Pirelli brought the supersoft tyres in China for the first time which proved to be a good decision because drivers could drive more than half a race on them.
After few laps on intermediate tyres, drivers have switched on dry tyres, but regardless of their initial plans of some drivers and teams to finish the race on that set of tyres, that didn’t happen.
Sainz was only driver who took a gamble and decided to start on the supersoft tyres, and Palmer did the same at the end of the warm-up lap. These are the only drivers who finished the race with only one tyre change.
Although the race started in wet conditions, no driver raced more than four laps on them as the track became too dry in some areas.
On the supersoft Sainz and Palmer completed more than half the race and Palmer drove the longest stint on supersofts (30 laps). Ocon was the driver who managed most laps on soft compound (40 laps or 71.43% of the race), which shows that the drivers could finish the race on one set of mediums.
Hamilton and Vettel dominated the fastest laps and they were almost half a second ahead of the third quickest time of Valtterri Bottas and six tenths quicker than Kimi Raikkonen.
Hamilton was just 0.045 seconds quicker than Vettel and managed to achieve third career Grand Chelem and Massa in Williams was the fastest of the drivers who didn’t drive Mercedes or Ferrari, 1.133 seconds behind.
Although Hamilton was 0.045 seconds faster in the fastest lap, if we look at the average time of ten fastest laps by each driver Vettel was on average 0.080 seconds faster than second placed Hamilton.
|5||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:36.511||1.133||50|
|6||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:36.531||1.153||55|
|7||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull TAG Heuer||1:36.722||1.344||31|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull TAG Heuer||1:36.791||1.413||36|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:37.036||1.658||55|
|10||55||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso Renault||1:37.398||2.020||30|
|11||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:37.528||2.150||35|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:37.551||2.173||50|
|15||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:39.496||4.118||31|
|16||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:39.732||4.354||50|
|17||26||Danil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Renault||1:40.090||4.712||18|
|18||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:41.460||6.082||15|