Shanghai: Lewis Hamilton scored his first-ever hat-trick of wins by claiming a dominant win ahead of Nico Rosberg in yesterday’s Chinese GP to give Mercedes their third straight one-two finish.
Lewis Hamilton lifts his trophy after winning the Chinese GP. Pic/AFP.
Hamilton led every single lap of the 56-lap race to cross the line 18 seconds ahead of his teammate and take his 25th win career victory, matching British legend Jim Clark and current boss Niki Lauda in the all-time winners’ list.
Fernando Alonso, winner of last year’s race here, took third to give Ferrari their first podium of the season.
“It feels incredible,” Hamilton said after the race. “I had such a great race, really enjoyed it, particularly the last few laps.”
Rosberg’s second place finish was enough to keep him at the head of the drivers’ standings but, Hamilton, following his third straight win has closed to within just four points of his teammate. The German had started the race fourth, with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel separating him from his team-mate, and was hoping to get past the two Red Bulls early on so as to take the fight to Hamilton. However, his day was far from straightforward — the 28-year-old suffering telemetry issues before the race started.
Red Bull raging
Behind the top three, Daniel Ricciardo maintained his early season edge over Sebastian Vettel by crossing the line ahead of the world champion in fourth. However, tensions flared between the Red Bull pair during the race as Vettel was asked to let Ricciardo’s faster Red Bull through for the second time in succession.
The German was initially reluctant to move aside, responding to the instruction over the radio by saying “tough luck,” but was eventually convinced to let his Australian teammate past.
Force India followed their Bahrain podium with more points as Nico Hulkenberg crossed the line sixth while Sergio Perez finished ninth.