ANOTHER WIN FOR LEWIS: Mercedes Lewis Hamilton waves to the crowd after winning the 2015 Chinese GP on Sunday, April 12. Image: AFP
SHANGHAI, China - Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Chinese GP for the fourth time and leading another 1-2 for the team.
Nico Rosberg was second with Ferrari’s boys Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in third and fourth.
The race started with Hamilton positioning his car with a warning to team mate Nico Rosberg as he took off with a brilliant start while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo bogged down when the lights went green.
FIGHTING FOR POSITION
The midfield group was fighting for position and soon after Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz spun out on the harder tyres in Turn 2 putting him at the back of the field.
On L6 Red Bull told Daniil Kyvat: "Okay Danny, you have Ricciardo behind - you are on different strategies."
L7 saw race leader Hamilton setting a new fastest lap - holding a 1.0s advantage over Rosberg, with Ferrari’s Vettel a further 2.2s behind.
Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg went off track on L9 and said on the team radio “Something bad happened”, referring to the gearbox.
Williams’ Felipe Massa was the first to enter the pitslane to change to the harder compound tyres. Ferrari and Mercedes were the only teams to be out on the softer tyres while everyone else had already come in for a pit stop. Vettel was then the first of the leaders in P3 to come in for a stop on L13. Vettel put on another set of soft tyres and returned to the track in P5 while Massa joined in P8.
'I'M ON FIRE!'
Kyvat pulled off the circuit in a cloud of smoke at Turn 6 and said on the team radio "I'm on fire!" before climbing out the car as principle Christan Horner shook his head in the pits. Not a good weekend for the young driver.
On L18 McLaren Honda’s Fernando Alonso allowed team mate Jenson Button to pass him into Turn 14 for P15. Toro Rosso’s rookie Max Verstappen charged past Sauber’s Felipe Nasr into Turn 14 to take P9 on L20. Rosberg is heard telling his team on the radio: “Lewis is driving very slow, get him to speed up.”
Alonso is told on L23 that his fuel meter might not be working correctly while Sainz looked as if he was about to retire with a gearbox problem but somehow managed to pick up speed again.
Ferrari had asked Vettel to pick up the pace at L30 but he responded “I’m at the limit.” Rosberg reported his left front wing was becoming a problem.
'GET OUT THE WAY'
On L32 Hamilton set a new fastest lap as Rosberg pitted and switched to mediums. Lotus’ Pastor Maldanado was seen doing a Hamilton in 2007 with a wonky pitstop as he comes in too fast in the pits and missed the entrance. The marshals have to step in and help push him back to make the left-hander into the pitslane.
Ferrair’s Kimi Raikkonen is heard complaining a couple of times on the team radio to get the slower cars of Button and Maldanado out of his way in pure Iceman fashion. He finally passed and made the attempts stick on L47.
A little bit of action seen on L49 as Button and Maldonado crashed at Turn 1. It seemed as though Button misjudged his pace or misread Maldanado’s moves and nipped the back of his car. Maldanado spins out but Button had damaged his front wing in the process.
On L53 Hamilton was still in a comfortable lead with 7.3seconds ahead of his team mate Rosberg.
Sadly Toro Rosso’s Verstappen’s race on the main straight on L54 as his engine seemed to have blown out with the safety car being called out. The Chinese marshals managed to move the car out of the way ending the race as Hamilton takes another win, albeit under safety car conditions.
2015 Chinese GP results
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min39:42.008
2 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes +00:00.714
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 00:02.988
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 00:03.835
5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 00:08.544
6 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 00:09.885
7 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 00:19.008
8 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 00:22.625
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull 00:32.117
10 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1 lap
11 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1 lap
12 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1 lap
13 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1 lap
14 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso - Renault 1 lap
15 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 2 laps
16 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 2 laps
17 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 4 laps
r Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 7 laps
r Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull 41 laps
r Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 47 laps
Fastest Lap: Lewis Hamilton, 1min42.208, lap 31.
Driver and constructor standings
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 68
2. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 55
3. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 51
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 30
5. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 24
6. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 18
7. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 14
8. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 11
9. Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 6
10. Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 6
11. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 6
12. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 6
13. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 5
14. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 2
15. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1
16. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 0
17. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 0
18. Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 0
19. Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 0
1. Mercedes 119
2. Ferrari 79
3. Williams-Mercedes 48
4. Sauber 19
5. RedBull 13
6. Toro Rosso 12
7. Force India 7
8. Lotus 6
9. McLaren 0
10. Marussia 0