Easy win for Hamilton in Shanghai
Lewis Hamilton is the winner of the Chinese GP at Shanghai Circuit. Mercedes’ driver was in the lead from the start of the race and without too much fight recorded second win in the season. Nico Rosberg finished second and Sebastian Vettel was third, just like in the qualifying.
It was thrilling race throughout all 56 laps, but more excitement was seen in the middle of the grid than in the front as Mercedes proved that they are still far quicker than the rest of the teams.
Hamilton had comfortable lead in front of his teammate Rosberg who tried all what he could do, but that simply wasn’t enough to overpass confident Briton who achieved 35th victory in his career.
Ferrari have been able to keep Mercedes honest with higher load of fuel, but when it lightens they can’t keep up. Raikkonen ot past both Williams on lap 1 to jump from sixth to fourth and that was almost all from the Scuderia in this race. Williams stayed far away from the leading quartet, while the others finished as it was expected, except Red Bulls. Kvyat had to withdraw after his car burned in the 17th lap, while Ricciardo after poor start battled with Toro Rosso cars, Saubers and Lotuses to get back into the points zone.
Two laps before the end, safety car was employed after Verstappen’s Toro Rosso stopped at the track because of engine failure and stayed on the track until the end of the race.
Vettel, however, did have reasons to be grateful for the late cessation of racing, as team mate Raikkonen had been closing rapidly. On fresher rubber, the Finn had slashed the gap to Vettel to just 1.3 seconds, only for his pursuit to be thwarted with two laps to run.
With Verstappen’s late retirement, Felipe Nasr was promoted to eighth for Sauber, getting back into the points after his differential problems in Malaysia. Team mate Marcus Ericsson also scored for Sauber as he took the final point in 10th, right behind Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. The Australian made a horrendous start to drop to almost last by Turn 1, but dug out a gritty performance to work his way back through the field.
Behind Force India‘s Sergio Perez in 11th, Fernando Alonso got the better of McLaren team mate Jenson Button, but only after late drama. Button had been enjoying a brilliant scrap with Pastor Maldonado, but ran into the back of the Lotus driver under braking for the first corner on lap 49. Maldonado was pitched into a spin and ultimately forced to retire, an unfortunate end to an already scrappy race which included a self-inflicted spin and running too deep as he came in for his second pit stop on the 33rd lap, at which point he was in contention for seventh.