After showing their skills in wheel-to-wheel battles in Bahrain a fortnight ago, drivers had to resort to tyre saving in China to ensure that they can complete the race on a two stop strategy. In the end, it was Lewis Hamilton who came on top when the chequered flag was waved, with Nico Rosberg finishing second after an impressive recovery drive to ensure a third straight Mercedes 1-2. Fernando Alonso again showed why he’s considered the best driver on the grid, with an impressive drive to third place.
Here are our Top 5 Drivers of the Chinese Grand Prix
Having qualified for the race on pole position by over half a second, Lewis Hamilton made a clear getaway and extended his lead to over 1.5 seconds by the end of first lap to second placed Sebastian Vettel. From there, Hamilton was on a cruise with no apparent issues. Despite using less fuel than any other driver in the top 10, the 29 year old managed to build a lead of 18 seconds over the course of 54 lap Chinese Grand Prix. This included the time the time he lost(approximately seven seconds) by delaying his first pit stop to lap 17.
With this result, Lewis Hamilton moves to eighth place in all time list of race winners, tied with legends Jim Clark and Niki Lauda with 25 Grand Prix wins.
Daniel Ricciardo’s impressive stint as a Red Bull driver continued in the smoggy city of Shanghai with the Australian comprehensively beating his world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel. Ricciardo qualified in second place, but lost out to Vettel on the run down to turn 1. After the first quarter of the race, Red Bull ordered Sebastian Vettel to make way for Ricciardo, who at that moment of time was on a different strategy(both of them later completed the race on two stop strategy). Vettel initially defied the team order, forcing Ricciardo to fight his way past the German. In the end, Ricciardo finished the race in fourth place, four seconds behind third placed Fernando Alonso, but more importantly, 20 seconds ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
Nico Hulkenberg quietly scored another strong result for Force India, despite struggling with the Pirelli tyres. The German out qualified his teammate Sergio Perez on Saturday, putting his VJM07 in eighth place on the grid. On the opening lap, he overtook the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg who had a brush on the opening car. Rosberg eventually found a way past Hulkenberg but the latter didn’t have any issues holding Bottas behind. On lap 10, Felipe Massa in the other Williams had a dreadfully slow pitstop, promoting Hulkenberg to sixth position - a position he held till the end of the race.