SHANGHAI – Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton secured a record-extending sixth Chinese Grand Prix victory on Sunday, snatching the world championship lead from his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Five-time world champion Hamilton, of the United Kingdom, clinched his 75th career victory and second of the season in the 1,000th Formula One race after overtaking pole-sitter Bottas of Finland.
“It was not the most straightforward of race weekends,” he said. “To have a one-two together (with Bottas) in the 1,000th race is really special!” he added, referring to Mercedes’ third one-two lockout since the start of this season.
Hamilton and Bottas obtained a one-two victory in Bahrain Grand Prix and the season-opening Australian Grand Prix last month.
The 34-year-old Briton took the checkered flag 6.552 seconds ahead of Bottas, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen fourth.
“I got some wheel-spin at the start, sometimes it is just small details. It is early in the season, but things are still looking good,” Bottas said, according to the official Formula One Twitter account.
Meanwhile, Vettel said he was happy to have made the podium but added that the Mercedes team was “just too quick right from the start.”
Charles Leclerc of Ferrari was ordered to let Vettel overtake after he got ahead at the start of the race to come in fifth, ahead of Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly, who collected an extra point for clocking the fastest lap on the 56-lap circuit.
Spain’s Carlos Sainz of McLaren finished the race in the 14th position after a first-lap collision with Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat, who later retired.
“It is the motor world and the world of sports. When these things happen, all that we can do is have patience and keep trusting ourselves,” Sainz said.
McLaren teammate Lando Norris, who was also involved in the accident, came in 18th.
Mexico’s Sergio Perez of Racing Point managed to finish in the eighth position behind Daniel Ricciardo of Renault.
Up next for the Formula One drivers will be Azerbaijan Grand Prix, scheduled for April 28 in Baku.