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Hamilton victorious in Shanghai

Lewis Hamilton wins his first grand prix of the season in China

Posted Apr 17, 2011 by Weekend Round-Up

Nico Rosberg Mark Webber

McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton stormed into his first victory of the season in China beating driver’s championship leader Sebastian Vettel to pole position.

A poor start for Vettel saw Jenson Button lead the field within seconds of the get go followed by Hamilton and then Vettel who battled hard to maintain his position in the opening stages of the race.

Button’s pull away from the line was superb but sadly the McLaren driver couldn’t maintain his lead and lost ground in the first round of stops. It was certainly an eventful grand prix with plenty of action, overtaking, unexpected results and dramatic finishes.

Jaime Alguersuari, the STR-Ferrari driver lost a wheel early on in the race costing him a finish in China. Mark Webber carried himself from 18th place right the way through to a podium spot in third position in the dying stages of the race. Plenty of problems once again with Red Bull’s power-boost Kers system and on-going electrical issues meant the Australian had to battle his way through the backmarkers but in his usual determined and hungry style he managed to deny Button a podium place in the 55th lap of the race.

Sebastian Vettel’s race strategy was flawed, he opted for a two stop race meaning he was running on Pirelli’s hard rubber for 25 laps whereas Hamilton stuck to his three stop strategy and made the fresh tyres really work in his favour. Hamilton did particularly well given the fuel leak problems McLaren overcame before the race had even started.

He told press that today “We had a strategy that just worked and I am very pleased with the result.” Hamilton in the end comfortably beat the young German Vettel to hold on to second place in the drivers’ championship and move just 18 points behind Vettel making the rest of the season all the more dramatic.

The 2008 world champion comfortably passed Vettel in the dying stages of a dramatic grand prix to move 18 points behind the German in the championship. It was a well-deserved win and even though he ended Vettel’s unbeaten run, you could see Hamilton was a changed man and he wanted the win. In China he demonstrated he was far more controlled than the emotional and almost petulant child after last week’s finish in Malaysia – giving us that reminder why he was such a hot-topic when he took the Championship back in 2008.

The one to watch this week was Scot Paul di Resta, Force India driver, who had an excellent race, mixing amongst the upper echelons of the race leaders before eventually finishing in 11th place.

The final result

1. Lewis Hamilton – McLaren-Mercedes

2. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull

3. Mark Webber – Red Bull

Sebastian Vettel stays atop the drivers’ championship and Red Bull maintain their position as this season’s leading team with 105 points.

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