Chinese GP: Robert Doornbos race notes

Robert Doornbos has finished his first race for Red Bull Racing in twelfth position. A start incident in de opening lap might even prevented the 25-year old Dutchman from scoring points at the Shanghai International Circuit. On from 22nd position,...

Robert Doornbos has finished his first race for Red Bull Racing in twelfth position. A start incident in de opening lap might even prevented the 25-year old Dutchman from scoring points at the Shanghai International Circuit. On from 22nd position, Doornbos drove an outstanding Chinese Grand Prix which was eventually won by Michael Schumacher.

In the first lap mayhem immediately struck Doornbos as he damaged his front wing in the first corner. After having visited his pit crew briefly, Doornbos rejoined in last position, but immediately started an impressive advance. Within only a couple of laps, Doornbos closed the 14 seconds gap to Albers, Monteiro, Sato and Yamamoto and overtook all four drivers at the same dazzling speed.

With Jarno Trulli and Ralf Schumacher in his sight, Doornbos successfully pushed hard to also catch both Toyota drivers. Bij driving almost half a second quicker than them, Doornbos quickly catches up and is helped by the retirement of Raikkonen and a spin of Liuzzi. As several drivers (among whom both Toyota drivers and Nico Rosberg) make their first pitstops, Doornbos moves up to P11.

After the Dutchman also made his first regular stop, he rejoins in twelfth position. Though Doornbos pushes hard in the following ten laps he stays put in the same position. As at that moment the track dries up pretty fast, Doornbos also switches to slick tyres in lap 39. With Ralf Schumacher chasing him closely, Doornbos races towards the chequered flag in fourteenth position, closing up on Nico Rosberg. Though time is simply too short to make a move on the Williams driver, Doornbos still gains one position in the closing stages of the 56 lap race as Felipe Massa retires. Doornbos finally finishes his RBR Grand Prix debut in 12th spot.

Robert Doornbos: "These were certainly not the easiest circumstances to make my RBR race debut. It's a shame about the start, because I'm sure we at least could have come close to scoring points-- Kubica suddenly turned in quite aggressive and drove over my front wing. The way I fought my way back during the race was pretty strong, I think. With the benefit of hindsight it would have been better to stay on my worn intermediates on my first regular stop instead switching to new ones. But my pace after my second stop was okay, only the rain in the last few laps prevented me from overtaking Rosberg as well. Better luck next time. I'm glad I've demonstrated a solid race pace and the team is happy. That's what it is all about at the moment."

-credit: rd

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Felipe Massa , Robert Doornbos , Nico Rosberg
Teams Red Bull Racing , Williams