Lewis Hamilton took his pole position and converted it into a Formula 1 race victory the Chinese Grand Prix.
Hamilton and his Mercedes team bounced back after being defeated by Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel in Australia, the German lost time in traffic after making an early pitstop in this race. Vettel did finish the race’s clear runner-up, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen completing the podium while holding off a strong late challenge from team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.
When race started, Hamilton eased towards Turn 1 in the lead, whereas fellow front row starter Vettel only just kept the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas at bay. Ricciardo of Red Bull picked off Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen for fourth after the opening sequence of corners and Verstappen powering through to seventh by the end of the opening lap. Hamilton enjoyed a healthy advantage for a number of laps, including over Vettel, who opted to switch to slicks.
Most of the frontrunners were on intermediates as green flags waved again, but there was another crash moments later as Antonio Giovinazzi lost his car on the main straight, slamming into the pitwall and leading to a full safety car period. When the race restarted on lap seven, the whole field was now on slicks, with Ricciardo being Hamilton's closest rival, as Vettel lost ground through the earlier stop and Bottas spun under the safety car when trying to warm up his tyres.
Eventually, Hamilton left seven seconds clear of Vettel, and the gap between the pair remained around that point for the rest of the race, eventually ending up at 6.250s at the chequered flag. It was much closer in the fight for third, as the final laps of the race featured a tense fight between Verstappen and Ricciardo.
There were five retirements in total, Stroll and Giovinazzi exiting in incidents and three other drivers foiled by reliability - Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and the McLaren duo of Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, the latter pulling over with a driveshaft failure after battling Sainz.
CHINESE GRAND PRIX RESULT
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||56||45.192s|
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||56||46.035s|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||56||1m12.893s|
|8||Kevin Magnussen||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|10||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|11||Romain Grosjean||Haas/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||55||1 Lap|
|13||Jolyon Palmer||Renault||55||1 Lap|
|14||Felipe Massa||Williams/Mercedes||55||1 Lap|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||55||1 Lap|