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Sunday, 9 April 2017

Hamilton and his Mercedes team bounced back from defeat against Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Australia, winning the Chinese Grand Prix


Chinese GP: Hamilton wins as wet start causes fireworks
Start action
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Carlos Sainz Jr., Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12, spins at the start
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren MCL32, battles Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Marshals remove the wrecked car of Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber C36
Jolyon Palmer, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17, spins off on slick tyres, ahead of Felipe Massa, Williams FW40
Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber C36, crashes heavily
The start of the race
Race winner Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08 in parc ferme
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, leads Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM10, leads Sergio Perez, Force India VJM10
Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, leads Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13 and Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, leads Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

Lewis Hamilton converted pole position into a controlled race victory in a mixed-conditions Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton and his Mercedes team bounced back from defeat against Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Australia, the German failing to present a major challenge this time around, not helped by losing time in traffic early on.
Vettel did finish the race a clear runner-up, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen grabbing the headlines by completing the podium from 16th on the grid, holding off a strong late challenge from teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
While a rapidly-drying damp Shanghai track had created uncertainty heading into the race, there was consensus among most F1 teams and drivers, as all but two cars – the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer – had intermediate tyres fitted.
When the lights went out, poleman Hamilton eased towards Turn 1 in the lead, whereas fellow front row starter Vettel only just kept the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at bay.
There was much progress on the opening lap for Red Bull, with Ricciardo picking off Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for fourth after the opening sequence of corners and Verstappen powering through to seventh by the end of the tour, having made up nine places.
Midway through the first lap, Lance Stroll, who had made his first Q3 appearance on Saturday, was punted off by Force India's Sergio Perez, the Canadian rookie's Williams beached in the gravel and forcing an appearance by the Virtual Safety Car.
That remained for a couple of laps, with Hamilton now enjoying a healthy advantage and a number of drivers, including Vettel, opting to switch to slicks.
Most of the frontrunners were on intermediates as green flags waved again, but there was another crash in virtually no time. Antonio Giovinazzi lost his car on the main straight, slamming into the pitwall barrier and necessitating a full-on safety car.
When the race restarted on lap seven, the whole field was now on slicks, with Ricciardo stood Hamilton's closest rival, after Vettel lost ground through the earlier stop and Bottas spun under the safety car when trying to warm up his tyres.
In green-flag conditions, a surging Verstappen quickly passed Raikkonen for third, before picking off teammate Ricciardo a few laps later with a dive into Turn 6.
Hamilton, on soft tyres, proceeded to slowly but surely pull away from the supersoft-shod Verstappen, with Ricciardo quickly dropping off the pair and instead working to keep the Ferrari duo at bay.

BE PART OF SOMETHING BIG

First, the Aussie had to worry about Raikkonen, but the Finn himself was overtaken by Vettel after a few fruitless laps of following the Red Bull – and Vettel then needed little time to pull off a superb outside move on Ricciardo.
The German then started closing on Verstappen, who was now dropping significant time to the race leader and soon had Vettel in his rear-view mirror. Their battle was over before it had begun, Verstappen locking up hard into the hairpin, allowing the Ferrari through and then taking to the pits.
Upon rejoining, Verstappen lit up the timing screens and, after he took fifth from Bottas with another late Turn 6 lunge, all the drivers ahead would make their stops as well.
Eventually, this left Hamilton seven seconds clear of Vettel, and the gap between the pair remained around that distance apart for the rest of the grand prix, eventually ending up at 6.250s at the chequered flag.
It means Vettel and Hamilton are now tied at the head of the F1 World Championship.
It was much closer in the fight for third, as the final laps of the race featured a tense fight between Red Bull teammates Verstappen and Ricciardo.
The Dutchman was audibly frustrated at the Haas of Romain Grosjean running ahead a lap down, but whatever interference the Frenchman caused was not enough for Ricciardo to capitalise.
The Aussie tried a last-lap lunge at the hairpin, but came up short, having to settle for fourth place, while Raikkonen led compatriot Bottas in fifth.
The midfield standout of the race was Sainz, despite the fact his decision to start on slicks had led to an initial spin at Turn 2. The Spaniard recovered, producing pace that was comparable to the frontrunners in the dry and eventually claiming seventh.
Kevin Magnussen scored his first points for his new team Haas in eighth. He overtook the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon, with the duo completing the top 10 as they bagged another double points finish for the Indian outfit.
There were five retirements in total, Stroll and Giovinazzi exiting in incidents and three other drivers foiled by reliability – Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and the McLaren duo of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, the latter pulling over with a driveshaft failure after battling Sainz.

Formula 1 2017 Chinese GP

Pos.#DriverChassisEngineLapsGap
144united_kingdom Lewis HamiltonMercedesMercedes56 
25germany Sebastian VettelFerrariFerrari566.250
333netherlands Max VerstappenRed BullTAG5645.192
43australia Daniel RicciardoRed BullTAG5646.035
57finland Kimi RaikkonenFerrariFerrari5648.076
677finland Valtteri BottasMercedesMercedes5648.808
755spain Carlos Sainz Jr.Toro RossoRenault561'12.893
820denmark Kevin MagnussenHaasFerrari551 Lap
911mexico Sergio PerezForce IndiaMercedes551 Lap
1031france Esteban OconForce IndiaMercedes551 Lap
118france Romain GrosjeanHaasFerrari551 Lap
1227germany Nico HulkenbergRenaultRenault551 Lap
1330united_kingdom Jolyon PalmerRenaultRenault551 Lap
1419brazil Felipe MassaWilliamsMercedes551 Lap
159sweden Marcus EricssonSauberFerrari551 Lap
Ret14spain Fernando AlonsoMcLarenHonda33 
Ret26russia Daniil KvyatToro RossoRenault18 
Ret2belgium Stoffel VandoorneMcLarenHonda17 
Ret36italy Antonio GiovinazziSauberFerrari3 
Ret18canada Lance StrollWilliamsMercedes0 

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