Hamilton goes top of F1 standings with sixth win in China

Hamilton credits change in driving style for China turnaround	
				Image by Glenn Dunbar  LAT
Hamilton credits change in driving style for China turnaround Image by Glenn Dunbar LAT

15 April, 2019

"I was just thinking how delicious that was", Hamilton, who also won the 900th race in 2014, told reporters after leading team mate Valtteri Bottas in a third successive one-two finish, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc coming in third.

It was not clear if the auto could be repaired in time for qualifying later on Saturday.

"If Charles is upset then he is right to be upset", said Mattia Binotto, boss of the Ferrari F1 team, after team orders cost Charles Leclerc again, this time in Sunday's F1 Chinese Grand Prix.

Alex Albon started from the pits after a crash in FP3 meant he had to sit out qualifying.

"First of all it's important because when I read some of the stuff, it looks like a little bit of complaining that we are lacking straight-line speed".

Although he has not enjoyed the strongest start to the season and is still attempting to extract the best from his vehicle, he has scored well with second in the opening race now followed by two wins.

"I was initially close by but obviously when you are behind, you are sliding a bit more, overheating the tyres a bit more". The team's execution was flawless and they will be confident in having made a very strong start to the season having now scored three consecutive one-two finishes. He tried to regain control, but the auto spun around as Albon plowed the front left side into a wall near the pit lane, with parts of the vehicle scattered across the track.

The 34-year-old, already one of only three drivers to have won five or more titles, wrote another page in the record books as the victor of the 1,000th world championship race since the first in 1950.

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Bottas lined up from pole position and made a decent getaway but suffered wheelspin thereafter and relinquished the advantage to Hamilton before the pack reached Turn 1.

Renault's Daniel Ricciardo picked up the first points for the team this season completing the race in seventh place in a single pit stop strategy, while teammate Nico Hulkenberg was the first retirement of the race on Lap 17.

Leclerc finished in fifth behind the Red Bull of Max Verstappen. "Clearly today we were not as fast as Mercedes", said Vettel. Leclerc would have won comfortably but had an engine failure late in the race.

But nobody could match the pace of Mercedes as Hamilton took his 75th career victory ahead of team-mate Bottas.

"I'm happy to be on the podium", he said. Leclerc eventually crossed the line fifth after losing out strategically to the Red Bull, but the four-time world champion was more focused on the gap to Mercedes in Shanghai. By Lap 27, Bottas had a number of fast laps to his name that concerned Hamilton who wanted to pick up that extra point.

"We simply tried to give Sebastian a go and see if we could've kept the pace of the Mercedes, which was key at that stage of the race".

Red Bull's Pierre Gasly took sixth, in a race of his own too slow to keep up with his team-mate and and too fast for everyone else. "We didn't know where we would stand with the Ferraris, they were so quick in the last race". Norris was an unwitting bystander as Daniil Kvyat sent him airborne, and temporarily onto two wheels, after he first barged into Carlos Sainz's McLaren.

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