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F1: CHINESE GP – STICKY AND TRICKY NUTS DICTATE RESULTS

by on April 15, 2012

Shanghai 2012 set the stage for the Chinese GP where Nico Rosberg, son of former F1 champion Keke Rosberg takes his maiden victory.  The young German lined up next to F1 legend Michael Schumacher and follow countryman and teammate.  From a stellar pole position in which he was a comfortable half second ahead of Lewis Hamilton who took a 5 position penalty for a changed gearbox, Nico took the checkered flag with a 20 second gap to second place.

McLaren’s Jenson Button took second but might have been able to hound Nico for the victory if not for a botched pit stop where he lost far too much time with a sticky rear wheel nut.  China was certainly the place for tricky  nuts.  Schumacher suffered a retirement on lap 12 after his first pit stop with a wheel nut that wasn’t fastened.  Out of the pits and into turn 3 he knew something was terribly wrong and was forced to pull off, thus ending his day and possible challenge for victory.  

Anyone watching the pitstop from a video monitor or on TV knew something was off immediately with the front right when the mechanic slammed his hand repeatedly after Schumacher’s premature release from the box.  Arguably, the two drivers that might have been able to challenge Rosberg for the lead and the victory both had their race ruined by one of their nuts. 

More to come this week as we break down the race report and results further.  For now, here are the race results in numbers.  With his third consecutive thrid place finish, Lewis Hamilton now leads the driver championship.

POS

DRIVER

TEAM

LAPS

TIME

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 56 1h36m26.929
2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 56 20.626
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 56 26.012
4. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 56 27.924
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 56 30.483
6. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 56 31.491
7. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 56 34.597
8. Pastor Moldonado Williams-Renault 56 35.643
9. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 56 37.256
10. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 56 38.720 (FL)
11. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 56 41.066
12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 56 42.2
13. Felipe Massa Ferrari 56 42.7
14. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 56 50.5
15. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 56 51.2
16. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 51.7
17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 56 1m03.1
18. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 55 1 Lap
19. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 55 1 Lap
20. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 54 2 Laps
21. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 55 1 Lap
22. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 54 2 Laps
23. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 53 3 Laps
R Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 12  
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