SHANGHAI, April 14: Lewis Hamilton won the 1,000th Formula One Grand Prix on Sunday after grabbing the lead from Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the first corner and powering to victory in blustery Shanghai.
Hamilton, who started from second on the grid, took the world championship lead after romping home to win the Chinese Grand Prix by more than 6.5 seconds from Bottas, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel third.
Max Verstappen of Red Bull was fourth and Charles Leclerc in the second Ferrari was fifth.
This was world champion Hamilton’s sixth victory at the Chinese Grand Prix and second in a row this season.
“To have a one-two (for Mercedes) is really special in the 1,000th grand prix but the start was where it made the difference and the rest is history,” said the Briton.
Hamilton was pipped for pole position by Bottas by just 0.023 seconds in qualifying and had said that he was “struggling with the car”.
But the Finn laboured out of the blocks, allowing Hamilton to nip in and grab the lead at the first corner.
“I lost it on the start, honestly, shame about the start, I got some wheel spin on the start line,” said Bottas, who also relinquished his hold on the standings after three races.
Talented 21-year-old Leclerc meanwhile pulled off the same trick at the start at the expense of his team-mate Vettel, darting into third. (AFP)