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Lewis Hamilton takes Shanghai and the F1 contest hots up

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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-19-11 10:08 AM
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Lewis Hamilton takes Shanghai and the F1 contest hots up
There are inherent flaws with Formula One as a sporting spectacle. Its complex rules are constantly tinkered with, just as mechanics meddle with their cars on a daily basis, and when it comes off critics say it is a contrivance.

But Sunday's Chinese grand prix was a great race, helped when Jenson Button managed to occupy Sebastian Vettel's place in the Red Bull pit on lap 15 before being shooed off by the lollipop man. The Malaysian grand prix, the previous week, was described in some quarters as a great contest too, though it appealed mostly to the race fan who goes home thinking: "Wow, didn't we see a lot of pit stops today." In Kuala Lumper we also saw technology let its hair down, with Kers and DRS the moveable rear wing coming into their own after rather passive showings in Australia.

Here, though, while those innovations and even more the highly degradable tyres were vital ingredients, they did not dominate the event. The primacy of the racing was there for all to see. There were cut-and-thrust overtaking manoeuvres, most of them marked by the quality and sportsmanship of their execution. There were the contrasting strategies of the teams, even within teams. And there were team-mates pitted against each other, most noticeably in the case of Lewis Hamilton and Button.

But it is impossible to view the race in isolation, for Hamilton's victory shattered however briefly the hegemony of the Red Bull organisation. It put an end to Vettel's disturbing sequence of victories, for the precocious and gifted German had won the previous four races, and five out of six. Vettel's dominance had created furrowed brows, not only among his closest rivals at McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, but also in the entire noisy community of Formula One.
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