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Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2017

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton got his first win of the 2017 Formula One season at the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on Sunday.

As he had in the season opener in Australia, Hamilton started on pole ahead of Sebastian Vettel but this time managed to hold on to his lead through every lap and finish ahead of the Ferrari driver.

Max Verstappen—who started 16th on the grid—enjoyed a tremendous race as he finished third behind the pair, while Daniel Ricciardo came fourth.

Here are the results, courtesy of F1’s official Twitter feed:


Here are the standings after two races:

F1 Standings
1 Sebastian Vettel GER FERRARI 43
2 Lewis Hamilton GBR MERCEDES 43
3 Max Verstappen NED RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 25
4 Valtteri Bottas FIN MERCEDES 23
5 Kimi Raikkonen FIN FERRARI 22
6 Daniel Ricciardo AUS RED BULL RACING TAG HEUER 12
7 Carlos Sainz ESP TORO ROSSO 10
8 Felipe Massa BRA WILLIAMS MERCEDES 8
9 Sergio Perez MEX FORCE INDIA MERCEDES 8
10 Kevin Magnussen DEN HAAS FERRARI 4
Formula1.com

 

Recap

The race began in tricky conditions, with a wet start expected but the track drying quicker than anticipated in some sections, leading to a staggering 66 pit stops in just the first seven laps.

Hamilton made a strong start as he led through Turn 1 ahead of Vettel, but it was Verstappen who impressed from the outset as he moved up nine places to seventh in the first lap alone.

The Grand Prix claimed its first casualty on the third lap as Lance Stroll went off the track, while soon after Antonio Giovinazzi—who crashed in Q1 on Saturday—lost control, but the driver was fortunately unharmed:


Verstappen continued his assault on the field and took third from Raikkonen on the outside in the eighth. Three laps later, a lovely move inside Ricciardo at Turn 6 saw him move up to second behind Hamilton.

F1 journalists Jennie Gow and Luke Smith marvelled at the 19-year-old:



Vettel—who had slipped to fifth—impressed with some overtaking of his own as he took team-mate Raikkonen in lap 20 and soon after charged past Ricciardo at Turn 6 with a lovely move around the outside.

The German eventually regained his place ahead of Verstappen when the Red Bull driver locked up at the hairpin.

Meanwhile, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was forced to abandon his race:


At the head of the field, Vettel gave Hamilton something to think about as he cut the Englishman’s lead from 12 seconds to less than seven over the final 20 laps, but the Mercedes man drove superbly to hold off his rival and set a new fastest lap in the process.

Further back, Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Ricciardo were engaged in an electric battle for the final podium place that went down to the wire, but the Australian couldn’t find a way past.

Hamilton is anticipating a real battle for the championship this year, while Verstappen reflected on his outstanding start:



Ferrari are evidently capable of providing Mercedes with a real challenge this season, the first time in years any team has been able to do so—it was important Hamilton get the win here particularly after failing to beat Vettel from pole in Australia.

As for Verstappen, this race only serves to enhance the teenager’s already impressive credentials.



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