Lewis Hamilton delivered a crushing performance to win in China as Ferrari used team orders to help Sebastian Vettel finish on the podium.

Valtteri Bottas followed team-mate Hamilton home for Mercedes to secure their third one-two finish in as many grands prix.

But Hamilton’s superb lights-to-flag victory was overshadowed by the intra-team politics which threatens to destabilise Ferrari’s season.

✅ 75th career win for @LewisHamilton

✅ Third 1-2 finish in a row for @MercedesAMGF1

✅ The 1000th race in the history books!#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/gHYHrdD91n

– Formula 1 (@F1)
April 14, 2019

Hamilton roared off the start line in Shanghai to dash past pole-sitter Bottas to the opening bend.

From there, he ruled the race to secure his second win in succession and assume the championship lead for the first time this season. He is six points clear of Bottas.

Vettel crossed the line third, with Max Verstappen fourth for Red Bull, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fifth.

The young Ferrari driver will have every right to feel frustrated.

YES!! GET IN THERE!!! @LewisHamilton wins #Race1000!! What a drive! 🙌 #ChineseGP pic.twitter.com/itGZPbC0Kv

– Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1)
April 14, 2019

Heading into Formula One’s 1,000th race, the question was whether Vettel would remain as Ferrari’s number one following Leclerc’s strong display last time out in Bahrain.

On lap 11, Ferrari delivered their answer.

Leclerc had got ahead of Vettel at the first turn, but with Vettel less than a second behind the young Monegasque, and claiming he would be able to match leader Hamilton’s times, Ferrari instructed Leclerc to move out of his team-mate’s way.

Unlike in previous regimes at Ferrari, Leclerc made his feelings clear. “But I’m pulling away [from Vettel],” he protested, before reluctantly moving aside.

VETTEL: “I’m happy to be on the podium… but [Mercedes] were just too quick right from the start!”#ChineseGP 🇨🇳 #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/dCxPXMtWxh

– Formula 1 (@F1)
April 14, 2019

Vettel had clear air to catch the Mercedes duo, but failed to make any impression on the leaders.

Indeed, Leclerc remained on the rear wing of his four-time world champion team-mate with Verstappen closing in on both red cars.

“I am losing quite a lot of time,” said Leclerc. “I don’t know if you want to know or not.”

Vettel was given the hurry-up message. Verstappen was then the first of the leading five to stop for fresh rubber.

Pit stop for #Seb5. Back in P4 on medium tyres. #ChineseGP #Race1000 pic.twitter.com/wi5rzfWoE5

– Scuderia Ferrari (@ScuderiaFerrari)
April 14, 2019

For the second time, Ferrari reacted by favouring Vettel. He was called in on the following lap for new tyres, and emerged just ahead of the Red Bull car.

The gung-ho Verstappen then launched a move down the inside of Vettel at the penultimate corner – the scene of their collision here last year – but Vettel got the better exit and just about kept Verstappen at bay.

All the while, Leclerc was losing valuable speed on ageing tyres. He pitted four laps later than his team-mate, but by this time he was in no-man’s land, and he rejoined the circuit an eye-watering 11 seconds behind Vettel and Verstappen in fifth.

Leclerc was …read more

Source:: Daily times

      

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Lewis Hamilton eases to victory in China

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