Round 3 of the 2012 Formula 1 season sees the teams at the Shanghai Circuit for the Chinese Grand Prix. As usual, here's Mark Webber's track preview: [youtube]yqBn36TBJcI[/youtube] The Shanghai Circuit is a mix of high and low speed and favours a car with good overall balance. Drivers Championship Alonso's unexpected win in Malaysia sees him leading the driver's championship, with a consistent Hamilton (two successive third placed finishes) in second place. Button and Webber are narrowly behind in 3rd and 4th, with the surprising Sergio Perez in 5th position. Vettel's championship defence is not off to a good start and he'll be looking for much need updates to the Red Bull to close the gap on the leaders. 1 Fernando Alonso 35 2 Lewis Hamilton 30 3 Jenson Button 25 4 Mark Webber 24 5 Sergio Perez 22 6 Sebastian Vettel 18 7 Kimi Räikkönen 16 8 Bruno Senna 8 9 Kamui Kobayashi 8 10 Paul di Resta 7 11 Jean-Eric Vergne 4 12 Daniel Ricciardo 2 13 Nico Hulkenberg 2 14 Michael Schumacher 1 Constructors Championship McLaren and Red Bull's good start to the season continued with good points in Malaysia, but Ferrari and surprise packets Sauber secured the lions share of points in Malaysia. Williams gained their first points since 2010 at Malaysia and currently look to be right up there with the likes of Force India and Lotus. Mercedes must be shaking their heads after a second consecutive strong showing in qualifying yielded next to nothing points wise, albeit one point is an improvement over nothing! 1 McLaren-Mercedes 55 2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 42 3 Ferrari 35 4 Sauber-Ferrari 30 5 Lotus-Renault 16 6 Force India-Mercedes 9 7 Williams-Renault 8 8 STR-Ferrari 6 9 Mercedes 1 Last Year Qualifying Qualifying for the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix was dominated by Vettel who took any easy pole, this was in sharp contrast to mark Webber who didn't make it out of Q1. The McLarens of Button and Hamilton filled the next two positions on the grid with Rosberg and the two Ferrari's after that. 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:33.706 2 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.421 3 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:34.463 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.670 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.119 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:35.145 7 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.158 8 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:36.190 9 Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:36.203 10 Vitaly Petrov Renault no time Race Lewis Hamilton took the win in the 2011 race, his first for the year. Both McLarens beat Vettel off the line and a superior three stop strategy for Hamilton made a win for the two stopping Vettel impossible. Webber drove a stroming race to enetually finish on the podium with Button fourth. During the race Button stopped in the Red Bull pit and was furiously waved through by the Red Bull mechanics who were waiting for Sebastian Vettel; the incident was definitely one of the funnier happenings in the 2011 season. [youtube]aTxJyH3EdVw[/youtube] 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:36:58.226 2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault +5.198 3 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +7.555 4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +10.000 5 Nico Rosberg Mercedes +13.448 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari +15.840 7 Fernando Alonso Ferrari +30.622 8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes +31.026 9 Vitaly Petrov Renault +57.404 10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari +1:03.273 2012 The tyre's available for the Chinese Grand Prix are the medium and soft (as per Melbourne). I'm expecting more of the same at the Chinese Grand Prix, with McLaren and Red Bull at the top of the list. I'm not expecting Ferrari to be in a position to compete for the podium, but they should be in the mix with Mecedes, Sauber and Williams for positions in the top 10. It will be interesting to see how Massa performs in China after his recent extended debriefing session at Maranello. Whether or not Massa is "on notice" from Ferrari is unknown, but his position at the team must surely be on thin ice based on his recent performances.