Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish to win his fifth Chinese Grand Prix and his 54th career win overall.
This was the second consecutive pole for the Mercedes driver, but unlike in Australia, he managed to hold off any challenge from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, who finished second. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took third place after starting at P16 on the grid.
Verstappen staved off a stiff challenge from his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in the fag end of the 56-lap race.
“Today was very tough for us all. It was mostly dry at the start but a couple of wet corners. I’m so proud of everyone,” Hamilton said after the race.
Hamilton and Vettel are level on 43 points in the Drivers Standings heading into the third race in Bahrain.
“I think it’s going to be the closest championship race I’ve been involved in. Ferrari have done a great job and so have we,” Hamilton added.
Vettel challenged Hamilton plenty of times on Sunday, but Hamilton just about managed to maintain the lead.
“I had a very exciting race - tried to chase Lewis down but he was able to respond,” Vettel said.
However, the story of the race was Verstappen and the manner in which he passed a number of cars to earn a podium finish.
“I think I passed nine cars on my first lap. It felt a little bit like a video game for me,” Verstappen said. Hamilton too was full of praise for the Dutchman.
“This guy (Verstappen) seems to find it easy to pass people in the wet. We’ll have to look at the videos and see what he’s been doing!” Hamilton said.
Race Result (Top 5)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:37:36.158
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) +6.250s
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +45.192s
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) +46.035s
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) +48.076s
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