Mike Stevens | Apr 19, 2010

JENSON BUTTON has leapt to a ten-point lead in the 2010 World Championship, winning yet another thrilling rain-affected Grand Prix.

McLaren's reigning world champion, who also won in Melbourne, is now ten points clear of Nico Rosberg, who finished third in Shanghai after another impressive weekend in the Mercedes.

“This was my best victory in Formula 1. Every race you win becomes your best, but this was an extremely special win in very tough conditions," Button said.

Former title-leader Felipe Massa is now just sixth in the standings after finishing sixth in Shanghai, where the Chinese venue was affected by showers throughout the 56-lap race.

Fernando Alonso, penalised for jumping the start, finished fourth, and is now two places ahead of China pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, who, like his teammate and early race leader Mark Webber, had a less than smooth race.

Lewis Hamilton completed McLaren's one-two on Sunday, but the 2008 world champion was reprimanded, along with Vettel, for an incident in pit lane.

Stewards, including former F1 driver Alex Wurz, deliberated the incident after the 56-lap race.

Hamilton attempted to race the German both on the pit entry and exit, and Vettel moved over on the Briton in the pitlane.

In separate stewards reports, the officials said Hamilton and Vettel drove "in a dangerous manner" and were issued the "penalty of a reprimand".

McLaren's Hamilton said in the post-race press conference on Sunday that he was not aware the incident was being investigated.

"As far as I am concerned I think it was okay. We touched wheels but otherwise I think it was fair," said the 25-year-old. "It was good racing."

Vettel, however, was upset with Hamilton's driving.

"I don't know why he was keen to touch me," said the Red Bull driver.

(GMM)

 

McLaren Drivers Free To Race: Whitmarsh

Unlike Red Bull and perhaps also Ferrari, McLaren's two drivers are free to race when running first and second.

Red Bull's Christian Horner admitted in Shanghai that when his drivers are dominating, the actual wheel-to-wheel racing ends at the first corner.

And although Felipe Massa denies it, it is rumoured that a similar policy is in place at Ferrari.

But towards the end of Sunday's Chinese grand prix, it appeared that race leader Jenson Button and teammate Lewis Hamilton were still challenging one another for the victory.

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh confirmed: "It was a very long race for us. In the end, we allowed them to race each other freely, which was a bit nerve-wracking.

"Would I have been happier if they had held station to the end? Of course, as I would now have a few less grey hairs," he is quoted as saying in the German press.

"But it was exciting racing from the first lap to the last, and good for the show," added Whitmarsh. "That's the way it should be."

Meanwhile, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali played down suggestions Fernando Alonso's overtaking of Felipe Massa in the pitlane entry - leaving the Brazilian momentarily on the grass - will compromise the harmony within the team.

Massa told reporters that they should "ask Charlie, not me" about the incident, referring to the race director and adjudicator Charlie Whiting.

But Domenicali said: "I think it was just a racing incident and there is absolutely no problem between the two drivers: when you are always racing to win, you can have moments like this."

(GMM)

 

Weight Making Schumacher Too Slow: Report

According to the buzz in the German media after qualifying, Michael Schumacher's struggle to keep up with his teammate in 2010 could be due to his weight.

Although believed to be back to his racing weight of 2006, the seven time world champion is reportedly 7 kilograms heavier than Nico Rosberg, despite the 24-year-old being a few centimetres taller than Schumacher.

F1 cars are all the same weight, but heavier drivers have less ballast to strategically position around their single seater.

But Schumacher's former fitness trainer Balbir Singh told Bild newspaper that he does not recommend any further weight loss for the 41-year-old, who is "fully fit".

At lunch on Saturday, Schumacher ate a green salad with tomatoes and cucumbers, and Sport Bild reports that Schuberth has been replacing the sponsor stickers on his helmet with lighter ones.

Adrian Sutil, also one of F1's heavier drivers, dismisses the German media theory about Schumacher's weight.

"Seven kilograms makes only about a tenth difference," the Force India driver told Auto Bild Motorsport.

"It may sound funny, but Michael has to learn how to drive an F1 car again. Above all, the tyres are extremely sensitive. This is totally underestimated.

"In order to use them fully, he just needs more experience," added Sutil.

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