Chinese Grand Prix - 14 April 2019

Posted April 15, 2019

Mercedes has gone 1-2, 1-2, 1-2 in the first three races of the new Formula One season, a great start for the sport's dominating team.

Lewis Hamilton led home a third consecutive one-two finish for Mercedes, beating teammate Valtteri Bottas to win the Chinese Grand Prix and take hold of the drivers' championship lead.

"Sorry guys", he said over the radio.

Shanghai: Sebastian Vettel earned his first podium place of 2019 on Sunday but was hardly jubilant, saying he was not "entirely happy" in his Ferrari and annoyed by questions about team orders.

"I think for the first stint Lewis had a pretty strong stint", he admitted.

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

Hamilton roared off the start line in Shanghai to dash past pole-sitter Bottas to the opening bend.

Toro Rosso driver Alexander Albon of Thailand waits for help to get out of his crashed auto during the third practice session for the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit in Shanghai on Saturday, April 13, 2019.

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This was world champion Hamilton's sixth victory at the Chinese Grand Prix and second in a row this season.

The next is in two weeks in Baku, Azerbaijan. "Overall the weekend I have not been as strong as I wanted", he said. "And after that it was kind of history".

Bottas slotted into second place and their positions remained unchanged through to the chequered flag.

Binotto went on: "I think that if Charles is upset, then he is right to be upset, and we should accept it".

"Shame about the start".

"It's small details, but it's early days in the season", he continued.

"The weekend so far has been very good", Bottas said.

Vettel crossed the line third, with Max Verstappen fourth for Red Bull, and Ferrari's Charles Leclerc fifth.

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Letting Vettel by cost Leclerc time and ensured Verstappen was closer to him.

"If there is any 50-50 situation where we need to take a decision, the advantage would have been given to Sebastian, simply because Sebastian has got most of the experience", Binotto said. On lap 11, he was ordered to let Vettel through and that wasted crucial time and yielded hardly any team benefit. "At least we tried and we look forward now". "It's just another race we're here to win". They were too quick, right from the start.

The decision did not help get Ferrari nearer to Mercedes - and were slammed by fans (Pic: SKY SPORTS F1) "Ferrari are a joke".

"I thought I was faster in the vehicle", he said.

"I felt I could go faster". Obviously the objective was to try to catch Mercedes. "At the point the gap was already quite big". He said the auto was "strong, nothing wrong with it".

As the track was fit to race again, Hamilton surged forward ahead of Bottas, while Vettel was building momentum to pass Leclerc.

But that wasn't the case on Sunday, when he found he had to make some serious adjustments to his driving style to claim victory in Formula 1's 1,000th race since its inception in 1950.

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