Hamilton claims victory in Chinese thriller

Posted on April 17, 2011

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Lewis Hamilton has stormed to victory in a thrilling Chinese Grand Prix set alive by lightening quick racing and strategic wizardry.

Lewis Hamilton turned in a brilliant performance to win the stunning Chinese Grand Prix. Credit: mclaren.com

Sebastian Vettel gambled on a two stop strategy and led four laps from the finish but he could not hold off the McLaren driver.

Hamilton had newer tyres than Vettel and hunted down the defending world champion in the closing stages of the race. When he caught up Vettel was almost helpless as the Briton had  so much more grip.

It could have been so different: Hamilton got out of the garage to the grid with literally seconds to spare after a fuel leak problem.

But it was not all bad for Red Bull after Mark Webber ran a stunning race to get from an 18th grid slot to a brilliant podium. The Aussie ran a three stop strategy and, after being knocked out in Q1, with new tyres put in a sensational performance.

It was stunning race right through the field. It might have been a strategic wonder from McLaren but Hamilton won this race on the track. After the final round of stops, the 2008 world champion passed Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa before reaching Vettel.

Much of the entertainment was down to the Pirelli tyres. Even with some leading drivers trying and failing a two stop, the three stoppers still had to charge through. And with the lead changing hands in the final laps, it ensured it was unpredictable to the end.

Jenson Button will be disappointed after seizing the lead off the line. A mistake at his second pitstop saw him pull up with Red Bull mechanics at his first stop. The error ensured he lost the lead and he didn’t have the pace at the end, meaning he was picked off by Webber.

It was a wonderful, breathless race at the front.

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Posted in: Formula One, Race