Hamilton Dominates; Wins in China

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Lewis Hamilton, stating this past week, said that Ferrari’s victory by Sebastian Vettel in Malaysia was overrated and that Hamilton would be back in the next race. He was right. Hamilton Sunday afternoon had no difficulties in his Mercedes as the Briton and current world champion began the Chinese Grand Prix and lead from start to finish, fighting off a challenge by his teammate, Nico Rosberg by just under a second. Vettel took third. “I’m really happy.” Hamilton said. “It was a great race and really positive to have a clean weekend throughout every session. The team did a great job. Going into today we expected it to be close with Ferrari as they had been good on the tires on their long runs. The goal was to run my own race and manage the tires as best I could; I was driving as hard as I could within the constraints of the tires and just trying to stretch out the option stints for as long as possible. I never really had a threat from Nico but I didn’t do anything intentionally to slow him up. Before the second stops I was able to put in a few fast laps to build the gap which I really enjoyed. Then, it was a case of managing the life of the Prime tire to the finish.” Hamilton got away from winning pole and drove very conservatively for most of the race. His pit stops were very well done, and no one else ever got close to the Mercedes pair. Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, his Ferrari teammate, never were in their sights. In addition, both Williams’s drivers, Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas were in the same position and remained fifth and sixth for the rest of the race. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricicardo was hoping to stay with this group, but a horrible start after the Australian hit the anti-stall button, dropped him down the grid. Ricciardo managed to move up the field, passing McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, and then coming up to challenge teammate Dani Kvyat, despite orders to the Russian not to take on his partner. After the first pit stops, Vettel began to gain on the Mercedes as Rosberg started to complain that Hamilton was not going quick enough and was in jeopardy of losing second place. To make matters worse, Hamilton was told by team radio that unless his times were quicker, they would pit Rosberg first. With no change in the order towards the end of the race, it seemed that Mercedes were simply learning what they did not do the previous round. However, just three laps from the end of the race, Max Verstappen in his Toro Rosso, had his engine expire right on the start/finish line. The track Marshalls made a huge mistake by moving the car through the exit gate and sent the race under the safety car. This gave Hamilton the last two laps of the race to cruise home to his second victory of the season. Besides the Ferrari and Williams drivers finishing third through sixth, Romain Grosjean received his first points in a superb drive in his Lotus for the year, finishing seventh, while Felipe Nasr continued his great run for Sauber in eighth. Ricciardo took ninth, and Sauber continued its form, adding an additional point with Markus Ericsson in tenth. As it always has been even after any victory, Hamilton continues to thank his team, even with a different finishing quote. “Overall, I’ve just got to say thank you to the team for a smooth weekend”. He added. “We dialed the car in where I wanted and that helped me deliver out there today. It’s a great feeling to win again in China in front of all these amazing fans. Their support has been incredible all weekend, so ‘xiexie’ to all of them!”