By Editor - 14 April 2013
Lewis Hamilton leads into turn 3
The Chinese GP lacked the controversy that plagued the Malaysian GP which had F1 fans talking for weeks. Although not without its controversy (nine drivers found using DRS illegally although no punishments were handed out for this mass rule breach) the Chinese GP was in comparison, rather lacklustre.
However the top five finishers, all ex champions, had teammates who had forgettable races. In a way, this race demonstrated why the cream always rises to the top.
Below are our nominations for Driver of the Day:
Fernando Alonso (1st)
Fernando Alonso drove a controlled and flawless race to achieve Ferrari's first win of the season. Alonso made another blistering start and passed Kimi Raikkonen, his main rival. On lap 5, with the help of DRS, Fernando passed Lewis on the main straight and took the lead. Ferrari pitted Alonso on lap 7, which turned out to be the optimum lap for pitting. Massa who stopped a lap later rejoined the track behind cars starting o the mediums who held up Massa. Felipe finished a lowly sixth given his equipment. One thing that set Fernando from Felipe today was his ability to execute some bold overtakes that prevented Fernando from losing time behind slower cars. After his final stop on lap 42, Alonso reeled in Vettel to retake the lead, although the Red Bull champion was instructed not to fight Alonso. Fernando cruised home to take a dominant win, showing that Fernando Alonso still has his magic touch.
Kimi Raikkonen (2nd)
Kimi Raikkonen was able to drag his damaged car home to achieve a well deserved second place. Kimi made a poor start to the race, losing out places to Alonso and Massa by the first corner. He was nudged off the track by Sergio Perez and slid over to rumble strip, colliding into the back of the Mexican. Kimi's front wing, although damaged, survived the impact and he was able to continue recording consistent lap times. By undercutting Lewis Hamilton on lap 35, Raikkonen overtook Lewis for second place. He was able keep that position, holding off a charge from Lewis until the Mercedes's tyres were shot. Kimi Raikkonen continues show solid racecraft despite his sabbatical from Formula 1 racing. A well deserved second place.
Sebastian Vettel (4th)
Sebastian drove a stunning final stint to challenge for a podium place after starting from 9th on the grid. Red Bull took the risk to start Sebastian on the primes, a decision that hindered rather than helped the young German. Hulkenberg inherited the lead after the first set of pit stops, with Vettel trailing in second. Vettel took the lead from Nico Hulkenburg after a tidy pit stop from the RBR pit crew. He lead the race from lap 27 for five laps. Sebastian still had to make one a last stop for the compulsory option tyre. He made the most of his new sets of softs and was able to close a 13 second gap to Lewis Hamilton in four laps - eeking out 3.5 seconds per lap to the car in front. Sebastian made a valient effort to finish only 0.2 seconds behind Lewis, narrowly missing out on a podium. Another determined drive from the triple world champion.
Daniel Ricciardo (7th)
With his best ever race finish, Daniel Ricciardo brought home 6 points coming in 7th. Having made Q3 and qualifying an impressive 7th on the grid, Daniel was able to finish in the same position he started. This is despite Daniel having to change a nose cone after a collision with Nico Rosberg. Hand picked by Dr Marko himself, Daniel is showing the promise that got him selected into the RBR Junior Driving Programme. Making up for his poor start to the season, Daniel is demonstrating the speed that may ultimately see him replace his fellow countryman in the sister Red Bull team.
Who was your driver of the day and why?