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Alonso comfortably wins Chinese GP
Sunday 14th April 2013, 09:47 by TF1T Staff
Fernando Alonso took his first victory of the 2013 season at the Chinese Grand Prix to bounce back from the disappointment of his first lap retirement in Malaysia last time out.
The Spaniard made his three-stop strategy work to overcome Kimi Raikkonen who finished second despite suffering a poor start and a collision with Sergio Perez which damaged his car.
Pole sitter Lewis Hamilton could only manage third after struggling with his tyres, particularly in the closing laps as he tried to pass Raikkonen put eventually had to defend against Sebastian Vettel who, on fresh softs, was closing at two seconds a lap and finished just two-tenths back.
Jenson Button completed the top five for McLaren, meaning the top five positions were held by the current five champions on the grid.
Note, several drivers; Vettel, Raikkonen, Button, Romain Grosjean, Mark Webber, Valtteri Bottas and Max Chilton are under investigation for using DRS within a yellow flag zone.
The first few laps were fairly drama free other Raikkonen losing a handful of places thanks to a double-dose of wheel-spin. He managed to recover to fourth by the third corner though to minimise the damage.
Mark Webber, who started from the pits, was the first to stop on the second lap to rid himself of the soft tyre. He would eventually retire though after his second stop due to a loose rear-wheel.
Hamilton lost his lead early on as he failed to open a gap big enough to pull out of the one-second DRS zone, losing places to both Alonso and Felipe Massa.
Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta had a tussle, but the German's efforts were in vane as on the following lap Esteban Gutierrez missed his braking point and collided with the rear of the Force India forcing them to both retire.
The race was a battle of differing strategies as various tyre battles played out, most opting for three-stops other than Jenson Button and Sergio Perez who both stopped just twice.
Eventually it was a battle between Raikkonen, Hamilton and Vettel for the final podium positions as Alonso comfortably led and admitted to having pace in hand should he need it.
The final three laps saw Vettel bolt on new softs to begin chasing the leaders at three-seconds per lap. He eventually finished just two-tenths behind after a small mistake cost him the use of DRS, which would surely have seen him pass Hamilton on the final straight.
Race Result - 2013 Chinese Grand Prix:
# Driver Team Gap Pts 01. F. Alonso Ferrari 25 02. K. Raikkonen Lotus +10.1 18 03. L. Hamilton Mercedes +12.3 15 04 S. Vettel Red Bull +12.5 12 05. J. Button McLaren +35.2 10 06. F. Massa Ferrari +40.8 8 07. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso +42.6 6 08. P. di Resta Force India +51.0 4 09. R. Grosjean Lotus +53.4 2 10. N. Hulkenberg Sauber +55.5 1 11. S. Perez McLaren +63.8 12. J. Vergne Toro Rosso +72.6 13. V. Bottas Williams +93.8 14. P. Maldonado Williams +95.4 15. J. Bianchi Marussia +1 lap 16. C. Pic Caterham +1 lap 17. M. Chilton Marussia +1 lap 18. G. van der Garde Caterham +1 lap 19. N. Rosberg Mercedes Retired 20. M. Webber Red Bull Retired 21. A. Sutil Force India Retired 22. E. Gutierrez Sauber Retired
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