Lewis Hamilton has taken victory for the sixth time at the Chinese Grand Prix to tie level with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the championship. The former world champion dominated the race and took the grand slam this weekend after a strong qualifying, taking the victory and setting the fastest lap of the race.
In Melbourne Hamilton, lost out to the four-time world champion a fortnight ago. But he was at his best at a circuit where he has always performed well at. Conditions in Shanghai also played to his strengths as he has always managed to perform very well in wet/dry conditions.
In Melbourne Hamilton, lost out to the four time world champion a fortnight ago. But he had a better start pulling away from Vettel, who came under pressure from the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. But, the German kept the Finn at bay. Vettel would later lose ground when he switched to the slick tyres.
Hamilton said “I’m looking forward to this fight and others will soon be amongst it. Ferrari have done a fantastic job. We were both pushing, exchanging lap times.”
Vettel added “I was happy to take the risk pitting under the VSC. And then the Safety Car came when I was beginning to feel the dry tyres were much quicker so I couldn’t use the advantage.”
Lance Stroll was pushed off track by the Force India of Sergio Perez, with the Williams becoming beached in the gravel. That brought out the virtual safety car, allowing Hamilton to build his lead and switch to the slick tyre.
Two laps later the safety car for real was out on track after Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed out. The Italian aquaplaned as he cross the finish line losing control of his car and spun off into the wall.
That crash allowed the rest of the field to have a free stop and switch onto slick tyres. Hamilton pulled away on the restart leading Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen who had made it up to fourth after starting seventeenth.
a battle for position unfolded later in the race as the two would fight for position late in the race between the two. Apart from a lock up when under pressure for second, Verstappen had a good recovery drive.
While Hamilton took the victory, it was a frustrating day for Valtteri Bottas who spun his Mercedes on the restart. With Mercedes confirming he lost control of the car while trying to warm up its tyres.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz was the best of the rest finishing seventh ahead of Haas’s Kevin Magnussen, who scored his first points for his new team.
Romain Grosjean finished eleventh ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg. The German had a frustrating afternoon with a total of a fifteen second penalty the first was a five-second time penalty for overtaking under the virtual safety car, and a 10s penalty for doing likewise under the real one. Team mate Jolyon Palmer finished two seconds behind him.
Sainz was the only driver to take the risk of starting on slicks, however that nearly ended in disaster. The Spaniard spun on the opening lap hitting the wall but strategy calls allowed him to finish seventh.
The Dane overtook the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, with the duo completing the top 10 as they bagged another double points finish for the Indian outfit.
Both McLaren’s once again suffered a double retirement because of reliability problems. Fernando Alonso was running eighth when he suffered a transmission problem while Stoffel Vandoorne joined him in retirement.
It could be another intense race next Sunday in Bahrain.
- Notebook – Chinese Qualifying
- Qualifying Result
- CHINESE GP – Hamilton Pulls It Out Of The Bag To Beat Vettel To Sixth Pole In Shanghai
- CHINESE GP – Second Practice Cancelled Because Of Poor Conditions
- CHINESE GP – Verstappen Goes Through The Poor Visibility To Top First Practice
- TFTV – Story of the 2006 Chinese Grand Prix
- Preview – Chinese Grand Prix