Hamilton stikes back with fifth victory in China

Lewis Hamilton secured fifth Chinese GP victory after he convincingly won ahead of Sebastian Vettel in the Ferrari and the two Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Ricciardo.

Briton converted his sixth pole position in China into a fifth victory without any problems and secured his 54th victory of his career while Vettel finished second and now shares first place with Hamilton after identical results in the first two races.

Hamilton won the pole position, clocked the fastest lap and led in all laps and claimed his third career Grand Chelem.

Verstappen finished third in the Red Bull after starting from the 16th place after resisting late pressure from team-mate Ricciardo who finished fourth.

All drivers started the race on intermediate tyres except Sainz who took a chance on the supersoft while Stroll retired in the first round after being hit on the inside from Perez in the Force India.

Ricciardo overtook Raikkonen for fourth place while Verstappen stormed to the seventh place by the end of the first lap.

Stroll’s withdrawal caused a virtual safety car conditions as Vettel took advantage and changed to slicks early, but Giovinazzi in Sauber crashed already in the next lap at the start finish line and triggered the safety car who withdrew at the end of the seventh lap.

All drivers were on the dry tyres and Ricciardo was behind the leader Hamilton. Bottas spun during the safety car while trying to warm up the tyres and fell to tenth place.

Vettel then overtook Raikkonen and pulled great move on Ricciardo on the outside of the turn eight. After Verstappen blocked the wheels on braking on worn supersofts tyres under pressure from Vettel, German grabbed another place while Max entered the pits for a new set of supersoft.

Hamilton won with six seconds ahead of Vettel and 45 seconds ahead of Verstappen and Ricciardo who finished fourth after he pressed his teammate hard during the closing laps.

Kimi Raikkonen had another lonely and somewhat disappointing race which he finished in fifth place ahead of Bottas who salvaged sixth place after an error behind the safety car.

Sainz was the best of the restin seventh place in Toro Rosso ahead of Magnussen in eighth place who scored first points for Haas this season while last points were won by Force India drivers Perez and Ocon.

Grosjean remained pointless despite a brilliant passing move on Massa on the outside of the first turnand finished 11th ahead of the two Renault drivers and Massa in Williams, Ericsson in the Sauber was the last of the drivers who finished the race.

Fernando Alonso retired because of problems with the gearbox after spending almost entire race in points, while Kvyat dropped out because of problems with the steering system.

Vandoorne retired already in the 17th lap and thus completed a bad day for McLaren Honda.

Next race will be held in Bahrain on April 16.

CHINESE GP RESULTS

Pos  Nr Driver Team Laps Time Gap
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 56 1:37:36.160
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 56 1:37:42.410 6.250
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG Heuer 56 1:38:21.352 45.192
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG Heuer 56 1:38:22.195 46.035
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 56 1:38:24.236 48.076
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 56 1:38:24.968 48.808
7 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Renault 56 1:38:49.053 1:12.893
8 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 55 1 krug
9 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 55 1 krug
10 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 55 1 krug
11 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 55 1 krug
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 55 1 krug
13 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 55 1 krug
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 55 1 krug
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 33 Prijenos
26 Danil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 18 Upravljanje
2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 17 Sustav goriva
36 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber Ferrari 3 Izvrtio se
18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 0 Sudar

Leaders: 1 ( Hamilton)
Race distance: 903 laps (80.6 %), 4995 km
GP weekend distance: 1914 laps, 10 430 km
Top speed: 336.4 km/h (Massa)
Safety car: 2 (6 laps)
Pitstops: 36
Overtakes: 32

DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP

1. Sebastian Vettel 43
1. Lewis Hamilton 43
3. Max Verstappen 25
4. Valtteri Bottas 23
5. Kimi Raikkonen 22
6. Daniel Ricciardo 12
7. Carlos Sainz 10
8. Felipe Massa 8
9. Sergio Perez 8
10. Kevin Magnussen 4

CONSTRUCTORS CHAMPIONSHIP

1. Mercedes 66
2. Ferrari 65
3. Red Bull TAG Heuer 37
4. Toro Rosso Renault 12
5. Force India Mercedes 10
6. Williams Mercedes 8
7. Haas Ferrari 4
8. Renault 0
9. Sauber Ferrari 0
10. McLaren Honda 0
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