amilton Wins to square up Championship Race!”
Lewis Hamilton took his first win of the season in Shanghai to make it level at the top of the World Driver’s Championship with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.
As in Australia, it was Hamilton on Pole position with Vettel joining him on the front row. Although the German was suspiciously out of position on the grid, to which some though he might get a penalty for, but surprisingly he escaped without punishment.
Starting on a damp track, there was only 1 car that started on slicks and that was Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. It didn’t do him many favours as he was at the back of the field by the first corner, and spun almost immediately at turn 2.
Predictably, it didn’t take long for there to be a major incident in the slippery conditions. The Sauber of Antonio Giovanaizzi, who spun off and hit the wall at the last corner in qualifying, did exactly the same again after just 4 laps. The only difference was that on the 2nd occasion, he hit the pit wall instead of the far wall! He turned out to be very expensive for Sauber of the course of the weekend.
After a short safety car period, the racing was back on and Hamilton lead the way. Although not pulling away from the field that much, which showed that the gap between Mercedes and the rest has definitely got smaller.
After Vettel pitted, he came out right with his old sparring partner Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, and they had an almighty tussle where Ricciardo refused to give way, but Vettel would not take no for an answer. As they were sweeping through some of the fastest corners on the circuit, they banged wheels, a puff of smoke flew up and Vettel was through. Very reminiscent of the famous battle between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnou in Dijon in 1979.
With the track drying out Hamilton continued to lead from Vettel, and that’s the way it stayed, with the young pretender Max Verstappen finishing 3rd having started 17th on the grid. The fearless Dutchman showing just how good his is in the wet conditions as he did in Brazil at the end of last season. Whilst holding off a spirited challenge from his team mate Daniel Ricciardo in the closing laps.
Vettel and Hamilton are now joint top of the table on 43 points, and it would seem that we are in for an almightly championship battle between these two multiple world champions.
Next Time on Formula 1………..Round 3: Bahrain.