Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won this afternoon's Chinese Grand Prix from pole position with the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel following him home in second and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, who started in 16th place, rounding out the podium! This result puts Lewis and Sebastian in equal first place in the drivers' championship with 43 points and one win apiece.
“Today was very tough for us,” Lewis said on the podium. “Trying to keep the car on the track and look after the tyres at the same time was very tough as well.”
"Guys, I can't explain to you the feeling. Thank you so much for your support this weekend. Team LH you showed so much love and I am so grateful. To our AMAZING team, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, thank you so much for your continued hard work and dedication!!"
As much as the season opening Australian Grand Prix disappointed fans, drivers and media alike, this race was on the money from the formation lap!
With drivers still deciding whether or not to use wet tyres or slicks, Lewis Hamilton had a few moments on his way to the grid and eventually opted for the intermediates. 19 of the 20 drivers on the grid did the same with the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz choosing to use the supersofts instead.
In the opening laps we had a virtual safety car, when the Williams of Lance Stroll was hit by the Force India of Sergio Perez and ended up in the gravel, and a real safety car when Antonio Giovinazzi crashed his Sauber on the main straight.
While Vettel, who was under investigation in the early laps due to positioning his Ferrari more towards the middle of the track rather than neatly in his grid box, pitted under the VSC, race leader Lewis Hamilton opted to wait and came in under the real safety car. This could have proven to be the turning point as the race continued.
Vettel, who was found innocent of a grid violation, was a little further back in the pack, but was determined to fight his way back to the front, even going wheel to wheel with the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo at one stage, even giving the Aussie racer a slight nudge on his way past!
Meanwhile teammate Kimi Raikkonen will be ruing the fact that his Ferrari team didn't call him in for a tyre change earlier than they finally did as he dropped back through the field slightly due to no front end grip.
Driver of the day however, has to be awarded to the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, or ‘that guy' as Lewis Hamilton calls him, who fought back from 16th on the grid after a disastrous qualifying, to finish on the third step of the podium.
All in all, a fantastic race, bring on Bahrain!