Quite some race in Shanghai, wasn't it? By now the teams will have upped sticks and headed to Japan for the penultimate round. But the dramatic turns of the Chinese Grand Prix will still be reverberating among the teams. Ferrari didn't win the race, Renault threw it away. Fernando Alonso was the best driver on show at Shanghai but his pit stops were the worst of the race by some way. Up to now it has been Honda who have had the reputation for having the most accident-prone pit stops this season. Lollipop men lifting too soon and cars driving off the pit lane with half the refuelling rig attached, and tyres that just don't do the job. But Renault take the crown now, not just the pit crew, but those on the pit wall, too. The first stop saw Alonso forced to put on new intermediate tyres at the front that just didn't work. Everyone else on the track was able to stick with wearing intermediates as the track dried out. As a result, Alonso looked like he was going backwards. When your teammate is catching you as fast as Schumacher, you know it's bad. Then it was the pit crews' turn to foul up. Nineteen seconds stationary as a nut on one wheel refuses to go on is not good. Alonso could have recovered from the first mistake but there was no coming back from that, despite posting fastest lap after fastest lap. Renault's day was summed up when all their monitors on the pit wall went black. Even for an Italian, Flavio Briatore looked more agitated than normal. Of course chaos in the paddock is nothing new. In days gone by, there were many more moments of excitement as things went wrong. Who can forget Nigel Mansell in his prime, at the Portuguese Grand Prix of 1991. That year he was battling Ayrton Senna for the championship and was comfortably leading the race when he came in to change tyres. Unfortunately a nut on one of his rear tyres cross-threaded and before they could put another one on, Mansell was off - but not for long. He ground to a halt in a shower of sparks as the offending tyre bounced past him, down the pit lane and knocked a couple of Tyrell mechanics over. He did get going once the mechanics caught up with him, only to be disqualified for getting help outside of his pit. His championship challenge didn't recover. Perhaps the most dramatic example of things going wrong in a pit stop came in 1994. When Benneton driver Jos Verstappen arrived in the pits at Hockenheim, the fuel rig sprayed fuel everywhere, which then ignited in a massive fireball, engulfing the car and driver. Astonishingly Verstappen emerged relatively unscathed, a testament to Formula One safety. Even Ferrari can get it wrong. You may remember Michael Schumacher being surrounded by flames in a pit stop at the Austrian Grand Prix of 2003. The refuelling rig was leaking but the German showed his remarkable coolness by staying put, waiting until the flames were put out, and then driving off to win the race! Of course there have been other mishaps - mechanics getting run over, broken bones and other injuries. In football they say the crowd is like an extra man and can help the home team to victory. In Formula One the pit crew, from the guys making the decisions to the mechanic changing the wheel, can be the difference between winning and losing, between being world champion and not. With the world championship so finely balanced, it must be re-assuring for Michael Schumacher to know that the Ferrari team have no peers when it comes to working out strategy and executing perfect pit stops. As we discovered in Shanghai, it can produce the most unexpected wins. What Fernando Alonso would give for that just now.