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From narrow escapes to daring overtakes - China’s best onboard action

19 Apr 2016

Once again the Shanghai International Circuit served up an action-packed race - and we didn't even have to wait for the lights to go out for the excitement to begin...
Lewis’s near miss

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According to legend, it’s considered bad luck if a black cat crosses your path - but what about a Toro Rosso mechanic? Lewis Hamilton had this near miss with a pair of the Faenza team’s finest on his way to the grid, but if that was a close shave, things were to get a lot worse for the world champion…

 

Hamilton caught in the storm at Turn 2

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Having made poor starts in Australia and Bahrain, Lewis Hamilton made a lightning getaway from the back of the grid in Shanghai. But all his hard work was undone when, negotiating the never-ending right-hander that is Turns 1 and 2, he became an unwitting victim of the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, clashing with Felipe Nasr’s Sauber as the Brazilian tried to take avoiding action.

 

A heart in mouth moment for Perez

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Having started from seventh on the grid, Force India’s Sergio Perez had a perfect view of the controversial goings-on at Turn 1 and 2 between Messrs Kvyat, Vettel and Raikkonen. And as this exclusive onboard shows, if it wasn’t for his lightning fast reactions, the Mexican might well have joined the list of first corner casualties.

 

Vettel’s double pit lane pass

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When the safety car was thrown on lap four there was an understandable rush to get into the pit lane - though some drivers were more eager to get to their pit box than others. With Sergio Perez already occupying the Force India pit crew, team mate Nico Hulkenberg opted for a leisurely run down the pit entry, prompting an impatient Sebastian Vettel to take matters into his own hands.  "It was very slow and the Toro Rosso [of Carlos Sainz] decided to queue so I decided to go halfway over the grass and jump both of them," he said. "We're free to race in the pit entry, but it looks like I was the only one to remember..."

 

Button hits peak rush hour traffic in Shanghai pit lane

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It’s fair to say that Jenson Button’s first trip down the pit lane in Sunday’s race was a tad on the hectic side. Having arrived at the pit entry at the same time as Vettel, the McLaren man first had to take avoiding action when Hulkenberg - two cars ahead - suddenly slowed (a move that earned him a five-second penalty). Button then had to be on his toes again to avoid a collision with Sainz after Perez accelerated out of the Force India pit box alongside them both. Still, at least Button eventually made it to the right pit crew this time…  

 

Ricciardo bags himself two in one

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As with Hamilton, Sunday’s race turned into a damage limitation exercise for Daniel Ricciardo after an early puncture robbed him of the lead and sent him tumbling down the order. But the Red Bull driver was soon fighting his way back through the field, with one of the highlights being this double ‘inside-outside’ overtake of Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer through Turns 1, 2 and 3. 

 

Hamilton bullies his way past Bottas

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Turn 1, Turn 6 and Turn 14 are all renowned overtaking spots in Shanghai, but Turn 9?  Not so much. Step forward Lewis Hamilton, who, after taking the outside line at Turn 8, audaciously battled his way past Valtteri Bottas’s Williams at the aforementioned corner on lap 40 to snatch P5.