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Posts Tagged ‘Chinese Grand Prix’

Sebastian Vettel drives to the podium after his second race win

Sebastian Vettel drives to the podium in his RB5

Sebastian Vettel has claimed his second career win at the Shanghai International Circuit as rain and standing water made conditions difficult for the entire duration of the third race of 2009. It’s Red Bull’s first win in Formula 1 since their takeover of Jaguar at the end of 2004, and a 1-2 finish, with Mark Webber crossing the line in second. Championship leader Jenson Button finished third.

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Shanghai Scenery

The FIA has released an updated version of the 2009 Formula 1 calendar. The third provisional schedule published for 2009 sees the Chinese Grand Prix moving to round three from it’s usual end of season slot. The race will be held on April 19th, seven months after the penultimate round of the 2008 season took place in China.

Other changes include the withdrawal of the French Grand Prix which leaves just 17 races, meaning the season finale at Abu Dhabi will take place two weeks earlier. The Canadian Grand Prix has not yet found a way back onto the calendar, but negotiations are likely to be taking place, so not all hope is lost. Also, the opening rounds of the season in Australia and Malaysia will start at a later time for European audiences, as will the Japanese race.

The FIA also announced that the final draft of the 2009 schedule will be released in mid-December. The full 2009 calendar can be found here.

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Lewis Hamilton has taken a dominant win at the Shanghai International Circuit. It’s his fifth win of the season for McLaren, but not enough to take the championship as his rival, Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, finished in second place. Robert Kubica secured sixth place, but it wasn’t enough to keep him in the running for the title in Brazil.

The race started with little drama as Hamilton led from the start, with Kimi Raikkonen unable to take him at the first corner. Heikki Kovalainen took Fernando Alonso for fourth, only to lose the place again down the back straight. Jarno Trulli and Sebastian Bourdais made contact at the first corner and fell to the back of the grid. Trulli eventually retired, as did Adrian Sutil who had gearbox problems. Hamilton pulled away at the front, and despite his speed, Raikkonen was unable to catch him. The Finn gave up second to Massa, so he could take two cruical extra points. Heikki Kovalainen also retired after a puncture ruined his race.

Hamilton’s win puts him seven points ahead going into the championship showdown at Interlagos. Ferrari’s second and third places increased their lead in the constructors battle to 11 points.

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Lewis Hamilton continued his pace from the morning into Free Practice Two ahead of Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix, setting the fastest lap, a 1:35.750, on his first attempt. He was 0.2 seconds faster than his former teammate and Japanese Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso, who finished second for Renault.

Nelson Piquet Jr rounded up an excellent session for Renault, setting the third fastest time of the afternoon. Jarno Trulli and Mark Webber put further distance between the main championship rivals, with Felipe Massa in sixth and Robert Kubica way down the order in twelfth. Kimi Raikkonen couldn’t improve on eighth place, behind the Ferrari-powered Toro Rosso of Sebstien Bourdais. Nick Heidfeld, Nico Rosberg and Timo Glock all sat in the middle with roughly the same time, and Heikki Kovalainen only managed to put his McLaren in thirteenth, ahead of David Coulthard, Sebastian Vettel, Kazuki Nakajima, Giancarlo Fisichella, Adrian Sutil, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.

Lewis Hamilton has dominated Friday action, but can his pace continue into Saturday?

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Lewis Hamilton has started his crucial Chinese Grand Prix weekend by setting the fastest time on Friday’s first practice session. His McLaren lapped a 1:35.630, beating his main title rival, Felipe Massa, to first by three tenths of a second.

Ferrari and McLaren laid down their authority in Free Practice One, with Kimi Raikkonen third for the Italian team and Heikki Kovalainen taking up fourth. Robert Kubica, also in the hunt for the title, and Fernando Alonso, who could play a decisive role in the last two races, finished in fifth and sixth. Nick Heidfeld finished with Sebastien Bourdais behind and beating his teammate, Sebsatian Vettel, who completed the session in tenth. Nelson Piquet Jr sat in ninth after making an eerily similar diversion as Hamilton last year, and running into the gravel at the pit lane entrance. Jenson Button has always been strong at Shanghai, and placed his Honda in twelfth. After the disappointing result at his home race last week, Kazkuki Nakajima starts his weekend in thirteenth. The Red Bull’s sat in eleventh and fourteenth ahead of Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock, Rubens Barrichello, Jarno Trulli, Adrain Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella.

McLaren and Ferrari dominated FP1, but can the best-of-the-rest teams brake through during the second practice session?

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