A reversal of fortunes in today’s race with an optimistic strategy putting Räikkönen out of contention in the closing stages while Romain Grosjean put the troubles of the opening races behind him to finish 6th and get his first points of the season.
Kimi Räikkönen ran strongly in the early stages, holding 4th off the line and while many went for a 3 stop strategy the Finn attempted to complete the race with just 2 stops, attempting to take a set of soft tyres from lap 28 to the end of the 56 lap race. It looked good for a podium position with 10 laps to go with Räikkönen holding 2nd place ahead of Vettel – also on a 2 stop strategy. But as the Pirellis fell off the cliff he was quickly shuffled down the order, losing 7 places in the space of a lap and eventually falling back to 14th running 3 seconds off the pace.
Grosjean by contrast made the 2 stop strategy work well, with a later second stop allowing the tyres to deliver all the way to the flag. While he never looked likely to challenge for the podium he still gained places to finish 6th after starting 10th. It could have been even better had he not run wide on the marbles at Turn 7 while battling for position, but after only running a total of 5 laps in the first two races a strong finish is a definite improvement.
Discussion: Chapman Arms – Chinese GP