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Chinese Grand Prix - Race 
7th-Oct-2007 01:57 am
Well, I've just got home after sushi and Halo3, and the race starts in just ~10mins, so I'm going to stay up to watch it.

My notes from qualifying are here; my race notes are after the cut as usual.

Will Lewis Hamilton win the Drivers' Championship today? It's looking like a wet race so it could be anyone's race. LH has to finish ahead of FA and KR to win it, but it won't be easy.

Speaking of the weather: track temperature 32°C; air 30°C; wind 2.2m/s; humidity 80%

Provisional grid: 1 Hamilton, 2 Raikkonen, 3 Massa, 4 Alonso, 5 Coulthard, 6 Schumacher, 7 Webber, 8 Heidfeld, 9 Kubica, 10 Button, 11 Liuzzi, 12 Trulli, 13 Kovalainen, 14 Davidson, 15 Rosberg, 16 Barrichello, 17 Vettel*, 18 Fisichella, 19 Wurz, 20 Sato, 21 Sutil, 22 Yamamoto
(*Vettel was penalised 5 spots for impeding HK in qualifying.)

Pit-car for DC says the rain is expected right from the start of the race.

Looks like LH is on intermediates, as is FM

Formation lap: LH leads everyone away
FA a bit slow to move off so he has to pass DC to re-take his position
Some of the circuit appears dry but on-board cameras show lots of spray, and some of the crowd are putting up umbrellas
It's definitely beginning to rain heavier
Long wait for everyone to form up

01/56: FA tries to pass FM in Turn 1
FA takes P3
RS spun off
FM re-takes P3

02: LH, KR, FM, FA, DC, NH, VL, MW
RS recovered from his spin and is dead last
RB & AD tangle and spin off but they both recover - I think AD lost some bodywork

03: LH fastest lap 1:47.680
The rain is still getting heavier

03: LH f/lap 1:47.670
Jock Clear tells RB the rain will ease up in ~5mins

04: LH f/lap 1:46.372
FA close to FM but can he pass?

05: NR passes GF for P16
VL has passed NH for P6 too

06: SV tries to pass HK for P10 but he can't make it stick

07: LH f/lap 1:46.051 - his gap over KR is now 4.0secs
AS pits

08: SV takes P10 from HK
Many of the drivers are trying to find wet parts of the track so it's probably time to change tyres

09: LH f/lap 1:45.686
JT passes HK to take P 11
HK reports he's struggling with understeer ... and now he has JB closing in on him

10/56: LH, KR, FM, FA, DC, VL, NHM RK
LH lead over KR now 6.6s

11: Pit-car for MW says more rain coming soon

12: NR looks up the inside of JB but the door is slammed close

13: LH f/lap 1:45.545
RS has passed AW for P15
AD has parked his Super Aguri at the side of the circuit

15: NR glides past JB to take P13 - JB tries to fight back but NR is safely ahead

16: LH pits from P1 - 6.8s stop - still on intermediate tyres - rejoins ahead of DC

17: KR f/lap 1:45.036
HK runs wide and NR steals P12

18: KR f/lap 1:44.372
FM pits from P2 - 6.9s stop - stays on inters
RS passes HK too

19: KR f/lap 1:43.853
FA pits - 7.7s stop
AS spins the Spyker but finds the track again

20/56: KR pits - cut the entrance a bit - 7.3s stop - stays in tired-looking inters
DC & VL pit too

21: LH's lead cut from ~8secs to just 4.0secs over KR

22: LH f/lap 1:43.831
LH, KR, FM, FA, NH, RK, MW, SV; Retirements: AD

23: LH f/lap 1:43.131
RS & NR take T14 in tandem - RS comes out ahead

24: RS hits VL - RS spins

25: RS pits - one of the wheels escapes and rolls across the pit lane!
HK & JB pit

26: People are starting to swap to dry tyres, but the official forecast is still for more rain

27: FA passes FM for P3, but FM immediately pits - he moves to (softer) dry tyres which means a wing adjustment too
SV, VL & DC all pit
ITV-F1 report rain in the pit lane

28 [half-distance]: RS spins in the final turn
AS spins too and hits the wall
KR has caught LH and has a look at passing
LH runs wide in the final turn but collects it up

29: KR still harrying LH - shouldn't LH just let him past? He doesn't need to beat KR on the track
NH pits
KR takes P1 from LH in T8

30/56: NR is sandwiched between the two Renaults into T1 - the teammates take the turn but NR slides off

31: LH still struggling with grip - he's got to pit soon, surely?
JB takes P10 from AW

32: LH pits but he runs wide and he's into the gravel! Are the marshals allowed to push him out? Is that a dangerous position?
The marshals can't/won't push him, so he's out of the race!

33: KR pits from P1 - soft tyres
FA pits too - hard tyres
RK f/lap 1:40.926
JB f/lap 1:40.271

34: RK leads but he will have to pit again
JB f/lap 1:40.076
RK pulls off - technical problem with the BMW

35/56: KR, FA, FM, SV, JB, VL, AW, GF; retirements: AD, AS, RS, LH, RK
JB f/lap 1:39.901

36: FA f/lap 1:39.820
JB passes SV for P4

37: KR f/lap 1:39.465
VL & AW battle over P6

38: FA f/lap 1:39.317
JB f/lap 1:39.055

39: GF eases past VL to take P6

40/56: JB f/lap 1:38.913
HK struggles to keep the Renault on track
GF f/lap 1:38.900

42: KR's lead over FA is 7.9secs, with FM a further 5.1s down the road

43: JB pits from P4

44: KR f/lap 1:38.880

45/56: KR, FA, FM, SV, GF, JB, VL, NH; retirements: AD, AS, RS, LH, RK
ITV-F1 interview LH: he said sorry to the team but "I can still do it"

46: GF pits from P5

47: KR lead 8.1s

49: KR f/lap 1:38.587
ITV-F1 interviews LH again: tyres felt finished but couldn't see them because his mirrors were filthy

50/56: KR, FA, FM, SV, GF, JB, VL, NH; retirements: AD, AS, RS, LH, RK
MW gesticulating to his pit wall that (teammate) DC was weaving ... and then HK passes MW for P9

51: KR f/lap 1:38.449 - his lead is 10.1s over FA
Will SV, JT & TS all only do 1 stop each?

52: KR f/lap 1:38.315

53: KR f/lap 1:38.285
FM f/lap 1:37.989

55/56: KR, FA, FM, SV, JB, VL, NH; retirements: AD, AS, RS, LH, RK
FM f/lap 1:37.895

56 [final lap]: FM 1:37.580

Chequered flag: P1=KR, 2=FA, 3=FM, 4=SV, 5=JB, 6=VL, 7=NH, 8=DC
9=HK, 10=MW, 11=GF
12(+1 lap)=AW, 13=JT, 14=TS, 15=RB
16(+2 laps)=NR
17(+3 laps)/ last=SY

--That's it from me for now - I need my bed! I'll do final updates in a few hours.
10th-Oct-2007 11:32 am (UTC)
I thought I'd already posted about this...
Williams driver Alexander Wurz has confirmed he is retiring from Formula One with immediate effect.

The 33-year-old, who joined Williams as a test driver in January 2006, will miss the last race of the season in Brazil on 21 October.
source: BBC

So who will take the seat for Brazil?
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