As Formula 1 celebrated the 1000th World Championship race, Lewis Hamilton led home teammate Valtteri Bottas at the Chinese Grand Prix 2019, as Mercedes secured their third one-two in as many races to start the season. On a day when Ferrari had no answer for the Silver Arrows, Sebastian Vettel completed the podium in third.
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Hamilton’s win means that Shanghai joins the Hungaroring and the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on the list of tracks where Hamilton has secured six victories.
Behind the Mercedes pair, Vettel’s podium position was effectively secured when Ferrari team orders saw Charles Leclerc move over early in the race, with the Bahrain near-victor ending up a frustrating fifth behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen.
Sixth was Pierre Gasly, who strapped a new set of soft tyres onto his Red Bull two laps from the end to help him take the extra point for the fastest lap.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo secured his first finish of the year – and it was a good one, too, the Australian ending seventh at the head of the midfield, holding off the Racing Point of Sergio Perez, who used a lightning start from P12 on the grid to finish P8 by the flag.
A strong drive from Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen saw him finish ninth, while an impressive afternoon from Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon from a pit lane start saw him make a one-stop strategy work to finish P10 after holding off the Haas of Romain Grosjean. The Thai driver’s efforts also saw him earn ‘Driver of The Day’ at the Chinese Grand Prix 2019.
MARIO ISOLA – HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING
Today was cooler than yesterday, a factor that affected the performance of the hard tyre and led the frontrunners to put on the medium to find extra performance in the final stint. The strategy was a key element of the race, with all the teams watching each other carefully and timing their pit stops to counteract moves from their rivals. We even saw both Mercedes cars stop on the same lap. Most drivers stopped twice, but we saw an interesting mix of one and two-stop strategies – as well as even three stops for Pierre Gasly, who used an extra stop for the soft tyre to his advantage by claiming the point for the fastest lap. Congratulations also to Alex Albon, who turned around an unfortunate situation yesterday to score a point.