SHANGHAI, China – Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton has won the 2019 Chinese Formula 1 GP and regained the points lead from team mate Valtteri Bottas despite starting second.
Hamilton passed pole-starter Bottas going into Turn 1, didn’t miss a beat for the whole race, and the rivals finished the race in that order. Mercedes has now finished 1-2 in each of the three GP’s run so far in 2019 with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third.
Red Bull driver Pierre Gasly clocked the fastest lap of the race and culled one point for his effort according to the new rule which took affect this season.
Reuters reported that the win was the 75th of Hamilton’s career and he told the trackside commentators afterward: ”To have a 1-2 together is really special in (what is claimed to be) the 1000th GP.”
He is, however, still 16 wins behind Michael Schumachers 91.
Bottas described his pole failure thus to Reuters: ”I think I lost it in the start. The car was feeling OK but at the start I had some wheelspin when I went over the white line, the start-finish line, which was immediately after my box.
”I lost it there…”
Vettel’s team mate Charles Leclerc was fifth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Leclerc led Vettel at the start but team order told him to let his partner through, which he did despite protest.
Pierre Gasly was sixth, followed by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo (his first finish of 2019) and Racing Point’s Sergio Perez.
FINAL POINT FOR TORO ROSSO
Ninth was Kimi (Alfa Romeo) while Thailand’s Alexander Albon, who started from the pits lane after missing qualifying due to a crash in final practice, took the final point for Toro Rosso.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, McLaren’s Lando Norris and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat each retired.