Brilliant Michael Schumacher won the classic Chineese Grand Prix, which can be one of his most important victories in his career. Started 6th on the grid and after 9 laps he was 22 seconds behind the race leader and yet he won the Race that eluded him in the last 2 years. It was Renault’s race to loose and they lost it.
The track was wet with water all over the track at the start but it was not raining. Most of the drivers started with intermediate’s and it was evident from the Saturday’s qualifying that Ferrari and Bridgestone runners struggled in wet conditions. Both the Renaults got to a good start as race begins but both the Hondas lost out to Raikkonen who started at 5th. Schumacher held on to his 6th position as Alonso just vanishes at the front. By lap 4 Schumacher was almost 14 sec’s behind race leader which shows how fast the Michelin runners are. On lap 9 Schumacher passes Barrichello and sets a fastest 2nd sector. Looked like Schumi coming interms with the Michelin runners but he was already 22 seconds behind Alonso. On lap 13 Raikkonen passed Fisichella who came on a heavy load to hold everyone behind him so that Alonso cruises at the front. On lap 14 Schumacher passes Button to take 4th place. By lap 15 Alonso had almost 16 seconds lead just from Raikkonen in second place and Schumi started to close on Fisichella but he was 25 sec’s behind Alonso. Schumi was upto 3rd as Raikkonen pits on lap 17 and Schumacher was rapidly closing on Fisichella. By lap 19 Schumacher was just half a second behind Fisichella but the good news for him was the slowing McLaren of Kimi. So Schumi all has to do was pass Fisichella and limit the damage and on the way he set new fastest 3rd sector time. The Ferraris all of a sudden started coming alive in the wet conditions. On lap 21 Schumacher pits for fuel and his tyres were not changed which looked interesting but on lap 22 Alonso pits for fuel and new front tyres. Fisichella pits on lap 23 and rejoins ahead of Schumacher.
The real race started after these pit stops as the track is really getting dry. On lap 25 Kubica of BMW pits for new dry tyres and runs off the track couple of times just on his out lap. That proved how disastrous it is to go for full dry tyres and was valuable information for all the drivers going to pit. Because Alonso who also changed his front tyres started loosing almost 3 sec’s a lap to Fisi and Schumacher. By lap 28 all his 20 plus lead is gone as Fisichella passes him to take the lead but looses again. But it didn’t last long as Fisi passes Alonso again on lap 29 leaving Alonso at Schumacher’s mercy. It took just 2 laps for Schumacher to overtake Alonso and Renault cant believe this is happening. But Fisichella maintained his 2 sec’s lead over Schumacher as Alonso still lapping slowly as the track looks pretty dry. On lap 35 Alonso makes an early pit stop for dry tyres but a rear tyre problem cost him 19 sec’s for his stop as Schumacher sets new fastest lap. This is where Alonso lost his race completely leaving Fisichella to win for Renault. By lap 39 Schumacher was just half a sec adrift of Fisichella in the lead as Schumacher dives in to pits. Schumi gets his new dry tyres and a front wing adjustment but the point is when Fisichella stops and will he retakes the lead. Alonso back in to the race lapping as fast as the front runners but he was dropped to 6th place because of his early 2nd pit stop. The moment came when Fisichella pitted from the lead on lap 41 and came ahead of Schumacher to take the lead. But its very short as Schumacher dives up the inside to take the lead. Disaster for Renault.
Unbelievably Schumacher now has victory in sight as he never finished better than 12 here in the last 2 years. Who would have imagined that Schumi can lead the race at all after the qualifying and and wet start to the race. Alonso started to make some fast laps to atleast grab the second place as Schumacher was almost unreachable already. On lap 46 Massa pulls of to retire leaving Schumacher to get all the points for Ferrari. With 10 laps to go Schumacher was almost 16 sec’s ahead of Alonso in third even though Alonso is closing fast. On lap 49 Alonso moves ahead of Fisichella as they negotiate traffic and was 14 sec’s behind schumi. Alonso continues to put on fast laps to close on as Schumi takes it easy to the end. But the most scary moment came on lap 52 as few drops of rain started falling which is a good news for Renault and fast charging Alonso. Schumi started his final lap as the rain increases but he was almost safe as its too late for anything to happen. Michael Schumacher atlast takes his first and final chequered flag at Shanghai’s china Grand Prix.
What a race and what a win it was for Schumi. Simply unbelievable. Schumacher simply drove a great race for Ferrari as lot of drama happened all through the race and even in the final lap behind him. Schumacher closes the 2 point lead Alonso had and now both of them are on same points BUT Schumacher leads the Championship by virtue of having won more races than Alonso in this season. But Massa’s retirement means Renault leads constructors Championship by 1 point. With 2 races to go Ferrari and Schumacher looks stronger to win both the races.