Lewis Hamilton won his first race in China on this day in 2008, one year after he suffered a heavy blow in the title fight on the same track, and built healthy seven points lead over Felipe Massa before the final race of the championship in Brazil.
Hamilton secured a convincing pole position on Saturday, 0.342 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and 0.586 seconds ahead of Massa while Alonso in Renault was faster than Kovalainen in the second McLaren.
At the start, Hamilton kept the lead and led almost the entire race, 53 out of 56 laps, and Massa was not as fast as he usually was in that season and was in the shadow of his team-mate Raikkonen who celebrated his 29th birthday that weekend.
But as the Finn was not in the contention for the title ahead of the last race of the championships, he let Massa trough for the second place and limited the damage for Ferrari.
Ferrari was leading the constructors’ championship with 11 points advantage over McLaren with one race to go.
Hamilton took the pole position (seventh in the season), the win (fifth in the season) and set the fastest lap (first in the season), which was his second career hattrick (first was in 2007 Japanese GP in Fuji).
“This weekend everything just went right: our car was simply phenomenal. I had one of the best starts and perfect balance during the race,” Hamilton said after the race.
“I owe so much to my team, both on the track and in the factory, they did a great job and big thanks to them.”
“I’ve got a seven point lead in the world championship, but it does not allow me to take anything for granted. That could be another step towards my dream, but we still have to stay calm.”
“I just hope we can pull through.”
2008 CHINESE GP RESULTS
|1.||22||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||56||1:31:57.403|
|2.||2||Felipe Massa||Ferrari||56||+14.925 s|
|3.||1||Kimi Räikkönen||Ferrari||56||+16.445 s|
|4.||5||Fernando Alonso||Renault||56||+18.370 s|
|5.||3||Nick Heidfeld||BMW Sauber||56||+28.923 s|
|6.||4||Robert Kubica||BMW Sauber||56||+33.219 s|
|7.||12||Timo Glock||Toyota||56||+41.722 s|
|8.||6||Nelson Piquet Jr.||Renault||56||+56.645 s|