Hamilton snatches dramatic win in Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Chinese Grand prix, snatcing victory in the dying laps from Sebastian Vettel. Mark Webber was 3rd, after a heated dash through the field. Jenson Button was a potential winner, but a disastrous mistake at the pit stop left him 4th. Here is the full report:

Button leads from Hamilton, while Rosberg pressurises Vettel

Button leads from Hamilton, while Rosberg pressurises Vettel

At the start, Vettel got bogged down, while Button sailed into the lead. Lewis nearly hit the grass trying to get around the Red Bull, and overtook him at the first corner. Mark Webber only took one position from 18th on the first lap, while Kamui Kobayashi made a move on Jaime Alguersuari.

Mark got up to 15th within a few laps, but was quickly passed by Sergio Perez, as the Red Bull began to lose pace on the prime tyres. Jaime Alguersuari was the first to stop on Lap 10, but a badly fitted back right wheel caused it to fall off after a few corners, sening the Toro Rosso into retirement.

Webber and Schumacher, who had got up to 9th, stopped a lap after. Perez gained another place at the expense of Barrichello, while Rosberg stopped from 4th, who was holding up Massa and Alonso.

Button and Vettel stopped on Lap 13. However, Jenson made a howler of a mistake, when he tried to stop at the Red Bull pit box instead of the McLaren box. He never stopped, and got out of Sebastian’s way, but the damage was done, as he lost 2nd place.

Lewis stopped a lap after, and after being held up on track, lost the lead – but not to Vettel. Nico Rosberg’s early stop had paid dividends, and he was 5 seconds ahead of Vettel.

Webber was now up to 11th after his early stop, up against Kobayashi in 10th, who was suffering with nosecone damage. Di Resta and Sutil were 8th and 9th for Force India. Further up the pack, Alonso and Schumacher were battling for 6th place. After a few laps, Fernando muscled past the Mercedes. However, replays indicated that the Ferrari had used its DRS off the main straight.

Jenson stopped on lap 25, indicating that he was on a 3-stop strategy. Race leader Rosberg and Webber stopped one lap later. This left Sebastian back in the lead of the Grand Prix. Nico soon passed Alonso for 3rd.

The race leader soon suffered a setback, as his radio began to fail. His pace slowed slightly, as Alonso soon lost 4th place to Button. Vettel’s pace wasn’t good enough for his stint, so he stopped on lap 33 for a set of hard tyres, which left Felipe Massa in charge of the Grand Prix. He pitted 2 laps later, leaving Rosberg back at the top.

Hamilton and Button dice it out

Hamilton and Button dice it out

The McLarens were second and third, and hearts must mave skipped a beat on the pit wall when Hamilton dived down the inside of Button to snatch 2nd place. It was close, but both drivers gave each other room.

With his race compromised, Button stopped for the final time, taking on hard tyres, while Hamilton matched him a lap later, and he exited the pit lane in front of his teammate. Further back, Webber shoved his way past Michael Schumacher for 6th place.

In between all of the action, the stewards announced a drive-through penalty for Sergio Perez. The Mexican driver ran wide at turn 1 and slammed into Adrian Sutil, causing front wing damage to the Force India.

Nico was promising for a podium position, but a problem was apparent when it was revealed that he was running low on fuel. Backing off forced him to concede 3rd place to Hamilton. Lewis wasn’t happy with that, though, and soon pushed Massa aside for 2nd place. With only 10 laps to go, it looked as if the McLaren could challenge for the win.

Within a few laps, Lewis had completely eroded Vettel’s lead, and a fantastic battle for the lead emerged. Dives down the inside at turn 14 were fruitless, so Hamilton caught everyone out by taking Vettel halfway throught the lap.

Webber keeps Button at bay

Webber keeps Button at bay

With the lead settled, focus soon switched to Mark Webber, who had made a stunning comeback away from the cameras, and was now 4th. With Button concentrating on Vettel ahead, scintillating pace from Mark, as well as a wheel-to-wheel battle, put him in a podium spot, a massive achievement considering his 18th placed grid spot and poor tyre choice.

Jenson tried to dive back, and clashed wheels, but Mark held his ground for 3rd place. Lewis Hamilton took the race win by 5 seconds, to Vettel and Webber. Button was 4th, ahead of Rosberg and Massa. Alonso and Schumacher battled to the flag, while Petrov and Kobayashi got points finishes. Paul di Resta and Nick Heidfeld battled for 11th all the way to the flag, and clashed with 2 corners to go, which will be investigated after the race.

Hamilton wins, 5 seconds ahead of Vettel

Hamilton wins, 5 seconds ahead of Vettel

It was a fantastic race, action-packed from the very beginning, with a mix between raw pace and strategy. Ultimately, stopping 7 laps earlier was a mistake for Sebastian, and Lewis made many excellent passing moves across the day. Also, we cannot forget Mark’s stunning ascension through the field while under pressure.

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