Thursday, 12 April 2012

2012 Chinese Grand Prix Preview

After what by common consent has been an intriguing start to the Formula 1 season, the action resumes this weekend in Shanghai, after a break of three weeks. 

It is likely that much of the discussion will be dominated by the thorny topic of the Bahrain Grand Prix, and that is very understandable. However, here's hoping that there is another enthralling race to grab at least some of the attention.

Allowing for the weather conditions which prevailed in Malaysia, and taking nothing away from Alonso's superb drive in Sepang, the team to beat (just) remains McLaren.  Jenson Button will be seeking to revert to the form and poise which he displayed in Australia, and to make amends for his uncharacteristic rush of blood in the last race.

Lewis Hamilton's cause will not exactly be aided by a five-place grid penalty in China, because of a gearbox change, but the Briton seems philosophical about this hindrance, and he will still harbour hopes of notching up a win to vindicate his pre-season buoyancy, and to consolidate his solid start to the 2012 campaign.

The three-week hiatus since Malaysia will have been employed by some teams to try to analyse their lack of form and all-round pace. Foremost amongst these would probably be Mercedes, who badly need some kind of race result in China.  Red Bull, though having many more points on the board, will also have been striving for solutions.

Fernando Alonso was correct in pointing out, amidst the post-race euphoria in Malaysia, that the race victory there, welcome and merited though it was, did not fundamentally alter Ferrari's position. It is difficult to imagine a quantum leap in performance in Shanghai, but at least the triumph in Sepang may have given the team an extra spring in its step, and instilled a greater sense of impetus.

Several teams will be hoping to build on encouraging beginnings to the season.  Williams, and particularly Pastor Maldonado, will be seeking to continue to convert promise into points.  For Lotus, one suspects, more of the same would suffice at this stage.  Sauber, following the Perez podium in Malaysia, are another outfit threatening to consistently intrude into the party at the front end of the field.  It is to be hoped that the young Mexican will not be over-awed by his new-found prominence.

So, there we have it.  Another interesting weekend in prospect!


  1. What do you think the outcome of this race will be? I will be writing about it on my blog soon and you can check it out at

    1. I have a feeling that Lewis Hamilton might do it, but it is very difficult to predict!