Lewis Hamilton roars to victory in Chinese Grand Prix
- Author: Zachary Reyes Apr 11, 2017,
Apr 11, 2017, 6:03
The Mercedes driver was left frustrated by his team's pit-stop strategy in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, but the constructors' champions got it right on a Shanghai International Circuit track which dried out after wet conditions at the start. Hamilton and Vettel finished the Chinese Grand Prix as they started it, in first and second position, and are now tied on 43 points for the world championship.
Hamilton made a good start from pole position in tricky damp conditions, and headed the pack from lights-to-flag en-route to the 54th win of his F1 career and his fifth in Shanghai.
Vettel crossed the line 6.250 seconds behind Hamilton, while Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen, starting from 16th on the grid due to engine trouble during qualifying, managed to fight his way up to third and crossed the line 45.192 seconds behind the victor. Hamilton and Vettel now sit on equal points in the championship as the battle really looks on between Mercedes and Ferrari.
"I'm so happy with my first win of the year and I can't believe it if I'm honest, ' said Hamilton after the race, which also handed him his 106th podium, putting him joint second with Alain Prost on the list of drivers with most rostrum results". "One thing that China did show us was that we genuinely have a Ferrari vs Mercedes battle in 2017". "I had a very exciting race.it was good fun", he added. Pushing passed both his teammate, Kimi Raikkonen, and his former teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
Meanwhile, Red Bull's Max Verstappen fought his way up from 16th on the grid to secure the final podium place. At that time I was chilled at the front.
The outcome of the race could also have been different had Vettel's gamble to pit under the virtual safety vehicle on the opening lap not been undermined when the actual safety auto was deployed following crash a few laps later.
Sauber's Antonio Giovinazzi crashes his vehicle during the first qualifier.
Kevin Magnussen took first points for his new team Haas at P8, while the Sahara Force India duo Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon finished ninth and tenth respectively, taking crucial points for the Indian team.
Despite Ricciardo's best efforts, Vettel managed to find the gap and quick surged pass Raikkonen and Ricciardo, closing in on Verstappen.
In addition to Stroll and Giovinazzi, McLaren Honda's Stoffel Vandoorne also failed to finish, retiring on lap 18 with a technical problem, while Daniil Kvyat had to park his Toro Rosso a lap later. The next race on the calendar is the Bahrain Grand Prix this coming weekend.