Wet weather conditions resulted in a lot of confusion and action up and down the grid but an unfazed Lewis Hamilton drove a faultless race to take victory at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix.
Photo : motorsport.com
The race with the entire grid chose to start on Inters but Carlos Sainz started on the super softs, which went horribly wrong for him as he drastically dropped down the grid.
A collision between Perez and Lance Stroll resulted in a retirement as he stroll’d into the gravel trap (pardon the pun). This brought out the Virtual safety car and several cars including Seb Vettel switched to slicks under these conditions, with Lewis Hamilton staying out on inters.
Very soon after, Sauber rookie Antonio Giovinazzi lost it on the start/finish straight and had a massive shunt, bringing out the full safety car. More like Giovincrashi this weekend.
Lewis switching to slicks here meant that Vettel had lost out. When we returned to full racing speed at the end of lap 7, Lewis led the way followed by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo with Vettel down the order. Hamilton’s team-mate dropped well down the order as well when he spun his car around trying to keep heat in his tyres at the end of the safety car period.
In all of this confusion, the little legend that is Max Verstappen came out of nowhere to overtake his team-mate to slot in at P2, having started P16 in qualifying.
Having lost out in the safety car periods, Sebastian Vettel was in no mood to go down without a fight. He fought his way through the field overtaking his team-mate Kimi, a fantastic wheel to wheel battle with Ricciardo, and even getting past Max after forcing him into a lock-up.
Video : Vettel overtakes Ricciardo – F1 Fanatic via YouTube.
Max then pit for a fresh set of super softs, slot back into the midfield and put on another overtaking masterclass cutting through the field.
After Lewis and Seb had both made their stops, Seb emerged 8 seconds behind Lewis in the battle for the win. However, whenever Vettel challenged with a fast lap, Hamilton was able to respond with an equally good lap time.
Photo : Formula 1
And that’s how it ended – Lewis Hamilton took the win from Sebastian Vettel. Both Red Bull drivers had a very close battle with each other towards the end, but driver of the day Max Vertsappen managed to keep Danny Ric behind to take the last podium spot.
We had 5 retirements today. Both McLarens failed to finish the race even though Fernando Alonso was punching above his weight as usual running as high as P6. Giovinazzi and Stroll retired due to accidents, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kyvat had to stop due to issues with his power steering.
Despite his mistake of starting on slicks, Carlos Sainz drove a fantastic race to bring his Toro Rosso home in P7. It turned out to be a much better weekend for Kevin Magnussen who took P8 to score his first points for Haas.
Photo : motorsport.com
It genuinely does look like a straight fight to the championship between Lewis and Sebastian this year. They look like they’ve got the highest level of competitive respect for each other, and are now tied at the top of the standings with 50 points each. Let us hope we get to witness closer fights between those two throughout the season and barring unfortunate reliability issues or incidents, this should be one of the closest title battles in modern Formula one history.
Feature image courtesy : WTF1
– Aditya Bhat.