Lewis Hamilton took his 54th Formula One victory – his fifth at the Shanghai International Circuit, first of the 2017 season and the third Grand Chelem (pole position, race win, fastest lap, leading every racing lap) of his F1 career – the Chinese Grand prix. After that race the Englishman holds a joint lead in the Drivers’ Championship with Sebastian Vettel.
“My pole lap put me in a great position and then the start was just fantastic. I’m really happy with my starts right now so I want to keep that up!”, Lewis Hamilton commented. “During the race I needed to keep my composure in some really tricky conditions out there. After the pit stop under the Safety Car the speed was low and the tyres were very cold, so it would have been very easy to make a mistake, so I’m just grateful that I didn’t. In those final 20 laps Seb and I were just pounding around as fast as we could, exchanging fastest lap times, that’s what racing is all about. In the future there will be times when we don’t have a Safety Car and we won’t have that gap. I’m excited for that.”
“It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian. It has been a fantastic weekend and I’m so grateful for the effort the team has put in for us to be where we are now. It’s very overwhelming when you have a weekend like this, because I’m just a single link in the chain and there are hundreds of people who are involved to put me up on the top step. Big congratulations to everyone, especially those back home, I hope they’re celebrating and feeling the spirit and the fight.”
Lewis Hamilton: “It’s very close and there were times when it was hard to match Sebastian”
— Formula 1 (@F1) 9 April 2017
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) 9 April 2017
Valtteri Bottas produced a battling drive to finish P6 after a slow stop followed by a spin on cold slick tyres in wet conditions relegated him to P12 in the early stages.
“I’m very disappointed”, the Finn admitted. “I made a good start but it didn’t go so well from there. Yes, we lost some time in the pit stop but it was nothing compared to what we lost with my mistake. I was trying everything I could to get temperature in the tyres behind the Safety Car but went too aggressive and lost control of the car. It was entirely my fault. I’m really sorry for the team and the points we lost today.”
“It took few laps to get the tyres working after the spin but in the end my pace was okay. I think we made the right choice sticking with the soft tyre for the second stint. The car was good – a winning car, obviously. But the laps were running out as I was getting closer to the cars in front and I couldn’t recover enough of the time I lost. I’m leaving for Bahrain and I’m glad the next race comes soon. Once you’ve done a mistake it’s done, so you try to forget it and do everything you can to make up for it next time, so I will take a look in the mirror at myself and come back stronger.”