So after a brief break it was back to the fray and back to China for round 3 of the 2010 season.
The first two races had gone very well – wins at circuits I hadn’t quite been able to quite win at before had given me confidence ahead of Shanghai. Last time around I could only manage 5th place, owing to some silly errors and hurting my tyres, despite qualifying on pole. This time, a few tweaks to the setup (aerodynamic changes for speed and gearbox changes for acceleration) yielded promising results in practice, though I could only manage 5th fastest in P1.
The same was true of Q1. 5th fastest and half a second off the best time wasn’t exactly where I wanted to be, but I was able to get through Q1 and Q2 to the final round and, with the race strategy set and a different fuel load for Q3, I was able to qualify in 2nd.
Webber was ahead of me, and at the start he not only stayed ahead but Ferrari’s Massa got ahead of me too. However as we began lap two I breezed past both of them into turn 1 and Would move on to win the race quite comfortably. I would lose the lead at every pit stop but as the cars ahead pitted I would regain the lead every time.
The track is filled with a number of weaving corners and pretty tight turns that are slower than they look. Turn 1 is a loooong right-hander and and whilst there are points where it can be hit quite fast, you do need to be firm with the brakes throughout.
Turns 6, 9 and 11 are also quite tight and require some pretty solid applications of the breaks, whilst turn 10 is actually quite fast, and turn 15 is a brutal hairpin followed up by a slightly tricky left-hander that can be quite quick, but only if you judge it right – otherwise you’re going for a spin!
So, 30 points from a possible 30. Button has had three second places so now he’s on 24 points. I hadn’t expected to lead the title race so comfortably at this stage. Here’s hoping I can keep this up!