Lewis Hamilton wins Chinese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton took a comfortable victory in the Chinese Grand Prix to hold the championship lead for the first time in 2019.

The Mercedes driver passed team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who started from pole position, off the line and controlled Formula 1’s 1,000th race from there.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel took third, after the team ordered team-mate Charles Leclerc to let him by in the opening laps.

The decision led to Leclerc losing fourth place to Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.

And Ferrari’s young driver – in his third race for the team – questioned the decision over team radio, saying: “But I’m pulling away.” 

Ferrari will face questions about the wisdom of their approach to the race – and to team orders in general – but Hamilton was serenely distant from such concerns.

After taking the lead, Hamilton edged away from Bottas, building a five-second lead before his first pit stop on lap 22.

Mercedes’ decision to bring Bottas in first to protect from Vettel behind dropped the lead to less than two seconds, but Hamilton soon pulled away again to take his second victory in a row.

It was Hamilton’s 75th career victory, and it came on a weekend on which he had struggled throughout practice but pulled a lap out of the bag to grab a front-row spot, which proved the foundation for his win.