Lewis wins Chinese GP; Rosberg cries foul




Lewis Hamilton roared to a crushing victory at the Chinese Grand Prix last Sunday only to be heavily criticised by his team mate, Nico Rosberg, of compromising his race which could have cost him the race. Starting from the pole, being the quickest, Lewis went on to win the race comfortably, almost five seconds ahead of his teammate before the Safety Car came out for the last three laps Ferrari’s Vettel and Raikkonen finished third and fourth respectively.

Lewis Hamilton roared to a crushing victory at the Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton roared to a crushing victory at the Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton drove a very controlled race and was more concerned with the preservation of the tyres. It is a well-known that the Ferrari cars are able to preserve their tyres better compared to the Mercedes. However, the lower temperature at the China, compared to the tropical Malaysian GP, proved to be better for the Mercedes camp. Williams’s Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished fifth and sixth. This relaxed pace of Lewis, was accused by Nico, driving behind Lewis, as deliberately making him venerable almost backing him into an attack by Vettel who was in third. Lewis denied and rubbished the claim by Nico Rosberg.

This is Lewis’s second victory in three races and his eighth in last ten Grand Prix dating back to Italy last year. This race win also helps him extend his lead (68 points) over Vettel (55 points), whose advantage over Nico Rosberg (51 points) was cut down to just four points after this race. In the constructor’s championship, Mercedes have are clearly leading in front (119 points) followed by Ferrari (79 points) and Williams (48 points).

This Mercedes 1-2 win has put to rest the debate that was arising regarding a comeback by Ferrari in the previous race at Malaysia. The norm of the season seems to be the pace of Mercedes going against the better usage of tyres and tactics of Ferrari. Ferrari could not match Mercedes race pace but tried their trick to pit earlier than expected. Mercedes were able to handle the pit stops and controlled the whole race rather comfortably. Hamilton made sure he was not pushing too hard to preserve his tyres but unleashed his wrath with very quick lap times on the in-lap and out-lap of his pit stops.

The Toro-Rosso of the rookie Max Verstappen was heading for eighth spot finish before his locked rear axle on the start-finish straight caused him to retire just three laps before the finish of the race, bringing the safety car out. It is a shame for the 17-year old Dutchman who impressed everyone again in this race with his overtaking moves. He passed Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson into the hairpin at the end of the long back straight by braking late but making a clean overtake and went on to do the same at Turn six on Force India’s Sergio Perez. Verstappen has clearly the outperformed all other rookies this year and is already rubbing shoulders with the veterans, clearly a star of the future.

Both the McLarens managed to finish the race for the first time this season with the new Honda engines. Fernando and Button were clearly on different tyre strategies. Alonso led Button in the early stages as they went past the struggling Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat. Button regained advantage with the softer tyre compound in the middle while Fernando switched to medium compound tyres. Alonso again went back to soft compound in the final run up to the flag and managed to close the gap on Button who was caught up in a battle with the Lotus of Maldonardo.

Both Button and Maldonardo spun off as they made contact, with Alonso trailing both of them. Button was given a 5 second penalty by the FIA stewards making his go down to 14th spot and points put on his super license. Button after the race said it was a misjudgement. “You never want to crash and I don’t crash very often. I am not happy that it happened”, said the Briton. Maldonardo retired with a brake failure. Eventually, Alonso finished 12th behind the Force Indian car of Sergio Perez while Button with a broken front wing finished 13th.

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Anjan K Merkap

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