Scuderia Ferrari leaves the Chinese Grand Prix with a further 28 points to its name, thanks to a second place for Sebastian Vettel and a fifth for Kimi Raikkonen.
The race got underway on a damp track, with Vettel making an early stop to change from Intermediate to Soft tyres, but immediately after that the Safety Car came out because of Giovinazzi’s accident and wiped out the advantage of that tactical move, as all the drivers had to come through pit lane. Vettel then put on a show, passing Raikkonen, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, before closing on the leader Lewis Hamilton.
“We can be happy with today’s results," says Vettel. "The race was a lot of fun, very entertaining. Conditions were tricky at the start, you never know what can happen in those moments, so I was perhaps a bit too conservative. Then we chose to change tires since the track was quickly drying out, so that we could take advantage from the slicks; but luck was not on our side as the safety car came in right after.
"I can’t say how much this affected the final result, it was still a long way from there to the finish, but I think it had an effect. From then I had to work my way through the field, and I had a tense wheel-to-wheel fight with Ricciardo. I like this way of overtaking, when gaining position comes at a price and not simply by opening up the DRS. At that moment though, the gap to Lewis had widened, and I kept pushing to keep some pressure on him, while asking my engineer what pace was needed for me to catch him.
"I think that pace-wise we were a match today, sometimes he was faster, sometimes I was: if we can fight with Mercedes also in Bahrain that will be again good news. We can still improve.”