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China 2008 - The race // Lewis Hamilton lines up on pole position in Shanghai

Published by Christine

In the championship contenders articles I wrote earlier this week, I said it was Hamilton's championship to lose. This race is the same. The man starts from pole with what is clearly the fastest car on the grid. On paper, he should be able to blitz the competition and get the win. Whether that means he successfully closes his championship campaign with one race still to go depends on how the Ferrari duo fare.

Räikkönen is ahead of Massa, but assuming they get off the line and round the first corner cleanly, there are plenty of opportunities for Massa to pass, or be let past. The threat of rain will be worrying the red team, not only for the confusion and chaos it tends to bring but also because of their tyre performance in the cooler climates.

The only other championship contender, in the form of Kubica, starts from 11th, which has ultimately shoved his title bid into the "not this time" box. Kub must be bitterly disappointed, of all the races for the BMW to start having issues, it had to be his sole surviving opportunity to make it to the championship finale. Heidfeld was in a position to help him out a little, starting in 6th, but after messing with DC's head, he faces a three place grid penalty.

Already we've seen two cars narrowly avoid the same fate as Hamilton as last year's gravel trap incident plays on people's minds a lot. It's one of those scenes that will always be remembered whenever F1 descends upon Shanghai, and no doubt it will feature strongly in Hamilton's focus as he makes his pit stops. It's almost reason enough to one-stop, but I'm sure that's not going to happen.

The time is almost upon us, then, so here are a few links that might be useful:

More available on the F1 on the Internet page.

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In the championship contenders articles I wrote earlier this week, I said it was Hamilton's championship to lose. This race is the same. The man starts from pole with what is clearly the fastest car on the grid.

Event start

08:00GMT +01:00

19 October 2008