Button leads a McLaren 1-2 in wild Chinese GP

The start to a grand prix has never been so exciting as track conditions went from DRY, with odd spots of rain on parts of the track, to a subtle downpour during the formation lap.

There were four separate races taking place, due to the different strategies: 1[Rosberg, Button, and Kubica] 2[Petrov, on his own] 3[Schumacher, Hamilton, Vettel, Webber, Sutil, Alguersuari, Massa, Barrichello, Alonso, and Kovalainen] with everyone else more than fifteen seconds down. That’s when the race lost me. So much was happening all at one time that I lost interest..temporarily.

Shanghai Circuit © http://www.formula1.com

1. Alonso jumps the lights.

We can never truly imagine what goes through the drivers minds as each one of the lights go out. The heart must be pumping rapidly and the adrenaline flowing at such a high in order for the reflexes to be spot on. Alonso must have been too spot on as he jumped the start. I’m not sure it was on purpose, however. At times your nerves take over and the result is painful. There was nothing he could have done after that. Slowing down would not have rectified the jump, so flying past the Redbull’s was the right choice.

2. A pitlane race is the greatest.

On lap six, Hamilton and Vettel dove into the pits to change tires. Actually, Hamilton dove in right in front of Vettel just before the barrier. As they pit, it was a 3 second race to see who got out first and they both did, side by side, for the greatest 20 second race. They tapped on their way out and it wasn’t clear as to who tapped who. It will be investigated after the race.

3. That is the forth engine failure for Ferrari in two races. Enough said.

4. The weather was changing too often – not worth the pit stops.

With twelve laps in, various cars had pit for intermediate tires, in fear of heavy rainfall. Those same drivers came in a second time for dry tires again as the rain faded again. During that time, the top three drivers – Rosberg, Button, and Kubica – had not even bothered and were enjoying a comfortable 18 second lead. I wouldn’t have bothered to change either.

5. Webber passes Barrichello on lap 31.

As that happened, I wondered about the Brazilian we love. A Redbull passed him and there was nothing he could do to stop it. A year ago he was the one doing the passing. Why would a driver decide to move from a championship winning team to a midfielder? More money? Maybe. I wouldn’t do it, though, especially at his age, and coming to the end of my career. I would have retired happy – with a season I could have only dreamed of having.

6. Petrov passes Schumacher on lap 51.

I am loving this Petrov driver. Rookies are the most fun to watch: you feel they are still wild, straight out from the jungle. Petrov is one of them, but a good jungle driver. A rookie passes the seven time world champion. Renault are doing much better. When they revealed their 2010 racer, it looked menacing, so much so that I was worried it wouldn’t be able to walk the walk. Four races in, my worries have subsided and I can’t wait to see what Renault has to offer in the coming races.

7. Anything can happen on the last ten laps.

Hamilton complained of tire wear, Alonso crawled closer to Rosberg, and Massa and Schumacher fought for 9th place. At times I thought Hamilton would not make it to the finish and that the heavy rain would take a few unlucky front runners out too. That’s what makes F1 great.

Driver of the day: Vitaly Petrov

Moment of the day: Button backing up the grid into confusion as the second safety car subsides.

Would you say the show is back to its exciting self?

Spain is next.

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