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Chinese GP: Hamilton storms to race victory

  • Published on 14 Apr 2019 09:46
  • comments 8
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Lewis Hamilton has taken the lead in the world championship for the first time in 2019 as he crossed the line in first place at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Briton was unchallenged on his way to his 75th career win, as he beat teammate Valtteri Bottas to the chequered flag at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Hamilton got the jump on Bottas off the line, and took the lead into the first corner, making it three from three races in 2019 that the pole sitter hasn't headed the pack into the opening corner of the Grand Prix.

Charles Leclerc also got past his teammate Sebastian Vettel at Turn 1, but couldn't keep up with the Mercedes' who started to pull away.

There was a brief virtual safety car period after Daniel Kvyat came together with the two McLarens on the exit of Turn 6. Daniil Kvyat received a drive-through penalty for the incident, whie McLaren failed to score any points.

On the 11th lap, Leclerc let Vettel past to allow the German to go in chase of Bottas in front. However, Vettel failed to pull away quickly and while he towed Leclerc along, Max Verstappen closed in in the Red Bull.

The Dutchman then triggered the pit stops, as he boxed for medium tyres. Vettel responded on the next lap, coming out just in front of the 21-year-old. Verstappen attempted an overtake at the Turn 14 hairpin, but failed to make the move stick, getting pushed out onto the grass by Vettel.

When Leclerc pitted a number of laps later, he emerged far behind Verstappen in fifth place, where he would remain for the rest of the race, even after the second round of pit stops.

Out in front, Mercedes was unchallenged and decided to stack their cars when they made their second pit stops, after Vettel and Verstappen. 

Pierre Gasly drove a lonely race but picked up his best result at Red Bull, crossing the line in sixth place. However, he pitted in the last couple of laps and managed to pick up the extra point for the fastest lap.

Daniel Ricciardo also had a quiet race for Renault but managed to pick up his first points of the year, finishing in seventh place. He headed Sergio Perez and Kimi Raikkonen who were eighth and ninth respectively.

After starting from the pitlane, Albon drove a one-stop strategy to pick up the final point on offer, while also winning the Driver of the Day vote. 

It was a tough day for Haas, who failed to pick up points despite having both of its cars inside the top ten for the start of the Grand Prix. 

CN Shanghai International Circuit - 14 April 2019

Photos China 2019

Replies (8)

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  • Hmm, decent race I think. Called it with Ferrari bollocksing up, not that that was a tough prediction to make. Red Bull looking good while Gasly kinda lets them down (same for Giovinazzi). Strong run from Albon, as can be said for Ric, Räi and Perez. Kubica beaten again. By the way: Renault, what are you doing?

    • + 0
    • Apr 14 2019 - 10:19
  • RogerF1

    Posts: 407

    I think it was a stitch up from the start. So for literally years, Hammy and co were always the last out on final quali run, he was always the last or last but one to cross the line and snaffle pole. Then an apparently less than superior car comes out first and strangely crawls and meanders towards a flying lap and half the field don’t make the flag!!! Mercs get pole whilst everybody else gets p....d off and are not in a good frame of mind and then Mercs can control the race to laud the honour of winning a processional 1,000th GP.
    A pretty poor spectacle for the 1,000th GP. Only battles were only just about inside the top 10. The playing field has to be levelled somewhat and to me budgets is the killer at present.

    • + 0
    • Apr 14 2019 - 11:34
    • Yeah, set a budget cap. Yeah, going in with big bucks should be good, but the fact the top 3 spend 2-5 times as much as the rest is a recipe for disaster.

      • + 1
      • Apr 14 2019 - 13:10
  • xoya

    Posts: 371

    Wtf did I just lose 2hrs of my life on?
    Monaco 2018 was a better race than this crap.
    For the first time in my life, I am feeling remorse for wasting my life on something.

    • + 1
    • Apr 14 2019 - 12:14
    • RogerF1

      Posts: 407

      Yup, agreed. Only two places swopped in the top 6 and one of those before the 1st corner. Needs a radical change. I don’t expect anything different through to end 2020 either - unfortunately. Watched half an FE race Saturday- 6 races 6 different winners.. Def. not the spectacle of F1 but it is racing. If only we could have the F1 top 6 all crash out (safely) on the 1st corner we would have a thrilling GP. Really trying hard to keep up a lifelong following of F1 but for me the 1,000th race was same old same old since the turbo era. Honestly can’t see Merc sticking around much longer with the €Bn’s them and their and their home grown competitors are pouring into EV. The very last big powerhouse engines are coming off the design board now. I think F1 will become irrelevant to large vehicle manufacturers. Hey ho, can but hope. CUT THE BUDGETS. There are 7 other teams having a ding-dong at every event, easy to see why. Le Mans hasn’t died just because the VM’s pulled out.

      • + 0
      • Apr 14 2019 - 12:32
    • My opinion on Monaco 2018 is impopular, since I actually liked it even on rewatches, but yeah, this race was decent at best. Enjoyed Kimi, Albon and Max vs the Ferraris, but there wasn't much else to it.

      • + 1
      • Apr 14 2019 - 13:08
    • abhidbgt

      Posts: 102

      The back straight was hyped too much, I guess. I was more invested in strategies and thought that it was nice to see them play out. Absence of safety cars this season is also adding to the dim start of the season.

      • + 0
      • Apr 14 2019 - 15:54
    • Manto02

      Posts: 17

      This was one of the most boring races of the decade for sure, and this championship is going to be like the lame 2015 if Ferrari doesn't fix their car.
      At the moment Formula E Is providing a better championship, with seven winner in the first seven races and he first ten drivers in the standings with a maximum of 13 points of difference.
      Many hate formula E but at the moment it's better to watch than this 2015 clone.

      • + 1
      • Apr 14 2019 - 20:36

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