Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 8:01 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 8:01 AM (IST)

Mercedes’ milestone man

Hamilton wins Formula One’s 1,000th race, takes championship lead
Mercedes’ milestone man
Race winner Lewis Hamilton (C) of Mercedes stands with second-placed teammate Valtteri Bottas (L) and third-placed Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari on the podium after the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday. AFP

SHANGHAI, April 14

Lewis Hamilton won the Chinese Grand Prix for a record sixth time to seize the overall lead from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in Formula One’s 1,000th world championship race.

Bottas, who made a poor start from pole and lost out to five-time world champion Hamilton into the first corner, was second for his team’s third one-two finish in as many races this season.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third place, his first podium appearance of the campaign, with Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly denying the German an extra point with the fastest lap right at the end. The comfortable win in a race short on thrills was the 75th of Hamilton’s career, and second in a row after his lucky triumph in Bahrain two weeks ago.

“To have a one-two together is really special in the 1,000th Grand Prix. The start was where I was able to make the difference, and after that it’s kind of history,” said the Briton, who also won the 900th in Bahrain in 2014.

He is now just 16 victories short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record tally of 91.

There has yet to be a winner this year from pole position, with Bottas triumphant in the Australian opener in similar fashion to Hamilton in China. “I think I lost it in the start. The car was feeling OK and otherwise the pace was similar,” said Bottas. 

Vettel’s teammate Charles Leclerc, on pole in Bahrain but denied victory there after a late loss of power while leading, finished fifth behind Verstappen, who briefly went wheel-to-wheel with Vettel for the final podium spot.

Leclerc got ahead of Vettel at the start but was instructed by Ferrari to let his teammate through on lap 11, an order the Monegasque complied with while making clear that he did not agree. “Let Sebastian by,” he was told over the radio while in third place. “But I’m pulling away,” responded the 21-year-old.

Vettel then struggled to find a rhythm when freed up to take on the Mercedes pair, but Leclerc was the clear loser of a situation that pushed him back and behind Verstappen after the pitstops despite an attempted longer stint. — Reuters

75 Formula One race victories for Lewis Hamilton. He is now just 16 victories short of Michael Schumacher’s all-time record tally of 91

0 There has yet to be a winner this year from pole position

F1 Milestones

1 The drivers’ world championship was launched with the first race at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on May 13, 1950. Italian Giuseppe ‘Nino’ Farina, driving for Alfa Romeo, won the race, and went on to win the championship

500 The Australian Grand Prix, on 4 November, 1990, was the 500th race. Brazilian Nelson Piquet, a three-time world champion, won the race for Benetton Ford

Chinese Grand Prix 

1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1:32:06.350
2 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Mercedes +6.552s
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari +13.744s 
4 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull +27.627s
5 Charles Leclerc (Monaco) Ferrari +31.276s

Driver standings

Driver pts

Lewis Hamilton 68

Valtteri Bottas 62

Max Verstappen 39

Sebastian Vettel 37

Charles Leclerc 36       

Constructor standings

Constructor    pts 

Mercedes 130

Ferrari 73


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