Formula 1

F1: Lewis Hamilton dominates the 1000th Grand Prix

Credit: Mercedes-Benz archive

Lewis Hamilton demolished the rest of the field to win the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton got a strong start and overtook Valtteri Bottas before they reached Turn 1. He then went on to put a large gap between himself and the Finn, winning the race by seven seconds.

Bottas was pitted earlier than Hamilton at the first stop to cover off the Ferrari’s and when Hamilton pitted he lost his gap to Bottas due to the undercut. However, he soon built it back up to take victory in style.

Ferrari headaches

Ferrari had a difficult day in more ways than one. Their car was simply unable to match the pace of Mercedes with their car appearing to work their front tyres harder and they also had a driver management headache.

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Leclerc had beaten Vettel off the line, however, Ferrari later ordered the Monegasque driver to let his teammate past. Leclerc complained on the radio about the decision, unhappy that he could not hold station.

While the Ferrari’s were bickering the Red Bull of Max Verstappen closed in on them in fifth and triggered the undercut at the first stop. Ferrari reacted by pitting Vettel but he only just made it out ahead of the Dutchman.

As a result, the Scuderia knew Leclerc wouldn’t get out in front of Verstappen so they decided to go long but it didn’t work out. Leclerc pitted four laps later but came out eight seconds behind the Red Bull.

Red Bull games

Verstappen triggered another set of stops on lap 34 in order to try and gain on the Ferrari of Vettel.  This forced Vettel to follow suit to maintain his position.

Mercedes then reacted and stacked both Mercedes drivers in the pits, pulling off the perfect stop to prevent either driver being delayed.

Leclerc eventually pitted again but did so some nine laps later and was unable to catch Verstappen.

As a result Vettel took the last podium spot while Verstappen and Leclerc finished fourth and fifth.

Meanwhile Gasly had a quiet race in sixth place, being faster than the midfield but a long way behind the top five. Red Bull pitted him with two laps left to grab the fastest lap point from Vettel

Ricciardo had a better weekend for Renault. He had a strong qualifying performance and replicated this in the race to finish seventh. The same could not be said for his teammate Hulkenberg though. Hulkenberg retired on lap 17 with another reliability issue.

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Sergio Perez added to his points tally finishing eighth in the Racing Point and Kimi Raikkonen had yet another points finish coming home ninth.

After a difficult Saturday, Alex Albon had a strong Grand Prix showing his potential. Having started from the pitlane, Albon carved his way through the field to finish in tenth.

Rest of the field

Romain Grosjean tried to attack Albon at the end of the race but had to settle for 11th.

Stroll came home 12th closely followed by Kevin Magnussen in the second Haas.

Sainz was unable to recover after this first lap incident and he finished 14th. Giovinazzi finished a long way behind his teammate in 15th.

Both Williams cars were the last to cross the line once again with George Russell finishing ahead of Robert Kubica for the third straight race.

Lando Norris spent all of his race with a damaged car after his collision with Kvyat. He retired on lap 53.

Daniil Kvyat had an eventful race. He collided with both McLaren’s at Turn 6 on the first lap which earned him a drive through penalty. He then remained towards the back end of the field but retired with a mechanical failure on lap 43.

 

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