Hamilton beats Vettel for Chinese Grand Prix win

Hungarian Grand Prix 2016

Hungarian Grand Prix 2016

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his vehicle during the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai, China, Sunday, April 9, 2017.

Yes, the triple world champion led all 56 laps of the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday as he won for the 54th time in his F1 career, but without the arrival of a safety vehicle period early in the race, he would not have had such a straightforward afternoon.

"It came just when I was about to start to feel that the dry tyre was a lot quicker, so I couldn't use the momentum, the advantage and I lost a lot of positions".

Hamilton was certainly not blinded by the achievement of victory, when he acknowledged the performance of Ferrari post-race.

"If we can challenge Mercedes again (going forward), that's very good news", Vettel said.

"I am just a chink in the chain, there are a thousand people involved", he added.

Triple champion Hamilton had a series of searing battles with Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg before losing his title to the German last season, when Rosberg immediately quit the sport.

Hamilton also observed that the conditions favored Mercedes today given the colder weather conditions in Shanghai.

When asked if it was fair to suggest that the 2017 Ferrari F1 vehicle is more comfortable for Vettel than it is for Raikkonen, Marchionne said: "Absolutely no".

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It's a prospect Hamilton said he relished.

Verstappen loomed ahead but the young Dutchman, who produced an astonishing first lap after starting from 16th on the grid, suffered a lock-up going into the hairpin, allowing Vettel, rather anti-climactically, to take second place. The two drivers, who share seven world championship titles between them, embraced each other after the race as the Brit patted the German for coming up with a stiff fight in Shanghai.

It was the eighth career podium finish for the youngster Verstappen, who has so far started in 42 grands prix. I was very happy with that and then after that I had a really good race.

"With the virtual safety auto you save a bit of time in the pitstop". After the final round of pitstops though, Hamilton, Vettel and Verstappen came out in that order, which is where they finished the race.

Vettel consequently dropped from second to sixth, but was able to work his way back up to finish runner-up in the second race of the season.

"I think we were a bit unlucky".

Ricciardo also reveled in his earlier battle for third place with Vettel, during which the pair briefly rubbed wheels.

Marchionne added that the safety vehicle, which was brought out after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed on the start-finish straight, probably cost Vettel victory.

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