Lewis Hamilton dominates Chinese Grand Prix ahead of recovering Sebastian Vettel and charging Max Verstappen
Lewis Hamilton scored his fifth Formula 1 career Chinese Grand Prix victory with a commanding performance in Shanghai to come home ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
The British driver moved level with Vettel at the head of the drivers’ championship as a result, while Verstappen scored Red Bull’s first podium finish of the season.
After much of Friday’s practice running was lost when low cloud prevented the medical helicopter from operating as required, there was much speculation that the race could be disrupted as it took place in similar conditions.
That situation was avoided as the FIA arranged for the necessary neurosurgery staff to be transferred to a hospital closer to the circuit, but rain had fallen in the build up to the start and all the drivers – except Carlos Sainz – set off on intermediates.
Hamilton held his lead from pole position on the run to Turn 1 as Vettel, who had lined up strangely to the side of his grid box, defended hard from Valtteri Bottas through the long right-hander, while Daniel Ricciardo passed Kimi Raikkonen for fourth place.
Verstappen, who had started down in 17th after he suffered an engine problem in qualifying, had made it well into the top ten by the end of the first lap, which was disrupted by a collision between Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez at Turn 10 that ended the Canadian driver’s race.