Lewis Hamilton secured the second F1 Grand Prix of the season with victory in China ahead of nearest rival Sebastian Vettel.
Bookmakers have been quick to shorten the odds on Hamilton to recapture the F1 World title, in what is developing into a fascinating two-horse race at the top. Hamilton is rated as short as 9/10 with Vettel at 6/4 and you can get 20 Bar the field after those two, such is the belief that the Englishman and German are set to dominate.
“So happy to get first win of the year, and we are really looking forward to the battles coming up this season,” said Hamilton.
The race started under damp conditions with a number of drivers undecided on which tyres to run, and a couple of accidents led to a virtual safety car and then a full safety car – which hampered Vettel who pitted at the wrong time.
Hamilton and his tactics were spot on and he had too much of an advantage by the time Vettel was up to second, there was too much for him to do.
The drive of the day, though, came from Dutch starlet Max Verstappen – who again showed his liking for overtaking in less than perfect conditions and he had overtaken nine cars on the first lap alone and he battled up to third and he claimed the final place on the podium, holding off team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
Finnish duo Kimi Raikkonen and Valterri Bottas were both less than happy with their fifth and sixth placed finishes, but in seventh was a brilliant drive from Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso – who was the only car to start on dry slicks.
Haas had a very good points haul with Kevin Magnussen claiming eighth, whilst Force India again had both cars in the points with Sergio Perez in ninth and Esteban Ocon in tenth.
Chinese GP race result
1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes,
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +6.250
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +45.192
4. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +46.035
5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +48.076
6. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, +48.808
7. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +72.893
8. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +1 lap
9. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1 lap
10. Esteban Ocon, Force India, +1 lap
11. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +1 lap
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +1 lap
13. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, +1 lap
14. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1 lap
15. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +1 lap
Fernando Alonso , McLaren-Honda, DNF
Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, DNF
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, DNF
Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber, DNF
Lance Stroll, Williams, DNF
2017 Drivers’ Championship
2017 Constructors’ Championship