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.
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.
2008 Sinopec Chinese Grand Prix;
Shanghai Circuit, Shanghai, PR China;
|5||N. Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||+28.923|
|6||R. Kubica||BMW Sauber||+33.219|
|9||S. Vettel||Toro Rosso||+1.04.399|
|10||D. Coulthard||Red Bull||+1.14.842|
|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
|A. Sutil||Force India||14||Engine|