Lewis Hamilton dominates to win Chinese Grand Prix from Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari
Apr 12 2017 by Kelly Saunders
"It's going to be one of the closest, if not the closest, fights I've experienced", Hamilton said.
The Ferrari man, instead of being ahead, was down in sixth, although that quickly became fifth after the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas had spun.
"It was a very challenging race but I really enjoyed it".
The Mercedes driver turned the tables on Sebastian Vettel by taking the chequered flag at the Shanghai International Circuit track on Sunday.
In fact, Lewis Hamilton drove an impressive, controlled race to dominate proceedings, sitting at the front from start to finish and leaving Vettel to take second place in the Ferrari, with Max Verstappen doing the nearly impossible and driving from 16th on the grid to third place in the race.
"I'm sure of that but that's not something I'm focusing on, at the moment it's about getting good points for the team and going step by step". Eventually Vettel caught up with Verstappen and moved into second place. Following that incident Lewis Hamilton called for clarity on the issue and Horner believes it should be addressed so drivers know what is allowed in the future. "One thing that China did show us was that we genuinely have a Ferrari vs Mercedes battle in 2017". To get our auto ahead of a Ferrari and a Mercedes is a good day's work.
This was the first of 5 retirements in the race, as Antonio Giovinazzi crashed out on lap 4 signalling the actual safety auto to make an entrance.
The outcome of the race could also have been different had Vettel's gamble to pit under the virtual safety vehicle on the opening lap not been undermined when the actual safety auto was deployed following crash a few laps later.
"I think it's great that we have. we were saying that we were both pushing". Perhaps in the future there will be times where we don't have the Safety Car and there won't be that six-second gap, they'll [Ferrari] be right on the tail, either way.
All cars were ordered to go through the pitlane before the race restarted on lap 6. Valterri Bottas was sixth, followed by Carlos Sainz (Toro Rosso), Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and the Force India's of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.
Verstappen, who won the Driver of the Day award - voted for by the fans - said he wasn't expecting a top-three finish, given his starting position.