Category Archives: Chinese

McLaren in China in Pictures (2010)

Jenson Button has a few moments to himself before Qualifying
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Lewis Hamilton gets in his car for Qualifying
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Lewis Hamilton during Qualifying
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Jenson Button during Qualifying – can you guess where?
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Lewis Hamilton gets ready to attack Michael Schumacher
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Lewis Hamilton after over taking Michael Schumacher
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Jenson Button hunts down Nico Rosberg for the lead
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Jenson Button passes Nico Rosberg
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Jenson Button leads the procession behind the safety car
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Jenson Button Wins
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Jenson and Lewis hug – the first McLaren 1-2 of the season
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Jenson with his winner’s trophy
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Jenson and Lewis celebrate, their victorious McLaren MP4-25s next to them
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The celebration continues
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Well done Team McLaren
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Filed under Chinese, In Pictures, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton

From Disappointment to Elation in China

The biggest problem with not blogging on race day is that I tend to forget things 24 hours on, but I’ll try my best! First and foremost, what an awesome performance in China from Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton to come in 1st and 2nd respectively – the first McLaren 1-2 since the 2007 Malaysian Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso won the race, with Lewis Hamilton coming in 2nd.

It was a contrast of driving, with a serene drive from the front, after some tyre change fiascos, for Button, compared to the aggressive and attacking race from Hamilton. It was another Button initiated tyre change strategy which eventually saw him win the race, just 1 second ahead of his team mate. Though Hamilton may not have won, he once again provided the entertainment as he out on yet another over taking master class, the highlight of which was the two times he successfully overtook Michael Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton in China

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

One massive positive to take away from Shanghai is the speed of the McLaren MP4-25 which seemed to be up there with the best, and in the control of Lewis Hamilton went like a rocket at times. In the last few laps of the race he caught up to Jenson Button so much that I thought he may try to take the win away from his team mate, but settled for second in the end. If they can sort out their qualifying we could see many more McLaren 1-2 finishes this season, and as Hamilton fan I’ll be hoping to see him taking the win next time. Still, it was a great performance from Jenson Button as he became the first driver to win 2 races this season as he looks to retain the World Championship he won in 2009.

Jenson Button Wins The Chinese Grand Prix

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

After the subdued season opener in Bahrain we’ve now had 3 exciting races in a row, though with the Spanish Grand Prix next that trend may not continue. It will be more important than ever for McLaren to do well in qualifying, as even the over taking maestro that is Lewis Hamilton may struggle to make up many places in Spain, should he need to. Let’s just hope the volcanic dust clears and we actually have a Spanish Grand Prix, though after the success of this past weekend maybe a 2nd race in China would be a good substitute!

As it stands now Jenson Button is top of the Drivers’ Championship on 60 points with Lewis Hamilton just 11 points behind in 4th place. McLaren sit proudly atop the Constructors’ Championship with 109 points which is 19 points ahead of second place Ferrari who don’t seem to be able to match their season opening success – shame! Updated standings can be found here. 2010 is turning into a great season as a McLaren fan, and as a fan of Lewis Hamilton I’m getting to see him put in some world class performances, to a level that puts him apart from the rest of the field – if the team can only get strategies right then he’ll be unstoppable.

Jenson Celebrates His Victory

Photo Credit: www.mclaren.com

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Filed under Chinese, Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Michael Schumacher

Race Prediction: Chinese Grand Prix 2010

1st – Sebastian Vettel
2nd – Fernando Alonso
3rd – Mark Weber

4th – Jenson Button

6th – Lewis Hamilton

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Filed under Chinese, Race Predictions

Qualifying: China 2010 – Disappointment

With relatives visiting this weekend this blog post will be shorter than normal, and published from my iPhone. That’s if the WordPress App can manage not to lose it like it did with version one of this very post!

Anyway, after a fantastic showing in all three practice sessions and the first two sessions of qualifying I’d consider Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton’s 5th and 6th places respectively, to be disappointing. I expected so much more, and evidently so did Lewis Hamilton given his post qualifying interview.

Not for the first time this season I’ll be hoping for rain to mix things up in the race. I can only hope that the two McLaren MP4-25s have more in the way of race pace than their qualifying positions would indicate, and maybe the McLaren’s superior reliability will come into play.

If’ll be interesting to see Jenson, and especially Lewis, battling with those in front of them, assuming they have the performance levels needed to do just that!

It’s entirely possible that there is a reason for the drop in success during Q3, but as I’m indisposed I haven’t had time to look for answers – please leave a comment with any explanations that have been given, I’ll be entirely grateful.

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Filed under Chinese, Qualifying

FIA Hearing Result: McLaren given 3 race suspended ban

There are more details to follow, but @f1scoop lived up to its name by being the first on Twitter to announce that McLaren’s punishment is a 3 race suspended ban. After clarification from @F1_Girl, I understand this to mean that the ban is looming, and can be handed to McLaren by the FIA the next time they mess up.

I’m relieved that there is no ban in place now and have to hope that McLaren can stay squeaky clean for the rest of the season. I would assume that the ban is valid for the rest of the season only, and will not roll over to the 2010 season.

When the details are revealed I’ll also be interested to see if the ban applies to both Hamilton and Kovalainen, or just Hamilton as he was the only driver involved in the incident.

UPDATE: Here is the press release from the FIA / WMSC Statement:

At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 29 April 2009, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes admitted five charges of breaching article 151c of the International Sporting Code relating to events at the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix.

The following decision was taken:

“Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC and the change in culture which he made clear has taken place in his organisation, the WMSC decided to suspend the application of the penalty it deems appropriate.

“That penalty is a suspension of the team from three races of the FIA Formula One World Championship. This will only be applied if further facts emerge regarding the case or if, in the next 12 months, there is a further breach by the team of article 151c of the International Sporting Code.”

The full reasons for this decision will be issued shortly.

It would seem that the suspension will be for the whole team if it gets applied, which is especially harsh for Kovalainen who was not directly involved.

The ban will come into effect if there is any further breach of article 151c by McLaren. The aforementioned article states: This article covers “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”.

The ban could also come in at any time in the next 12 months if McLaren are found in breach of article 151c, so that will include the first 4 races of the 2010 races as well as the remainder of the 2009 season.

I’m sure there are some that will say McLaren have been let off lightly – I’m just happy that Hamilton and Kovalainen will be able to continue racing and will keep the points they have won so far.

Let us now go forward, put this to the back of our memories and concentrate on a very exciting Formula 1 season.

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Filed under Chinese, Constructors, Drivers, Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian, McLaren

Race Prediction: Chinese Grand Prix 2009

My very bold race prediction for tomorrow in Shanghai is as follows, taking into account the predicted rainfall during the race:

1st – Lewis Hamilton (McLaren Mercedes)
2nd – Fernando Alonso (Renault)
3rd – Jenson Button (Brawn Mercedes)

I predict Heikki Kovalainen will finish in 8th place.

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Filed under Chinese, Grand Prix, Race Predictions

Qualifying: Hamilton 9th, Kovalainen 12th

After finishing P3 in second, Lewis Hamilton went on to qualify for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix 9th on the grid. When the fuel loads were released a few hours later it became evident that Lewis’s car was fuelled heavier than the cars in front of him, considerably so in some cases.

Kovalainen qualified in 12th, though it does appear that one of the Red Bulls held him up, for which there could be an enquiry. Bit of a novel concept to have an enquiry that could go in favour of McLaren, they won’t know what’s hit them! Interestingly the 2 Red Bulls finished qualifying in 1st and 3rd (Vettel taking pole), so a penalty for either of them would be crushing. I’m just hoping Heikki can at least complete one whole lap in tomorrow’s race, something that has eluded him in the last 2 races.

With an interim diffuser and a new front wing, it seems Lewis is well on his way to driving a competitive car once again. Add in his superior driving skills and this season is not going to be such a downer for McLaren than a lot of people were thinking, and probably hoping for!

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Filed under Chinese, Drivers, Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel