The 2010 Chinese Grand Prix, otherwise known as the VII Chinese Grand Prix (alternately the 2010年中国大奖赛 or the 2010 Zhōngguó dàjiǎng sài in Chinese) was the fourth race of the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China, on 18 April 2010. The race would see Jenson Button claim victory ahead of McLaren-Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, after a bold strategy call allowed the Brit to dominate the second half of the race.
Qualifying had seen Sebastian Vettel claim pole position, ahead of Red Bull-Renault teammate Mark Webber. Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg would share the second row, while Button and Hamilton would start from the third row.
The track was dry on raceday, although dark clouds were hovering around the Shanghai circuit as the field assembled on the grid. The field would be reduced by one before the formation lap as several teams opted to hastily adjust setups for wet weather, with a chassis fault denying Timo Glock the chance to race.
The start itself would see Vettel struggle to getaway, allowing Alonso to sprint between the two Red Bulls to claim the lead. Webber would also jump his German teammate to secure second, while Rosberg fended off the attentions of Button and Hamilton into the first corner to secure fourth.
The rest of the field got away cleanly, until Vitantonio Liuzzi lost control on the brakes at turn six and spun, sliding across the circuit. He duly collected both Kamui Kobayashi and Sébastien Buemi, with the three ruined cars triggering a Safety Car.
As the field lined up behind the Mercedes-Benz Safety Car rain began to fall, prompting several drivers, including race leader Alonso and the Red Bulls, to sweep in for intermediate tyres. Rosberg hence inherited the lead ahead of Button as they gambled on slick tyres, with the race resuming at the end of lap three.
Rosberg duly eased clear at the restart to secure the lead, while Alonso was informed that he was to serve a drive-through penalty for jumping the start. That dumped the Spaniard back down to fourteenth having been running behind Vitaly Petrov, who had not stopped, when he served it, with those on inters running faster.
However, that advantage in pace came at a cost, for they burned through their tyres as the rain failed to intensify. As a result all of those that stopped for inters were soon back in for slicks, leaving Rosberg, Button and the two Renaults on their own at the head of the field.
In the middle of the pit chaos Hamilton would slide into the side of Vettel exiting his pit box, causing the Brit to slide back towards the Williams pitcrew. Fortunately Hamilton would manage to miss the crewmen and dropped back in behind the Red Bull, while Webber had hit his front jackman and broke his front wing.
Hamilton would, however, rally back after his pitlane issues, and duly bounced back up the field as Button demolished Rosberg's lead. Indeed, with rain beginning to fall again the #1 McLaren swept past the #4 Mercedes to claim the lead, before darting into the pits for intermediate tyres a lap later with an increase in rain.
Jaime Alguersuari then threw a spanner into the works, for contact with one of the HRT-Cosworths sent debris scattering across the circuit and triggering another SC. This demolished Button, Rosberg and Kubica's lead and allowed the rest of the field to pit, before Button caused chaos at the restart by slowing dramatically at the hairpin and causing Webber to run wide and tumble down the field.
Yet, no action could be taken against the Brit, who duly spent the rest of the afternoon pulling away to claim an impressive victory. Hamilton, meanwhile, would pounce his way up the field to claim second, while Rosberg would claim third to complete a clean sweep of the podium for Mercedes engines for the first time since the 1955 British Grand Prix.
Felipe Massa had moved to the top of the Championship as a result of the Malaysian Grand Prix, having scored 39 points through the opening three rounds. Indeed, the Brazilian driver headed the three drivers who had claimed wins in 2010, with Fernando Alonso dropping to second on 37 points, level with Sebastian Vettel, winner in Malaysia. Jenson Button was next on 35, level with Nico Rosberg, with fourteen of the 24 drivers having scored in the opening three rounds.
In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had held the initiative after the third round of the season, leaving Malaysia with 76 points. They hence had a ten point lead over McLaren-Mercedes in second, while Red Bull-Renault had streaked up to third with their Malaysian one-two. Mercedes had made way for the Austrian team and slipped to fourth, while Toro Rosso-Cosworth had added their names to the score sheet in eighth.
The full entry list for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix is shown below:
The full qualifying results for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||7||1:36.317||5||1:35.280||1||1:34.558||1|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||3||1:35.978||2||1:35.100||2||1:34.806||2|
|10||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||12||1:36.671||9||1:35.665||10||1:35.963||10|
|12||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||10||1:36.618||12||1:36.047||12|
|13||16||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||13||1:36.793||13||1:36.149||13|
|15||23||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||15||1:37.044||15||1:36.422||15|
|17||22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||17||1:37.050||17||1:37.020||17|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||18||1:37.161||18|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||22||1:39.783||22|
- Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.
- * Chandhok would serve a five place grid penalty as the seal was broken on his gearbox.
|Pedro de la Rosa||18|
|______________||Lucas di Grassi|
- * Glock was unable to start the race due to suffering an engine/chassis failure on the grid.
- † Chandhok started the race from the pitlane for changing his setup in Parc Fermé conditions.
The full results for the 2010 Chinese Grand Prix are outlined below:
- * Glock was unable to start the race due to an engine and chassis issue.
- 550th Grand Prix for Williams as a constructor.
- Jenson Button claimed his ninth career victory.
- McLaren secured their 166th win as a constructor.
- First all Mercedes engined podium since the 1955 British Grand Prix.
- Vitaly Petrov claimed his maiden points finish.
- This was also the first points finish for a Russian driver in F1 history.
Victory propelled defending Champion Jenson Button to the top of the Championship hunt as the first fly-away races came to a conclusion, moving onto 60 points. Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, had shot up to second, ten off the lead, and a point ahead of both Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who were level on 49. Sebastian Vettel then completed the top five, while Vitaly Petrov was on the board for the first time in his career in twelfth.
In the Constructors Championship Button's victory had moved McLaren-Mercedes to the head of the field, moving onto 109 points after four rounds. Ferrari had made way for them and dropped to second on 90 points, while Red Bull-Renault had held onto third, 36 off the lead. Mercedes were next ahead of Renault, while Force India-Mercedes, Williams-Cosworth and Toro Rosso-Ferrari completed the scorers list.
Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.
Images and Videos:
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 '4. China 2010', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2010/chine.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2020)
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 2.23 2.24 Robert Wilkins, 'Button heads McLaren 1-2 in China', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 18/04/2010), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/158874/1/button-heads-mclaren-1-2-after-another-bold-tyre-call, (Accessed 25/03/2020)
- ↑ 'China 2010: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2010/chine/engages.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2020)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 '2010 FORMULA 1 CHINESE GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2010/races/863/china/qualifying.html, (Accessed 25/03/2020)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 'China 2010: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2010/chine/classement.aspx, (Accessed 25/03/2020)
|V T E||Chinese Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Shanghai International Circuit (2004–present)|
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