Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Shanghai International Circuit, 2019

Hamilton and Mercedes dominate 1,000th world championship race

2019 Chinese Grand Prix summary

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Lewis Hamilton scored a commanding victory in the Chinese Grand Prix, taking the championship lead in the 1,000th points-paying race.

He led Mercedes to their third consecutive one-two finish at the start of the season. Valtteri Bottas followed him home in second, the pole-sitter having lost the lead to Hamilton at the start.

Sebastian Vettel claimed third after Ferrari again intervened in the battled between its two drivers. Charles Leclerc passed his team mate at the start, but was told to let Vettel by prior to the first pit stops.

Leclerc was left out for a longer first stint which dropped him behind Max Verstappen. He closed on the Red Bull driver after the leaders made their second pit stops, but with his tyres only eight laps fresher than Verstappen’s and a gearbox glitch, he had to settle for fifth.

Pierre Gasly made a late pit stop to fit an old set of soft tyres in a successful bid to score the bonus point for fastest lap on his way to sixth.

Only one of the Renaults saw the chequered flag. Nico Hulkenberg retired from the race early on, while Daniel Ricciardo took a ‘best of the rest’ finish for the team in seventh.

The final points were taken by Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Alexander Albon, the latter impressively holding off Romain Grosjean having raced to 10th from the pits.

The only other driver who was not classified was Daniil Kvyat, who was also given a drive-through penalty after hitting the two McLarens on the first lap of the race. Lando Norris retired in the pits four laps from home.

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2019 Chinese Grand Prix reaction

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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84 comments on “Hamilton and Mercedes dominate 1,000th world championship race”

  1. Best car on the grid, no wonder. At this rate, HAM has many chances indeed to equal the number of victories – 91 – by the end of the year.

    1. Ferrari can match them, but they would be stressing their car

      1. Maybe on pure speed, over 1 lap. After that reliability plays the decisive role… and that means they don’t have the best car. Best car = speed+reliability combo. But, I doubt they can match Mercedes even over 1 lap, otherwise they would have tried to get the PP in the last lap from Q3.

        1. +1000 Best car does not mean it is fastest, but it is also reliable and driveable. I would love to see Hamilton drive the 2017 and 2018 Ferrari for him to see the comparisons with the 2017 and 2018 Mercedes.

    2. @mg1982 Best car or the car that was setup best by their drivers?

      This track should have given Ferrari even more of an advantage than they showed in Barcelona and Bahrain. Horner also called Ferrari’s car the “gold standard”. The teams can see from the telemetry what the other’s cars can do. Yet somehow Ferrari just didn’ t make it work. Just like in Australia where they dropped the ball.

      If you would go by Hamilton in FP1 to 3, Mercedes looked slow. Yet that was a setup issue also.

      1. So, if they can’t unleash the full potential of the car because of various reasons… not the best car, no?!

        1. @mg1982 If their drivers don’t extract the full potential from their car it’s the car’s fault?

          1. So, you think Bottas is better than Vettel and/or Leclerc?! No chance….

          2. @mg1982 Well I wouldn’t be surprised if Bottas was better than Vettel.

            Bottas annihilated Massa, Massa and Raikkonen were closely matched and Vettel was not that much better than Raikkonen. Well Vettel could do a better single lap (just as Massa could) , but he utterly failed on race day (just as Massa would).

    3. @mg1982 agreed. I watched day 1 of winter testing on f1 tv, the merc looked great on track, not to mention the craftmanship, the times were like the past 3 or 4 winters, ferrari ahead, irrelevant. Come australia mercedes apparently had upgraded the car in winter testing and were even better, still don’t know why Sky kept, in their view, pessimistically stating Ferrari were quicker.
      Got a perfect score this weekend for the predictions championship, shame my tie breaker was too optimistic, forgot that even though the tyres are equivalent to last years selection, pirelli made the tyres “harder”

      1. @peartree Not quite perfect, I have you on 48 points as you predicted Hamilton on pole. Top score though! (and top of the leader table too)

        1. @reggio68 my bad, I haven’t checked yet, anyway I’m chuffed.

          1. @peartree Rightfully chuffed, shame about the tiebreaker. Funnily enough there were two identical entries this race, same predictions, same pole time. What happens in this scenario @keithcollantine ?
            Also, you can try this if you want
            http://reggio.zapto.org:2000/sap/bc/webdynpro/sap/zf1_app?sap-language=EN#
            Not sure it will work, and don’t expect it to be fast, it’s running on my NAS :-)

    4. But so many hollow boring forgettable wins.

      1. Yeah, all four of Vettel’s WDCs tips that hollow chart.

  2. Got to love Mercedes and the team…

    1. Well we don’t have to “love” them – but full and deserved respect for a team at the top of it’s game ;)

      1. Love and respect go together!

        1. Nonsense ….. I love a good cup of Tea but I’m never going to admire it. ;)

          1. Respect I meant – that’s it – third mess up of the day – I am out until tomorrow now! :(

  3. Odd race – quite boring but some interesting points to consider in my opinion.

    Ferrari obviously have problems and their strategies are looking a bit suspect still.

    Great to see Max keeping a cool head and collecting points instead of other cars.

    Is Ricciardo finally getting to grips with the Renault?

    How much fun is Kimi having these days? ;)

    1. @nullapax Surely Kimi is having a lot of fun. Some great clean battles today. I think he is doing a very good job at the moment.

      Seeing the treatment Ferrari gave for Leclerc today made me feel happy that Kimi isn’t there anymore.

    2. @nullapax I share those same views/sentiments.

      1. @nullapax
        Yes like @jerejj I agree with all those comments. Kimi just having some fun with no/little pressure.
        Max is maturing as a racer, he will still have his lash outs like after quali, but that’s fine.

        Dan Ric seems to feel better in that car, I am happy about that. As he said (and Nico as well) he is dealing with a car with much less downforce and less grip- probably more like driving the Toro Rosso back in the day.

        But boring race on track but was interesting to see teams race strategy – I would prefer more track action though.
        Bring on Baku !!

  4. Definitely need 1000 such races more, to showcase how slower cars can keep on winning. Amazing world championship.

    1. Indeed, this sucks more than 2014-2016, as I don’t think bottas has what it takes to challenge hamilton in the same car, but I don’t see hamilton as a legend or anything, alonso or schumacher at similar age would beat him any day, it’s just that he’s a top driver and bottas probably isn’t.

      1. You may have a point with respect to peak Schumacher vs peak Hamilton. It’s certainly an interesting hypothetical. Lack of WDC level competition in the other car makes it harder, but you can’t argue with 7 WDC as a sign of a truly great driver. Some people argue with 5 WDC representing a great driver mind you….

        Saying Alonso in his prime would beat Hamilton “any day” is not supported by the facts. The freshly minted 2xWDC version of Alonso failed to thrash the rookie Hamiton in the same car. I know Alonso had issues with the team that year but a good part of that is probably due to the fact that he wasn’t massively outperforming Hamilton. Given equal treatment Alonso may have beaten him but it’s by no means certain and I think it’s reasonable to say Hamilton has improved significantly since his rookie season.

  5. Wow who was expecting that?

    1. @johnmilk Not Vettel. Or for that matter any of the other pundits who though Ferrari would have the better race pace.

  6. Mercedes in a league of one.

  7. While Ferraris power advantage seems real, the promising chassis we thought we saw in testing doesn’t look too live up to the hype.

    I like many was surprised how conventional the Mercedes was with its side pods, front wing, and rake concept. But it’s making sense now. I don’t know if it’s just outright capable of more pace or if Mercedes understand it so well they don’t want to upset their formula for success, but I’m happy to call another Hamilton and Mercedes season even this early.

    1. @philipgb Agreed. It looks more like that Ferrari are find the best setup for their car. They do have the faster car, but if the setup isn’t perfect it’s not going to perform great either.

      Perhaps they miss the experience Raikkonen brought them last season?

      1. Philip mentioned the concept of the cars, not the setup. Maybe Ferrari’s concept it’s not a very good concept (anymore). I highly doubt they are so much behind strictly because of the setup.

        1. @mg1982 Well the concept worked great in Barcelona and Bahrain. With their straight line advantage, Ferrari should have had an even bigger advantage in China.

          There is nothing wrong with the concept if they do get the setup right

          Ferrari admitted they messed up the setup in Australia. Which could have been caused by them not fully understanding their new concept yet.

          1. They didn’t get the setup wrong.

            Merc was the better car today as was in Australia. What’s the point of arguing a clear evident fact?

          2. @johnmilk Ferrari themselves admitted afterwards that they messed up the setup for Australia. They were cagey about what it was exactly, but some argued that it could be as simple as putting too much cooling on.

            Ferrari had the faster car in Barcelona and in Bahrain by a big margin. They should have gotten a bigger edge in China with it’s massive straights.

            In the end the Merc was faster yes, the question is how much of that was caused by poor car setup.

  8. Gotta feel for the Merc team. Every race they start as self proclaimed underdogs yet every race that walk away with a 1, 2 finish so far. The stress of not falling over themselves laughing at the pre-race press conference race must be huge.

    1. @johnrkh I know right, Horner must have been in on the joke too when he called Ferrari the “gold standard”.

      1. @johnrkh

        Don’t spread this fake news. Ferrari has been a better than Merc since ever. Their wdc drivers are a huuuge succes and the y have THE best strategy. Also they always let their drivers fight it out on track.
        /s

        Well we can only hope next race is a Ferrari 1-2 with Leclerc win and Redbull 3-4. With the next race Redbull 1-2 and Ferrari 3-4. Otherwise we can celebrate Hamilton’s wdc at Spa?..

        1. @maxv Three podiums in a row fake news? Here’s a tip, start wearing boxing gloves to bed :))

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      14th April 2019, 17:42

      There is no excuse for the other teams not being able to beat Mercedes by now. You can’t blame Mercedes – they can win championships with a slower car… Ferrari can’t win with the quickest car. It’s turning into a clinic and they should not change the regs to help the other teams cope with their incompetence – in essence, their inability to compete.

      1. Ehm, they changed the rules to stop ferrari domination years ago, why should they not do that now?

      2. Mercedes would be getting beaten if other teams had the same staff and budget,

  9. Three races, three Mercedes one-two’s. Everybody else 30 points or more behind. Says it all really. Not much changed since 2014. Excellent job done by Liberty Media that they can still sell this as exciting.

    1. Let’s not blame liberty for Bernie’s chaos. They will overreact:

      -bring v8-cylinder 5gallon 120hp with reverse grids.
      -a commercial brakes every 5min: where everyone parks the car.
      -preseason draft picks for engines.
      -time-outs for strategy huddles (Ferrari will get 1 more). Once again, everyone parks the car while we wait.
      -incidents will be reviewed, while everyone parks the car, on screen with the audience
      -the cars will be made to look super aggressive, mad max style, like extra padding.
      -drivers will only be allowed to drive forward but overtaking needs to be done in reverse
      -a half time will be introduced where we listen to some horrible artists after the track has been converted to a podium
      -mandatory full course yellow 2 laps to the end.

      Something like that, American style :-)

      1. Forgot to add, all races will be in Germany and we will call it a world championship.

      2. are you Vin Diesel in real life? :)

        1. My quote skills messed that up :(

      3. @maxv – someone’s not a fan of American “football” ;)

  10. Seems to me the Ferrari is good at some circuits and the Mercedes is good at all

  11. Ferrari was unbeatable on Pace in both Qualy and Race in Bahrain but everyone seems to have forgot. Interesting.

    1. You got it wrong, it was Mercedes tuned down their cars to get the season more exciting. Mercedes have extra 40hp in reserve and would only utilize when deem necessary.

      1. #TinfoilHatActivated

    2. Last year the Torro Rossos were also mighty in Bahrain. Tinfoil or not, it’s a triple 1-2 for Mercedes.

      1. Last year the Torro Rossos were also mighty in Bahrain

        Yeah I forgot Torro Rosso locked out the front row

  12. Very fitting for a great champion to be winning the 1000th Race.
    Albon is starting to get noticed. Keep doing that and a RBR seat might come his way. Impressive drive from 20th position. And torpedo is back to what he does best, Demolition.

    1. Kvyat Lost the back of his car, as did Max, who spun, on cold tires. Sop exaggerating, or are you applying to become an F1 Narrator?

      1. Well commentators said the Torpedo is back and he got a drive through penalty. BTW i think the penalty given to Kvyat was harsh.

  13. I thought this was quite a depressing race if you are not in the mercedes team. I mean their drivers were inch perfect all weekend, the car was fast and reliable and that double pit stop executed to perfection was a great strategy call and seemed like the last slap. “We are better in every single way” it seemed to say. A good day for a great team.

  14. Dreadfully boring ‘race’ again, but this is the sorry state of F1, 1000 races in.

    Formula E and Indycar are infinitely more entertaining at the moment.

    1. If you are into vacuum cleaners and slow cars, sure.

      1. rolls eyes

      2. I want to see drivers pushed to the limit and actually race each other. Not overpaid ponces crying about tyre wear and blue flags!

        1. Formula E isnt pushing anyone to the limit get real. 🤣

          1. Remember when they had to scuttle over to a second car half way through a race? Very testing for the driver.

  15. I never want to hear Mercedes complaining how slow they are or others are better than they are ever again.

    1. @rocketpanda Toto does that for years now, before every race. How the treat is real, how they are on the back foot. And then surprised how they didn’t have any opposition, to finish with something like “keeping our heads down because Ferrari is dangerous, respect, they’ll come ahead if we blink blah blah blah”

      1. @spoutnik well, they’ve kept their heads down, not blinked, and it’s paid off.

        1. @fluxsource I don’t challenge that! They’re miles ahead since 2014.

      2. Is it not possible that you need this mentality throughout an ultra successful team like Mercedes? I mean, they have proved everything they need to prove so they keep having to set new targets, new motivations for the team..for the viewing public even.
        Nah… better they lest on their laurels and assume they don’t need to try anymore. Right? Cause this motivation keeps coming from somewhere. If it takes Toto selling his team down then…WHY NOT?

  16. Wait, no more video of ‘this is not the 1,000th world championship race’?

    1. @ruliemaulana – yeah, that was becoming a bit of a feature in one too many articles, wasn’t it? :)

  17. That was so boring, another year with Hamilton having the best car of the grid

    1. Totally, agree. Everybody is back where they belong. Changes for overtaking didn’t work, speed and drs rule. This will become a very, very boring season.

    2. @kimitard Last season Ferrari had the faster car. It was just that Vettel crashed, spun off or gave himself dumb penalties in AZE, FRA, AUT, GER, ITA, JPN and USA. If he had just kept his head together he could have had at least 5 more wins and won the championship(s).

    3. They should start a second F1 championship that Lewis isn’t allowed to race in.

    4. Schumi, Hakkinen, Prost, Mansell, Senna, etc etc etc all had the best cars to win their WDCs. F1 has always been about the best car being driven by the best drivers. F1 has never been a pure athlete’s sport- perhaps you would be better suited to tennis and athletics?

  18. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    14th April 2019, 17:19

    159!!!!!!

    75 Wins and 84 Poles for Lewis!

    Hamilton has matched Schumachers’ 159 Poles and Wins! Schumi has 91 Wins and 68 poles!

    It’s just unbelievable when you realize that the only other drivers to break the century of poles and wins are Ayrton Senna and Sebastian Vettel.

    Congratulations to Lewis and Mercedes – they are creating history together!

    1. Calm down. Ham has never not had a race winning car AND there more races in a season than ever!

      If this had been the Schumacher or Senna golden era those guys would have had well over a hundred wins each! ;)

      1. Indeed, there’s no driver who on average had as good a car as hamilton, and no, that’s not all on performance cause most of the best drivers ever didn’t start with a title contender.

        1. The hatred for Hamilton never ceases to amaze me…

  19. It`s a trade off Ferrari got wrong…
    They sacrificed grip and cornering speed for straight line speed, in exchange rubber wear became too much of a problem for them to get close for attack…I`m sure in Baku they will be in a better position, but tight corners will make their rubber suffer too much.

  20. I have to say about the new pit strategy prediction. I don’t know if this sounds a bit harsh. But it underestimates the viewer. As a spectator when you follow the race you probably have enough intrest for the race that you calculate what will happen next. Can he undercut the other car. What if the pit delta is 22 seconds and the other driver is 21.9 seconds behind. What will happen after the pitstop. Why in the world would tv tell you that when you can think this through by yourself.

    But if it was bring up for newer viewers I don’t mind. But for my point of view it is pointless.

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