A drama-filled start on a wet track from rain earlier in the day set the stage for Hamilton's victory and Mercedes' recovery after Vettel surprisingly captured the season's opening race at the Australian Grand Prix last month. Having started at the pole, Hamilton managed to retain his position despite competition coming from Vettel who finished at P2, while Max Verstappen took the third spot on the podium. Mercedes may have pummelled the competition a year ago, but star driver Lewis Hamilton said Sunday the German constructors face a heavyweight brawl with a beefed-up Ferrari team this season.
Four-time champion, Vettel then got himself in a fix after losing out on strategy in a chaotic opening, which kept the shape of the race in doubt following a crash by Williams rookie Lance Stroll, punted off by Force India's Sergio Perez.
Following that incident Lewis Hamilton called for clarity on the issue and Horner believes it should be addressed so drivers know what is allowed in the future. No other driver has won the Grand Prix more than two times, with Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg both reaching the chequered flag first, twice.
"I am really looking forward to more battles with him", Hamilton said, as quoted by Sky Sports after Sunday's race.
In the first of back-to-back Grand Prix weekends, the third race of the season will take place in Bahrain next weekend.
Second-place finisher Sebastian Vettel, for his part, had high praise for the performance of his Mercedes competitor. In the end he made a relatively poor getaway regardless of the positioning, but he still managed to hold Valtteri Bottas off on the entry to the first corner and retain second place. In no time, the Chinese GP saw its second crash of the day as young driver Antonio Giovinazzi lost his auto on the main straight and slammed his vehicle into the pitwall barrier. Today we finished second, very happy with that, we take it, good points. The Canadian beached his Williams in the gravel, bringing out the virtual safety vehicle. We were a good match.
While Mercedes successfully navigated the early safety vehicle periods, Vettel's race suffered from them.
"It was a very challenging race but I really enjoyed it". "They've had a very, very strong run the last couple of years". I tried to chase Lewis down as much as possible but I had the feeling that every time I put a lap in he was able to respond. They impressed in qualifying with Felipe Massa sixth quickest and rookie Lance Stroll in 10th, but Stroll spun out on Lap 1 after contact with the Force India of Sergio Perez, while Massa struggled to heat up his tyres behind the safety vehicle early in the race in the damp conditions and lost ground he was unable to regain, finishing 14th of the 15 cars to be classified.