Formula One, Chinese Grand Prix (Round 3)
Fernando Alonso dominated the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday to take his first win of the season. The Ferrari driver made an early move on poleman Lewis Hamilton to grab the lead, managing his Pirelli tyres thereafter to secure a ten second margin of victory.
Kimi Raikkonen came home 2nd when a strategic call got him ahead of Hamilton at the final stops, although it was not so easy for the Finn after a lap 16 clash with Sergio Perez left Raikkonen with a damaged nose.
Hamilton filled out the podium, only just staying ahead of reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel. The Mercedes man lost over 12 seconds in four laps to Vettel in the final tours, following a late change to the soft tyres by the Red Bull racer.
Jenson Button took a solid 5th for McLaren, while Felipe Massa’s (6th) early promise faded when he was caught in traffic. Daniel Ricciardo drove a very good race to bring his Toro Rosso home 7th for his first points of the season – the Australian finished ahead of Paul di Resta (8th) and Romain Grosjean (9th), while another stellar drive from Nico Hulkenberg went poorly rewarded. The early race leader dropped to 10th at the flag, when his strategy left him in limbo.
It was a poor day for Esteban Gutierrez who drilled the rear of Adrian Sutil on lap six, while Mark Webber retired on lap 16, when his right rear tyre fell off following a pitstop after contact with Jean-Eric Vergne.
With the Bahrain Grand Prix coming this weekend, Vettel leads the world championship with 52 points, leading Raikkonen by three points, with Alonso a further six adrift. Hamilton is 4th with 40 points.