Red Bull off the podium
After single-handedly leading the charge around the Shanghai circuit, Lewis Hamilton won his third victory this season ahead of team mate Nico Rosberg, and Fernando Alonso
Following a clean start, Hamilton, who had driven to his 34th pole position the day before in pouring rain in front of Ricciardo and Vettel, held on to his lead at the first turn, maintained it throughout, and is now within four points of his team mate in the Championship. Behind him, there was a long, hard fight for the other places on the podium.
Nico Rosberg got off to a poor start and found himself in the midst of traffic, but eventually made his comeback, his W05 outclassing the competition, to give Mercedes a third double in four races this season. Third, Fernando Alonso crafted a strategic race to finish ahead of the Red Bulls driven by Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel. Still no points for the Lotus team, although they demonstrated progress.
3 – This weekend’s figure! Three, the number of times Lewis Hamilton has won in China, and his third consecutive victory following Malaysia and Bahrain to boot. It’s also Mercedes’ third double in these early stages of the 2014 Championship.
“If we look at the whole weekend, it was 85% positive, 15% negative,” remarked Romain Grosjean, who qualified in the top ten, but had to retire from a position in the points due to gearbox issues.
Sebastian Vettel, slower than Daniel Ricciardo, wasn’t letting his team mate past, although the latter was looming large in his rear-view mirrors. An uncanny reminder of a Malaysian episode in 2013, when the German didn’t comply with team orders and barged past a subsequently furious Mark Webber. This Sunday, Daniel Ricciardo did eventually overtake.
Spain (9th–11th May)