Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2012

2012 Chinese Grand Prix lap charts

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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One of the decisive moments of the Chinese Grand Prix came on lap 40.

A slow pit stop cost Jenson Button six second in his pursuit of Nico Rosberg.

Would he have been able to catch Rosberg – and win the race – without the delay? Let’s take a look at the data:

Chinese Grand Prix race chart

This chart shows the gap between each driver (in seconds) on every lap of the race:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv

1234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556
Nico Rosberg000000000000012.03110.5424.1740000000000000000009.588.6858.067.4582.14300000000000000000
Michael Schumacher0.7271.1131.6512.0332.6762.9093.5454.1834.7135.2596.20811.268
Kamui Kobayashi4.6445.8986.476.827.1317.247.7538.56413.57431.20731.75532.06826.79422.53421.89316.53913.79114.68115.26515.70815.9616.0516.53917.10922.40838.10136.74435.51434.48133.51832.81132.5132.04427.30821.93722.72923.58628.36940.08236.93236.6236.26435.65435.05935.29235.08235.39634.735.05535.30835.335.10836.45538.438.91538.72
Kimi Raikkonen2.9683.4924.0434.3214.5464.6025.085.6366.48811.81530.96230.64925.35720.50719.51213.9529.95610.24310.6510.95411.40711.44111.39511.57311.40511.38811.40515.57933.17632.49231.54531.74831.55426.94821.5522.29423.10423.98120.39519.72921.47922.23722.63723.15724.19524.70325.52630.35336.0438.72441.3444.13145.99647.649.13150.573
Jenson Button2.12.7853.3033.4953.9164.0964.4475.1865.9536.86511.89526.69620.37815.56514.2058.2294.1154.444.7334.7564.4754.2184.3928.3323.44321.8920.68220.24818.84618.46216.68814.50312.3596.1970000020.60222.04323.14223.51424.27625.19325.60626.35326.25525.93825.80225.49224.92224.75923.56822.41620.626
Mark Webber5.6387.1637.9928.4419.24213.76730.01829.37829.3928.82530.12530.08924.53619.72818.78112.6328.5689.0849.62710.29614.86929.98128.64927.71427.33528.16627.69526.62625.49424.77523.05522.14522.14922.34832.05732.07730.91329.59724.69323.07724.12124.19124.70225.22826.15526.07826.97929.82129.84629.51828.48727.527.83428.22329.02927.924
Lewis Hamilton3.5964.2564.8155.0675.6715.725.7436.3117.03212.22629.47328.62522.65717.66316.31610.1716.0026.1116.4996.8766.97911.03326.49926.86326.97326.63126.88425.58824.923.51621.83121.56121.60217.49613.91413.40613.26316.9827.8325.2525.57525.79825.66125.71926.63926.57627.2829.17928.1727.47926.69226.69427.49927.94927.40526.012
Sergio Perez4.0944.7345.2425.8486.3356.3286.5346.867.6598.4488.7869.0553.90700014.69815.85818.45218.97219.08119.03419.3519.59419.82420.26920.36821.00821.20621.34521.14821.27621.13217.41518.09136.19335.39134.48129.72928.20728.77329.10829.73829.78431.72933.73533.67733.04635.57435.98235.9736.38837.1639.02639.85641.066
Fernando Alonso5.2736.6997.3737.8488.768.9749.63410.05710.73511.06411.38315.83725.85921.01820.11314.36110.51711.04111.38311.51211.88112.00312.20812.4812.39512.48216.38430.84429.77729.41928.15526.84725.23219.91214.31214.1914.11217.83628.25426.50726.6127.01730.57430.6331.96832.56932.65132.50833.39134.41233.92634.22236.40137.57237.85937.256
Romain Grosjean6.8818.3729.85210.48811.50512.12212.76313.5814.63615.37220.21436.17730.51725.54724.4918.42114.5215.29915.87116.34916.63617.06417.18917.75717.54617.7517.23816.34916.4215.73714.78318.07638.34432.125.09324.39924.71125.33221.12621.1822.59523.7424.25324.97631.14930.95130.67430.79331.49431.22330.81730.66531.30931.49932.15631.491
Sebastian Vettel8.80610.4411.9613.01614.36915.08615.81816.65221.82938.62837.74437.28531.24226.21625.16319.31915.7916.69717.55517.6917.64517.5817.76318.24618.67418.80618.82118.42918.41419.13623.92938.58535.83129.33722.60923.09324.0824.92620.76920.07321.7722.5822.98423.56124.59125.03325.84425.61525.29925.19925.73526.17226.98328.07829.61230.483
Felipe Massa6.2657.9419.1599.94810.91311.56712.25913.12514.05614.54415.05915.67310.9897.4857.6513.0830.8467.18123.87324.14424.71525.43526.02426.43926.66627.76228.87729.1129.35430.08730.36731.25331.02926.40120.99621.61822.58923.41719.719.19624.73240.3440.26240.27940.5540.61140.55839.91839.65240.50440.83441.3241.64441.93742.60942.779
Pastor Maldonado8.86211.2812.62513.53514.90415.72316.60918.15718.27518.85324.43740.84134.90230.81530.3924.14920.76621.44321.96822.44223.19323.37823.46723.62524.06824.34124.44624.5424.74826.51426.57827.50333.03443.51635.95234.34233.49332.35526.66124.53425.0326.28327.22927.6231.52531.47731.29731.18633.00733.4433.1833.57636.38136.54236.335.643
Bruno Senna7.679.19610.8611.83113.52113.90714.60515.11415.9316.3116.88921.72232.14127.28826.15120.34916.67317.61619.57420.21620.31720.61720.9321.44721.57822.7223.28926.2332.0948.47446.45144.76343.23737.36530.55229.8629.2828.76224.15722.68224.5525.19426.56226.99827.91328.14828.77330.4631.9532.532.78233.02133.46533.80234.83234.597
Paul di Resta8.29310.15511.54312.44914.13614.63515.36816.0716.88218.24223.82939.81234.38630.33229.61523.6119.82520.32921.24422.54324.2824.85725.26625.76525.74126.01527.50628.32128.76928.97530.11234.93250.60545.14538.63538.07837.88937.58232.84131.22931.8332.34132.73133.08133.88434.60135.93936.47537.01939.04740.57840.6440.95641.27542.21142.273
Nico Hulkenberg10.16313.49915.49617.23819.07320.4122.49424.47930.29758.01758.12760.00854.19150.59350.52846.02943.45645.54946.5446.41446.64346.73546.91547.13347.25447.63248.08448.64549.18554.54769.90468.29466.45160.59753.81253.45853.58552.98348.34346.63547.16847.48647.72547.78748.05647.57547.44346.5446.19446.45746.24646.45747.5848.26249.7851.213
Daniel Ricciardo11.16314.41116.10817.7819.54620.83222.74125.04226.60127.88331.71634.53331.86930.00932.72429.11430.86550.64152.50553.06752.83853.77553.70353.57752.80652.61452.42952.31852.32452.86152.72753.37858.80272.40565.77965.39364.80564.29959.13757.27857.90158.80458.75358.96459.18958.8761.3360.93460.66360.85560.58560.79462.49362.7763.18863.156
Jean-Eric Vergne13.48417.29419.23421.0922.58723.99226.09728.45230.14231.77838.06657.53752.01750.15650.04245.18941.61542.78143.32743.80744.0344.14244.26744.6144.63845.2545.81650.44867.9965.9863.61861.94260.34154.69248.27948.23448.16447.68943.12641.78647.10864.29463.58262.48961.62760.2659.1557.28955.97455.06153.55952.74351.93651.59451.70951.756
Heikki Kovalainen9.30912.36814.43216.59918.46319.79821.88623.81725.51427.47829.07838.34451.56649.37849.6645.6443.95746.77149.28950.96152.26753.40155.71857.58258.94660.46461.89367.256219.797256.941258.79259.01262.466260.443256.157259.725261.134262.419260.076262.514267.071269.799272.85275.385278.611281.417289.831373.115376.781376.845376.316377.16377.05
Vitaly Petrov11.62915.34618.2520.32522.13123.54425.53828.54232.85939.31257.6560.56756.36853.48754.75950.3847.8549.84452.15654.69955.92557.21658.60359.70960.51861.81363.04964.42569.56686.75686.20586.84686.59782.07276.74977.4278.31378.65775.33475.86277.70679.09180.57482.09884.02885.27687.01989.74191.16492.64394.27695.925100.578103.843105.837
Timo Glock10.71615.03818.63422.60425.71428.36531.54434.18536.94439.77442.28745.54842.80241.19143.52540.97440.6450.52970.32972.0373.43274.81576.11777.61878.61180.05381.30782.43383.63584.99485.81887.44388.83886.43383.22890.042110.33111.213107.767107.713109.412111.067112.753114.332116.512117.677119.141120.393121.764123.526124.815130.031132.509138.847155.437
Charles Pic12.05216.81221.14824.68428.08830.45533.60436.36139.59842.17444.73247.34444.42442.86344.96742.18841.32446.73655.21175.9577.12378.95580.77682.24283.73385.77187.21188.43389.58790.71991.3992.37293.17589.72485.48187.62294.405115.797111.994111.766113.804115.388116.962118.755120.903122.203123.838129.671142.802145.13146.749149.561151.723153.863155.835
Pedro de la Rosa12.45917.96222.41326.08729.56232.48335.75739.09842.56345.88249.1552.5650.50551.50955.50854.18158.95882.2184.75486.95389.10791.1893.41195.99898.085100.612106.243108.552114.761119.42128.196150.704153.683150.625146.721148.971153.195157.078154.77156.054160.927164.133168.084170.855173.877176.335178.762180.979183.163186.565188.845191.716194.274196.245198.506
Narain Karthikeyan13.41818.95424.4328.16632.53636.21840.38844.37648.51851.8356.02961.27760.33260.86565.4269.07391.31194.8798.296101.525105.868110.203113.335118.314124.366134.243139.929143.78146.935149.771154.13165.464186.933183.508182.067184.91187.638190.191188.253189.078192.56195.42198.278203.808207.822210.822216.58219.547222.245225.595234.906243.283248.657252.146

Jenson Button, McLaren, Shanghai, 2012Without his delay in the pits, Button would have returned to the track around four to five seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.

As it was, he spent the next 11 laps in traffic, mostly losing time to the leading Mercedes.

Until Kimi Raikkonen dropped back, Button was lapping around the same pace he had been before his pit stop. And even then he lost more time behind Vettel over the next three laps.

Even if we conservatively estimate the time lost at this point at one to one-and-a-half seconds per lap, that plus the time he lost in the pits would have been more than enough to catch Rosberg before the end of the race.

But as the motor racing cliche goes: catching is one thing, passing is another.

What we can say for sure is that, for the second race in a row, the driver who finished second has good reason to feel his last pit stop cost him a shot at victory.

Chinese Grand Prix lap chart

The position of each driver on every lap of the race.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2012drivercolours.csv

01234567891011121314151617181920212223242526272829303132333435363738394041424344454647484950515253545556
Nico Rosberg111111111111113331111111111111111112222211111111111111111
Michael Schumacher2222222222223
Kamui Kobayashi3777777778161611999988777655814141414131311998779141414131313131312121010101010101010
Kimi Raikkonen44444444446141077776655443322221312121088766643222222261212141414141414
Jenson Button533333333335744443222222297754332221111154444444333222222
Mark Webber69999911202017151396666554461414141413121087665612111111886666555555555544
Lewis Hamilton755555555571285555433333131313111087655443333101010877666444444333
Sergio Perez86666666664322111101010101098866665544335131313121212111010101111111111111111111111
Fernando Alonso9888888887545888877665544333131110976544441111111011111110101099999999
Romain Grosjean101111111111101010109813101010109988876644432223121110998665555888866666666
Sebastian Vettel1114141414141413131418171411111111111199987755543471311109887543333333222333455
Felipe Massa1210101010109999864322224141414131212121213121011119776555328141414141414141414131313131313
Pastor Maldonado13151515151515141413121017151514141414131212111010109976888101313121212999999999988888888
Bruno Senna1412121212121211111110761312121212121111111099788912141414131211101010777788777777777777
Paul di Resta151313131313131212121191614141313131312131312111111101111991012141414141414131313121212121213131313121212121212
Nico Hulkenberg161717171717171616192424222120202019161616161616161616161515161717171616161616161616151515151515151515151515151515
Daniel Ricciardo171918181818181717161415121213151515211918181817171717171716151515151717171717171717161616161617171717171717171717
Jean-Eric Vergne182422212020201918181718212019191818151515151515151515151617171616161515151515151515171717171716161616161616161616
Heikki Kovalainen191616161616161515151311151918181920181717171718181818181923232323232323232323232323232323232323232323232323
Vitaly Petrov2020201919191918192019232322222121211918191919191919191918181919181818181818181818181818181818181818181818181818
Timo Glock2118192021212121212120191816161616162021202020202020202020191818191919192020191919191919191919191919191919191919
Charles Pic2221212222222222222221201917171717171720212121212121212121202020202020201919202020202020202020202020202020202020
Pedro de la Rosa2322232323232323232322212018212222222222222222222222222222212121212121212121212121212121212121212121212121212121
Narain Karthikeyan24232424242424242424232224232323232323232323232323232323232222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222222

The cross-over between two- and three-stop strategies made for a hectic middle period of the race with frequent changes of position.

The lap chart also shows how many places Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen lost when they hit tyre trouble in their final stints.

2012 Chinese Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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25 comments on “2012 Chinese Grand Prix lap charts”

  1. Take a look at the lap chart for Lewis and Jenson. Pretty much parallel.

    1. Prelude to an epic finish?? Let’s hope so!

    2. It shows that both drivers were pretty much matching each other over the race. Thus, relative grid position is a key factor in this inter-team battle.
      When either the die-hard Jenson or Lewis fans claim that their favourite has better race pace than the other, they are sorely mistaken.

      1. Agreed. It annoys me seeing comments where people are saying Jenson did a better job today. He started ahead and finished ahead because they were fairly evenly matched and arguably Hamilton had to deal with more traffic. Had Hamilton not had that penalty he would have finished ahead for certain. I’m waiting till he gets a weekend with no bad luck atall. He deserves it, he’s made no mistakes so far.

    3. @alehud42 And it’s interesting to see how costly was Jenson’s slow stop and how badly was held by Perez. Both were bad even to the same parallel extent.

      1. I actually thought Jenson dispensed of Perez quite quickly , whereas Lewis struggled and was saved when he pitted ( signed a JB fan!)

  2. Vettel played down the Webber move at the end of the race, but his tyres were only 3 laps older looking at the lap chart. I quite liked the jinks they both had at each other, even though it could have been another Turkey.

    In all honesty though you have to give Vettel credit for almost getting a podium after being P15 after the start.

    1. @john-h I thought that myself. Damage limitation!

  3. Wow you can see how tight the pack was and how hard the leading drivers had to work to make their way back to the front after each pit stop. would be interesting to see who made the most on track passes.

    1. Rosberg was controlling the pace all day. I think if Button had come out of the pits clean, Nico would have merely picked up the pace to maintain the gap.
      Dominant performance.
      Congratulations to Rosberg and Mercedes.

  4. What cost both McLarens the chance of victory was their grid positions.

    Had they been on the first or second row, and avoided tyre wearing traffic, either might have challenged for the win. A competitive midfield together with tyres which degrade rapidly when battling for track position have increased the benefits of leading from the start.

    I expect the leading teams to push very hard indeed to get their version of the Mercedes F-duct developed and racing.

    1. @Nigel Remember though that the effects of that Mercedes system had no part to play in the race. It is only useful when the wing is open. Rosberg overtook no cars as far as I can remember. The W03 is a very quick car even without it.

      1. @Nick.UK i think to qualify that, you would need to add a very quick car around China. I think the circuits characteristics perfectly matched the cars attributes. I’m sure they will develop the car, but around around other warmer twisty circuits I think it will struggle.

  5. Just something I noticed: Massa has driven 80 laps inside the top ten so far, but doesn’t have a single point. Meanwhile Ricciardo has driven exactly 1 lap inside the top ten (final lap Melbourne), and has two points!

  6. one thing certain here is that Mclaren needs to work on its pit stop. The mistakes coming from them is getting annoying… They did that countless number of times last year and have done it twice this year. They are letting their drivers down and need to work on that area ASAP.

    1. Better it happened to JB. If it was LH then we now have a conspiracy theories. :)

  7. Would it be possible to see a chart of each drivers lap times too? That would really help to show who was quick where!

    1. I do that for every race, here’s the one for China:

      2012 Chinese Grand Prix fastest laps

      And here’s the rest for this year:

      Race charts Lap charts, lap times and pit stop strategy information for every race.

      1. Awesome, thanks Keith!

  8. Can you do a chart with the actual lap times, so that we can compare like for like. Whilst the gap to first is informative, it would be nice to see how the lap times of different drivers were matching up, and whether Button and Hamilton catching Rosberg was due more to their car getting faster or Rosberg’s dropping off.

    1. See reply to previous comment.

      1. Thanks Keith. I went there brfoe but my browser never loaded the chart. My bad.

  9. This is a good analysis but you have to take in to account that Rosberg was just managing the gap once he knew button was in traffic long enough. So if button would not have had that stop Rosberg could have given more and his lap times could have been better. But off course I’m just a simple soul what do I know about data.

  10. What happened to Massa? He lost 14 places TWICE. The first time was during his 1st stop, in fact he lost 2 places on the lap before, and 12 when changing tires. But interesting was on lap 40, he lost 7 places, than went to change tyres on the following lap, costing him other 7 places. Did his tyres fall of the cliff like Kimi’s? I haven’t heard anything about that.

  11. Love the race chart. Almost exactly what I was looking for, which is illustrated by the following spreadsheat

    F1_Race_Graph.ods

    Sorry, the documment is in open office format.

    The changes being that the graph should be scalled to the mean winning race pace, rather than the leaders lap time, and express time deficits as negatives. This has several nice properties. 1) The leader is at the top of the graph, not the bottom. 2) You can see more clearly the leader pulling ahead of the mean race pace only to fall back below after a pitstop. 3) you can see when it started to rain and everones pace fell dramatically for a few laps.

    I hope you can work these ideas into your website charts.

    Where do you get the raw timing and scoring data?

    Ty

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