up a puncture which pretty much ruined his afternoon.  On lap 50 he came into the pits and retired, for an as yet unknown reason.

Timo Glock’s 1 stop strategy paid a dividend for him and left him in 7th place at the end.

Towards the end Kimi Raikkonen gave up his fight to catch Lewis Hamilton, and slowed right down, allowing Felipe Massa past to help with his title challenge.  Hamiltont took the flag, and with 10 points now has a 7 point advantage over Massa going into the final round of the F1 season.

Results

Classified Results

2008 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix;

Shanghai Circuit, Shanghai, PR China;

56 Laps;

Cloudy;

Pos Driver Team Time
1 L. Hamilton McLaren 1.31.57.403
2 F. Massa Ferrari +14.925
3 K. Raikkonen Ferrari +16.445
4 F. Alonso Renault +18.370
5 N. Heidfeld BMW Sauber +28.923
6 R. Kubica BMW Sauber +33.219
7 T. Glock Toyota +41.722
8 N. Piquet Renault +56.645
9 S. Vettel Toro Rosso +1.04.399
10 D. Coulthard Red Bull +1.14.842
11 R. Barrichello Honda +1.25.061
12 K. Nakajima Williams +1.30.847
13 S. Bourdais Toro Rosso +1.31.457
14 M. Webber Red Bull +1.32.422
15 N. Rosberg Williams +1 lap
16 J. Button Honda +1 lap
17 G. Fisichella Force India +1 lap

Fastest Lap:  L. Hamilton, McLaren:  1.36.325

Retirements

Driver Team Lap Reason
H. Kovalainen McLaren 50 Unknown
A. Sutil Force India 14 Engine
J. Trulli Toyota 3 Accident

Podium

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