Chinese GP – Gian Carlo Minardi’s point of view

Before starting to comment the Chinese GP, I would point out something that made me laugh. Andrea Stella’s comment on Fernando Alonso’s performance and the Spaniard’s answer (the former told to the latter that he didn’t need to push hard, so the Spaniard answered: “I’m not pushing at all”) on the last few laps of the Chinese GP reminded me of 1999, the year Nando tested the F1 Minardi in the wet at Jerez. On that occasion, just after three laps, he set the fastest lap time, running 1 sec. faster than any other tester.  At that point we told him not to push, as it was only a test, and, even at the time, Alonso answered he wasn’t doing anything particular and could improve his performance……

The Chinese GP was full of suspense, overtaking, collisions and pit-stop mistakes (sometimes heavy). Strategies and tyres were the real protagonists of the third GP. 5 world champions finished in the first five places; each driver belongs to a different team. A perfect Fernando Alonso finished on the top step of the podium. The Spaniard undertook an offensive strategy form the beginning to the end, scoring the first win of the season. The car, along with the pit lane staff and the pit-stop staff, undertook a flawless strategy and delivered good performances.

On the contrary, it wasn’t a perfect weekend for Red Bull because of Vettel’s strategy and a gasoline mistake regarding Webber’s car. This is the second time within two years that such a mistake is made by the team, but I think the most suspicious thing is that this was the third time Webber’s race was affected by trivial mistakes made just after some problems between the team and the Australian driver had occurred in the previous race……

The Malaysian episode could have been the cause of those mistakes, which are so heavy if made by a team which won the last three constructors’ championships.

Lotus and Mercedes delivered excellent performances. The two teams and their two drivers Raikkonen and Hamilton will be the protagonists of the next race to be held in two weeks time. Jenson Button undertook an excellent defensive strategy, as well, and finished fifth behind Vettel, driving an even more performing McLaren. Grosjean and Massa’s races were less exciting, but, thanks to the position achieved, Lotus and Ferrari ranked second and third in the Championship.

Daniel Ricciardo and Toro Rosso were stunning. After the Q3, the Italian team finished seventh and scored new points which led it to the seventh place ahead of Sauber, who finished tenth thanks to his driver Hulkenberg.

With the fourth race of the F1 Championship to be held in one week time, we’ll have a complete picture of the 2013 Pirelli compounds. On that occasion teams and drivers can use the P Zero Yellow (soft tyres) and the P Zero Orange (hard tyres).