As the sun beamed down on the Shanghai International Circuit, Lewis Hamilton took his second successive win in China. Hamilton cruised to the finish line with the Chinese Grand Prix finishing behind the safety car.
It was a case of business as usual, as Nico Rosberg completed another Mercedes 1-2 finish, with Sebastian Vettel again reaching the podium for Ferrari.
This was the third race in succession where we have seen the same three drivers on the podium this year. Also notably, Hamilton notched up his 35th win after taking pole position yesterday.
Vettel’s team mate, Kimi Räikkönen, took advantage of a great start, passing both the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas for fourth place. The Finn would finish behind the four-time world champion, with Massa staying ahead of Bottas for fifth in a very lonely race.
Romain Grosjean, who qualified eighth, finished behind the Williams pair in seventh, scoring his first points since last year’s Monaco Grand Prix, with Sauber’s Felipe Nasr finishing eighth as a result of young Toro Rosso prodigy Max Verstappen suffering a drive train failure on the start/finish line with just 4 laps left to go.
Red Bull’s day had its fair share of ups and downs, as Daniil Kvyat suffered a very public engine failure, forcing the Russian to retire on lap 16. However teammate Daniel Ricciardo suffered a botched start before making his way through the field to finish ninth, ahead of Marcus Ericcson, who took the final point of the afternoon.
Force India had an afternoon to forget, as Sergio Perez finished just outside the points in 11th, whilst team mate Nico Hülkenberg’s race came to an abrupt end on lap 10, where the German was forced to retire with a gearbox issue.
Fernando Alonso completed his first full race distance for McLaren-Honda, finishing in 12th ahead of British team mate Jenson Button, who was reprimanded for his clash with Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado, who retired after the former clattered into the Venezuelan from behind. Button was then given a five second time penalty and two points put on his super licence after the race had finished, demoting him to 14th.
Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz, along with teammate Verstappen, found themselves out of any points finishes this time around. The safety car then came out as a result of the Dutch youngster's sudden retirement and controlled the race to its end, whilst there were cheers from the crowd regarding the moving of his car back into pit lane. Sainz would eventually end up ahead of Button, due to the reprimand from the stewards.
The next round takes place in the sand surrounding of Bahrain next weekend, as the race towards the title increases in intensity between the two men who will again be fighting at the front.