Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport take the Constructors’ Championship lead in China
What a scintillating Chinese Grand Prix!
Valterri Bottas started third on the grid and finished P2 in his 100th Grand Prix start, claiming his 24th career podium, 15th for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and second of the 2018 season.
Lewis started in fourth and came home in P4, which is his 28th straight top-ten finish, breaking the record for the most consecutive points finishes.
Valtteri got off to a great start, moving up to P2 whilst Lewis dropped back to P5, with both drivers starting on the Soft tyre.
Both Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers opted for a one-stop strategy with Lewis boxing first to switch to the Medium tyre on Lap 18 and Valtteri switching to Mediums on Lap 19.
Valtteri’s pit stop was the fastest in the race at 2.15s, bringing him out in front of Vettel with only Raikkonen ahead who was yet to stop. Once Raikkonen stopped, Valtteri was leading the race from Lap 28 – 43 until he was passed by Daniel Ricciardo on fresh Soft tyres.
The Safety Car played a crucial role in this year’s Chinese Grand Prix strategy. It appeared for 5 laps from Lap 30 – 35 where both Red Bull Racing drivers pitted for fresh Soft tyres, giving them speed in the latter half of the race to move through the pack on older, harder tyres.
There were a massive 80 overtakes clocked on Pure Pit Wall, 23 with DRS and two for the lead during the race.
There was just one DNF during the race, despite some close calls on track between the drivers, one of which gave Max Verstappen a 10 second time penalty, resulting in Lewis crossing the line in P5 then eventually taking P4.
After the 2018 Chinese Grand Prix Sebastian Vettel (54 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by nine points from Lewis (45 points) in P2, with Valtteri (40 points) in P3.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (85 points) now take the lead in the Constructors’ Championship from Ferrari (84 points).
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