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Chinese Grand Prix - Race 
19th-Oct-2008 02:02 pm
f1
Finally catching up on this morning's Chinese GP, the penultimate race of the season.

Grid: LH, KR, FM, FA, HK, SV, JT, SB, NH (P7 + 3 spot penalty), NP, RK, TG, RB, NR, DC, MW (P6 + 10 spot penalty), KN, JB, AS, GF.
[See yesterday's notes from qualifying]

There are rumours of a rain shower about 20mins away

Formation lap: LH leads everyone away
LH on the prime tyre; KR on the softer (option) compound
FIA announce 40% chance of rain during race
Grid forms up
Smoke from HK's brakes?

01/56: LH defends P1 into Turn 1
HK takes P4 and holds FA off
Turn 1 incident between SB and JT

02: LH, KR, FM, HK, FA
FA passes HK to claim back P4
JT pits for new nose cone - right side-pod looks very loose

03: Replay shows SB tap JT in T1 on lap 1

04: LH, KR, FM, FA, HK, NH, SV, RK
JT pits again - straight into the garage and he's out of the car

05/56: RB defends the line in Turn 1 - MW is pushing him for P10

06: LH leads KR by 3.134 secs
HK is falling away from FA - this isn't going to help LH, whereas FM has KR to assist him

09: ITV-F1 interview an unhappy JT - there's been no mention of the stewards investigating the incident - F1 desperately needs consistency!

10/56: MW takes two corners to take P9 from NP

11: Pit-car radio tells NP not to worry about MW because the Red Bull has a lighter fuel load
Rain forecast reduced to 20%

12: TG takes P12 from NR
Big slide for LH - keeps it on track
MW pits from P10

13: Fastest lap - LH 1:36.325
NP runs wide in the final corner
Ferrari mechanics getting ready for a pit stop; McLaren's mechanics sit patiently

15/56: FM pits from P3 - 9.1s stop - rejoins in P8 behind RK
McLaren get ready for LH
AS parks the Force India well off track

16: LH pits from P1 - 9.4s - 1 turn off front wing
KR pits too - 9.3s - rejoins behind SV

19: HK pits from P1 - 10.3s
SV pits too

20/56: LH, KR, RK, FM, NP, FA, HK

21: LH leads by almost 7secs

23: ITV-F1 say LH has radioed in to say the balance is perfect

25: NP pits from P5 - rejoins in P10 ahead of DC

26: RK pits from P3 - left the hard tyres on

30/56: LH, KR, FM, FA, HK, NH, TG, RK; retirements: AS, JT
GF held up both LH and KR

31: DC passes SB in to Turn 1; SB fights back; DC tries to close the door but SB squeezes past with a little contact

33: TG finally pits, the last of the 1-stoppers to do so

35/56: LH leads KR by 8.5s; FM over 15s behind LH

36: HK has a front-right puncture

37: HK finally makes it to the pits - 10.1s stop
FA pits - 7.8s

38: FM pits - 7.5s
MW runs wide but finds the track again

39: LH pits - 6.8s
KR pits too - 8.4s - fuel hose needed an extra effort to remove it

40/56: LH, NH, KR, FM, RK, FA, SV, NP (HK in P16)
Time for KR to find a way to hand over P2 to FM without making it too obvious

41: RK pits from P4 - 6.2s - rejoins behind SV

43: LH's lead ~12.5secs over KR

45/56: LH, KR, FM, FA, NH, RK, TG, NP

47: KR is dropping back from LH but FM isn't closing the gap - does he want the extra points?

49: FM is slowly catching his team-mate ... but remember, team orders are verbotten

50/56: HK pits - a splash and dash? No, he drives straight into the garage and retires the McLaren

52: FA lapping quicker than KR - can he challenge for P3?

54: FA pushing hard to catch KR - gap is 3.4s

55/56: LH has backed off a little rather than catch a back-markers' battle

Final lap: LH takes the chequered flag
P2=FM, 3=KR, 4=FA, 5=NH, 6=RK, 7=TG, 8=NP
P9=SV, 10=DC, 11=RB, 12=KN, 13=SB, 14=MW, 15=NR, 16=JB, 17=GF
DNF: HK, AS, JT

Provisional result: LH, FM, KR, FA, NH, RK, TG, NP; SV, DC, RB, KN, SB, MW, NR, JB, GF; DNF: HK, AS, JT

TSN's commentators ramble on about the 2009 calendar, currently without Canada (the organisers owe Bernie about $20million apparently) and France (the organisers pulled out when the government withdrew funding).

Now to check for post-race news ... wow, nothing - I'm surprised there wasn't an investigation of the Lap 1 incident, but then I shouldn't be surprised - consistency and common sense don't seem to be a priority in F1.
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