Hamilton wins Chinese Grand Prix despite terrible track conditions
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 10, 2017,
Apr 10, 2017, 21:38
This did not slow Vettel down, as the Ferrari driver raced ahead and finished just behind Lewis Hamilton in second place.
Merc's W06 in the lead.
Eventually, this left Hamilton seven seconds clear of Vettel, and the gap between the pair remained around that distance apart for the rest of the grand prix, eventually ending up at 6.250s at the chequered flag.
When the race restarted on lap seven, the whole field was now on slicks, with Ricciardo stood Hamilton's closest rival, after Vettel lost ground through the earlier stop and Bottas spun under the safety vehicle when trying to warm up his tyres.
"The explanation is that Ferrari grew up in the Barcelona tests, won the first race and is still on the way up", said the 68-year-old Austrian, a three times Formula One world champion. I said I???m coming back in the next one.
"It'll be interesting and it's just going to unfold over these next races".
"At this stage in the race Ferrari and Mercedes were talking about going to the end and then obviously Sebastian triggered it with his stop, Lewis covered it". He apologised to Mercedes for an embarrassing spin while weaving to warm his tyres behind the safety vehicle, which dropped him down to 12th. On Lap 4, soon after the Ferrari exited the pits, Sauber rookie Antonio Giovinazzi crashed down the wet front straight, bringing out a full course caution and allowing Hamilton and Bottas to pit for fresh rubber and hold their positions.
When asked if the timing of the Safety Car was unfortunate, Vettel said [via ESPN]: "Yeah".
The win puts Hamilton with Vettel in a tie for the drivers championship points lead.
He then took on Daniel Ricciardo, his former team-mate at Red Bull, with the move of the race. "I think that was the maximum we could get from it". To get our auto ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes is a good day's work.
"Our auto is longer, so when we get to Monaco I don't know how I'm going to get my vehicle around some of those very, very tight corners".
But the German, whose team failed to win a race in 2016, played down talk of a season-long fight between Ferrari and Mercedes. It was very dry on some parts of the track, so I knew that they wouldn't last.
That remained for a couple of laps, with Hamilton now enjoying a healthy advantage and a number of drivers, including Vettel, opting to switch to slicks. "Definitely you can see the way Ferrari and Mercedes are working their tyres, it's very effective".