“Get in there, Lewis!”
“From the get-go I felt I had the pace to control, to be in that position”, said Hamilton, who beat Vettel by 6.2 seconds to leave them level at the top of the standings after two races.
After his win in Shanghai, the Briton said, “It is very, very close”.
“That’s what racing is all about. It’s frustrating. But I know what we need and we have a very clear picture of what we want to do”.
“Those last 20 laps or so, we were really exchanging times and I tried to match it”. The Dutchman, still only 19, rose an incredible 13 places – including a jaw-dropping nine on the opening lap – to prove that his equally awe-inspiring performance in the wet of Brazil past year was not a one-off. “I am looking forward to the fight with Sebastian and the other guys are going to be in amongst it”.
Vettel recovered from a poor start from row one.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen stole the show with an incredible drive, going from P16 all the way to seventh right in the first lap.
Lewis Hamilton joined Sebastian Vettel at the summit of the Formula One championship with his victory at the Chinese Grand Prix.
“It would be great news for us”, Vettel said. I think the auto was behaving pretty nicely on fresh tyres, but the fronts just went away after two laps. “We can still improve”.
“Lewis was quick. full stop”, Vettel conceded. “It was good fun, I can’t complain”.
Hamilton’s new team mate Bottas, however, managed to spin behind a safety auto and finished sixth, behind Kimi Raikkonen in fifth and Daniel Ricciardo, who couldn’t quite manage to take team mate Verstappen, in fourth. Bottas was sixth after spinning in the wet behind the safety vehicle, with Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz in seventh, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen in eighth and Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon in ninth and tenth, respectively. It’s a lot harder to do that when you’re in the lead of a race, obviously, because you can’t really do much overtaking.
“I’m happy to have completed the race and gone through the motions, I’m satisfied with that”.
Which meant that Hamilton pitted for soft tyres but still retained his lead, while Daniel Ricciardo moved into second, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen.
The wet weather conditions would have certainly made the race more interesting between the two but the German driver dropped a few places after deciding to go to the pits just before the safety auto was deployed to clear Antonio Giovinazzi’s crashed Sauber vehicle.