You must watch this Grand Prix of China: comebacks and wrong pit stops

19-04-2020 13:08 | Updated: 19-04-2020 14:08
by GPblog.com
F1 News
You must watch this Grand Prix of China: comebacks and wrong pit stops

Today was supposed to be the Grand Prix of China, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus in the race. That's why we look back to one of the most memorable races on the circuit: the Grand Prix of China 2011.

Prior to the race, Sebastian Vettel has the best starting position from pole. However, it doesn't seem to be going to be an easy race, because behind the German are competitors Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. Vettel also doesn't have to count on the help of team mate Mark Webber, as the Australian starts the race on P18 due to an electrical problem during qualifying.

Luck is not on the side of the Red Bull Racing driver in China either. Lewis Hamilton doesn't seem to be able to get to the starting grid due to a fuel problem. The Briton only manages to get to his starting position 35 seconds before the deadline, preventing him from starting from the pit lane.

A huge blunder

At the start of the race things go from bad to worse for Vettel. In the first lap he is immediately overtaken by Button and Hamilton. The two Brits then compete for the lead, with Hamilton as the winner in the intra-team fight.

When it's time for the first pitstops, Jenson Button still suffers from jetlag. Instead of driving to his own pitbox, he takes a seat at the mechanics of Red Bull Racing. They try to gesture the driver of McLaren to drive on to his own pitbox, but in the meantime Vettel is already ready and loses valuable time compared to Hamilton. Because of his huge mistake Button then loses his position to Vettel.

The comeback of Webber

In order to win, the Red Bull team is moving to a two-stop strategy for Vettel, while Hamilton is working on a three-stop strategy. To no avail, as the Brit takes over the lead again in the 52nd round of the 56 laps long race and can already think of the champagne.

It just doesn't mean that the tension in the race was over at that moment, because in between all the racing violence at the front Mark Webber has been quietly overtaking. The Australian manages to catch up with Button in the very last lap, securing himself a place on the podium alongside his team mate.

The big honour however goes to Hamilton, who manages to narrow the gap with Vettel and Red Bull Racing. According to the British, the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix was 'one of the best races he's seen'.

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