What Was That? Oh Qualifying For The Chinese GP

Well that was very interesting. Don’t think I have ever seen such little qualifying for a gp. I suppose we all know the reason for the lack of track action (not even the back markers wanted to go out in the beginning of Q1).

The impression that one gets is the option tire that Pirelli brought which is the soft tire with the yellow band around the outside is not as durable as most teams would like. In fact the prediction with 300+ kilos of fuel is for a pit stop after 5 or 6 laps, tops. Ok that is easy enough.

Now for what we don’t know. In no particular order:

1. What’s the real reason that Mark Webber stopped on track in the middle of Q2. Redbull says fuel pressure. Seems to me you have to have fuel to have pressure. This would not be the first time Redbull has short fueled a driver because the pace was not there. We will see what the stewards think.

2. Will the Mercedes be as kind to its tires as the Ferrari or the Lotus. Quick note: if Lewis and Vettel ever become teammates every other driver can kiss their chances of pole position good-bye. What a spectacular lap from Lewis. However, you don’t get any points on Satuerday, so the saying goes.

3. What happened to Nico? This does not look good for the power struggle that must be brewing at Mercedes AMG. But lets see how nico’s race pace is.

4. Sorry all you Massa fans the dream is over. He did not out qualify Fernando for a 5th race. Still, that being said, he [Massa] is definitely back.What we don’t know is can Massa reach the podium. remember he started 2nd in Malaysian but finished 5th. That being said, congrats Felipe to your new form now maybe Ferrari can win the constructors championship this year.

5. That Mclaren still has lots of problems and it does not look like They know what it is. Button is down in 8th, Perez is in 12th

6. The F138 is now officially a fast car, but is it a winner? This being the first dry qualifying without changing conditions (aside from the soft tires) we could see a more complete picture of each teams performance. Fernando qualified a solid 3rd. Felipe in 5th.

7. The million dollar question.  Will the stragey that Redbull employed pay off. Vettel has a last minute tire change in Q3 to the prime also called the medium tire (with the white strip) and then finishes p9. At some point he will inherit the lead, question is, will that be enough for Vettel and Redbull to convert it in to a win or at the very least a podium which considering their pace this weekend would be a great result.

We shall see. Who is going to be on that top step? This one is hard to call. Kimi in P2 with Lotus’s tire wear will be the favorite in my mind. Fernando is threat from positions 1 to 12, Nico has something to prove, as does Massa, and Vettel is not 3x champ for nothing, Lewis is staring the race from the best position possible. It’s a coin toss really.

Back to what we know. It all depends on the first stint and how the soft tires perform even though we don’t really know  –  what that is going to be like.

Well I know this, It should end up being a very fascinating race no matter what.  😉    -jp-

Here are the results:

Chinese Grand Prix 2013

Qualifying

Driver Teams Time
1 LC Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1’34.484
2 KM Räikkönen (FIN) Lotus 1’34.761
3 F Alonso (ESP) Ferrari 1’34.788
4 N Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1’34.861
5 F Massa (BRA) Ferrari 1’34.933
6 R Grosjean (FRA) Lotus 1’35.364
7 D Ricciardo (AUS) Toro Rosso 1’35.998
8 J Button (GBR) McLaren 2’05.673
9 S Vettel (GER) Red Bull
10 N Hülkenberg (GER) Sauber
11 P di Resta (GBR) Force India 1’36.287
12 S Perez (MEX) McLaren 1’36.314
13 A Sutil (GER) Force India 1’36.405
14 M Webber (AUS) Red Bull 1’36.679
15 P Maldonado (VEN) Williams 1’37.139
16 JE Vergne (FRA) Toro Rosso 1’37.199
17 V Bottas (FIN) Williams 1’37.769
18 E Gutiérrez (MEX) Sauber 1’37.990
19 J Bianchi (FRA) Marussia 1’38.780
20 M Chilton (GBR) Marussia 1’39.537
21 C Pic (FRA) Caterham 1’39.614
22 G van der Garde (NED) Caterham 1’39.660
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3 Comments on “What Was That? Oh Qualifying For The Chinese GP

  1. No points for qualifiying but track position is very important in F-1. As for tires, at least everyone has to deal with the softies which makes for an even playing field. So it is going to depend on the setup and driver to see who will get the most from them. How is the chinese track? Known to eat tires? Probably not or Perrelli probably would not have brought the soft ones.

  2. Well, Button and Vettel should be running at the front after about 5 laps (providing they both survive the start), but at some point they’ll be needing to switch to the softs… By the way, in that podium photo, what kind of a handshake is that?

    • good point. if anything at least in the front you are not that exposed to a first lap indecent. if Redbull makes this strategy work, it could open up some really great racing for the rest of the season. the hand shake, right. it does look some what goofy…

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