2017 Formula 1 Chinese Grand Prix: Hamilton roars to victory in Shanghai
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Two races down, and everything is tight at the top of the driver standings. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton both have a win apiece and taking the second spot on the podium in the other race. It is evident that the 2017 season has all the markings of tight battle for the championship all year long.
Shanghai brought out the speed the cars were capable of. As in Melbourne, Ferrari had the pace to rival Mercedes. Vettel and Lewis got some much needed boost with their cars’ reliability. Valtteri is still coming to grips with his new steed, while Kimi, it seems. has been the sacrificial lamb in the Ferrari quest for glory.
McLaren still hasn’t found its speed, even with Fernando Alonso at the wheel. The Woking boys are reportedly still let down by its Honda power unit. Max Verstappen is extremely fast, even in the wet, and shows no fear in passing anyone on track. Red Bull could be the dark horse in the championships. They have two drivers willing to go all out for the win, or at the very least score much needed points. In the mid-field, Williams and Force India are pretty much neck and neck, with Renault, Sauber, Haas and Toro Rosso battling each other for the title “best of the rest”.
At the start of the damp Chinese GP, it was Lewis Hamilton who took charge of the field, even with the valiant efforts of Vettel to vault past during the opening laps. Lewis was stoic as he took command of the race. Bottas and Raikkonen held track position behind Hamilton. But it was Max Verstappen who started down in 17th place who gained the most places during the opening lap. Max blew past nine rivals to grab P8 in one lap alone. Verstappen was fearless all race long, and this served the Dutchman well, rewarding him with third place finish in Shanghai.
At the first round of pit stops, it was Ferrari who gambled in bringing Sebastian to try the undercut. But the Ferrari came out in traffic, thus dropping him down the order. Mercedes, on the other hand, opted to keep Lewis out to get a buffer between himself and the rest of the field. Hamilton’s gap was so big that even after his pit stop, #44 still came out in the lead and take the checkered flag.
Lewis Hamilton’s win at the Chinese GP padded his career wins total. The three-time World Champion now has 54 wins, and is second on the all time list, behind Micahel Schumacher, who has 91. By taking pole in Shanghai, the Brit now has 63 pole positions, just two behind Ayrton Senna and five from Schumacher.
It is not inconceivable that Lewis could re-write the record books before he retires. It will be up to Vettel and company to try and derail the Mercedes juggernaut.
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