Sunday, 20 April 2014

Hat-Trick for Hamilton as he takes a dominant win for Mercedes

(Mercedes AMG F1 Team)
Lewis Hamilton took a lights to flag victory in China today at the Shanghai International Circuit beating team mate Nico Rosberg to claim his race win in a row to close to within 4 point's championship leader Rosberg. Mercedes have now claimed three 1-2 finishes in a row which has increased the Brackley based teams lead in the Constructors championship to 97 point's over Red Bull Racing.
It was a great race for Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who managed to hold off a late charge from Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to claim the Italian teams first podium finish of the season on same weekend that new Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci made his debut after being named as Stefano Domenicali's replacement on Monday.
For the second race in a row, Daniel Ricciardo finished ahead of Sebastian Vettel with the German finishing the race in 5th place. Vettel chose to initially ignore a call from his engineer to let Ricciardo past. When told that Ricciardo was faster then him Vettel's reply was 'tough'  before eventually letting the Australian past him.
It was another fantastic race for Sahara Force India's Nico Hulkeneberg. Following a superb 5th place finish last time out in Bahrain, the German finished the Chinese Grand Prix in 7th place. Speaking to the media after the race The Hulk said:
'Finishing in sixth and bringing both cars home in the points again was a very positive result for the team. It was actually a pretty straightforward race for me after we got in front of Massa: I had to manage my tyres, my pace and avoid mistakes, and it only got tricky at the end when Bottas was getting a bit closer. We have beaten all other customer Mercedes cars, which are our main competition at the moment, but we have also seen some other teams up their game so we will need to keep pushing.'
It was another impressive performance by Valtteri Bottas as the Finn picked up yet another point's finish for Williams Martini Racing which means that the Grove based team have scored point's in every race this season so far. Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen endured yet another disappointing race. While team mate Fernando Alonso finished the race on the podium, the Iceman finished the race in 8th place.
Following his fantastic third place finish in Bahrain, Sahara Force India's Sergio Perez finished the Chinese Grand Prix in 9th place. The Mexican said after the race:
'To start from P16 and finish in ninth place is a good recovery after a difficult qualifying session yesterday. I made a good start and after that I just focussed on making the two-stop strategy work. I think everybody suffered with tyre graining and I picked up a few flat spots, but we still made it work. It was not easy to overtake today, even the cars on a different strategy, so I think ninth place was the maximum. It means I’ve scored points in three out of four races, but I was hoping for more today after the weekend we had in Bahrain. It’s also clear that all the teams around us are finding pace so we have to keep working hard to be ready for Barcelona.'
The Silverstone based team are in third place in the Constructors championship on 54 point's just two ahead of Ferrari and three behind Red Bull.
Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat secured another point's finish just four race's into his F1 career, finishing the race in 10th place just ahead of Jenson Button. The McLaren driver revealed that McLaren's performance in China was 'not good enough'. Jean Eric Vergne finished the race in 12th place just ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren.
The Lotus F1 Team's search for their first point of the season continues as Romain Grosjean, who looked set to secure his first point's in 2014 was forced to retire from the race with a gearbox failure. Meanwhile team mate Pastor Maldonado, who was forced to sit out qualifying on Saturday finished the race in 14th place just ahead of Felipe Massa who suffered a nightmare race for the Williams Martini Racing team as the Brazilian suffered a problem in his first pit-stop and as a result he lost over 40 seconds.
Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez finished the race in 16th place for the Swiss outfit. It was a disappointing day for his team Adrian Sutil, as the German suffered his third retirement of the season. Jules Bianchi finished the race in 17th place despite being classified in 18th place behind Kamui Kobayashi as the chequered flag was shown two lap's early.
Max Chilton finished the race in 19th place with Caterham's Marcus Ericsson in 20th place. The next race, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit Du Catalunya on 11 May.
Driver's Championship Standing's:
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 79 Poinnt's
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 75
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 41
4 Nico Hulkenberg Sahara Force India 36
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing 33
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 24
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing 24
8 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 23
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 20
10 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India 18
11 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing 12
12 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 11
13 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 4
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 4
Constructors Championship Standing's:
1 Mercedes 154 Point's
2 Red Bull Racing 57
3 Sahara Force India 54
4 Ferrari 52
5 McLaren Mercedes 43
6 Williams Martini Racing 36
7 Toro Rosso 8
8 Lotus F1 Team 0
9 Sauber F1 Team 0
10 Marussia F1 Team 0
11 Caterham F1 Team 0
©Ben Johnston 2014

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