Lewis Hamilton took one more step in his march towards becoming the greatest of all time in Formula One history by winning the Chinese Grand Prix. The race at Shanghai International Circuit, the 1000th race in F1, once again underlined the fact that Mercedes and their drivers are well ahead of its rivals at present. Hamilton comfortably finished first and teammate Valtteri Bottas breezed into the second position.
Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari finished third. But it was a morale-shattering race for Vettel and the entire Ferrari team. Their cars could not summon the power they are believed to have. Their tactical decisions have been widely criticized. It looks like Mercedes already have one hand on the Constructor’s title.
Hamilton Takes Early Lead and Maintains It
Hamilton, who started second in the grid, quickly stormed past Bottas, who was at the pole position, in the first lap itself. He comfortably held his top position right through the race. The only threat he faced was from his own teammate Bottas, whom he negotiated with a flawless performance. He never allowed himself to be under threat of overtaking.
Bottas finished second after yet another professional performance by the Mercedes team. They must have enjoyed the chaos in the Ferrari camp.
Ferrari Messes Up the Race
Vettel started from the third position on the grid. But he could only watch as his teammate Charles Leclerc overtook him. The Shanghai Circuit has a couple of long straights that was supposed to help the faster and more powerful Ferrari cars. However, Vettel could not get anywhere near the Mercedes drivers.
Leclerc appeared more likely to challenge the race leaders. However, oddly enough, Ferrari bosses ordered Leclerc to allow Vettel to go past him. He did the same. But in the process he also allowed Max Verstappen to get past him.
In the end, Vettel finished third. But Verstappen sneaked in at the fourth position. Leclerc who should have finished at third, if not higher, found himself at the fifth position.
Hamilton Tops Points Table
With this win, Hamilton has surpassed Bottas on the points table. He now has 68 points from three races, while Bottas has 63. Verstappen is at the third, followed by the Ferrari duo.
Mercedes have 130 points in the Constructors’ standings. Ferrari are the distant second, having registered 73 points.
Hamilton lauded the fantastic team effort for this win:
“It’s not been the most straightforward of weekends, but what a fantastic result for the team, everyone’s worked so hard for this. Coming here we didn’t know exactly where we would stand with Ferrari, as they’d been so quick in Bahrain.“