Hamilton heads Mercedes 1-2 in China

By on Sunday, April 12, 2015
Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes AMG Petronas

Lewis Hamilton claimed a comfortable victory as he led home Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg at the Chinese Grand Prix.

Hamilton kept Rosberg at arm’s length as Mercedes repelled an initial threat from Ferrari to secure its second 1-2 of the campaign, with Sebastian Vettel in third.

Hamilton maintained his lead over Rosberg at the start while Vettel held third and Kimi Räikkönen jumped ahead of the two Williams drivers for fourth.

The quartet pulled away from the Williams pair and all pitted for fresh Option tyres and emerged line astern, with Hamilton a couple of seconds ahead of Rosberg, who in turn had a similar gap back to Vettel, with Räikkönen trailing further behind.

A series of messages went between the Mercedes pit wall and its drivers, with Rosberg frustrated and Hamilton urged to up his pace or risk having to play second fiddle to his team-mate.

Hamilton duly responded and set a new fastest lap to increase his advantage and ensure he maintained his lead after pitting for Prime tyres.

Hamilton eased away from Rosberg, who in turn put some distance between himself and Vettel, who had to turn his attention to team-mate Räikkönen.

But as Räikkönen began to close the gap the safety car was deployed with two laps remaining when Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso suffered an engine failure along the pit straight.

Verstappen had enjoyed a strong race with several eye-catching passes and was running in eighth place when the engine let go, with the nadir coming as the marshals twice wheeled the car into the concrete wall while retrieving the STR10.

The race finished under the safety car as Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2, with Vettel in third and Räikkönen fourth.

Felipe Massa passed Valtteri Bottas during the first round of stops as the team had a lonely run to fifth and sixth, while Romain Grosjean scored his first points in almost a year with seventh.

Felipe Nasr inherited eighth courtesy of Verstappen’s demise while Daniel Ricciardo recovered from an awful start to take ninth for Red Bull, with Marcus Ericsson claiming the final point.

Sergio Perez finished narrowly outside the top 10 for Force India, while Fernando Alonso beat Jenson Button to 12th position for McLaren.

Carlos Sainz Jr. had a challenging race as he spun early on before being slowed temporarily by a gearbox problem on his way to 14th place.

Both Manor Marussia drivers managed to finish the race, with Will Stevens ahead of Roberto Merhi.

Nico Hülkenberg was an early retiree as his Force India slowed with a gearbox problem while Daniil Kvyat spent his race outside of the top 10 before smoke poured from his engine and he pulled off the circuit.

Pastor Maldonado had an initially promising race as he pulled off a couple of good moves but matters turned sour.

Maldonado misjudged the pit entry and needed assistance from the marshals before he spun at Turn 7 later on in the race. He was then hit by Button during the closing stages and pulled into the garage.

1Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:39:42.00825
2Nico RosbergGERMercedes+0.714s18
3Sebastian VettelGERFerrari+2.988s15
4Kimi RäikkönenFINFerrari+3.835s12
5Felipe MassaBRAWilliams+8.544s10
6Valtteri BottasFINWilliams+9.885s8
7Romain GrosjeanFRALotus+19.008s6
8Felipe NasrBRASauber+22.625s4
9Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull+32.117s2
10Marcus EricssonSWESauber+1 lap1
11Sergio PerezMEXForce India+1 lap0
12Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren+1 lap0
13Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren+1 lap0
14Carlos SainzESPToro Rosso+1 lap0
15Will StevensGBRMarussia+2 laps0
16Roberto MerhiESPMarussia+2 laps0
17Max VerstappenNEDToro RossoDNF0
DNFPastor MaldonadoVENLotusDNF0
DNFDaniil KvyatRUSRed BullDNF0
DNFNico HulkenbergGERForce IndiaDNF0

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