Formula One: Hamilton wins 5th title

Apr 10, 2017, 00:53
Formula One: Hamilton wins 5th title

Lewis Hamilton scored a flag-to-flag victory in the Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix Sunday in a race that proved it is possible to pass in the new wider generation of auto. Max Verstappen, who started 16th, finished a surprise third to hand his Red Bull team their 100th podium.

Hamilton, who now shares a lead with Vettel at the summit of the Drivers' Championship admitted post-race things might have been different had it not been for the stoppage.

Four-time champion, Vettel then got himself in a fix after losing out on strategy in a chaotic opening, which kept the shape of the race in doubt following a crash by Williams rookie Lance Stroll, punted off by Force India's Sergio Perez.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton grabbed his 5th China Grand Prix trophy with a dominating performance here at the Shanghai Audi International Circuit on Sunday. No other driver has won the Grand Prix more than two times, with Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg both reaching the chequered flag first, twice.

"It was definitely one of the best", said Verstappen, who became the youngest driver to win a Formula One race at last year's Spanish Grand Prix aged 18 years and 228 days. "But then there were other times in the race where I was quicker". Max Verstappen swept past about nine cars on the first lap, and clawed his way up into third place for the final few laps.

Vettel started from second on the grid but positioned his auto way to the left of his grid box, ostensibly to avoid oil and wet patches on the run down to Turn 1. "I think we were a bit unlucky".

On a damp but drying track, the safety vehicle played its part early on.

It's a prospect Hamilton said he relished.

That left Vettel in a strong position to take the lead when Hamilton did pit, but he was saved by Giovinazzi stacking his vehicle leading to a safety auto, which allowed Hamilton to pit for his tyres - and win the race.

"If we can challenge Mercedes again (going forward), that's very good news", Vettel said.

"It'll be interesting and it's just going to unfold over these next races". "If we can be close, that's good".

Asked if passing all those cars on the opening lap felt like playing a video game, Verstappen said: "More or less". It was very dry on some parts of the track, so I knew that they wouldn't last. It was fun and unpredictable racing, and hopefully Red Bull Racing can improve their package so Verstappen does not have to rely on rain to be a challenger at the front.

"But then I had a very exciting race; I really enjoyed it".

The German driver held second place early on but was among a clutch of racers forced to switch to slick tyres after an early Virtual Safety Car on just the second lap.

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