Classifieds 50% off, use promo code FBkpkPromo The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World Sport
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Hamilton cruises to Chinese win

Hamilton led from pole in damp conditions, but he was never challenged for position thanks to a clean getaway on his intermediate tyres.


Michael Lamonato

Sunday 9 April 2017, 08:26PM

Hamilton celebrates his victory. Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas
Hamilton celebrates his victory. Photo: Mercedes AMG Petronas

The three-time world champion had his lead threatened only once, when interludes of virtual and physical safety cars interrupted the race between laps two and eight. 

Mercedes initially opted against switching Hamilton to slicks under the virtual safety car — which was triggered when Lance Stroll beached his Williams in the gravel — despite all bar four other cars changing to the dry rubber. 

A safety car triggered two laps later by Antonio Giovinazzi’s crash on the main straight, however, gave Hamilton and Mercedes, along with the four other intermediate-shod cars, a prime opportunity to undo the potentially devastating strategic error and pit with minimum time loss. 

From that point Mercedes attempted to run Hamilton’s race without stopping, hoping the soft tyre would last the distance, but by lap 37 Hamilton had enough of an advantage to pit for free, just as his tyre performance was declining. 

A clean Mercedes stop enabled him to emerge from the pits with his lead intact, guaranteeing victory. 

“I want to just say thank you to this team,” Hamilton said on the podium. “I’m so tremendously proud of everyone … who work so hard back at the factory to make this possible.” 

But Hamilton reserved most of his post-race praise for Ferrari and second-placed Vettel, with both the Briton and the German visibly excited on the podium by the realisation they’re pitching themselves in a closely fought title battle. 

“A great job done by Sebastian,” Hamilton said. “We were matching times, so I think if there weren’t safety cars and stuff, it would’ve been a lot closer. 

“Ferrari have done a fantastic job, and I think it’s great we were both pushing. Those last 20 laps or so we were really exchanging times. He was closing that gap a little bit, but I manage to stay ahead.” 

Vettel finished just 6.2 seconds behind Hamilton by the end of the race despite the German spending 12 laps stuck behind his slower teammate, Kimi Räikkönen, in the first stint of the grand prix. 

Unusually Ferrari didn’t switch its cars despite the obvious pace difference between the pair and despite Hamilton’s proximity to the field at that stage of the race, which could have left the Mercedes open to a Melbourne-style attack. 

Once Vettel got ahead of his teammate on lap 20 he was able to demonstrate blistering pace to cut his way to second place, scything past both Red Bull Racing cars helmed by Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. 

C and C Marine

However, by the time he could see Hamilton ahead of him, the gap to the lead was eight seconds, which ultimately proved insurmountable with the pair on similar tyres. 

“I was stuck behind the train [of Räikkönen and the Red Bulls] and I was getting a bit angry and annoyed,” Vettel said. “I had a feeling I could go a lot faster in these conditions. 

“I was in the train for a while, then I finally made the move and tried to chase Lewis down as much as possible. 

“I think we were a good match. It could’ve been a different race, but it was a good recovery.” 

While the ongoing shadowboxing between Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton dominated the race, Max Verstappen stole the show with a sensational drive on the podium after starting sixteenth on the grid. 

The Dutchman effortlessly passed nine cars by the end of the first lap, and he put his RB13 in fourth place once most of the field stopped for new tyres under the early virtual safety car. 

Verstappen needed only to apply pressure to his teammate, Daniel Ricciardo, and once past on lap 11, he attempted to close on Hamilton using his superior supersoft-tyre grip against Hamilton’s softs. 

The Pirelli rubber ran out of puff, however, and Verstappen found himself stuck in second until Vettel charged past on lap 29, cementing the order. 

“It was very challenging,” said Verstappen, before deadpanning, “I think on lap one I passed nine cars, so not too bad! 

“I’m happy to be on the podium, I didn’t expect that at all starting from P16. 

“I didn’t have a lot of track time for car balance yesterday [during practice], so it was basically nursing the car to the finish.” 

Ricciardo and Räikkönen finished fourth and fifth, while Valtteri Bottas completed an embarrassing second race for Mercedes after spinning his car behind the safety car and falling to nineteenth, consigning himself to a recovery drive for seventh place. 



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
    Forget your password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

Thai Immigration 90-day reporting service goes offline – again

A Phuket Immigration official, ...who declined to be named...? Why is that a thai government public spokesman not want to be named? Always so strang...(Read More)

Phuket taxi, tuk-tuk drivers rally against Patong parking crackdown

Pauly44: I agree with you! A real light rail track could be created at Patong, ( even as a tourist attraction) and I mean a local very light rail li...(Read More)

Phuket Police chief warns against breach of new Computer Act

wow, a fine of 200,000 thb for saying/publishing something what suppose to be free to do according international treaties signed by Thailand. Which T...(Read More)

Areas in Phuket Town to have water shut off tomorrow

So good public are informed in advance. And that is the way it suppose to be. Yesterday there were parts of Chalong without electricity from 09:15...(Read More)

Phuket taxi, tuk-tuk drivers rally against Patong parking crackdown

Phuket can't have its cake and eat it to, they MUST give back & come up with a long term solution to their transport problems which are deeply...(Read More)

Fingerprinting for SIMs made mandatory

Sir Burr, you are correct, 1984 is here and now. Every assault on our freedom is done under the guise of "security". This will not reduce th...(Read More)

Army chief hints ‘Kotee’ behind blast

Anyone feels comfortable when police/army authorities 'believe' or 'hint'? To me, it is not professional, at least not in releasing s...(Read More)

Army chief hints ‘Kotee’ behind blast

Discover Thainess: Of course we are not entirely sure. Not sure at all as long one can use a foreign SIM card in his phone. ( easy, even for thai i...(Read More)

Phuket taxi, tuk-tuk drivers rally against Patong parking crackdown

Many, many years ago, I drove often to Patong for dinner in small thai restaurants at Nanai Road, side soi's at Beach road. That were years you s...(Read More)

Army chief hints ‘Kotee’ behind blast

Have I missed something here? Whilst I fully understand the govt wanting to have sims registered as they can be used in setting off IEDs, surely there...(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.