Button leads McLaren one-two in China

Jenson Button took his second victory of the season in a dramatic and rain-affected Chinese Grand Prix.

The reigning world champion once again made the right call on tyres and in this instance, Button staying out on slicks in the rain while the others pitted for intermediates and showed his class again from the front.

Even when a safety car period eradicated his lead, Button’s tyre gamble paid off and he remained calm in the tricky conditions to take the chequered flag in Shanghai. Jenson now leads the world championship standings’ with 60 points.

McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton finished in second giving the team its first one-two result since Monza 2007, while Nico Rosberg continues to impress with another podium result for Mercedes GP.

After jumping the start and serving a drive-through penalty, plus making five pitstops in switching tyres, Fernando Alonso finished in fourth for Ferrari ahead of Robert Kubica’s Renault and Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.

It was a disappointing race for Vettel as taking pole position doesn’t guarantee a victory so far this season. The German had a tense battle with rival Lewis Hamilton that even took place in the pits, with the pair racing wheel-to-wheel in the pitlane in an incident that will be investigated later by the race stewards.

Renault’s Vitaly Petrov did a solid job to finish in seventh, just managing to fend off the faster Red Bull of Mark Webber, while Felipe Massa and Michael Schumacher complete the top ten for Ferrari and Mercedes.

The expected rain shower made its presence at the Shanghai International Circuit and once again the weather played havoc with Formula One.

The drama started early when Vitantonio Liuzzi lost control of his Force India under braking, spun and collected Sebastien Buemi’s Toro Rosso and the Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi.

Adrian Sutil, Jaime Alguersuari and Rubens Barrichello were also involved and headed for repairs in the pits, while Nico Hulkenberg did well to pick his way through unscathed.

But the safety car was still required, prompting the Red Bulls, the Ferraris, Hamilton and Michael Schumacher to gamble on changing to intermediate tyres.

Initially, it looked like the right call as Fernando Alonso charged past cars still on slicks. But Nico Rosberg and Button, up front having stayed out on the dry Bridgestone tyre, were lapping faster just one lap later as the intermediates burnt out quickly with the track not quite wet enough for them.

Within a couple of laps, all the drivers who made the initial switch to intermediates dived back to the pits for slicks, leaving Rosberg, Button, Robert Kubica and Vitaly Petrov well ahead of the rest.

The pitstops included Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel racing each other into the pitlane and leaving side-by-side too, an incident that will be investigated later. This incident might cost Hamilton the second position and if McLaren do receive a penalty it would be likely to take the form of a 25-second penalty that would drop him to fifth behind Robert Kubica. Or Lewis may get a grid penalty for the next race at Catalunya.

No sooner had the likes of Hamilton and Vettel fought their way back up the race order the heavens opened again, this time at a heavier rate. Leader Rosberg was caught out and a brief off-track excursion allowed Button to take the lead, and soon after everyone was in the pits to get intermediates back on.

The rain gifted Button, Rosberg and the Renaults a free pitstop, so the leaders 50-second advantage remained. But the safety car was back out after Alguersuari clipped the back of an HRT car and left front wing debris scattered on the track.

Button bunched the pack right up for the restart and, with the new rule about overtaking from the pitlane line, rather than the start/finish line, Vettel tried to take advantage to pass Hamilton into the last corner. But it backfired for his Red Bull team as he only succeeded in forcing Hamilton wide and shoving Webber off the track on the outside!

Hamilton once again had to fight his way back to the front and his progress included an entertaining battle with Schumacher. The seven-time world champion defended with great composure despite struggling for traction in his Silver Arrows. But eventually Hamilton made it by with an opportunistic dive between Turns 8 and 9.

Lewis then caught and passed Rosberg for second, just before the field descended on the pitlane once again for a final fresh set of intermediate tyres.

The race eventually settled down for the last 20 laps, as Button kept Hamilton at a safe distance. There was just a brief scare for the race leader as four laps from home Jenson overshot the final hairpin, but his McLaren team-mate was also struggling to keep his car on the road with fast-balding intermediates.

Rosberg was unable to mount a challenge for victory as he fended off Fernando Alonso for third in the closing stages of the Grand Prix. The Spaniard recovered well despite five pitstops, including a drive-through for jumping the start.

Kubica continued Renault’s good form, taking advantage on his early decision to stay on slicks to hold onto fifth, with Vettel taking a disappointing sixth for Red Bull.

It was another day of missed opportunities for Mark Webber. He was unable to make a rapid progress through the race compared to the likes of Hamilton or Vettel, and struggling with wore-out tyres at the end, the Australian lost out his seventh place finish to Petrov two laps from the chequered flag.

Heikki Kovalainen became the first driver for a new team to beat a driver from the established teams with P14. It helped that the Lotus driver made only two pitstops while Hülkenberg came in six times.

Behind them were the two Hispanias of Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok, the latter suffering a spin in the wet conditions.

So, a frantic race in China that resulted in a McLaren one-two thanks to the wet weather. Button now leads the drivers’ championship with 60 points, followed by Rosberg on 50, Alonso and Hamilton on 49, Vettel on 46, Massa on 41 and Kubica on 40. While the McLaren-Mercedes team head the constructors’ championship with 109 points to Ferrari’s 90, Red Bull’s 73, Mercedes GP’s 60 and Renault’s 46.

Race results from Shanghai, 56 laps:

1.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes           1h44:42.163
2.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           +1.530
3.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +9.484
4.  Alonso        Ferrari                    +11.869
5.  Kubica        Renault                    +22.213
6.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +33.310
7.  Petrov        Renault                    +47.600
8.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +52.172
9.  Massa         Ferrari                    +57.796
10. Schumacher    Mercedes                   +1:01.749
11. Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +1:02.874
12. Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          +1:03.665
13. Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +1:11.416
14. Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +1 lap
15. Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +1 lap
16. Senna         HRT-Cosworth               +2 laps
17. Chandhok      HRT-Cosworth               +4 laps

Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1:42.061

Not classified/retirements:

Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth               27 laps
Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth              9 laps
De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari               8 laps
Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari           1 lap
Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari               1 lap
Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes         1 lap
Glock         Virgin-Cosworth              1 lap

World Championship standings, round 4:

1.  Button        60
2.  Rosberg       50
3.  Alonso        49
4.  Hamilton      49
5.  Vettel        45
6.  Massa         41
7.  Kubica        40
8.  Webber        28
9.  Sutil         10
10. Schumacher    10
11. Liuzzi         8
12. Petrov         6
13. Barrichello    5
14. Alguersuari    2
15. Hulkenberg     1

1. McLaren-Mercedes          109
2. Ferrari                    90
3. Red Bull-Renault           73
4. Mercedes                   60
5. Renault                    46
6. Force India-Mercedes       18
7. Williams-Cosworth           6
8. Toro Rosso-Ferrari          2

NEXT RACE: Spanish Grand Prix, Barcelona. May 7-9.

10 thoughts to “Button leads McLaren one-two in China”

  1. The top three drivers’ views on the Chinese Grand Prix, as taken from Autosport.com.

    World champion Jenson Button has labelled his Chinese Grand Prix win as the best victory of his career.

    The Briton kept his cool in the tricky conditions and, thanks to making the right calls, Button took his second win of the season and with it the championship lead.

    Button lead McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the team’s first one-two finish since the 2007 season.

    “For me, it is my best victory – every one you win becomes your best victory but this was was pretty tough conditions,” said Button.

    “The good thing is our pace was very good today. It wasn’t just the call of weather, it was good pace. At the end we were two seconds a lap quicker than other people. We will don’t know where we are in the dry, but we will forget about it at the moment.”

    Button, who had also made a bright call to win the Australian Grand Prix last month, said today’s victory had nothing to do with luck.

    “It is not luck we came out on top today,” he said. “We chose correctly in the conditions. The start was the right call definitely but it was slippery and we knew how quickly the soft tyres would be working.

    “It was the right call. My first few months with the team have been extraordinary. I feel a real part of the team now.”

    The world champion said his decision to stay out on slicks early on was crucial, as it was the safety car being deployed.

    “Really important, it made the race,” he said. “If we didn’t have the safety car later in the race for debris we would have been a long way up. The safety car definitely helped the situation for those who stopped for inters.

    “Staying on dries was the right thing, you wouldn’t think it was, but they were good, you just had to be a bit careful. Definitely the right call and then when the team called me in the lap was the right call. The tyres had started graining so it was too wet for slicks.”

    Lewis Hamilton admitted that he made the wrong tyre choice during the early shower in the Chinese Grand Prix, but praised his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button for ‘incredible’ judgement and driving.

    McLaren ultimately scored a one-two at Shanghai, even though Hamilton dropped into the midfield after coming in for intermediates when rain first fell, only to have to return to dries just a few laps later as the rain immediately eased.

    Button stayed on dry tyres throughout that shower and went on to win, while Hamilton charged through to second.

    “I had quite an eventful race,” Hamilton admitted. “Congratulations to Jenson, he did an incredible job and made a better choice on tyres.

    “It was tough at the beginning, the weather was not easy for making the call to change tyres. I chose very late when I was halfway around the corner and clearly it was not the right choice.

    “We both did a tremendous job, and it’s down to the awesome job the team are doing. We are working very well and it’s great for the team.”

    There are still some doubts over Hamilton’s result as the stewards are investigating an incident between him and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in the pitlane, which saw the cars race side by side into the pit entry, and then Hamilton get sideways in front of the garages as he exited alongside the Red Bull.

    “As far as I am concerned I thought it was okay,” Hamilton said. “The team were waiting for quite some time and they waited until it was the right time.

    “As I came out I noticed Sebastian was there and he was pushing me a little bit to the right and we pushed wheels. Otherwise it was fair.”

    Nico Rosberg believes his decision to stay out on slicks early in the Chinese Grand Prix was key in helping him achieve his second podium finish of the season.

    The Mercedes GP driver led for several laps early on after deciding to stay on slicks while most of his rivals pitted for intermediates.

    Rosberg only lost the lead to eventual winner Jenson Button, but the German went on to finish in third to move into second in the championship standings.

    “I think it was good call,” Rosberg said after the race. “I took the advice from the team and my engineer and eventually decided to give it a go and stay out and it turned out to be really good. Out there you want it to stop raining, it was so on edge.

    “That went really well and it was nice to be leading the race for a long time from there. I got a little more tyre degradation than Jenson.

    “I made a mistake so he came by, but in general I am really, really happy it is a good step in the right direction.”

    Rosberg insisted his team has taken a step forward this weekend, and is hopeful there is more to come.

    “At the moment I am feeling really comfortable in the team and I am thankful. They have helped me integrate really well. We have had a good step forward this weekend and had some upgrades for this track we have a lot more to come so it’s quite promising for us.”

    And the Mercedes driver denied he will be the number one driver at the German squad now, after overshadowing team-mate Michael Schumacher again, the seven-time champion finishing down in 10th.

    “That is definitely not the case,” said Rosberg. “From the beginning on we are even in the team. We both get the same possibilities but I am really happy with the way it is going for me. I am really pleased with my season so far.

    “I am bonding well with my whole team. It’s important to work hard to get some respect with the team as soon as possible. I have quite a strong position in the team which is really nice and it is why I have quite high hopes for what is to come.”

  2. Despite starting the race on the front row, Red Bull Racing was unable to convert this to race victory and Mark Webber has commented that the team were ‘blown away’ by McLarens. Read on for his views as taken from Autosport.com.

    Mark Webber says Red Bull was ‘blown away’ at the Chinese Grand Prix after the team had to settle for a disappointing result having started from the first row.

    Webber finished in eighth position, two places behind team-mate Sebastian Vettel, as Red Bull was unable to be competitive in the difficult conditions.

    The Australian admitted his team was simply not fast enough.

    “We got blown away so it was a very difficult grand prix for us,” Webber told the BBC. “We weren’t quick enough, simple as that.

    “They were changeable conditions but it’s the same for everyone, and the car is very sensitive in these conditions if it is not going one way or the other for you. Interesting grand prix.

    “We know (where we lose out in these conditions) and we have got to improve it.”

    Vettel, starting from pole, admitted the result was disappointing, although he reckons the points could be important later on.

    “In the end to finish sixth can be quite important, but our main competitors finished ahead so that’s not nice,” Vettel told the BBC. “It was a very difficult race for us, both of us struggled quite a lot in certain conditions.

    “Once we are in clean air our pace was decent, but you know, it is very on/off in these conditions and it is a lot just to maintain track position.

    “We need to understand why we were not able, especially out of the restart, why we were not able to be there straight away. We were lacking a little bit of temperatures in the tyre.”

    The German, under investigation for his pitlane incident with Lewis Hamilton, said he did not understand the Briton’s driving.

    “I was in a similar track position as he was after the first stop and we found our way through the field,” he said. “At the stop you were mentioning I was ahead, I don’t know why he was keen to touch me.

    “I thought hopefully I don’t suffer a puncture after that, don’t really understand because I was a bit ahead. He turned out to be a little bit faster on the track anyway so we need to see.”

  3. The race stewards will be looking at the various television replays over that pitlane incident involving Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. News on the verdict will be made later but McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh does not expect any penalties. Read the Autosport.com story for his views below.

    In addition, F1 Fanatic has posted an article that if the penalty does occur, Hamilton would lose his second place finish in the Chinese Grand Prix. See the weblink for details:


    McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh does not expect any penalties to be applied for the pitlane incident between his driver Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel in today’s Chinese Grand Prix.

    The pair ran side by side into and out of the pitlane when they came in for slicks early in the Shanghai race. McLaren released Hamilton at virtually the same time as Vettel was allowed out by Red Bull, and with the McLaren getting a little wheelspin, they ended up wheel to wheel in the pits again.

    But when asked by the BBC if he expected McLaren to be penalised for releasing Hamilton in an unsafe manner, Whitmarsh replied: “I don’t think so, I think in these conditions, both drivers release at the same time, I think it was slippery… I think we will be okay. Who knows.”

    McLaren eventually took a one-two finish with Jenson Button and Hamilton. Whitmarsh said the pair had been allowed to go head to head for victory right up to the end, with Button trying to control the race from the front after passing early leader Nico Rosberg, and Hamilton recovering from his additional change of tyres.

    “Fantastic job by both drivers, they obviously had different strategies, but they ran the race just great,” he said.

    “It was tense, those last laps, but they were racing, they were going for it. They were quicker than everyone else in those conditions. We took that as our view of how to go racing, but boy did it make a long race for us.

    “Lewis had a fantastic race, again so many overtaking moves. Jenson was a little bit lighter on his tyres. We played the right strategy for both cars.”

  4. It was another race in which Michael Schumacher struggled to match the pace of his team-mate Nico Rosberg – who went on to finish in third – and the seven-time world champion has commented that he feeling some bad emotions following the race. Read the Autosport.com story for details.

    Michael Schumacher admitted he endured “too many bad emotions” during the Chinese Grand Prix, where the German struggled to finish in 10th.

    Despite making the right tyre call early in the race, the seven-time champion was not competitive enough and dropped down the order, eventually managing to score one point.

    Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg finished on the podium, nearly a minute ahead.

    “As you imagine, there were some good emotions but there were unfortunately too many bad emotions,” Schumacher told the BBC.

    “Actually at the beginning I thought we were quite clever when some others changed for intermediates but it turned out to be the wrong decision [for them].

    “But, quite honestly, I think all weekend didn’t work out for myself. I think you have to compliment the English team [McLaren] and say congratulations to them – done a great job.

    “I had a nice battle with Lewis at some point, some nice kissing to each other. But, nevertheless, they’ve done it. Even congratulations to Nico, who made it up to the podium so at least one of us scored good points.”

    Schumacher said he had to get used to this year’s intermediate tyres, which he reckons are quite different from the one he used to have before his retirement.

    “Again it is a new condition and these intermediates are slightly different to what I know from the past and you have to pace yourself dramatically in order to keep them alive for long enough.

    “Difficultly was, with the weather, to predict how long the rain is going to last or not going to last, do we change back to dries, how quick you can push. So, it’s a new experience for me.”

  5. Even though Roberty Kubica continues to produce solid results for the Renault team, the Polish driver has said he was frustrated to miss out on a podium finish. Read the Autosport.com story for his views.

    Robert Kubica admitted he was frustrated to have missed out on a podium finish at the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.

    But the Renault driver, who finished in fifth position, conceded he was still happy to get good points again.

    “It was an exciting race today and it’s good to have scored some more points,” said Kubica.

    “At the start of the race I made a bad start and lost a lot of positions, but we made the right decision to stay out on slicks when it started to rain and I was able to move up through the field into third place.

    “However, the critical moment of my race was when the safety car came out, which ended my hopes of a podium because I lost the big lead I had to the cars behind me.

    “So although I’m happy to finish fifth, I still feel a bit frustrated to have missed a podium.”

    Team-mate Vitaly Petrov completed his best Formula 1 race so far after fighting his way to seventh position, giving Renault its first double point-scoring finish of the season.

    “I’m happy to finish my first race in Formula 1 and to score my first points,” said Petrov. “It was a difficult race and it wasn’t easy to make the right decisions today. In the beginning, when it started to rain, some drivers came in for intermediates, but we decided to stay out on slicks, which was the right decision.

    “Then I kept talking on the radio with the team to decide when we would change to intermediates, and again we got the timing right. When I changed to my second set of intermediates, I knew it would be important to look after the tyres, but we didn’t know if it would continue raining or if the track would dry out.

    “But I kept pushing, the engineers told me that I had good pace, and in the final laps I had some good overtaking moves, especially with Schumacher and Webber, to gain some more places.”

  6. As for the battle between the new teams competing in Formula One this season, Lotus Racing achieved a milestone in finishing a Grand Prix ahead of established team Williams. Read team boss Tony Fernandes’ views on the Chinese Grand Prix courtesy from Autosport.com.

    Lotus boss Tony Fernandes was delighted with his team’s performance at the Chinese Grand Prix after finishing ahead of a Williams.

    “I’m really happy today as we’ve accomplished what we said we’d do,” said Fernandes after Heikki Kovalainen finished in 14th position, one place head of Nico Hulkenberg.

    “We wanted to see at least one car cross the line for the first four races, and we’ve done that, but it’s kind of bitter sweet today.

    “It’s obviously a great result for Heikki but a real shame for Jarno as he seems to take the brunt of the issues – it’s a bit odd as it does seem to be just his car.

    “The conditions today made it very tense out there and it’s very satisfying, and shows how we’re progressing, that today we were racing Williams, who we beat on track.”

    Kovalainen was equally pleased with his result and praised the decision to stay on out slick tyres early on.

    “This was a great way to round off our first four races,” said Kovalainen. “I think we had the correct strategy today in what were pretty tricky conditions. The pace was good – we were again ahead of the other new teams, and this time had a good battle with Williams.

    “The decision to stay out early on dry tyres was made by me and the team together – it wasn’t wet enough to come in and as soon as the race started I could see the rain had calmed down so we agreed it was the right call to stick with the plan.

    “The other cars on wet tyres were obviously struggling so that worked out very well. It might not always work out like this for us, but today it showed we’re a good team who make the right decisions, so I’m really pleased, for everyone in Lotus Racing, and all our fans.”

    Team-mate Jarno Trulli retired from the race with a mechanical problem.

  7. Regarding that incident in the pitlane in which Lewis Hamilton was released alongside Sebastian Vettel during their pit stop – a move which could earn him a time penalty. The race stewards have given Hamilton and Vettel reprimands with no penalties have been applied. See the short statement as posted below taken from Autosport.com.

    Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have both been reprimanded by the race stewards for dangerous driving during their pitlane incident in the Chinese Grand Prix.

    Hamilton was released after a pitstop just as Vettel was near him, and the pair chose to race side-by-side down the length of the pits rather than concede the position.

    The stewards believed that such driving, which included Hamilton getting sideways as he tried to out-accelerate the Red Bull Racing driver and Vettel edging over on the McLaren, was done in a “dangerous manner.”

    The stewards spoke to both drivers and reviewed video evidence before making their ruling.

  8. Finally managed to sort my damn router/ethernet/internet issues. God damn computers GRRRRRRRRRRRR!

    Anyways, have to say, what a bloody brilliant race! It had everything and Button winning again!

    Yet again a wet race brings it to the top levels of excitement. Having said that, some of the best moments came from sheers driving rather than the conditions. But more of that in a bit.

    Now most of the time I’d rather crush my nads in a vice than agree with Bernie, but his choice of start times to coincide with ‘set your watch to it’ times that it’ll rain, is kinda paying off don’t ya think? The bloke is a cock for sure, but while he wont touch somethings that’ll make racing better, the things that don’t actually cost him anything or any effort, this high percentage of rain gamble is working.

    Yet again we had a Red demo on how to drive to pole, but yet again come the race, they did squat. What is going on in that team? All show and no go? With the money increases they’ve rightly deserved over the last few years, surely they can make a car the doesn’t die on it’s arse come race day? It show so much promise on Saturdays, so I don’t understand what’s going on. Unlike McLaren last year who were shite from start to finish, having spent all their money in 2008 and although Red Bull did their fair share also last year, they show so much promise.

    One factor is, the drivers. Webber has always had his ups and downs, but Vettel should be doing better. Though does this show he isn’t the new Schuey just yet? Er Schuey of old I mean of course!!!! Well maybe, yes he can do wonders, but he is inconsistent on when he can be outstanding. He seems just odd this year.

    But with the new points system at the moment seeming to add a great mix, I’m sure he’ll still be up there at the end. But then IF one team start to dominate in Europe, then that same points system, could be utter crap. If we could as good as guarantee a mixed grid always, then yeah it’ll be fine. But we all know that just wont happen. It may not even be this year, but more often than not, we will a get dominating team for many races. When this happens, then huge point difference between 1st and 2nd will be the ruin of F1. Well it wont help anyways. And when we still cannot get cars to overtake unless it’s wet, so the idea of it forcing drivers to overtake is, as mentioned by thousands at the time, is just rubbish! We can of course get cars overtaking again, it’s easy. But politics/money/teams just wont allow it, so any hope of that happening anytime soon is just a pipe dream.

    But back to the race.

    Now, those pitstop incidences. As Martin Brundle says on the BBC website, most of them should have got something more than a slap on the wrist. Now of course it was great to watch, but really? Overtaking on/over the last bend into the pit lane? Forcing your team mate onto the grass in doing so? Before the speed limit kicks in?

    Two cars wheel to wheel side by side coming out of the pits? “Gently” forcing your opponent close to the air lines for the wheel guns?

    None of these deserved a time penalty next race or a place drop? Come on!

    Both McLaren and Ferrari should think themselves to be VERY lucky. All the drivers didn’t bother staying with the entry white lines and even virtually drive in the wrong direction to get into the pits.

    Now of course this make everyone guilty of being a hypocrite. Since all we seemed to be doing for the last couple of years was moan about the stewards decisions being utter drivel and stupid. Now we have the opposite where by nothing gets said, we have brilliant tangles and here we are saying they should have done more. The stuff entering the pitlane can be forgiven I think. But both Lewis and Vettel should have been reprimanded a lot more. Albeit no cars were in the pits at the time in front of them, and if they were, then I’m sure they would have behaved, but really? Nothing? he only thing about that incident that in my mind was fine NOT to punish, was the lollipop guys. No way were they in the wrong. Both cars were released at the same time, and especially the McLaren guy in front was in no way in the wrong.

    But going back to the hypocrite comment, would I want it like 2008 and bits in 2009? Hell no!

    So Spain is up next, so depending on how hot it’ll be, hopefully we’ll see for the first time just how each teams cars behave in more normal weather conditions.

    Great write up Elton.

  9. I agree with you ,invisiblekid, the lack of official censure on this year’s controversial incidents is contrasting starkly with the Mosley era of F1 but given the choice I think even the drivers would prefer it this way ( I certainly do). It’s consistency in applying the rules that we all want , the sense that it is a level playing field for all. Let the boys take things to the boundaries and allow them to sort themselves out on the racetrack. There’s an old motor racing saying “What goes around comes around” – you can only push your fellow competitors so far before they’ll dish it back to you. That’s the natural order of things. Even Ayrton Senna realized that.

    BTW , as far as the rulebook is concerned, the pitlane entry/exits are parts of the racetrack . You can race for a position on the exit provided you do not run over the white line. The pitlane entry have no caveats.
    The pitlane itself is ALSO regarded as part of the racetrack but is governed by an additional set of rules such as the speed limit which normally renders overtaking impossible.
    Lewis was half a car’s length behind Seb on the speed limiter approaching the exit which was funneling in – he should and did back off (eventually!). Seb’s pinch on the McLaren was naughty though – he probably has faith in Lewis to “know what to do…..” 🙂

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