Hamilton dominates in Chinaposted in F109 | 04 | 2017
THREE-TIME WORLD champ Lewis Hamilton delivered a masterclass in Shanghai to win the Chinese Grand Prix for a fifth time. Hamilton dominated the race, completing the grand slam — pole position, race win, fastest lap, leading every racing lap — to seal the 54th grand prix win of his career.
The Mercedes driver bounced back from defeat against Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Australia, forcing the German into second place. Both drivers head to Bahrain next weekend tied on 43 points in the battle for the championship.
“It has been a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful for the effort the team has put in for us to be where we are today,” Hamilton said.
“It’s very overwhelming when you have a weekend like this, because I’m just a single link in the chain and there are hundreds of people who are involved to put me up here on the top step.
“In those final 20 laps Seb and I were just pounding around as fast as we could, exchanging fastest lap times, that’s what racing is all about.
“In the future there will be times when we don’t have a Safety Car and we won’t have that gap. I’m excited for that. It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian.”
Twenty-year-old Max Verstapppen, having started 16th — but was up to seventh by the end of lap one — fended off his Red Bull team-mate, Aussie Daniel Ricciardo, to seal the final step on the podium.
With the track greasy after the morning rain, most cars started the race on intermediates. Hamilton quickly established a healthy advantage, and held the gap through a virtual safety car period after the Williams of Lance Stroll was punted off into the gravel by Sergio Perez’s Force India.
As sooner as the race restarted, the full safety car was deployed after Antonio Giovinazzi lost his Sauber on the main straight and slammed into the pitwall.
When the race restarted on lap seven of 56, the whole field had switched to slicks, with Ricciardo Hamilton's closest rival. Vettel had lost ground through the earlier stop and Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate, Valtteri Bottas embarrassingly spun under the safety car when trying to warm up his tyres, dropping from second to 12th.
Verstappen quickly took Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari to ease into third, before picking off Ricciardo a few laps later with a dive into Turn 6.
Vettel then picked off Raikkonen, and followed that up with a superb outside move on Ricciardo. The German then applied pressure to Verstappen, forcing the Red Bull driver to lock up into the hairpin at the end of the lap, allowing the Ferrari through before pitting shortly after.
The Flying Dutchman then lit up the timing screens and, after he took fifth from Bottas with another late Turn 6 lunge, moved into third after all the drivers ahead made their final pitstops.
The final few laps though were intense as team-mate Ricciardo put Verstappen under huge pressure in the battle for third, a fight the youngster retained by just over a second.
Bottas recovered to finish sixth, ahead of the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and Keving Magnussen’s Haas. Force India duo Perez and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
F1 — Chinese Grand Prix, Shanghai (Result):
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes - Mercedes 56 laps
2. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari - Ferrari +6.250s
3. Max Verstappen NED Red Bull - TAG +45.552s
4. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull - TAG +46.987s
5. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari - Ferrari +48.076s
6. Valtteri Bottas FIN Mercedes - Mercedes +48.808s
7. Carlos Sainz ESP Toro Rosso-Renault +1m 11.115
8. Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas-Ferrari +1 lap
9. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
10. Esteban Ocon FRA Force India-Mercedes +1 lap
11. Romain Grosjean FRA Haas-Ferrari +1 lap
12. Nico Hulkenberg GER Renault - Renault +1 lap
13. Jolyon Palmer GBR Renault - Renault +1 lap
14. Felipe Massa BRA Williams - Mercedes +1 lap
15. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber - Ferrari +1 laps
16. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 34 laps completed
17. Daniil Kvyat RUS Toro Rosso-Renault 18 laps completed
18. Stoffel Vandoorne BEL McLaren-Honda 16 laps completed
19. Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Sauber - Ferrari 2 laps completed
20. Lance Stroll CAN Williams - Mercedes 0 laps completed
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