Mon, Apr 15, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Hamilton takes Shanghai GP

ONE THOUSANDTH F1 RACE:The win was the 75th of Lewis Hamilton’s career — second in a row, after a lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago, and sixth in China

Reuters, SHANGHAI

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the Formula One Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit yesterday.

Photo: Reuters

Lewis Hamilton yesterday won the Chinese Grand Prix to seize the overall lead from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in Formula One’s (F1) 1,000th world championship race.

Bottas, who had made a poor start from pole and lost out to five-time world champion Hamilton into the first corner, was second for his team’s third one-two finish in as many races this season.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third place, his first appearance on the podium this season, with Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly denying the German an extra point with the fastest lap right at the end.

The win was the 75th of Hamilton’s career — second in a row, after a lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago, and sixth in China.

“To have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th Grand Prix. The start was where I was able to make the difference, and after that, it’s kind of history,” said Hamilton, who also won the 900th race in Bahrain in 2014.

He is now just 16 victories short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record tally of 91.

There has yet to be a winner this year from pole position, with Bottas triumphant in the Australian opener in similar fashion to Hamilton in China.

“I think I lost it in the start. The car was feeling OK and otherwise the pace was similar,” Bottas said. “But in the first stint, in the dirty air, I couldn’t follow. Shame about the start. I got some wheel spin when I went over the white line, the start-finish line, which was immediately after my box, and I lost it there.”

Vettel’s teammate, Charles Leclerc — who was on pole in Bahrain, but denied the victory there after a late loss of power while leading — finished fifth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who briefly went wheel-to-wheel with Vettel for the final podium spot.

Leclerc got ahead of Vettel at the start, but was then instructed by Ferrari to let his teammate through, an order that he complied with, while making clear that he did not agree.

“I’m happy to be on the podium,” Vettel said. “But [the race was] tough because we tried to stick with them, but just couldn’t.”

Gasly was sixth, ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo — the Australian’s first finish of the season — and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.

Kimi Raikkonen finished ninth for Alfa Romeo and Thailand’s Alexander Albon, who started from the pit lane after missing qualifying due to a heavy crash in final practice, took the final point for Toro Rosso.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat were the three retirements.

Norris, Kvyat and McLaren’s Carlos Sainz were involved in a three-car tangle on the opening lap that resulted in a brief virtual safety-car period.

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